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Thread: New Laptop? Advice needed.

  1. #1
    Member TeamCasey's Avatar
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    New Laptop? Advice needed.

    Hi all,

    It looks like my home computer may be on life support. Any suggestions out there. I think I'll get a laptop this time around (first time laptop buyer). I was going to get another desktop but my friends made fun of me. They said ..... you want to play your VHS tapes in it ....... maybe with an 8 track player?

    Things I want:

    Windows 7

    Wireless connectivity

    Larger screen than many of the laptops I see. (Old eyes here.)

    DVD/ CD player, recorder

    Speed

    Decent video card - I play games at home ...... nothing like the combat kind of networking games that the kids play though.

    I don't need a ton of storage but I do store photos and music.

    I HATE shopping for computers. I usually overbuy thinking it will last longer. I just want to pick one off the shelf and plug and play. I see alot of brands out there that I don't recognize, but I'm pretty disappointed in the HP desktop that died too soon.

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    Member Captain Hook's Avatar
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    Re: New Laptop? Advice needed.

    I always suggest Macs but it's possible that you've ruled them out.Larger screens are costly on the already more expensive Macs and while OSX is easy to pick up on it's not windows 7.I only commented because you mentioned your disappointment with the short life of your HP you were using and I can sympathize.I know there's more then a few out there that wouldn't be impressed with a computer lasting four years but my four year old imac is the oldest working computer that I've ever owned and it still works like it did the day I first turned it on.

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    Member RedsFan75's Avatar
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    I have a Mac at home and use a Win 7 PC at work and using the user interface between the two are not that different. Operation is very similar.

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    Re: New Laptop? Advice needed.

    15.5 or 17.3 inch screen should be big enough I would think. Every laptop is HD now, some have 1080p which is nice if you can find.

    As far as processors go, all of the middle of the pack ones are really fast these days. Unless you're doing some heavy computing a lot of it is overkill. I have a 2nd gen i5 in my laptop and it's more than enough. I'd stay away from the lower level processors though, that's how computers can get old in a hurry. I think there are 3rd gen Intel's out now, I'd try to get one of those. Their speed will not age as fast as the cheaper processors out there.

    Since you're wanting a bigger screen you don't have to worry about cd/dvd burner/reader drive, the only ones that come without them are the smaller lightweight comps. If you catch a deal you might be able to get a free blu-ray upgrade, too.

    If you can find one with 8gb of memory that's your best bet, a lot of laptops still sell with 4gb...that's enough for a lot of stuff, but you notice the speed difference with 8+.

    Video card really depends on the games that you do play. In that market you are getting what you pay for more often than not. With AMD I'd go with a 7500+ card. They don't get really expensive till like a 7850, but since you don't do heavy gaming it wouldn't matter. Not sure about Nvidia cards.

    As far as brands go they almost all make quality computers these days. If you stay away from any it'd be the really lesser known ones. Sony, Asus, Dell, HP (even tho you had a bad experience you said), and the other more popular ones are safe buys. I think it has more to do with what's inside the comp than who it is that put it together. One thing about laptops is they can be dropped, have a glass of water spilled on, or any other thing that can easily damage them. It's not a bad idea to get some sort of extended protection plan.

    Oh and one last tidbit, buy a keyboard skin. You never realize how awesome they are till you have to take a can of airduster and shoot lint and whatever else out from under your keys.

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    Member Reds4Life's Avatar
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    Re: New Laptop? Advice needed.

    Buy online, go to www.newegg.com

    They have some very good deals, especially with thier sales, I have purchased several PC's from them and never had an issue. If you're like most people, chances are you'll be using it for Internet, email, and maybe some light productivity work (excel or MS Word). The cheap laptops will do all that and then some these days, no need to spend big bucks. I have a Toshiba I paid $400 for, brand new, that works perfectly.
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    Titanic Struggles Caveat Emperor's Avatar
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    Re: New Laptop? Advice needed.

    I'll second for a Mac -- my Macbook Pro will be four years old this month and still works just as well as the day I bought it.
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    Custodial Engineer Bob Sheed's Avatar
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    Re: New Laptop? Advice needed.

