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Old 08-03-2016, 11:37 AM   #1
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Default Wife needs new Laptop

So my wife is going back to school in a couple weeks and I promised her a new laptop.
I have been out of the loop since Windows XP left the scene. I don't need a *****-out machine, just something reliable and portable. Needs to run the basic Office programs and be reliable. Did I mention it needs to be reliable?
So far all I have come up with is we should spring for one of the latest gen processors, probably an i5. It looks like Windows 10 sucks up ram, what is the min I should be looking at 6-8GB?
I was hoping to come in around $500, but I can go up a little higher if needed.

Post up what you think I should get.
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Old 08-03-2016, 11:48 AM   #2
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Find something with a solid state drive and an encasement (shell) made out of aluminum instead of plastic. Those two things will give you good physical reliability. Obviously name brand is good too. HP and Asus come to mind.
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Old 08-03-2016, 11:53 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erat View Post
...solid state drive and an encasement (shell) made out of aluminum instead of plastic. Those two things will give you good physical reliability. Obviously name brand is good too. HP and Asus come to mind.
I 2nd this ^ .

As for RAM, it depends on manufacture supply if they decide to bloat it up with pre-installed junk.

8GB on win10 would be my go to even for daily application in my opinion.
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Old 08-03-2016, 02:38 PM   #4
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Stay away from HP, I've had to replace so many at work..and a few of them bought for myself...total garbage. Though i have no experience with the newest HP models..

I like Toshiba, I've had mine for coming up on 6 years now and all I've done to it was clone the system onto a SSD in the last year. My wife has had hers for about 7 now, same deal just upgraded the drive.
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Old 08-03-2016, 02:43 PM   #5
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I have a personal hatred for HP and will not touch their stuff. A fan of Asus however.

Also pretty impressed with Dell for build quality.
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Old 08-03-2016, 03:11 PM   #6
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Old 08-03-2016, 03:18 PM   #7
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How does this look?
Good pick honestly, minus the hard drive it comes with.

Though it has plenty of space, I'd still would be looking for one with a SSD for the speed. But then again, with that drive it comes with your reliable points go up given the history of SSD. Just gotta be careful to not drop, or jerk it around during operation etc. Doubt that would be an issue anyways.
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Old 08-03-2016, 03:22 PM   #8
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I've not had a good experience with Acer devices, my netbook was **** and my Android tablet from them was not fantastic either. BUT that's really inexpensive.

However, I like this one better:

Lenovo Laptop IdeaPad 300 80Q700V7US Intel Core i7 6500U (2.50 GHz) 8 GB Memory 1 TB HDD Intel HD Graphics 520 15.6" Windows 10 Home 64-Bit - Newegg.com

This is a smaller Dell but packs a wallop, tons of RAM. Refurbished: DELL Laptop E6420 Intel Core i5 2520M (2.50 GHz) 12 GB Memory 240 GB SSD 14.0" Windows 7 Professional 64-Bit - Newegg.com

And the same one, but with a huge HDD instead of SSD: Refurbished: DELL Laptop E6420 Intel Core i5 2520M (2.50 GHz) 16 GB Memory 1 TB HDD 14.0" Windows 7 Professional 64-Bit - Newegg.com

I'd go with this Asus over the Acer posted before, comparable specs but better processor.: ASUS Laptop F555LA-NS72 Intel Core i7 5500U (2.40 GHz) 8 GB DDR3L Memory 1 TB HDD Intel HD Graphics 5500 15.6" Windows 10 Home 64-Bit - Newegg.com

The Asus and the Acer you posted both have 5400 RPM hard drives though, so they're a bit slow. Is she going to prioritize space, or speed?

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Old 08-03-2016, 03:23 PM   #9
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Problem with an ssd is the larger ones are still pricey. This one has a 256 ssd in it..can be upgraded down the road or use an external for mass storage.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DT4A2R4..._t1_B01CGGOUJM

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Old 08-03-2016, 04:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbofan View Post
I have a personal hatred for HP and will not touch their stuff. A fan of Asus however.

Also pretty impressed with Dell for build quality.
I've had bad luck and know people who have had bad luck with Dell laptops. When purchasing my sisters laptop recently (another Asus rapemachine) the best buy guy informed me Dell was their most returned manufacture.
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Old 08-03-2016, 04:41 PM   #11
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I wouldn't buy the consumer level Dell stuff, but I've had several excellent Dell Latitude laptops that were just fine. I wasn't impressed with the newer E5440's my company ordered (I chose to keep my older E6420) but it's still pretty decent.
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Old 08-03-2016, 04:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erat View Post
the best buy guy informed me Dell was their most returned manufacture.


