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Up Topic General / Letters and Opinions / Laptop Purchasing Help
- - By mkh (Mr. Fashionista) Date 2017-07-11 10:47 AM
First person who says Apple gets punched in the face.

Looking to get an inexpensive home laptop that will basically run Office and go online to meet creepy guys to give me candy. Would like to get something fairly decent that won't get bogged down quickly and run well for a while.
Parent - By adamswims (Gone Now Adam! You pick what you want.) Date 2017-07-11 3:43 PM
Is Office a must have? I ask because if all you are doing is going online then a chromebook may be a better way to go. You could use Google Drive for Docs/spreadsheets/etc.

If you have to have Office then look for a computer with a fast processor and at least 8GB of RAM. Hard drive space is not as important as you can buy an external drive and put it on your network at a relatively low cost.

You can run Office on a Macbook btw. : pbbt:
Parent - By swandive Date 2017-07-11 4:37 PM
The Wirecutter has a pretty good guide with suggestions for laptop-buying:
Parent - By PoopedColt Date 2017-07-11 4:53 PM
I am definitely not the computer guru, but something I found helpful was Best Buy's website.  I did some checking, and it seemed like Asus and Lenovo were decent cheaper brands.  I could then select the top few that were in my price range and compare them.  It gave me a nice print out of them all side by side comparing every feature you might care (or not care) about.  I then gave it to my son to pick using which of those features were most important to him.  Aside from the RAM/hard drive/processor, he definitely wanted a touch screen.  Size of the screen and # of USB ports were important to him.  Battery life/weight were important, but not as much.  Color was not important, but one of them was a pukey metallic brown.  It was cheap though, so I listed it.

He wound up picking one of the (silver :wink:) Asus laptops.  Got it for Xmas and he's been pleased with it.  Before that, each kid has a real cheap $350 Lenovo laptop.  It's much smaller, but it's also one of the ones that converts to a tablet.  DS1's still works fine 3 years later, but I wanted him to have something a little more solid for college.  DS2's is only 18 months old, but is doing well.  They use it for school (Office and the online Google stuff), but also use it constantly for the internet/games and streaming movies/shoes on Netflix.
Parent - By jaszflamus (I like wool!) Date 2017-07-11 8:12 PM
Apple products run Office products, just saying.: pbbt: And they don't get bogged down quickly or otherwise, and run well for a while. Again, just sayin'
Parent - - By Tommeke Date 2017-07-12 2:10 AM
I would stay away from Acer. Once bought a cheap netbook (aspire one) and it was total crap. Overheated all the time (even on install), Windows 7 on it would bog down when running more than one application, watching youtube was a pain and the hard drive crashed in the first year.

what is your budget? 300$? 500$? 700$?

Try to go for these specs (screen is your choice, I rather have a 14" than a 17". You can always hook it onto a monitor or even your TV if you need a bigger screen):
- SSD drive
- processor Intel i5 (i3 is also okay, but don't go for the portable Celeron or other processors made for cheap laptop computing). If you buy AMD processor, do the same exercise (preferably A10, but A8 is also okay. They compare to the i5 and i3. No A4 for example)
- 8 GB of ram
- screen your choice, but watch the resolution ( Don't take a 17" with 1200x800).
- graphics cards are usually Intel built-in ones, guessing you won't be playing the new FarCry or Fallout 4 on your laptop, so that should be of minor concern, but it doesn't hurt to have a nicer one like some type of AMD Radeon.
- look out for battery life. Obviously the ultra-book offerings will offer you much better battery life (equal to what Apple has), but again it's up to you.

All in all, I would just check these specs against the offerings of HP or Dell. They usually are priced well, they have the full range from cheap to ultra-books, and you can change the specs to your liking. I'm sure there are horror stories too, but they offer good service and quality. We always used Dell at work and I really can't complain. I have an old HP eliteBook at home and it still runs great.
Parent - - By mkh (Mr. Fashionista) Date 2017-07-12 8:15 AM
Was trying to keep it under $500 if possible.
So, the SSD drive. The ones that seem to be around that price are about 120gb. That doesn't seem like a lot. That is my biggest hurdle. I seem to find good deals and they are regular HDD, but everyone says get SSD.
I finished FarCry 4 and will play 5 and Fallout on my xbox :happy:

Found this for $299
Parent - - By Tommeke Date 2017-07-12 3:44 PM
Says 399$ :wtf:

Looks good really, I think it's as good as it gets for that price.
The SSD is just because it's much faster and it's really the cheapest way to make your laptop run much better. Load times and such are a factor 10 better.
Also, I think it really helps with the battery life.
I personally never had any issue with 'only' having 128 GB. Unless you're planning on putting all your Hi Def pictures and movies on it.
But with all the cloud storages these days and external drives I would just put data like pics and documents on external drives.

