Which of the two laptops seems better for what I need?

I'm looking to get a laptop for university, I have no yet started, thankfully, however there are two specific laptops that I've been looking at lately, and they both seem like goo ideas for what I need in a laptop.

  • About 1TB of storage
  • 8GB RAM
  • i5/i7 CPU
  • Fast enough (I will be installing a distro of Linux)
  • Good for development work, mostly coding, a tiny bit of picture editing, etc.
  • Okay with boot times

I won't be using the laptop that I purchase for gaming or anything like that, I don't need an AMD APU and I do not need a dedicated graphics processing unit, as I don't do any 3D modelling or anything that would require a little bit more power for the graphical side of things.

I'd mostly use this laptop for writing code, developing applications, and just general usage, nothing fancy really, however as I'm a student PLEASE keep in mind that finance is tight and I need something that's good for what I need. The two products that I'll list below will cover most of if not all of the above criteria, but which would be better, that's my question.

  1. http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/computing/laptops/laptops/toshiba-satellite-l50-c-12v-15-6-laptop-white-10134427-pdt.html
    • This is the cheaper option, has an SSHD rather than just a HDD, so boot time will be better, however it has a resolution of : 1366 x 768

  2. http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/computing/laptops/laptops/asus-x555la-15-6-laptop-black-10135223-pdt.html

    • This on the other hand, it's a bit more expensive, only has a HDD, however it does have the resolution of: 1080x1920

In the life of a student, what do you guys think would be the better option here?

Go with the SSHD. I had a few toshibas and they where good.

Middle of the two. You can configure this with a quad core i7, 8gb of RAM, IPS 1080p screen, 1TB SSHD, and no OS (you said you'd be using Linux) for £561.


I've also had a Toshiba, I mean it's about 10 years old now, and it's still able to run, Toshiba really do make good products to be fair.

Okay, maybe that seems to be the best option for me, looking at the specs and the price, and i7, that would be even better than both, hell that is better than both of the products that I listed above.

In regards of the boot time, I recommend kicking out the ODD and replace it with a caddy and an SSD, rather than settle with a HDD/SSHD for your OS drive. But make sure you get the right caddy (9.5mm <-> 12.5mm).

I have the same laptop as my mother with the only difference being that I removed the ODD with an SSD and the boot times are - despite being not that long to begin with, since the HDD is an HGST 7k1000 -> 7200rpm - quite faster on mine.

But are you using Linux, because honestly, I'm using Linux on my desktop on a HDD and Windows on my SSD, the SSD is just as fast when it comes to initially loading the OS. The time it takes for the HDD to load Linux, it is next to nothing in terms of time, it may be ever so slightly slower, but not to a noticeable extent.

The only time you notice a difference with the HDD and SSD is when you're trying to find files, that's the only time my SSD running Windows kicks the living crap out of the HDD running Linux. The only time, and I was looking to install Elementary OS, which is meant to be very lightweight which should help yet again with the loading times.

I'm downloading it as we speak, the only issue I'm having is that my WiFi is so slow, you could probably find better WiFi in Syria, I'm not joking, it has peaked at 45 KB/s. Maybe I'm exaggerating, but you get my point.

I never had a linux distro installed anywhere else than my old, crappy netbook (Intel Atom N570 @1.6GHz, 1GB RAM) - there was definitely a difference in boot times when I replaced the Seagate Momentus 5400.6 250GB (so, 5400 rpm) with a Crucial M550 256GB. The distros I used back then were Mint 17, Fedora 21 and Lubuntu 15.04 (of which Lubuntu was definitely the fastest in terms of responsiveness). I wanted to install Ubuntu /w Gnome on my laptop too, but on an m.2 SSD which I haven't bought yet.

The boot times of my 2 desktop PCs running Win8.1 are also quite different - one with a single WD Blue 1TB (7200rpm | AMD A6-5400K, 4GB RAM) and the other one with a Samsung 840 Evo 120GB (Intel i3-4130, 8GB RAM) as OS drives.

But overall I really like the setup of having an SSD for the OS and the most important programs, and an HDD for all the files. So in case one of them breaks the hassle of getting your laptop in a working state again is less time-consuming.

Oh, yeah, I absolutely get what your saying. My mom has one of those crappy mobile data-plans for her laptop with an internet-USB-stick. The speedtests I ran were horrible but she's too lazy to upgrade to a proper contract with a "real" modem. Also, when I'm over my mobile's 1GB limit the speeds get reduced to 64kb/s, can't do anything because the connection is shit.

