Laptop for son in year 11.

G'day everyone.
Had a laptop sorted for our son for high school and we had a call today to say it's unavailable.

We need to have one in our hands within 2 weeks as the school will have someone spending the day, loading stuff like Office and a bunch of other school stuff related to his classes he's doing, on the students machines that day.

He needs a 15" screen and an i5 as a minimum spec and I don't have a clue about brands, specs etc, so I thought I'd ask here about something with good pricing at the moment.
We can pay up to $700-$750 I reckon.

Thanks very much.

Comments

  •  

    http://www.msy.com.au/viconline/notebooks/18202-acer-e5-575-...

    i personally avoid acer brand…but within your budget and good enough specs

    •  

      I would love to know your experience with Acer?

    • +1 vote

      I've worked in retail sales of computers & electronics for some years. I now work as a computer consultant/repair.

      Acer is a solid performer & some of the best value out there. I can honestly tell you that shop returns of Acer products were exactly on par with the rest.

      I personally have three: a mini-tower I use to attach other people's drives to (my recovery workhorse) & it's at least 12 years old & going strong.

      The other mini-tower is our media PC— again, an oldie when Win 7 first arrived. Never a hiccup.

      The last is a laptop I got via a bargain posted here years back from the AU Post (was something like $250 after cash-back?). The thing got upgraded to a cheap SSD & 8GB RAM & it's a dream.

      There are always a few duds around, but I personally vouch for Acer (& no, I have no affiliation).

      Cheers

      • +1 vote

        I have an Acer laptop and I will also be avoiding the brand in the future. The battery life is horrible despite having a ULV chip, it heats up like mad over something like compiling a LaTeX document and the hinge has become quite loose. To top it all off, the machine will unpredictability fail to wake depending on which way the wind is blowing (keyboard backlight comes on, fan starts but screen is black and keys are unresponsive). The only way to fix this is to pull the battery and do a static discharge, but it gets incredibly annoying when it happens multiple times per day. And this laptop is only 3 years old.

        •  

          yep the build quality is usually poor……there is a reason they usually cheaper…..

          like i said i avoid them, but im sure they are ok for some users!

  •  

    An Acer from
    HardlyNormals

  •  

    Are you sure the school cannot supply the laptops? Usually they can get ridiculous education discounts, far better than what you can otherwise get from even MSY/Umart/etc. Also, Dell can offer coverage for accidental damage - would highly recommend that for a student laptop.

    •  

      Hi mate. Yeah, it's a small school in the country and they had an offer going with one retailer, but there was a screw up, so now we and others are in this position.

      • +1 vote

        Any chance you can organise a bulk buy with other parents? Even just 2 or 3 laptops, you may get a (small) discount?

  • +1 vote

    if the whole school has been let down and in need do a bulk buy from dell via educational order number

    •  

      +1 to this. This school needs to get a decent education supplier (like Dell) and set up a relationship.

      •  

        Don't want to say too much on a public forum as there is stuff going on, but only a handful of people were messed around. I'd assume they'll be looking at someone else next time.
        Will definitely ask them or try to help them organise something better for next time. Can't stress enough that they are a very small school and they are a little inexperienced and very far from everything.

        In the mean time, I need to sort something of good value now.

        Thanks everyone.

  • +1 vote

    Perhaps try the dell outlet. Theres currently nothing on the site because they close over the weekend but if check back Monday, you may be able to find something.

  •  

    It has to be 15 inches? That's strange as 13 is a lot better to carry and battery life etc.

    https://www.harveynorman.com.au/acer-aspire-a515-51g-56v1-15... This is ok for the dollars.

    •  

      Thanks very much for taking the time to reply. Same to everyone else so far too. Really appreciate it.

      PVA, we were looking at that one and it is in stock at a our nearest store (an hour away, but we also saw this one….
      https://www.harveynorman.com.au/hp-15-bw521au-15-6-laptop.ht...
      If I have read it correctly, double the RAM and double the HDD space for another $120.00

      • +1 vote

        That's not an i5 processor, I just searched for an i5. I don't think he'd space really matters for school, in fact a laptop with say a 256 ssd would be better as its more likely to be good at knocks and shocks and battery life and speed is a heap better.