Take your time to look around and compare equal spec'd laptops.
Parent - - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2017-07-12 3:48 PM
It'll be $299 next weekend.
Parent - - By Tommeke Date 2017-07-12 4:22 PM
by interpolation they'll pay you 99$ if you get one in 4 weeks :shocker!:
Parent - - By mutiger [us] Date 2017-07-13 3:30 PM
that's extrapolation :p
Parent - By Tommeke Date 2017-07-13 5:28 PM
Parent - By h3ather (Nice Tips) Date 2017-07-13 10:14 AM
I have no idea what boot time for a windows machine is these days, but I do know that the last Windows SSD I had  was almost as fast as a Mac. The last PC I had (that I never used and kept in my desk at work, because it was also a brick) did not have an SSD and it took FOREVER to boot up.
Parent - - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2017-07-12 8:38 AM
Parent - - By mkh (Mr. Fashionista) Date 2017-07-12 9:10 AM
8000 probems?
No thanks.
Parent - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2017-07-12 10:11 AM
Parent - - By squirrelgirl (Indian Buffet Queen) Date 2017-07-12 11:22 AM Edited 2017-07-12 11:26 AM
Perfect! Find my way back to a running forum to see a laptop thread. :cool:
I'm looking for one with Office that's under $500. I will just be doing boring work stuff on Word and Excel with a couple other museum/library software.
Parent - By Tommeke Date 2017-07-12 3:34 PM
I think adding Office to the package is 50$-100$ extra. But it seems they moved to a subscription based license :wtf: I guess it's all in the cloud now.
Parent - By h3ather (Nice Tips) Date 2017-07-13 10:12 AM
Supposedly this is the next Macbook pro killer. I'm skeptical, but I hate PCs. Also, I dunno what inexpensive means, but I'm guessing this doesn't fit in that category (though it's not a bad price).
Parent - By Mookiethedog Date 2017-07-14 12:47 PM
I have always had Toshibas and they have been mint.   Orange you glad I didn't say Apple? :hug:
Parent - By tahoeblue (spamkiller) Date 2017-07-14 2:13 PM
My requirements include light weight and long battery life.  Those don't necessarily go hand in hand as the bigger the battery, the heavier the machine.

Windows 10 and Google Chrome, and I guess to a fair extent even Apple, all now try to get you to put  your data in their cloud.  Whether you want to do that or not, it does cut way back on disk space requirements and worries about backups.  Windows 10 really pushes it now.  Google Chrome is designed about the cloud.

While there are some nice Chromebooks out there - especially the new Samsung Chromebook Pro - if you are looking for a Windows machine you might try this one.     This one has 8GB, 250GB SSD, 12 hour battery life and about 2.5 pounds an dthe power supply is really really light.  It has an SD slot and a USB-C slot, so should be somewhat future proof.  It has a micro HDMI port also. It was just on sale on Prime Day for $620, so if you shop around maybe someone has it cheaper than Amazon.  It should get done most normal stuff.  It's not going to be great to playing games or doing intensive computing, but for day to day stuff - it should be pretty decent.  It should let you watch you porn collection on your flights to Europe without running out of juice.

Most Chromebooks will have 4GB of memory - which really isn't enough IMHO.  16 is much better, but it's very hard to find a system under $1000 which has 16GB, so you have to look around mostly at the 8GB machines.

Having a 250GB SSD is nice.  More is always nicer, but with putting space clogging things like pictures and video in the cloud, it's probably not needed.  Windows 10 takes 25-40GB.  Office is "pre-installed" on the system - but I assume you have to pay for it and probably the pre-install is really a just an installer.

12 hour battery life is hard to beat.  Not weighing a ton is also hard to beat.
- By JimGo1 Date 2017-07-12 7:29 AM
HP - 15.6" Laptop - Intel Core i 5 - 8 GB Memory - 2 TB Hard Drive with a 2.5 gigahertz processor.  Nice laptop will handle most anything.
- By neustkg (Important) Date 2017-07-13 9:57 AM
I've always had good luck with Dell.  I would stay away from HP and Toshiba.
Up Topic General / Letters and Opinions / Laptop Purchasing Help

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