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Need laptop recommendations for tech dumb me

Discussion in 'Technology, Gaming, Soft-& Hardware' started by Rose27, May 7, 2013.

  1. Rose27

    Rose27 Guest

    Lap top recommendations please:
    Needs visual stuff for skypeing
    easy set up-have to learn independence
    good storage for pictures
    quality sound
    best size 15-23"?
    under $800
     
  2. BMC77

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    One thing you might do is go to places that sell laptops and play with them. Get a sense of what you like and don't like. There are two issues on laptops that are a problem for me:
    • First, most have a glossy screen, which I don't like.
    • Secondly, most have a mediocre keyboard.
    How long do you plan to keep this laptop? If you tend to hang onto things as long as possible, reliability becomes an issue.

    Another problem: Windows 8 is almost certainly going to be the OS included. That will mean a learning curve.

    Unfortunately, I don't have specific choices to mention. I was looking at laptops last night, and the one I sort of liked was an Asus, but it was probably too small for your fifteen inch-plus demand. Its screen was too glossy for me.

    One question worth asking: what are your exact laptop needs? Is portability really necessary? And is it necessary for your main computer? I also have the laptop dream, but, being realistic, I don't need the portability enough to justify the cost. If my vacation budget inches above zero, I'll probably need something...but at that time, I'll probably buy super cheap. Possibly a netbook (one of those tiny laptops). Or maybe I'll even skip a laptop, and go with an iPad or Android tablet.

    ---------- Post added 7th May 2013 at 02:52 PM ----------

    I'm not sure this is worth mentioning, given the price level... But my recommendation in general for the less tech inclined is Apple. Yes, they are expensive. Yes, they aren't as perfect as the Apple nuts would say. But the experience is probably better overall than an Office Depot Windows-based laptop.

    Unfortunately, Apple is not an option at this price, particularly given the screen size. There is used, but that opens other "fun" problems. But if you happen to stumble across a friend who has a MacBook that's still usable (that is, fairly recent, with current OS support), and he or she is willing to give you a good deal, you should seriously consider it.

    ---------- Post added 7th May 2013 at 02:56 PM ----------

    Incidentally, a couple of things on your list are pretty common now: things needed for Skype and storage space for photos. Indeed, there is more space on an entry level machine than most normal people will need....

    Good sound is more of a problem. I suppose that improves as you go up the price spectrum, but I doubt there is any laptop at any price that has great sound. You realistically need external speakers. Note: this is coming from a person who had an audiophile phase, and is still just a little picky about sound quality in general.
     
    #2 BMC77, May 7, 2013
    Last edited: May 7, 2013
  3. RainbowMan

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    Well, I needed a Win7 laptop, and I needed it NOW. So I walked into J&R (the local electronics store around here in NYC. They also sell online, I think they do most of their business that way actually)

    I generally like to configure my machines to order rather than buy off the shelf, but I had to do what I had to do. Since most of the machines were Win8, I went to the only ones that had Windows 7, their Lenovo ThinkPads. Now having owned a ThinkPad before (and it still being in quite reliable service after over 4 years), I had no hesitation in the brand. You will pay a premium for the build quality, but I think it's worth it.

    Added bonus is no glossy screen, and the thing's built like a tank. I love Lenovo!
     
  4. Rose27

    Rose27 Guest

    Found a Lenovo 17.3" matte screen on sale for $599-
     
  5. BMC77

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    I have heard good things about Lenovo, although no personal experience. IBM Thinkpads were a contender for "the best," and Lenovo took the IBM PC division over. Supposedly, they've maintained high standards.

    Incidentally, Rose, don't necessarily buy a matte screen because of my bias. Some people apparently do like glossy. This is one of those "what fits me?" situations. So buy what fits your preferences. I like aspects of glossy screens, but the reflectivity and glare in some lighting drives me crazy.

    ---------- Post added 8th May 2013 at 10:21 AM ----------

    I don't know the current laptop market intimately, but that sounds like a good deal.

    I remember a smaller screen Lenovo at Office Depot for about the same price. Although that was a Thinkpad, not a "cheap" Lenovo. Although the cheaper Lenovos I've seen have impressed me more than the cheap models made by other companies. That said, I haven't seen everything, and am far from an expert.
     
  6. Rose27

    Rose27 Guest

    No I really don't like shiny/glare. Prone to H/A & occular migraines.Never knew matte was an option.
     
  7. UndercoverGypsy

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    By visual stuff, I assume you mean a webcam and a mic? Pretty much every laptop has those nowadays - you'll have no problem. The easiest PC to set up is a mac, but they come with a price tag. Good storage also comes with a price tag, especially if you're looking for SSD (Solid State Drive - basically, it's dead quiet because it has no disc. Similar tech to in a USB stick). HD space is always upgradable, anyways. For sound, I would say the HP Envy is perfect, but as far as I know, those are relatively pricy.

    For a decent laptop, you're probably gonna go over the 800 mark. Lenovo do good cheap laptops, though, as others said.
     
  8. Convoy

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    It depends on your level of proficency and stuff but I mainly see laptops as throw aways in the grand scheme of things; not that I pruposly trash them (I try and keep things running long as I can) but they ultimatly just won't be able to keep up to date in a few years. W/my Desktops I can always up some parts, OC or do something to them but lappy's just deteriate.

