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Help me decide on a Laptop to buy

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50 minutes ago, Steve Tasker said:

I'm going to bump this.  For the first time in forever, I am in the market for a new computer.  I currently have a MacBook from 2007 and an iPad 2 from 2011.  As much as I have enjoyed my MacBook, I am not thrilled with the costs of a new one and my computing needs are a lot different than they were 10 years ago.

Uses:  pretty basic.  I will likely need a Windows machine to do some light work from home (our terminal server software is not compatible with my Mac, apparently), handful of times per month.  Most of this remote work will consist of light Quickbooks use via the servers.  I will be using Excel regularly though nothing too off-the-wall intensive.  Otherwise general web browsing, Youtube, Twitch, Spotify.  I do not need crazy video cards, do not do any PC gaming or any art/music projects.  It would be nice to be able to use it with a tablet functionality - I have been looking into 2-in-1s, detatchables, etc.  My iPad 2 still runs fine but is slowing a little and it would be nice to supplement it with a newer machine.

I don't want to buy "too much computer" but I'd also like something that will easily last a few years.  Thoughts?

Does a refurbished MacBook fit more into your price range? Us Apple-folk don't like seeing people going back over to the Dark Side!! ;)

 

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I really like the 1TB Acer I got at Best Buy for like $500.  It's slightly slow but is very sturdy.

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5 hours ago, Steve Tasker said:

I'm going to bump this.  For the first time in forever, I am in the market for a new computer.  I currently have a MacBook from 2007 and an iPad 2 from 2011.  As much as I have enjoyed my MacBook, I am not thrilled with the costs of a new one and my computing needs are a lot different than they were 10 years ago.

Uses:  pretty basic.  I will likely need a Windows machine to do some light work from home (our terminal server software is not compatible with my Mac, apparently), handful of times per month.  Most of this remote work will consist of light Quickbooks use via the servers.  I will be using Excel regularly though nothing too off-the-wall intensive.  Otherwise general web browsing, Youtube, Twitch, Spotify.  I do not need crazy video cards, do not do any PC gaming or any art/music projects.  It would be nice to be able to use it with a tablet functionality - I have been looking into 2-in-1s, detatchables, etc.  My iPad 2 still runs fine but is slowing a little and it would be nice to supplement it with a newer machine.

I don't want to buy "too much computer" but I'd also like something that will easily last a few years.  Thoughts?

Not a huge fan of 2 in 1s, but I've worked on a Lenovo Yoga Pro and liked it.  Look for a cheap one of those and I think you'll be happy.

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Dell xps and Lenovo both make a couple of terrific windows machines.  Asus also has one that is pretty free to if you do some gaming.  Think it is a k550 or something.  All are very affordable and high quality. 

Although, keep in mind that you can use Microsoft Office products on macs and, for my money, the 2015 macbook pro is hard to beat. I don't xps are for the new one but that last year model which you can probably get cheaper now is really good, especially if you have an iPad or iPhone (to seamlessly move data between devices).  

 

 

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6 hours ago, Steve Tasker said:

I'm going to bump this.  For the first time in forever, I am in the market for a new computer.  I currently have a MacBook from 2007 and an iPad 2 from 2011.  As much as I have enjoyed my MacBook, I am not thrilled with the costs of a new one and my computing needs are a lot different than they were 10 years ago.

Uses:  pretty basic.  I will likely need a Windows machine to do some light work from home (our terminal server software is not compatible with my Mac, apparently), handful of times per month.  Most of this remote work will consist of light Quickbooks use via the servers.  I will be using Excel regularly though nothing too off-the-wall intensive.  Otherwise general web browsing, Youtube, Twitch, Spotify.  I do not need crazy video cards, do not do any PC gaming or any art/music projects.  It would be nice to be able to use it with a tablet functionality - I have been looking into 2-in-1s, detatchables, etc.  My iPad 2 still runs fine but is slowing a little and it would be nice to supplement it with a newer machine.

I don't want to buy "too much computer" but I'd also like something that will easily last a few years.  Thoughts?