        It really needs to be a 15 inch screen?
        Our son finished school a year back and everyone had 13 inch screens, main reason is ease of moving around and battery life.

        •  

          Just went and got the original paperwork as the teacher's hand written note has me wondering now.

          According to the original print out, they prefer…

          Prefer a minimum 13 inch screen, but 11 is fine if cost is a factor.
          Close to 8 hours battery or more after full charge.
          Wifi capable.
          Core i5 or better.
          No Chromebook as it won't work with school software.
          No Macbook.

        • +1 vote

          @rattle:

          Ok then, rule out 15 inch and look at 13inch.
          I'm thinking about when my son was at school, they had mac airs and were perfect as they lasted all day on battery. You can't have Mac though. ( I am not an Apple fan, but there are perfect for school and tough as well)

          13 inch i5, don't worry about hard drive size or memory as what every you choose will be fine. SSD is much better than HDD if you can.

          I will have a look too and see what we come up with, 7-800 max $ ?

        •  

          Hi mate.
          Yeah, the cheaper the better as we have 6 kids and Christmas was not cheap. LOL

          Seriously though, we had $700 put aside for the school buy that we got messed around on, so it's not a problem spending that.
          We'd like it to last a while and possibly move on to the next kid in line when he moves onto something better later.
          Hope that made sense.

          Now that I have a better idea from the comment, I'll see what's on special.

        •  

          @PVA:
          Done, this will be perfect https://www.harveynorman.com.au/acer-aspire-s5-371t-58cn-13-... I know it's a little more dollars though.
          Good high res screen, ssd is 256gig ( my sons Mac air was 128 and was fine) that SSD is fine for school honestly. And Acer is fine as a brand.
          Remember to also buy a portable HDD to back it up, son lost a lot of work a few time because he didn't.

        •  

          @rattle:
          In case you missed. https://www.ozbargain.com.au/comment/5496471/redir

          I understand the costs etc. But the sellers also know parents are looking to buy laptops so deals maybe are as great as mid year.
          That laptop I linked will be good for years, sons mac air he got in year 9 and he still uses it, not the fastest etc anymore but still going.
          That Acer is much faster and double the SSD. Maybe see if they will do a deal, education price etc.

        •  

          Damn. Looks good and was just reading up on it myself after doing a search, but we can't go that high in cost. Just don't have it.
          Thanks anyway mate.
          Totally get what you are saying, but just can't go that high with other commitments.

        •  

          @rattle:
          Understand completely. They have the same with 128 gig SSD for $797 but it's only an i3 ( I am sure that is what my sons mac air is) Maybe search for that model and see if you can get an i5. 128gig SSD size is perfectly fine for school.

        • +1 vote

          @rattle:
          Another option, but you'll need to wait for a weekday as they don't list them on weekends, is looking at the Dell Outlet store.
          I have bought from there and would again no hesitation.
          See if any 13 inch models pop up, i5 128gig SSD, FHD screen.

  •  

    Macbooks are fairly popular with students.

    https://www.kogan.com/au/buy/apple-13-macbook-air-128gb-18gh...

    •  

      Thanks for the reply mate. Their paperwork states no Macbooks. I assume this is to do with the school software they will be using, as per the no Chromebook request too.
      Thanks anyway.

      •  

        Macs can run Windows, so there's actually no problem here. But you will pay a premium for a Macbook, so that's kinda ruled out by default.

  •  

    I am a convinced Lenovo supporter! Previous IBM, they have a fair price, i big range of option, and i think the best value for money. They have super flashy laptop but also basic squared black old school looking ones, so u save on design and still have a product with value

  •  

    As PVA said above, try the Dell outlet. I bought a refurbished I5 128ssd 13.3 for $629 from Dell last month. Nice unit. For my daughter for school. I did buy an acer new same specs two years ago and still going strong.

  •  

    Thanks so much everyone for taking the time to reply. Really do appreciate it.

    We now have one sorted. Cheers!

    • +1 vote

      Excellent. Now he can fill it up with music photos etc and have a tiny bit of room for school :-) that's what my son did :$