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Question

What laptop should I get?

by The ancient one / December 12, 2012 8:18 AM PST

I am looking for an inexpensive laptop. I currently have a Dell Inspiron 6000 which is 6 years old and it either needs to be upgraded or I need to buy a replacement for it. My minimum requirements are a screen of 15", a hard drive with at least 120GB, with a capacity for at least 2GB of RAM, a good WiFi setup, and have Windows 7 Home Premium or Pro installed (I might be able to get by with Windows 7 Starter). Weight is not a factor nor is battery life because it will almost always be plugged in. It is something that rarely will be used. Essentially I have used my current one on only two occasions but then it was used daily for several months on each occasion. I probably won't have need for one for the better part of this coming year. How is it to be used? To access the internet for email, banking, getting information online. The major software will consist of Windows Office Suite, Quicken Deluxe 2013, Microsoft's Streets and Trips, Avast, Malwarebytes, SuperAntiSpyware, ACDSee, Several different browsers, SnagIt 7, and a half a dozen other software programs. I have been looking at the ones listed on CNET and there are quite a few listed. Are there any manufactures and/or models that I should definitely avoid? Any thoughts or suggestions will be appreciated.

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All Answers

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Answer
Can't go wrong w/Dell or Toshiba
by wpgwpg / December 12, 2012 8:42 AM PST

I'm using a 1 year old Toshiba Satellite L755 and love it. Both Toshiba and Dell make hard to beat laptops. I usually buy from Micro Center because I live near one of their stores. Here's a link to where they have a Toshiba laptop for $429 which has 4 GB RAM, a 500 GB HD, and Windows 7.
http://microcenter.com/product/393317/Satellite_C855D-S5237_156_Laptop_Computer_-_Mercury_Silver#
If you want one with Windows 7, you'd better get it as soon as you can because it won't be long before they all will have Windows 8.

Good luck.

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Re: Can't go wrong w/Dell or Toshiba
by The ancient one / December 12, 2012 9:30 AM PST

I find it interesting that you recommend these two. I have only had two laptops but a number of desktops. The first laptop was a Toshiba that I purchased in 1997 and a Dell in 2006. I don't really like laptops but when traveling for any length of time, a laptop is a must. I here you about making a move on buying soon if I want Windows 7. I really don't like Windows 7 but it is a must over XP since Microsoft won't be supporting it after April 2014. Windows 8 you can forget. I will never go that route.

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can go wrong with dell
by fislertrc / December 22, 2012 3:29 AM PST

Dell sells equipment that fails a little over when the warranty expires.

Mine claimed that the laptop "couldn't recognize the ac adapter....blah, blah, blah" After being told to buy a new adapter, and then a new battery, I was told the problem was the "motherboard". I would have to ship my laptop to a "depot", where after 3 weeks I would get it back a a cost of 80% of the original price.

SCAM,SCAM,SCAM

And shame on Michael Dell for pulling it.

And their Customer Service is lousy and they cannot understand English

DO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELLDO NOT BUY A DELL

Period.

Toshiba, HP, anything but a Dell

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But how do you really feel. :-D
by wpgwpg / December 22, 2012 3:49 AM PST
In reply to: can go wrong with dell

Different strokes I guess. I bought a Dell desktop in 2001 that's still running. I bought another Dell desktop back in Aug. that's still running. I support 28 Dells and they're all still running. Happy YMMV

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Answer
Just picked up two Samsung RV515's
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 12, 2012 9:13 AM PST

There were 399 or less bucks and my dad needed something today. They resume from a zero power sleep in well under 5 seconds and not too expensive. Sure there is better but they can with Windows 7 and RESTORE MEDIA in the box.

Look around.
Bob

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Re: Samsung
by The ancient one / December 13, 2012 7:22 AM PST

Thought for a moment that I might just be able to get one. Some Walmart stores supposedly still had them in stock. But that didn't materialize. Just about everyplace I looked only have laptops with Win 8. I have seen some online deals with refurbished laptops but I am a little reluctant to go that route. I will keep looking but price is a major consideration considering how little use I will be making of it.

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We get them from amazon.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 13, 2012 8:06 AM PST
In reply to: Re: Samsung

I guess not everyone goes there. But on Windows 8, you can add a start button to ease the feeling you walked off the cliff.
Bob

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PS about computrace. I use Prey.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 13, 2012 8:11 AM PST
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Answer
My laptop advice
by tumbleweed_biff / December 13, 2012 8:09 AM PST

Top 3 laptop manufacturers: Apple, Lenovo and HP.
Apples are excessively pricey and you are stuck with MacOS, Apple proprietary peripherals, etc.

Lenovo and HP's, specifically the business models are the best in the industry in my experience. Their business models are as solid as a rock and their customer support/service are US based with next business day service. I must stress, the business models. HP's consumer line laptops are not reliable in my experience and their support is not US based.

Acer and Gateways are at the bottom of the heap. I would not, will not spend money on them and would only consider one if it was free and if it wasn't being used for anything mission critical. Other good bets are Fujitsu, Toshiba, Samsung and Asus. A lot of people like Dells but my experience is otherwise. I used to work for a company which provided laptops to auto insurance claim reps who were constantly in the field and working in places like body shops. Dells had a much higher failure rate than other brands with IBM Thinkpads being the best workhorses around. Sony hardware is pretty good, usually, but Sony is notorious for loading a lot of crap ware on their machines and they have a history of surreptitiously gathering information on their customers without the customers knowledge or permission - privacy invasion. They are also on the pricey side.