    That said my current lappy is one of these Amazon.com: Acer Aspire V3-551-8469 15.6-Inch Laptop (Midnight Black): Computers & Accessories

    I don't really need much more for school, else I'll just build a desktop and deal with it. Portability be darned if it'll cost me.
     
  9. BMC77

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    Well, matte sounds like the right choice for you! Hard to find, but it's out there.

    ---------- Post added 8th May 2013 at 11:04 PM ----------

    On another forum, a member who used laptops heavily on the road swore by the IBM Thinkpad simply because it held up better, and lasted longer. That said, his primary computer was a desktop machine he built himself.
     
  10. Rose27

    Rose27 Guest

    I just need for skyping,email, EC() googling & uploading pics -not heavy use.
     
  11. BMC77

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    I don't think you need a whole lot of power for what you're doing. I am doing most of what you are doing, except Skype. (No one to Skype with. Sniff. Sniff. Plus I just plain want to avoid Microsoft products as much as possible.) I'm getting by with a ten year old IBM desktop computer. It's a little sluggish at times, but most of the time is more than acceptable. Although I'm not running Windows, which may help considerably. Thus it should not be hard finding something that will be adequate for your needs.
     
  12. animequeen567

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    Win7 Toshiba Satellite is pretty good. That's what I have. It only cost me about $400 has 4GB. Runs really fast. I would not recommend Win8. It's not the best.
     
  13. Rose27

    Rose27 Guest

    Going to Best Buy Sunday....Thanks for your help. Will post what I get.
     
  14. Convoy

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    Thinkpads are definitely good in general, but I don't know if they are always justified when you could get two lesser machines at times and have your main issue be theft or damage (either way).

    If I really had to buy a laptop to use all the time I'd go something more rugged, HP has a good line of semi rugged books at decent prices, and Panasonic is still the king with the toughbooks.

    At some point I'll get another, but the cost is a bit prohibitive.

    Desktops will always win in the price/performance category as well with overall life span and flexibility. Just no way around that since the platforms are just much more robust.

    The keybords are decent on the thinkpads/levenos too, that's another thing to consider if it bothers you. Personally I just carry a spare mech board if I'll be doing a lot; no need to mess with cramped boards.
     
  15. Mrcake

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    Compaq or HP laptop with at least 4g of ram and Windows 7. Be sure to not get scammed into buying things that you don't need at best buy such as extra virus protection, HDMI cables, other bundles with your laptop, etc. Something exactly like this except with win7 instead of 8 Here . At least get an intel processor otherwise your computer will be slower than beans, and at minimum get an i3...but get an i5 if possible, get an i7 if really possible.
     
  16. Rose27

    Rose27 Guest

    Thanks-will write all that down. :slight_smile:
     
  17. saraph

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    Wow...
    Okay, here's what you should really do:
    Asus laptop $629.99 Bestbuy (you can get it cheaper at Sam's or Costco depending upon if they carry this particular model there) Model: Q500A-BSI5N04
    15.6" screen (easy to tote, doesn't weigh alot, 5.7 lbs)
    Intel i5 w/ 2.6GHz (can do 3.2GHz)
    6GB RAM, expandable to 8GB DDR3 (DDR3 is good)
    750GB hard drive (should be more than enough for general purposes)
    HDMI output
    Widows 8
    ---------------------
    Or for $300 on Amazon you can get an ASUS X201E-DH01 11.6-Inch Laptop laptop that weighs in at 2.9 lbs with more limited specs that runs Ubuntu.

    There's also the Asus VivoBook X202E-DH31T 11.6-Inch Touch Laptop for $429 that has an i3 @ 1.8GHz with Windows 8, 4GB DDR3 and a 500GB hard drive. Also weighing in at 2.9 lbs.
    __________________________

    Kk, time for some HP options:

    $550.73 - HP Pavilion 15-b150us 15.6-In. Ultra Thin TouchSmart Sleekbook. 1.6GHz A-Series AMD QuadCore, 6GB DDR3 RAM, 750 GB HD, Windows 8, AMD Radeon HD 7600G graphics card (note worthy because it's decent for a laptop), and 5.6 lbs.
    -------------------------

    These are good reliable brands that I own and can speak for (my HP is going on 7 years old, I've dropped it from 7 feet onto steel floors many times and it's like new minus the missing "v" key, lol). I build computers as a side hobby and price doesn't mean crap, it's what's inside. To do what you want to do you can buy that $300 laptop and buy a 1TB external to store your stuff. You don't really need some big fancy piece of machinery.

    Remember, when you have a Window's OS you don't need to buy anti-virus as Microsoft Security Essentials is one of the best on the market and it's free with a genuine Microsoft OS. =) Don't let them sucker you into buying useless crap.
     
  18. Mrcake

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    Good recommendations, Saraph. I agree that Hp and Asus are the best - they are my favorite brands - I like Acer too! But definitely don't recommend Windows 8.
     
  19. Candace

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    Acer is good, but it somehow overheats really easily. They're not that expensive though.
     
  20. Rose27

    Rose27 Guest

    Let my tech smart pick one out as all choices I went in with were out of stock.
    Got a Sony Vaio. 14" . I appreciate all your advice.