    I would wait a few months. Windows 8 will be coming out, and although I still recommend Windows 7, you'll want the "free upgrade to 8."

    Also, the most important thing about buying a laptop is the warranty. Get at least a 3 yr.
    "And why do false truths persist, getting passed down the decades as if they were fact? It comes back to the same point: People believe things that are wrong because, individually, people rarely investigate their own beliefs, particularly when what they believe makes sense intuitively. Even more so when those around them agree with them." -K.F.

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    Re: New Laptop? Advice needed.

    I was actually shopping for the very same thing. Being a bit of a techie, I found exactly what I'm looking for here:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834215410

    An i7 quad core with 6gb ram (expandable to 16 with 4 bays), dedicated video (the same card found on the new macbook pros), 750gb harddrive with a second harddrive bay for installing a SSD, and all the other bells and whistles for $830?!?!

    Sold.
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    Re: New Laptop? Advice needed.

    not to hijack but with a mac, I was told you do not need to worry about antvirus programs and stuff like that.....they said that macs are not prone to viruses....I have no reason to not believe them but that sounds odd.....also, I heard macs keep their value very well, as windows laptops and desktops do not......

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    Re: New Laptop? Advice needed.

    Just bought a Lenovo IdeaPad, 8GB Ram with the latest intel i7 processor. Absolutely love it. Boots up in a minute and surfs the net with ease. It's also powerful enough to play some games as well. Can't wait to test it out some more tonight. With everything it was in the 900.00 range.
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    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: New Laptop? Advice needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by lidspinner View Post
    not to hijack but with a mac, I was told you do not need to worry about antvirus programs and stuff like that.....they said that macs are not prone to viruses....I have no reason to not believe them but that sounds odd.....also, I heard macs keep their value very well, as windows laptops and desktops do not......
    I often hear that.

    It is that Macs are hard to penetrate with a virus or that hackers leave the Macs alone out of principle?

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    Waiting for a tour/album KittyDuran's Avatar
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    Re: New Laptop? Advice needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by kaldaniels View Post
    I often hear that.

    It is that Macs are hard to penetrate with a virus or that hackers leave the Macs alone out of principle?
    Hackers have principles? I think the answer is that if you're a hacker and you get off on inflicting damage, chaos, etc. on a lot of people, organizations, companies, and governments you would target the OS that the majority of the population uses and one that invites/uses a lot of outside programs.

    One of the my older sisters has a Mac and I always use and enjoy when I visit. OTOH, I have two Dell desktops, 7 years (Windows XP) and 4 years old (Vista), that work just fine. Had to upgrade the older PC's memory last year and always buy anti-virus software every year - but no complaints. Bought my Dad and E-Machine laptop (Windows 7) from Walmart 2 years ago for under $300 and its doing fine.
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    Re: New Laptop? Advice needed.

    I have a friend who is in year 5 of his Mac and never had an antivirus program.....said his Mac might get shut off once or twice or year and he's never had a issue one....thing is faster than my 1 year old dell $1500 piece of junk that I'd give away if I had a Mac.

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    Re: New Laptop? Advice needed.

    I think a big reason why Macs seem faster is because a lot of people bog their Windows PCs down with tons of bloatware/unneeded software. Macs don't have a lot of that, but at the same time if you're slowing your PC down with that it's a user problem. Another reason I'd say they feel faster is because people often compare apples to oranges. A MBP runs like what, 1800 bucks? If you buy yourself an 1800 dollar Windows PC and take care of it it'll be every bit as fast as a Mac, probably faster.

    Certain processors age really fast, they're usually the ones found in lower end Windows PCs. A fast processor from 4 years ago is still pretty fast tho...and it's not like Mac builds their own special processors, they're using Intel chips as well. Because of their price range they're just not using the cheaper ones.

    After so many years of picking up random junk from browsing the web any computer is bound to slow down, since the Mac OS is designed to use only what they decide you can use, they're less susceptible to that junk. Just take care of your PC and get good hardware, it'll last you as long as you want.

