Laptop £250 budget

I’m after a laptop for my son. Will be mainly used for homework but he likes to play the odd game on it (although generally uses Xbox for that). Any recommendations?

Most likely an xmas present… will laptops change much between now and then? 2nd hand vs new?

Any help appreciated.

You can get a basic laptop for that price easily - I bought one in an emergency when mine broke for £190. To be fair they function fine for stuff like office and browsing, even streaming is fine but probably not for gaming.

Second hand your money will go a lot further if on eBay but then you don’t get the warranty or extra support if needed so keep that in mind. I bought mine from eBuyer last time - they have decent prices.

I would look at a refurbished ex business machine from a business seller on eBay.

Something like a Lenovo ThinkPad or dell latitude.

It’s often luck of the draw as these sellers have lots of stock and you could get a pristine one or sometimes one with cosmetic damage.

These machines are better imo than the £200 new ones , but look at Currys and Argos’s eBay accounts and you can get some laptops there cheap but bear in mind that these usually have tiny internal memory.

Do you have an OS requirement?

I have a need for Windows and a mid-to-high spec laptop. But if I didn’t and had a £250 budget I’d be tempted to take a look at Chromebooks.

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I was just thinking that as an afterthought - Chromebooks are insanely good value. They’re really well priced and specs don’t matter as much as they do on Windows as Chrome OS is very good at managing on low specs.

I use a Chromebook. Much under rated. They’d be the perfect machine for most people for most things (not IT nerds, designers or pro photographers).

They’re bloody good machines.

People think they need MS Word or Adobe Photoshop mainly because that’s why they’ve heard of, not because they really need it.

I would consider a Chromebook if I were you.

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Chromebook is definitely on the consideration list.
There seems to be so many of them. I’ve completely lost track with specs now. No idea what is and isn’t good. Is there a particular make of Chromebook worth going for?

I think the O/S is fine for my son as it’s generally office like apps he’ll need so Google’s own version is fine… and internet browsing.

Asus and HP are well known for their chromebooks. I think you’d be safe with other brands too though because they’re all certified and tested by Google to be able to run Chrome OS. I wouldn’t worry. Obviously the better the specs are the smoother it will run though.

Even if people do need Word and the likes, there’s an excellent Word web app that functions much the same as the Windows version now. Plus it’s free.

Defo a Chromebook. I would never go back to a PC if I dont need to download software.

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Do Chromebooks require anti virus like most Windows machines?
I reckon the only games he’d want to play on a laptop are Minecraft and Roblox…nothing extreme or needy of a super graphics processor.


They’re doing a massive advertising campaign, at the moment, that makes a point of this. (Dig at MS Windows)

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Have a browse of:


I’m currently using a Google Chromebook Pixel 2015. I love this laptop. Extremely capable still at four years old. Always found PCs to be quite sluggish after very little use.

It’s was silly expensive when I bought it. You can pick them up at sensible prices now - around your budget - and the (touchscreen) display is magnificent. Superb quality.

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Lenovo IdeaPad S330 14 Inch 4GB 32GB Chromebook - Black is what I’ve got. Cost me £169.99 at Argos.

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Thanks for all replies. Super helpful.

Another possibility is getting a PC tower for £250 as we already have a TV (for his Xbox) and an existing keyboard and mouse.

Again can easily pick those up for around £200. I got a Lenovo one for my grandad and it’s still running fine after a few years. Not blazing fast or anything but more than suits what he uses it for.

Take this as an example for a HP one, nothing amazing but specs are more than enough for browsing, streaming etc.

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I love my Chromebook, not suitable for work as we need a secure VPN, but when not working I’m always on my Chromebook, does everything I need it to. Near instant start up and shut down, excellent battery life, it annoys me when using my windows laptop how long I have to wait for it to start and its got decent specs.


Are you running Windows 10? You should check if you’ve got Fast Boot disabled for some reason - Windows 10 is very fast to boot up now even on not great hardware.

Yep its turned on still substantially slower than near instant start up on a Chromebook

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Which VPN protocols aren’t supported on Chromebooks?

I never mentioned a protocol not working on a Chromebook. My fault for not specifically saying my work VPN will not work on a Chromebook.

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