I have tried to skirt paying a lot for computers. All of them seem to go bad eventually. There is a reason your Mac was good for that long. 5 years on a tablet is pretty good too.

Dont be afraid to look at Dell. People like to put them down but they do stand behind their product and are based in America I believe. I know everything is built overseas. 

Warranty money might be well spent. Most of the under 500 laptops are built to crap out inside of 36 months. I've had a couple go South in less than 18 months while friends who have Dell don't seem to have the same problems

 

Edited by Ministry of Pain
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6 hours ago, Steve Tasker said:

I'm going to bump this.  For the first time in forever, I am in the market for a new computer.  I currently have a MacBook from 2007 and an iPad 2 from 2011.  As much as I have enjoyed my MacBook, I am not thrilled with the costs of a new one and my computing needs are a lot different than they were 10 years ago.

Uses:  pretty basic.  I will likely need a Windows machine to do some light work from home (our terminal server software is not compatible with my Mac, apparently), handful of times per month.  Most of this remote work will consist of light Quickbooks use via the servers.  I will be using Excel regularly though nothing too off-the-wall intensive.  Otherwise general web browsing, Youtube, Twitch, Spotify.  I do not need crazy video cards, do not do any PC gaming or any art/music projects.  It would be nice to be able to use it with a tablet functionality - I have been looking into 2-in-1s, detatchables, etc.  My iPad 2 still runs fine but is slowing a little and it would be nice to supplement it with a newer machine.

I don't want to buy "too much computer" but I'd also like something that will easily last a few years.  Thoughts?

I'm in the same boat with both my 2008 MacBook & iPad 3 . Surface pro 4 has me intrigued . The midrange i5 has been on sale for  $699 .

My wife has latest edition of MacBook and the new keyboard bothers me for some reason 

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21 minutes ago, HellToupee said:

I'm in the same boat with both my 2008 MacBook & iPad 3 . Surface pro 4 has me intrigued . The midrange i5 has been on sale for  $699 .

My wife has latest edition of MacBook and the new keyboard bothers me for some reason 

I was reading up on both the Surface Pro 4 and the Lenovo Yoga 900 (which someone posted about above).  Both look promising.  Surface Pro is nicer but I still don't like having to drop additional $ on the Type Cover or whatever it's called.  The reviews on the Surface Pro 4 are pretty great.

I don't mind spending in the slightly-less-than-$1,000 range, I don't need a $350 computer.  But I want to make sure whatever money I spend is well spent.  I am going to talk to our IT guy this week and see if there are any plans to make our work terminal servers Mac-compatible.  If not I guess I'll be going Windows. 

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1 minute ago, Steve Tasker said:

I was reading up on both the Surface Pro 4 and the Lenovo Yoga 900 (which someone posted about above).  Both look promising.  Surface Pro is nicer but I still don't like having to drop additional $ on the Type Cover or whatever it's called.  The reviews on the Surface Pro 4 are pretty great.

I don't mind spending in the slightly-less-than-$1,000 range, I don't need a $350 computer.  But I want to make sure whatever money I spend is well spent.  I am going to talk to our IT guy this week and see if there are any plans to make our work terminal servers Mac-compatible.  If not I guess I'll be going Windows. 

Dell has a lot of ways to save. Your company might have an account with them. Automatic 15-20% off as an employee. 

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Bumping this thread.

I am now in the market as well. Looking for a good all around laptop. Wife wants to use it for work and needs the keyboard to have a keypad.

Daughter would like touch screen....though we can work around this if needed.

The more I read, the more it seems I should get an SSD. Want i5 or i7, IPS Matte screen preferred.

I am down to the Dell 15 500 series 5559 which doesn't appear to have the SSD. Though I like the carbon feel of the interior. Rumored to have an awful TN screen.

The Lenovo 510. Leaning towards this machine as it has an IPS matte screen, SSD available. However battery life is supposed to be horrible.

Not a fan of Acer. An HP has so many configurations it makes my head hurt.