Oh I have Ubuntu installed on my desktop, just to test with Linux, it was a learning step for me, I must say that I LOVE using Linux, it's great.... IDK why or how, but for development work, I just find it a lot more efficient than working in windows...

The only reason my parents don't swap is because of the fact that we've got one of those bundle deals where it covers TV and the phone line too, so we're a little tied down and my parents don't want to spend any additional money than what's needed and they don't want to experience the hassle of sorting it all out.

I liked linux too, when I used it (or rather had to use it because my netbook was too slow for Windows). I really miss the terminal (easily installing software from repos, updating with a short command, etc.), but for me - personally - it's not where it need to be for everyday use (missing programs or having to use a VM/emulator, missing official, proprietary drivers or the hassle you have to go through to make them work, etc.).

Same here. If it wasn't for my grandma I would've cancelled our tv contract years ago. Even thought about setting up a Raspberry Pi as a small HTPC for access to legal online media libraries of networks/channels my grandma watches but it's too much for her to learn how to use/navigate it. Most people here either don't have a landline phone anymore or get it stuffed down their throats with TV/internet bundles.

On regards of your laptop choices again: I'd take the more expensive laptop and enjoy the proper resolution. My netbook had a resolution of 1024x600 with a diagonal of 10.1", thought 1366x768 was plenty enough for me on a 13.3-15.6" screen (also, the price difference between 1366x768 and 1080p was ridiculous but I got a nice deal), but now that I have a laptop with a 1080p display I would not go any lower again.
Also, can't say for sure but usually light-colored - and especially white - devices tend to get dirty fast.
The only thing - judging with my priorities in mind - that speaks for the Toshiba laptop is that the battery life is almost double of the Asus (if those numbers are true). If you plan to use it without it being plugged into the charger then this is serious point.

I too love the terminal, and how amazing it is, but personally, I haven't ran into any issues using Linux, not a single issue at all, I couldn't get steam to run for a little while, but that was me being an idiot, long story short.

I don't really care about how the laptop itself looks, as long as it has enough horsepower, I'm fine, I don't even care about the keyboard that comes with it, I don't find a difference in keyboards, like right now, I'm using the Corsair K70, I find it no better than my cheap £15 wireless keyboard, to be perfectly honest. Typing may feel nicer, but it's not really worth the money in my honest opinion.

As for screens, I may have found a deal where I can have everything that I need and want for a nice price, £600 for all the specs I need; 8GB RAM, i7 quad core CPU, 240GB SSD, 500GB HDD(slight compromise on the storage, but worth it, could use external HDD's), 1080x1920p screen, it's everything that I need and it's around the price I'm looking at, maybe it's slightly more than what I'd LIKE to pay, but at the end of the day, will I be able to find a better deal?!

That looks like a good deal. At least according to the results that geizhals.eu spit out after narrowing the amount of laptops down to those that meet the deal you found (i7, 1080p display, 8GB RAM). The closest to this I could find is a Gigabyte P25K for ~660 GBP with an i7-4700MQ (@2.4GHz, 4 cores), 8GB RAM, nVidia GTX 765M 2GB, 64GB SSD + 750GB HDD, 1080p display (and as a bonus: backlit keyboard) -> http://geizhals.eu/gigabyte-p25k-gelb-ga-p25k-cf1-a1082637.html?hloc=uk
But I'm sure that geizhals.eu does not list every store in the entire UK, so there might be lower prizes somewhere.

In addition to the "how much should it cost" problem: since laptops aren't as easily upgradeable as desktops, you need to think ahead, since instead of "hm, my CPU is kinda slow, I'll just upgrade it" you'll have to buy a whole new laptop if the performance is just not enough anymore. RAM and storage is usually the least problem, CPU/GPU are rarely replaceable.

I would buy a refurbish Dell XPS 15. The only thing wrong is that it has a 500gb hard drive but you can upgrade it cheaply.

That isn't a bad deal at all, but it has a dedicated graphics processing unit, which I really don't think I'll need to be perfectly honest, I don't plan on doing any major graphical projects whilst in uni. Also, that's why I'm going to go for an i7 it SHOULD last me a long time, I mean I don't think I'll even need an i7, but it'll do the job and for that price, I cannot complain.

I forgot you have that VAT thing in Europe.

Indeed we do.... Sucks big time..

Strictly for working? No gaming at all?

Correct, all work and no play for this machine.

Then the dedicated GPU is indeed not necessary and the money you save can be invested in accessories (a mouse, laptop cover, USB flash drive, etc.).