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Old 08-03-2016, 04:49 PM   #13
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I only use dell when it comes to our servers at work..i refuse to buy their laptops/desktops. I have a few friends that love their lenovo laptops...

Either way, i figure as long as you don't buy her a Mac..any decent pc will do.
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Old 08-03-2016, 05:05 PM   #14
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We have had good luck with Lenovo in the past, but they were well over $1k. This is my wife's 3rd degree... she can slum it with a $500 laptop.
For browsing I really like our Asus Eee. But she needs something with a little more capability for running Office.
It has to last 2 years and then it can burst into flames for all I care.

You guys have me interested in these SSDs now. I really have been out of the loop.
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Old 08-03-2016, 05:08 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Besusjesus View Post
any decent pc will do
Ultimately, this is true.

I think Lenovo has gone to pot since the split with IBM, but I'm sure there's a million Lenovo laptops working just fine out there.

I get a lot of "What laptop should I buy for my kid" questions at work. This is my standard reply:

Quote:
1. CPU architecture is more important than CPU speed. That is, a Core i5 is better than a Core i3, even if the i3's clock speed is faster. Avoid the bargain basement CPU's like Celeron's, Duo's, Atom's, etc. If you stick to the Core i3/i5/i7 lines, you are pretty safe.

2. There's a few brands that I tend to avoid (Lenovo, Acer), but otherwise most brands are fairly comparable. But I do tend to prefer the "business" class laptops to the regular consumer class laptops -- the physical construction is usually a bit sturdier. With Dell, for example, you would want to look at the Latitude series (business class) rather than the Inspiron series (consumer class). But that's just a guideline -- there are plenty of good consumer class laptops as well.

3. Memory and hard drive size aren't very important, unless they will be doing specific tasks like video-editing or something like that with huge file sizes. 8 GB of memory would be good safe number. Easy to upgrade memory later if needed. Most laptops come with several hundred GB of hard drive storage, which is quite a bit.

4. The big new thing in laptops right now is using an SSD (solid state disk or drive) rather than a conventional hard drive. An SSD uses memory chips instead of magnetic platters for storage. They are much less fragile, much faster, and produce much less heat than conventional hard drives. The downside is that SSD's cost more for the same amount of storage. If the choice comes down to one laptop with a smaller SSD and another with a larger conventional hard drive, I would choose the SSD every single time.

5. The screen, the keyboard, and the trackpad are the three things you actually interact with -- if you have the option, try to compare laptops in person so that you can get a feel for those things. Sometimes a poor screen or keyboard can ruin an otherwise good laptop.
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Old 08-03-2016, 05:16 PM   #16
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My tuning laptop is a Lenovo laptop. I love it. What i hate is windows 10 on a tablet / laptop. The hardware is awesome, win10 sucks. win10 on my PC however is phenomenal...
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Old 08-03-2016, 07:45 PM   #17
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Apple is made from apples.

All other win 10 laptops share so many parts these days who really cares what brand?

Get an SSD for speed.
Get a touchscreen because they sound stupid until you actually use one. Then there's no going back.
8gb ram is overkill but 4gb is too little.. Desktops hardly use 8gb unless your encoding 4k etc. The laptop CPU will bottleneck you before you use 8gb.

I. E. The failure rate for hard drives irrespective of brands is around 10%+
So unless your going to custom pick every aspect of a laptop... Which you can't. Just buy one with good warranty and cross your fingers. They all generally use the same parts. Most of the cost difference is how pretty the case is and the screen.

And get a 1080 screen. Any bigger and battery life is halved.
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Old 08-03-2016, 08:34 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgeoffriau View Post
I wouldn't buy the consumer level Dell stuff, but I've had several excellent Dell Latitude laptops that were just fine.
^ This.

I've had several Latitudes over the past 15 years, both work and personal, and they've all been rock-solid. They're not the fastest, or the cheapest, or the sexiest, but they're hard to beat for durability and overall value.

Is she planning to carry this machine around a lot? If so, don't underestimate the value of a machine in the 12 - 12.5" screen size range. Skip anything with an optical drive, and do spend the money for an SSD.
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Old 08-03-2016, 08:57 PM   #19
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Well, I think the winner is Besusjesus.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...=ATVPDKIKX0DER
Best price I found for the features it has. With a case and a copy of Office it comes to $688.93 delivered.

Thanks for the advice. Cats for everyone!
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Old 08-28-2016, 07:49 PM   #20
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Lenovo Z50
AMD A10-7300 Quad-Core 1.9 GHz Processor
8 GB DDR3 RAM
1 TB 5400 rpm Hard Drive
15.6-Inch Screen
Windows 8.1, 5-hour battery life
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