Am I missing something? Any experience with either of these machines??

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4 hours ago, Payne said:

Bumping this thread.

I am now in the market as well. Looking for a good all around laptop. Wife wants to use it for work and needs the keyboard to have a keypad.

Daughter would like touch screen....though we can work around this if needed.

The more I read, the more it seems I should get an SSD. Want i5 or i7, IPS Matte screen preferred.

I am down to the Dell 15 500 series 5559 which doesn't appear to have the SSD. Though I like the carbon feel of the interior. Rumored to have an awful TN screen.

The Lenovo 510. Leaning towards this machine as it has an IPS matte screen, SSD available. However battery life is supposed to be horrible.

Not a fan of Acer. An HP has so many configurations it makes my head hurt.

Am I missing something? Any experience with either of these machines??

I am in the market as well.  I think the Dell XPS series or the Asus zenbooks will be my choice.  You could check these out as they both have SSD's, I5, I7, etc

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37 minutes ago, Johnnymac said:

I am in the market as well.  I think the Dell XPS series or the Asus zenbooks will be my choice.  You could check these out as they both have SSD's, I5, I7, etc

I would own the 13" XPS if it wasn't for the fact my wife needs a key pad as part of the keyboard. An external key pad is not an option for her.

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Why i5/i7?  If you're doing serious video/photo editing or serious gaming, than yea go for the i7.  I5 is good for multitasking apps and running some mid-level games.  If you're not gaming at all (or very very little) and no photo editing then you could easily go for the i3 gen 6.  With a 256 SSD (could even get one of those hybrid SSD/hdd) and 8gb of ram, you'll be set for anything you need to do.

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11 hours ago, captain_amazing said:

Why i5/i7?  If you're doing serious video/photo editing or serious gaming, than yea go for the i7.  I5 is good for multitasking apps and running some mid-level games.  If you're not gaming at all (or very very little) and no photo editing then you could easily go for the i3 gen 6.  With a 256 SSD (could even get one of those hybrid SSD/hdd) and 8gb of ram, you'll be set for anything you need to do.

Good to know. Thanks.

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1 hour ago, VA703 said:
 

I3 processor + 4 GB RAM = heartache. I just sold a laptop with those specs because it just couldn't handle more than one task very well.

Picked this up when it was on sale for $399. Also considered this one.

 

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5 minutes ago, Brady Marino said:

I3 processor + 4 GB RAM = heartache. I just sold a laptop with those specs because it just couldn't handle more than one task very well.

Picked this up when it was on sale for $399. Also considered this one.

 

I was reading that particular 7th generation i3 processor is comparable and better than some i5 processors. it works well with what I need it for so far. tested league of legends on full graphics :thumbup:

I am considering adding more ram and ssd though since they seem to be cheap these days

 

one thing about this laptop that amazes me is the battery life. thing will last 10+ hours no problem. laptop I just replaced is probably 8+ years old and wouldn't last more than 45 minutes. made it a pain in the ### for fantasy drafts having to sit near an outlet

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2 hours ago, Brady Marino said:

I3 processor + 4 GB RAM = heartache. I just sold a laptop with those specs because it just couldn't handle more than one task very well.

Picked this up when it was on sale for $399. Also considered this one.

 

Depends on the gen of i3.  Gen 1 i3?  Sure, shoot me in the face.  Gen 6/7 i3 (like the one shown)?  Should work perfectly for most things.  Although the U variant I believe is underpowered (made for small, crappy machines like Acers).

4gb of RAM is the new 2GB of RAM - it just isn't enough, particularly on Win10.  Sure things will work, but performance quickly suffers.  6GB really should be the floor, but 8GB is the realistic min (dual channel 2x4GB).

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Back to school sales I've seen have been relatively decent so far. I'm thinking of this HP Envy at $699 but I'll get the 250GB SSD to bring it up to $770. I've already got 2 TBs of storage here if I need it.

