Laptop buying options 2017


I know this is a common question and I have read the previous posts to get some ideas about a laptop purchase. I have a budget of £500.

I’m leaning towards a refurbished MacBook (model to be decided) but I want some genuine feedback and am open to all options. I’m hoping to upgrade later in the year but my current windows laptop is no longer functional.

I will use the laptop for:

  • FreeCodeCamp projects
  • photo editing
  • video editing
  • marketing / social media campaigns
  • document production

I have an iPhone and iPad and while I have never owned an Apple laptop, I can see some benefits to being in the same environment.

As I can’t justify a brand new MacBook Pro, I’m stuck at the balance between age and power and Pro vs Air vs Book.

But I know there are lots of good things said about non-Apple laptops too, so am open to suggestions here.

Thank you


  • The most hardware dependent of the uses you listed is probably the video editing.
  • If you don’t use an external monitor, then screen size is probably one of the biggest concerns for most of your purposes.
  • Toughness and weight only matter if you’re actually going to be carrying your laptop around a lot, but they matter a great deal if you’re carrying your laptop around a lot.
  • I don’t think that macbooks offer a good price to value ratio, especially when you have budget restrictions.
  • Specific manufacturers are discussed frequently in forum threads like this (as well as the “Is a mac worth it?” debate). The forum has a pretty good search functionality, so you can browse around to find these discussions.

Thank you! That’s really useful. I will search those threads.

The plan of course is to expand my income so I can indulge in expensive toys I don’t really need in the future :wink:

I’m really happy with my Lenovo Flex 4. Have had it for about 6 months. So far so good.

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I bought my last laptop for 500$. I got Asus now. I am not gamer so it is more then enough for work. I saw some good machines on Check it out may be you find something good for you. They have fast shipping so no worries about that.

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I’m partial to Lenovos because I like their build quality. If you’re going to upgrade later in the year any way, you’d probably get a higher spec laptop for the money if you stay away from Apple. I buy off lease laptops and computers when I need them and aside from the occasional dud which was always covered by warranty, I’ve always found them to work for me when funds are low.

Good luck on your search.

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I recently purchased a laptop for my wife. I’m a huge believer in trying to find the most value for my money. I ended up going with a less powerful version of this:

The version I purchased for my wife was only $350, and had an i3 instead of an i5, a 1TB drive instead of a 256GB ssd, 4GB instead of 8, and no graphics hardware other than on-chip. If I had had the budget, this is the one I would have gone with. She’s been very happy with it.


I wrote about my laptop setup here.

@ZackWard10h’s laptop recommendation is great. I second his purchase.

Update: So I was committed to getting an affordable option, but a fortunate, unforeseeable event allowed me to purchase a refurbished MacBook Pro (2016 model just before the TouchBar release).

It is more than I would need but will hopefully serve me well.

The event was winning a competition at work for an “innovation idea” related to tech start-ups. Anyway, I didn’t expect to win but the prize money has been put to good use!

I don’t want to be a noob with “great gear and no idea”, so will humbly keep coding daily. I am going on a #100daysofcode challenge!

Thanks for all the feedback / advice.

Congrats on the purchase! Good decision!

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