It pays to shop around – Dell Inspiron M501R

Dell Inspiron M501R Laptop

My youngest is getting kitted up for “big school” – the Lincoln equivalent of Harry Potter going to Hogwarts.

He will have to learn a whole new set of skills – the mind can only boggle at what. For example one of the kids told me the other week that everyone knows how to get around the school web content filter. Of course it is highly illegal to do so but…

I don’t really want to know what else they will learn, other than what I will hear at parents evening when I get to meet the teachers.

I have had a policy of equipping the kids appropriately for secondary education. They have all (4 of them) had mobile phones and PCs as an essential part of their kitbag, along with pencil case and PE kit.

When my oldest, now 19, went “up” we bought him a PC for £800. I don’t remember the spec although my wife still uses it, not without complaint. The heir is now onto his third computer – the last two having been laptops.

The next two got PCs as well, ie not laptops. However this time round I’ve been amazed at how cheap these things have become.  I bought a Dell Inspiron M501R Laptop (4GB RAM, 500GB HD, 15.6″ screen) for £319 from Tesco including a £50 discount voucher and 6 months interest free credit (and 758 clubcard points – I bought a bag too!).

There were suggestions on Twitter that I should just get him a tablet but tabs ain’t good enough for homework yet, for that is the purpose of the purchase.

It was also suggested that at the age of 11 he isn’t going to be particularly gentle with his machine but you know what? It isn’t going to be expensive to replace when the time comes and at least we can make him do his homework in view of a (partly) responsible parent.

PS Sorry if your thoughts are still on summer holidays and not school – you are right that this post is a bit early but if I’d left it until nearer the time I’d probably have forgotten all about it and the moment would have been lost.

PPS please no comments telling me I could have got twice the spec for half the price elsewhere. This would not be productive and I did shop around 🙂

Published by Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of, writer, poet,

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  1. Trefor Davies


  1. ” It isn’t going to be expensive to replace when the time comes ”

    – if that turns out to be tomorrow, because he stood on the screen in his bedroom, you may regret that statement 🙂

    1. Fair enough Phil. Also I’m not sure he has any cash reserves to cover such eventualities but we can’t go through life wrapped in cotton wool 🙂

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