It's a bit more than I want to spend but those are pretty solid specs for internetting, VPN into work, Chromecast, Word/Excel/PPT, very light gaming, very basic photo editing, etc. for a few years. Should be able to handle what I would throw at it.

Are there any other hidden gems out there other than slickdeals and techbargains? My current laptop drops wifi a few times daily and I have to reboot so I want to pull the trigger on something relatively soon.

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Back to school sale.  I forgot about that.  Good luck.

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1 hour ago, Otis said:

HP computers :X 

??

they're great.  Though I don't have much experience with the consumer line of products, so those could suck, just pro/elite desks and books.  Those are solid boxes that can be had cheaply.  I have a pro book 450 G3 for work and it is rock solid.

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6 hours ago, strykerpks said:

Back to school sales I've seen have been relatively decent so far. I'm thinking of this HP Envy at $699 but I'll get the 250GB SSD to bring it up to $770. I've already got 2 TBs of storage here if I need it.

It's a bit more than I want to spend but those are pretty solid specs for internetting, VPN into work, Chromecast, Word/Excel/PPT, very light gaming, very basic photo editing, etc. for a few years. Should be able to handle what I would throw at it.

Are there any other hidden gems out there other than slickdeals and techbargains? My current laptop drops wifi a few times daily and I have to reboot so I want to pull the trigger on something relatively soon.

Newegg - if you don't mind a refurb, you can get relatively new, real nice hardware for cheap.  They also sell non-refurbs, but the refurbs are fantastic through them.

personally, I'd never buy directly through a manufacturer.  I liken it to purchasing a brand new car from a dealer - once you drive it off the lot, its value plummets.  Sure it'll be a good car, but you can get better value elsewhere.

what kind of laptop do you have now?  What are the specs?  You certain the issue with wifi dropping is the laptop?  Could be many things causing that issue that are easily solvable.  

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1 hour ago, captain_amazing said:

Newegg - if you don't mind a refurb, you can get relatively new, real nice hardware for cheap.  They also sell non-refurbs, but the refurbs are fantastic through them.

personally, I'd never buy directly through a manufacturer.  I liken it to purchasing a brand new car from a dealer - once you drive it off the lot, its value plummets.  Sure it'll be a good car, but you can get better value elsewhere.

what kind of laptop do you have now?  What are the specs?  You certain the issue with wifi dropping is the laptop?  Could be many things causing that issue that are easily solvable.  

It's an old Lenovo Ideapad Z580, that I got through NewEgg incidentally, 5 or 6 years ago. It's been crawling for the past year or so. It's a 3rd gen i5, 4GB RAM, Win 7, 1366x768 screen

The network card crashes 3-4x per night. I try to disable/re-enable it and get the blue screen of death. Windows troubleshooter has the same problem. There's about 150 Windows updates that have a number of error codes that can't install. I've tried to manually do each and every single one of them over the past 6 months to no avail. I can't update drivers for the network card due to these updates not being installed. It's just time for something new.

I'm not too fond of refurbs. I know they can be solid value but I haven't had much luck with them. I'd rather go new and run it into the ground for 5+ years like this one. 

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9 hours ago, strykerpks said:

Back to school sales I've seen have been relatively decent so far. I'm thinking of this HP Envy at $699 but I'll get the 250GB SSD to bring it up to $770. I've already got 2 TBs of storage here if I need it.

It's a bit more than I want to spend but those are pretty solid specs for internetting, VPN into work, Chromecast, Word/Excel/PPT, very light gaming, very basic photo editing, etc. for a few years. Should be able to handle what I would throw at it.

Are there any other hidden gems out there other than slickdeals and techbargains? My current laptop drops wifi a few times daily and I have to reboot so I want to pull the trigger on something relatively soon.

I recently purchased a 13" Envy about 90 days ago. Great machine only gripe on the design is opening it. They didn't put a notch in the edge to open easily. So you need to pry with you finger where my MacBook Air has a notch and opens much easier. But not enough of an issue that I'd return the Envy.

The one thing I'd caution is 15" laptop is huge. If you ever travel with it I wouldn't go 15. I originally had the 15" 360 HP and returned it because of size and no backlit keyboard.  

