Ask Adrian: our editor tech support solves complex technology problems

  • Ask Adrian: our editor tech support solves complex technology problems
    Independent.t. E.
    Question I am interested in buying a laptop in the €500. I want it only for home use, looking for stuff on the Internet, saving documents and photos. I use Netflix, but usually use a chromecast gadget for my TV for this. I also need the laptop for listening to music (I have a Spotify account) and listen to CDs. I don’t need something like a game. Ideally, I would like to have the Bluetooth facility as I want to listen to podcasts on it. I had one HP for many years and he was generally kept well, while the HDMI and headphone ports went. Can you help?
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Question I am interested in buying a laptop in the €500. I want it only for home use, looking for stuff on the Internet, saving documents and photos. I use Netflix, but usually use a chromecast gadget for my TV for this. I also need the laptop for listening to music (I have a Spotify account) and listen to CDs. I don’t need something like a game. Ideally, I would like to have the Bluetooth facility as I want to listen to podcasts on it. I had one HP for many years and he was generally kept well, while the HDMI and headphone ports went. Can you help?

It’s A Yes. I would suggest either HP pavilion 14-bk070 (€539 from PC World) or IdeaPad Lenovo 320 (€449 from Harvey Norman). HP is a bit faster and more powerful and has better battery life, while the cheaper Lenovo offers more space for storage.

I personally would choose HP. It is a decent universal with all the things you say. However, Lenovo also needs to work normally, but is designed more for home use as it is a bit heavier and the battery won’t last long.

However, it has a 1000 GB Hard drive that can hold eight times the amount of data that HP is capable of. That said, I’m not sure I warrant that a lot of Luggage. Even as an avid photographer and video user drone with thousands of clips and files, I haven’t got to 1000 GB.

Both of these laptops have a decent chip (Intel core i3), which is important if you want to keep your laptop for several years. Many other laptops that cost the same, inferior chips.

One feature you say you want, there’s only bad news: the CD player. Now very few laptops are equipped with CD player and those are either very expensive or very old.

(So good that you say you have an account in Spotify.)

If Netflix is a big thing for you, a third option may be the Lenovo Yoga 520 (€459 from currys). The reason is that it is a two-in-one touchscreen laptop with a screen that can be folded down directly behind the keyboard so you can stand it as a hardcover. This makes it a much more flexible screen, if the video is yours

For what you say you want, I’d stay away from Chromebooks. Even if they do have the advantage of being very inexpensive (usually up to €300), they also have limitations. In particular, they usually have very limited storage capacity (usually not more than 64 GB), because their working models to use the cloud for everything, not a physical hard disk. It’s starting to bite for such things as storage of photos or download episodes on Netflix. They are also very limited in a situation when you are offline, because, again, they are really designed to work in a constantly connected environment.

Needless to say that your budget excludes options such as Apple Laptops, which start at €1,000. It also means that You won’t get fancy features such as locks by fingerprint or so-called ‘ultra high definition’ (also known as ‘4K’) screens.

Recommendations: HP pavilion 14-bk070 (pictured, €539 from PC World)

Email your questions caomahony@independent.ie

 

Two to try

Nokia 3.1 (€139 from three Ireland)


Nokia 3.1

If you want to see how far the budget smartphones are coming, new Nokia 3.1 is an excellent example. The 5.2-inch phone has such a function that would be considered premium a few years ago, as a 13-megapixel rear camera, a decent battery, a 3000 mAh battery and solid build quality. This cuts costs by omitting such things as the fingerprint sensor, but retains favorite headphones.

Fujifilm x-T100 (€699 with a 15-45mm lens from Conns cameras)


Fujifilm X-T100

The main advantage for new small Fuji 24-megapixel camera is its flip-up touch screen. He also takes excellent Fuji x lenses. The downside is that you have less manual control. If you are considering it, go for the combo kit pack (€200 more than €899), which includes an additional (large) XC50-230mm telephoto lens.

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