If you move the machine around a fair amount rather than having it sit on a desk most of the time, I urge getting a business class machine. I have a 4 year old HP Elitebook which still runs as good as the day I bought it - better actually, as I have installed an SSD. It has a polished aluminum case. There are a number of dents and dings which would have been a broken screen on a normal consumer model. I don't abuse my machines, but I take them everywhere and things happen. The business class machines will cost you $100-$200 more for a comparable machine, but to my experience the durability, next business day service, and US/native English speaking support is worth every penny over the life of a machine. I also buy the 3year Accidental Damage Protection & Warranty from the machine manufacture (absolutely not a store sold warranty) on laptops. The cost of one repair pays for the warranty for the life of the machine and again, it is fixed the next business day. When you have the warranty from the machine manufacturer, they have a vested interest in repairing it as quickly as possible and getting it right the first time, where as the store sold warranty is a profit making venture for the store and their goal is to do as little as possible and not do things like overnight shipment of parts and whose techs are frequently undertrained / under-experienced.

The other thing to consider with a laptop is an anti-theft program like Absoulte Software's Computrace. A lot of mobile computing devices are being stolen and sold on eBay or Craigslist.

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Thanks
by The ancient one / December 13, 2012 9:16 AM PST
In reply to: My laptop advice

I will keep this in mind

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business model?
by henrytobias / December 20, 2012 3:50 PM PST
In reply to: My laptop advice

Dear tumbleweed_biff,
You seem very clued up. I know very, very little. My PC is about 12 years old and running very, very slowly, in spite of installing AdvancedSystemCare 6. I spend more time looking at the screen, waiting for it to respond, than actually working. My hobby is writing stories and I am pretty serious about it. I want to get into editing and am doing a course at present. I also use email and do a lot of searches when looking up facts for my stories. I need a new computer. It does not have to be a laptop, but for the same money, is a laptop as good as a PC? A laptop does have the obvious advantage of mobility. I live in Israel, where computers are much more expensive than in the US, so I need advice in the range below $1000. I also need to buy it in Israel as I need Hebrew software (i.e. Office). Is it possible for you to give me 3 or 4 models from which to choose, as I don't know what is available?
Thank you.
Henrytobias

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Re: new PC
by Kees_B Forum moderator / December 20, 2012 5:29 PM PST
In reply to: business model?

Unluckily, few people on this forum know what computers are available in the brick-and-mortar computer shops in Israel, or can read the Hebrew sites of the Israelian webshops. But from your post I understand that (a) you live there so can visit the shops, and (b) you can read Hebrew so you can read what webshops offer.
So it seems you're the one that's best placed to know what's available.

Luckily, any new PC or laptop you buy nowadays, even the cheapest one, is perfectly suited for word processing and e-mailing and browsing Internet to look up facts. So it's quite impossible to buy something that doesn't suit your needs.

Kees

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laptops in Israel
by henrytobias / December 20, 2012 10:03 PM PST
In reply to: Re: new PC

I'm sure the same models are available here as in the US or Europe. I just need some guidance. Thanks for the help.

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I'm not so sure about that.
by Kees_B Forum moderator / December 20, 2012 10:08 PM PST
In reply to: laptops in Israel

My guidance was above:
"Any new PC or laptop you buy nowadays, even the cheapest one, is perfectly suited for word processing and e-mailing and browsing Internet to look up facts. So it's quite impossible to buy something that doesn't suit your needs."

The choice between desktop and laptop is all yours, depending on the intended use. Nobody can tell you what you have to prefer.

Kees

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Laptops in Israel ...
by tumbleweed_biff / December 21, 2012 9:59 AM PST
In reply to: laptops in Israel

Kees was on target, I don't know what you are going to find in Israel. General models will be the same, like the Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E530, but there will be variances within that model which will only be available in the US, Israel, etc. Although I studied a little Hebrew many years ago, it predated most of my computer use so I haven't a clue regarding any functions therein. Unfortunately, there are issues of representation in international markets I can't address. There are probably vendors in Israel not present here in the US and the reverse is likely true.

If you need the mobility, then it seems clear that a laptop would be the way to go. In your case, you would want to look at what companies provide what level of support in your area as a significant area of concern, along with that company's overall reliability. Generally speaking, as previously noted, almost all Lenovo's (particularly the Thinkpads), any of the business class units from HP (the EliteBooks are as durable as granite), Toshiba, Asus, Samsung and a few others will be quite reliable. I believe that you will find any currently marketed machine to be a substantial improvement over your current 12 year old machine - that would be maybe a PII? I strongly advocate making sure that the support whomever provides be provided by someone who is a native speaker of your preferred tongue (Hebrew?).

In your shoes, I would go to what ever point of purchase you plan on using and taking a look at what they have to offer and test as many as you can for the most demanding types of work you intend to use it. Pick one which you find comfortable and which is able to perform to a bit higher than your current level of need (so it will still be useful tomorrow) without breaking the budget. Also consider: I prefer business class machines because a) they are more durable and mine moves around a lot and sees more than its fair share of bumps and grinds and b) I want the business class support: next business day service/native English speaking support and I am willing to pay for those. If a consumer grade machine is apt to your needs, I would recommend staying away from Acer/Gateway/Dell/HP. I recommend giving the Lenovo Thinkpad Edge a look.

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thanks very much. most helpful
by henrytobias / December 21, 2012 4:07 PM PST
In reply to: Laptops in Israel ...

thanks very much. most helpful

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