But I get why your looking at the 15". They are less money.

Overall pleased with the 13" envy. 

 

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22 minutes ago, Johnny Bing said:

I recently purchased a 13" Envy about 90 days ago. Great machine only gripe on the design is opening it. They didn't put a notch in the edge to open easily. So you need to pry with you finger where my MacBook Air has a notch and opens much easier. But not enough of an issue that I'd return the Envy.

The one thing I'd caution is 15" laptop is huge. If you ever travel with it I wouldn't go 15. I originally had the 15" 360 HP and returned it because of size and no backlit keyboard.  

But I get why your looking at the 15". They are less money.

Overall pleased with the 13" envy. 

 

Thanks! I've always had 15" laptops so I'm not too worried about the bulkier size. I dig a bit of a bigger screen than the Ultrabooks etc, and I need a number pad. It sounds trivial but I do a lot of data entry and the number pad is a must. 

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1 hour ago, strykerpks said:

It's an old Lenovo Ideapad Z580, that I got through NewEgg incidentally, 5 or 6 years ago. It's been crawling for the past year or so. It's a 3rd gen i5, 4GB RAM, Win 7, 1366x768 screen

The network card crashes 3-4x per night. I try to disable/re-enable it and get the blue screen of death. Windows troubleshooter has the same problem. There's about 150 Windows updates that have a number of error codes that can't install. I've tried to manually do each and every single one of them over the past 6 months to no avail. I can't update drivers for the network card due to these updates not being installed. It's just time for something new.

I'm not too fond of refurbs. I know they can be solid value but I haven't had much luck with them. I'd rather go new and run it into the ground for 5+ years like this one. 

Gotcha.

As an aside: you likely have a corrupted windows update database.  There are some procedures you can go through to attempt to repair it (see here), but they aren't always bulletproof.  If you haven't you can try using the windows update troubleshooter, which is actually one of the few windows automated troubleshooting tools that works well.

Also, you can still upgrade to Windows 10 for free over your current Windows 7 install (see here -  click update now).  That very well may resolve your update issue, patch the nic driver, and it will retain your current files and programs.  You only need to have your current product key (underside of your laptop or in the compartment where your battery is - pop it out and you should see it there).  If you can't find your product key or don't have it, it's easily retrievable.

I know you weren't necessarily looking for advice on fixing your current laptop, but even if you do purchase a new one, it can't hurt to have a second available, and one that actually works reasonably well.  Additionally, the 3rd gen of i3 still isn't all that bad right now - update to Win 10, upgrade to 8GB of RAM (~$20/$40) and toss in an SSD (assuming you don't have one already, a 128GB is about $70/$90) and that thing will last you another 2-3 years easily, possibly another 4.  

Edited by captain_amazing
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Thanks @captain_amazing, I've tried the Windows update troubleshoot tool without any luck. And my particular laptop has some hardware that isn't compatible with Windows 10. According to the Lenovo support page there is no intention of supporting Windows 10 on this machine. So I guess I'm SOL on that front.

I actually did upgrade to 10 before I found that out and the GUI froze. I had about 30 seconds after boot up before it would go haywire so i had to roll back which may be the root of all my problems to begin with.

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iFriends! I need your assistance.

I'll be starting new job in 2 weeks and the new employer is ordering me a new laptop of my choosing for my business trips. I have a budget of $1,400. I'm a laptop newb, as in I've never owned one or used one for work.

  • I would like to keep it under $1,000 if possible cuz I don't want to be "that guy" that maxes out budgets right out of the gate. And I want to reserve a little $ to buy carrying case/bag.
  • The lighter the better of course, but not a big deal.
  • The employer has a deal with Dell, so it's + if it can be found on the Dell site.
  • I can get a docking station for my home, so one that's compatible with a docking station is also an option.

My initial though was the Inspiron 17 7000 2-in-1.

Please send me some suggestions! :) 
 

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17 minutes ago, EYLive said:

My initial though was the Inspiron 17 7000 2-in-1.
 