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    KungFu Fighter AtomicDumpling's Avatar
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    Re: New Laptop? Advice needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stray View Post
    I think a big reason why Macs seem faster is because a lot of people bog their Windows PCs down with tons of bloatware/unneeded software. Macs don't have a lot of that, but at the same time if you're slowing your PC down with that it's a user problem. Another reason I'd say they feel faster is because people often compare apples to oranges. A MBP runs like what, 1800 bucks? If you buy yourself an 1800 dollar Windows PC and take care of it it'll be every bit as fast as a Mac, probably faster.

    Certain processors age really fast, they're usually the ones found in lower end Windows PCs. A fast processor from 4 years ago is still pretty fast tho...and it's not like Mac builds their own special processors, they're using Intel chips as well. Because of their price range they're just not using the cheaper ones.

    After so many years of picking up random junk from browsing the web any computer is bound to slow down, since the Mac OS is designed to use only what they decide you can use, they're less susceptible to that junk. Just take care of your PC and get good hardware, it'll last you as long as you want.
    I agree. The only difference between a Mac and a PC is the Operating System (the Mac OS is not much different than Windows), the logo on the outside and the price. Under the hood a Mac is no different than a PC. You can build a PC yourself with the exact components found in a Mac for half the price. You can buy a computer with the exact same parts that are in an Apple for about 2/3 the price. For the price of an Apple you could buy a much more powerful PC. Not too many folks that are knowledgeable about computer hardware are going to recommend buying an Apple to their friends and family. If you shop wisely you can simply get much more for your money in the PC world, plus your computer will be much more upgradeable in the future.

    When buying a computer you should forget about the brand name. Just pay attention to the exact components inside the computer. There can be a wide variation in the quality of the components inside the case even within the same brand (including Apple).

    The two components you need to pay the most attention to are the processor and the graphics card. I recommend an Intel Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge processor and a discrete graphics card (one that is not build into the motherboard). You will get better performance, better upgradeability and less costly repairs if you ever have a non-warranty problem.

    Keep in mind that a laptop computer is going to have far inferior performance compared to a desktop of the same price. In order to keep battery life extended and and to minimize heat and size the computer assemblers must use less powerful technology in their laptops. If you really need a powerful computer a good desktop will blow away any laptop. Laptops are great for their portability, but their performance is not on the same level as the desktop dollar for dollar.

    Generally speaking, if your computer is slowing down over time it is not a hardware issue but rather a software issue. Putting too many cheap programs on a computer causes conflicts than can slow down the speed. When hardware goes bad it goes bad all at once. It is either working or it is not, there is no in-between in most cases. So if your PC or Apple is not as fast as it used to be it is not likely the manufacturer's fault. Just keep your computer cool and clean (protected from dust, moisture and pet hair) and just about any computer should last for several years.

    An Apple is just as susceptible to viruses as a PC is. Again, the hardware is the same so there are vulnerabilities. But those vulnerabilities have to be exploited differently because of the different operating systems. Since Apple has such a small market share in the computer world the hackers have spent most of their malicious time creating nasty code for the PC. Why waste your time creating malware that can only harm a small number of computer users? Such a small percentage of the world's computers are Apples that it makes sense that fewer hackers have devoted the time to create viruses to attack them. As Apple's market share climbs, more and more viruses are created to attack them. Apple makes a strong effort to foster the perception that they don't get viruses, but the do get plenty of viruses. While you can get a virus at any time on a PC or an Apple, the real risk of viruses is not nearly as great as it used to be. The vast majority of viruses cause no harm, but it only takes one rare doozy to wreck things. Any simple anti-virus program (even the free ones) is likely to do a great job and protect you from viruses and malware very effectively. Many times a virus gets the blame for a slow computer when in reality the problem is a plethora of registry errors and conflicts caused by downloading or installing poorly coded software programs from the Internet. Since there is a lot less software available for the Mac it has the nice side effect of making it harder to pollute your registry.

    Personally I wouldn't spend more than $500 on a laptop unless you are a hard-core gamer or you are into video editing. Today's $500 computer is better than last year's $1500 computer and it has been that way for a decade running. Next year's $500 computer will outperform this year's $1500 computer, so you are better off buying a new $500 computer every couple years. You will save money and have a better computer most of the time.
    Last edited by AtomicDumpling; 09-10-2012 at 05:23 AM.


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