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Computer buying advice requested

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If you need to print things for work, taxes, or whatever. Then a tiny little thing might not have a USB port for your printer.

 

I'm not an expert but I think it goes something like this:

 

High End (pricey):

Sony - Japan

Samsung - Korean

 

Good Quality (affordable but not cheap):

Asus- Taiwan

Lenovo- China (American HQ in Morrisville, NC)

 

Mediocre (medium price point but not great value):

Dell- USA

HP- USA

 

Low End (cheap):

Toshiba- Japan

Acer-Taiwan

 

That is how I view the Laptop market. Someone else might take a different view as different qualities appeal to different people. I think you would be ok buying any of the brands listed above. Personally, I would not recommend the Dell or HP because I feel like you aren't getting the best value. Even low end computers should be able to handle the tasks of a casual computer user. My parents bought my aunt a 300 dollar toshiba and its perfect for web surfing and emails.

 

If you are internet savvy websites like Amazon and Newegg will offer the best prices. But their selection is huge and it's easy to get confused. Stores like Best Buy have a high overhead and will pass off inferior products at the same price point as a good Amazon product.

 

One other thing to look out for is "bloatware". Some of these laptops are pre loaded with all kinds of software you do not need. They might give you a free month or year then start "reminding" you to renew your sub.

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12 years of IT experience

 

 

There is no such thing as a "low end" laptop. Technology has  reached the point where any brand should be considered at least mid range. However, laptops can be specific to your needs. My advice is to set a hard price point. Then look at laptops within 50 dollars of it. If you set a minimum of about 300 dollars you are guaranteed to get a laptop that is more than capable of everyday browsing or light business use. You should have no problems with the hardware, i.e. laptop itself. The problem can be matching the OS to your laptops capabilities. For example, Apple computers, and Chrome books use a relatively small amount of resources. They can operate fairly well on a 1.6 and above processor and 4gb of ram (in some cases even less than that). However, Windows computers use a LOT of resources. This is what bogs down the processor, and hogs all the ram. This is what you, the user, sees as crashes and computer acting slow. Thus making a decent Windows 8 computer requiring atleast a 2.0 dual core with 6gb of ram.

 

All computers nowadays come with plenty of unnecessary programs, this also slows down the computer or causes it to crash. Moving your laptop around too much or too violently (like what happens when laptops are placed in laps, lol) causes errors to build up in the harddrive. Enough of these errors will also lead to crashes and eventually your laptop wont work anymore. Remember to always update your software when necessary, get a good antivirus Norton and Mccafee are good. (never any of those antiviruses that send popups to your computer, NONE of those are any good. No matter what they say.) Keep your laptop on a hard non-porous surface when in use.

 

My recommendation for you would probably be a chromebook depending on your price range. 400 is a reasonable range for most non specific consumers. If you are looking north of 800 bucks you can pretty much pick anyone and it will do way more than you will ever need. And good gaming/graphic design etc starts north of 1600.

 

note: personally I stay away from HP computers. The design of their laptop places the fan in a position where the intake opening is on the bottom. This causes the computer to heat up often unless placed on the perfect surface.  My personal favorite brand for a combo of value and price is Toshiba. However, My price range is always 800 to 1000, no more no less and I am very specific in the components that go in to it.  I hope this helps.

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Computers are like cars, dogs, and wives...treat them with a modicum of respect and they usually return the favor.  That said, I haven't used a non-enterprise laptop in years, but I've liked my Samsung and Asus gear in other fields.  My last non-work laptop was a Toshiba Satellite that did it's job as I finished up grad school.  If you can spring for it, get one with an SSD...the less moving parts and points of failure in a mobile platform the better.  

 

I'm playing around with a few Dell Venue 11Pros with the i5 that we got to test out, that may not be a bad choice for what you are looking at, either.  May be a bit on the upper end of the budget.  We're testing them out as lab laptop replacement devices.

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My wife loved Acer because they were cheap. After the second black screen of death, I finally convinced her to go to an Apple. It really works better for what she needs it for and does much better with balancing her resource draining programs without significant performance loss. Of course, Apple isn't cheap, but to me, the price is worth the performance.

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I have Dell's at work, and an old HP at home that keeps on plugging.

 

I doubt that you can go all that wrong any more.

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My wife loved Acer because they were cheap. After the second black screen of death, I finally convinced her to go to an Apple. It really works better for what she needs it for and does much better with balancing her resource draining programs without significant performance loss. Of course, Apple isn't cheap, but to me, the price is worth the performance.

 

When you move from a $250 Acer to a $3000 Apple product you would expect the performance to be better.

 

There are plenty of GREAT options in between.

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When you move from a $250 Acer to a $3000 Apple product you would expect the performance to be better.

 

There are plenty of GREAT options in between.

Actually, her last Acer was 350. I got her a new Apple for $1000. Still quite a difference, but didn't come close to 3 grand. 

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So now I think I like an All in One.  Went to Staples and saw the one linked below.  Asked my nephew who has worked for Staples over a year (in another state)...he likes HP and said it should do what I want.  Most demand....streaming movies and youtube.

http://www.staples.com/HP-18-5010-AIO-Desktop-PC/product_573053

 

Looked online,,,,this Lenovo has an AMD2 processor over the AMD1 in the HP...plus more Ram, etc.  My thinking is the Lenovo.....what do you think?

 

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883265692

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Still sticking to my Lenovo, LP. It does everything I want it to.

 

Go straight to their website and look at their pricing. They have the E545 (15.6" screen) for $450 right now. Of course, software upgrades and other options will drive the price up.

 

Have you thought about a laptop with a dock and free standing monitor and keyboard? This was my setup in my last office job:

 

hp8710w-docking-station-dual-monitor-set

 

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note: personally I stay away from HP computers. The design of their laptop places the fan in a position where the intake opening is on the bottom. This causes the computer to heat up often unless placed on the perfect surface.  

I think the HPs have kind of fixed this. My last HP had all kinds of issues with overheating to the extent we bought a cooling pad for it which just messed things up more.

 

However the one I bought 2 years ago is raised up in the back giving better airflow and has had no issues at all. And it is my work and gaming computer.

 

My wife buys me computers though so I have no opinion on other brands.

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Also we just bought a touchscreen HP for around $500 which seemed like a great value. Needed it for a consultant to use. 

 

Both kids got $300 laptops a year ago. If you are just using internet and basic office stuff (and minecraft) a basic setup will probably last for a while.

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