Decide on what weight you can really put up with.  I'd hate to have that in my bag with the amount of travelling I do.  

As far as bags my wife got me an Everki bag/soft briefcase for Christmas a while back and it's pretty awsome.

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I don't want to be backpack guy, but I'll wear one if it's easier to carry a 7lbs laptop and accessories.

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I need a new laptop - solely for business use which means working on word docs and spreadsheets. No gaming, not designing bridges or editing movies.  I would like to stay in the $500-$700 range if possible. I don't work well on the tiny keyboards, need something I can set up and work on for an extended period of time when needed.

My main concern is having something reliable, easy to set up and use out of the box. I'm not a tech guy, just want something solid and dependable.

Any opinions on these two current deals at Costco? 

HP Pavilion 15 Touchscreen Laptop - Intel Core i7 - GeForce MX150 - 1080p - $680

Acer Aspire 5 Laptop - Intel Core i7 - GeForce MX150 - 1080p - $700

TIA FBGs

 

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48 minutes ago, CletiusMaximus said:

I need a new laptop - solely for business use which means working on word docs and spreadsheets. No gaming, not designing bridges or editing movies.  I would like to stay in the $500-$700 range if possible. I don't work well on the tiny keyboards, need something I can set up and work on for an extended period of time when needed.

My main concern is having something reliable, easy to set up and use out of the box. I'm not a tech guy, just want something solid and dependable.

Any opinions on these two current deals at Costco? 

HP Pavilion 15 Touchscreen Laptop - Intel Core i7 - GeForce MX150 - 1080p - $680

Acer Aspire 5 Laptop - Intel Core i7 - GeForce MX150 - 1080p - $700

TIA FBGs

 

I just bought my wife the Acer Aspire E 15. Was originally planning on either a more expensive Lenovo or the Surface Go, but this has everything she needs while being inexpensive. It's also very easy to add storage or RAM, which is a major plus. Looks like you're thinking a little more high-end, as was I, but seriously take a look at the Aspire E 15. It was awesome to save over $200 while getting pretty much exactly what I was looking for. It's gotten very good reviews, some even claim it to be the best "budget" laptop of 2018. My wife didn't need anything fancy for work purposes, but I wanted to make sure it'd last a few years before getting too slow for the tasks she needs. 4GB of RAM probably would've been fine but 8GB seemed like a bit much. This has 6GB, a DVD/RW drive, tons of storage. Only downside so far is that it is pretty heavy for being a newer laptop.

Acer Aspire E 15, 15.6" Full HD, 8th Gen Intel Core i3-8130U, 6GB RAM Memory, 1TB HDD, 8X DVD, E5-576-392H

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Keyboard feel is the most important thing for me when it comes to laptops.  I'm not running anything that's highly compute or graphics intensive so pretty much any CPU from the past 4-5 years is sufficient for me.

I bought a used Thinkpad T430 on eBay a couple of months ago and am very happy with it.  It was refurbed with a SDD and only cost about as much as a new Chromebook.  I've used a lot of different laptops and business class Thinkpads are still my preferred keyboards.  I'm a pointing stick guy so that limited my options a lot but Lenovo trackpads are good as well.

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3 hours ago, BlueDredSo said:

I just bought my wife the Acer Aspire E 15. Was originally planning on either a more expensive Lenovo or the Surface Go, but this has everything she needs while being inexpensive. It's also very easy to add storage or RAM, which is a major plus. Looks like you're thinking a little more high-end, as was I, but seriously take a look at the Aspire E 15. It was awesome to save over $200 while getting pretty much exactly what I was looking for. It's gotten very good reviews, some even claim it to be the best "budget" laptop of 2018. My wife didn't need anything fancy for work purposes, but I wanted to make sure it'd last a few years before getting too slow for the tasks she needs. 4GB of RAM probably would've been fine but 8GB seemed like a bit much. This has 6GB, a DVD/RW drive, tons of storage. Only downside so far is that it is pretty heavy for being a newer laptop.

Acer Aspire E 15, 15.6" Full HD, 8th Gen Intel Core i3-8130U, 6GB RAM Memory, 1TB HDD, 8X DVD, E5-576-392H

The one thing I'm a little wary of is buying a laptop with the i3 Intel chip. I really don't understand this stuff, but my impression is to try to get the i7 now so it will hold up. I'd like to get 5 years or so use out of this at least. 

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5 hours ago, CletiusMaximus said:

I need a new laptop - solely for business use which means working on word docs and spreadsheets. No gaming, not designing bridges or editing movies.  I would like to stay in the $500-$700 range if possible. I don't work well on the tiny keyboards, need something I can set up and work on for an extended period of time when needed.

My main concern is having something reliable, easy to set up and use out of the box. I'm not a tech guy, just want something solid and dependable.

Any opinions on these two current deals at Costco? 

HP Pavilion 15 Touchscreen Laptop - Intel Core i7 - GeForce MX150 - 1080p - $680

Acer Aspire 5 Laptop - Intel Core i7 - GeForce MX150 - 1080p - $700

TIA FBGs

 

I think you'll be very happy with either. The HP has a touch screen. The Acer has a 256 gb SSD drive along with the 1TB sata. If money does not matter and you don't care for touch screen... I'd spend the $20 for the Acer and SDD. Maybe someone could comment how this unit would benefit from the additional SDD and if it's worth any premium to the HP? I'm guessing the OS uses the SSD and the sata drive is for file storage?

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1 hour ago, CletiusMaximus said:

The one thing I'm a little wary of is buying a laptop with the i3 Intel chip. I really don't understand this stuff, but my impression is to try to get the i7 now so it will hold up. I'd like to get 5 years or so use out of this at least. 

I'd personally split the difference and go with the i5.  the i7 is overkill for most home/work applications unless you are doing video or big database stuff, but the i3 does get a little slow after a couple years and more software gets added to the computer running in the background.  I think i5 is a pretty safe bet for most applications.

No personal experience on the laptops you listed to comment anything specific on them.  I usually use Dell for my personal laptops and am usually pretty happy with them.  Pretty easy to find them in that range.

Oh, only thing I would look for in a laptop if I were you would be an SSD.  Much faster boot time and more reliable then the mechanical drives.  When getting a laptop that's my first requirement right now.

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17 hours ago, CletiusMaximus said:

The one thing I'm a little wary of is buying a laptop with the i3 Intel chip. I really don't understand this stuff, but my impression is to try to get the i7 now so it will hold up. I'd like to get 5 years or so use out of this at least. 

 

15 hours ago, The Tick said:

I'd personally split the difference and go with the i5.  the i7 is overkill for most home/work applications unless you are doing video or big database stuff, but the i3 does get a little slow after a couple years and more software gets added to the computer running in the background.  I think i5 is a pretty safe bet for most applications.

No personal experience on the laptops you listed to comment anything specific on them.  I usually use Dell for my personal laptops and am usually pretty happy with them.  Pretty easy to find them in that range.

Oh, only thing I would look for in a laptop if I were you would be an SSD.  Much faster boot time and more reliable then the mechanical drives.  When getting a laptop that's my first requirement right now.

The Acer seems to have a better battery and CPU (8th gen vs 7th gen). This along with the SSD make the Acer a no-brainer between the two (I don't care about touch screen). I could not find info on motherboard. 

I believe the i5s are rated better than these two CPUs as long as you stick with 8400 or higher, no? You can compare at this site. I'm not sure if an average user like us would even notice the difference.

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From what I have read I5 vs I7 is minimal difference except for high end users and even then depends on individual chips sets used.

Just want to say that lately I have been buying Asus laptops. Not exactly sexy or cheap but solid with good display and minimal issues. It's a solid midlevel choice.

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I'm in the market for a new laptop. I'll just be watching videos, paying bills, playing some casual games, and running TurboTax on it. Should I just get a Chromebook?
All my phones are android and my work laptop is a Dell Inspiron14 7000. 
I like the 2-in-1's that I'm seeing from Lenovo, Acer and Asus for around $300.

Any recommendations for a Christmas time purchase?

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Time for a new personal laptop at home. Don't need anything extravagant. It will be used for streaming tv/videos, surfing net, and simple downloadable games. Looking to spend approximately $300. 

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To piggyback on this, my daughter's college (incoming freshman) told her that the Mac works better with their system than a PC laptop. Is the Pro worth the extra $$ over the Air, and should I believe the college? I could save some serious money going the PC route, but she's been on a Mac forever so I'm ok with getting a Mac for continuity.

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2 hours ago, bro1ncos said:

Time for a new personal laptop at home. Don't need anything extravagant. It will be used for streaming tv/videos, surfing net, and simple downloadable games. Looking to spend approximately $300. 

Costco has an HP for $349 right now. No touchscreen.

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12 hours ago, joker said:

To piggyback on this, my daughter's college (incoming freshman) told her that the Mac works better with their system than a PC laptop. Is the Pro worth the extra $$ over the Air, and should I believe the college? I could save some serious money going the PC route, but she's been on a Mac forever so I'm ok with getting a Mac for continuity.

I cannot imagine a "system" run by a college that works better with Mac than PC--I certainly inquire with the institution how/why they say that.

You are exactly right--compare the same specs in a Mac vs. a PC and you get way more value from a PC.  I'm a PC guy, so I'm biased obviously, but I just hate the thought of throwing extra $$$ at a computer just to buy a name brand.

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I don't disagree with that, and was thinking more like the wife and daughter are saying they were told that because the daughter has used Macs and iPads for her junior and senior high classes.

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Just mentioning it should probably have a solid camera and microphone built in to facilitate video conferencing (Zoom, etc.). I'm in the market as well.

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11 hours ago, pinequick said:

I cannot imagine a "system" run by a college that works better with Mac than PC--I certainly inquire with the institution how/why they say that.

You are exactly right--compare the same specs in a Mac vs. a PC and you get way more value from a PC.  I'm a PC guy, so I'm biased obviously, but I just hate the thought of throwing extra $$$ at a computer just to buy a name brand.

I disagree, the opposite of most businesses, Education seems to run most of their IT around Macs from what I've seen/heard.  Most of the software they use will mainly be tested on Macs, and I'm sure you will get better support on issues with a Mac.  As I said, it's the opposite of most businesses I work at, they revolve most of their support around PC's and while you can get Macs, you better be able to support them yourselves, because most of their IT is PC centric.

I'm 100% a PC guy also, but for a kid at school, I'd really consider a Mac for them, but obviously it's a financial hit that may not work for everyone.

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35 minutes ago, The Tick said:

I disagree, the opposite of most businesses, Education seems to run most of their IT around Macs from what I've seen/heard.  Most of the software they use will mainly be tested on Macs, and I'm sure you will get better support on issues with a Mac.  As I said, it's the opposite of most businesses I work at, they revolve most of their support around PC's and while you can get Macs, you better be able to support them yourselves, because most of their IT is PC centric.

I'm 100% a PC guy also, but for a kid at school, I'd really consider a Mac for them, but obviously it's a financial hit that may not work for everyone.

Agreed.  I'm a PC guy too, but my daughter wanted a Macbook for college years ago because that's what all her friends were getting.  I bought her the base Macbook Air 6 years ago and she used it through 4 years of undergrad and 2 years of grad school with zero issues.  And she just sold it back to Apple for ~$200 towards a new Macbook Air 2020 as a graduation present to herself.

BTW, Best Buy typically has some great deals on Macs over the summer with an extra $100 off if you supply an edu email address.  

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Posted (edited)

I use a Dell Desktop for my home office, it's just a monitor with a hard drive on the back basically, there's no tower like the old days. 

I use a Mac Laptop for everything social media, youtube, music, entertainment and creativity, all done on a Mac. 

Edited by Ministry of Pain

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