laptop advice

Video games, electronics and gadgets, elf ears and more

Moderator: Moderator

Post Reply
User avatar
thoughtpolice
Stew Ingredient
Posts: 15989
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2005 5:38 pm

laptop advice

Post by thoughtpolice » Sun Jul 07, 2013 7:36 pm

Need a new laptop and and need advice on what brand to get. I'll use it for travel communications, some word processing, accessing business websites, no gaming, watch movies on it or as terminal for Netflix

What I am thinking of, though I am easily influenced since I know more or less fuck all about them:

-budget about $700US/CDN/US, flexible
- need a DVD slot
-15" screen perhaps, with decent resolution
-500 GB hard drive or larger-- the usual HDMI and USB outputs
-built in card reader would be handy
-free or cheap Word/Excel would be nice

I have yet to experience the terror of Windows 8, just how bad is it?

Apple is too expensive.

Dell takes too long, I need to get one this week due to imminent travel.

I had an unusually frank sales guy the other day. He rated his own products, noting that in his opinion all the parts inside each brand were pretty much the same, just a matter of how many of them were inside the case that influenced price. His least favorite was HP because their warranty work was very slow. His favorite was ASUS, because they had a one year 'drop the machine on concrete and we'll replace it" warranty. All the rest were in between.

Any recommendations appreciated

User avatar
pezworld
Admin's Concubine
Posts: 32323
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2005 7:00 pm

Re: laptop advice

Post by pezworld » Sun Jul 07, 2013 7:49 pm

Do you have any big retail stores near you such as Best Buy or Costco? Costco has the best return policy.

My stepkid got a decent HP maybe a year ago for $350 at Best Buy. Meets your requirements and more.

I think you can get Office for maybe $100 and change.
Jesus, you turn your back for one second and the next thing you know, everyone's going all fucking kumbaya and shit around this dump - Moe

User avatar
pezworld
Admin's Concubine
Posts: 32323
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2005 7:00 pm

Re: laptop advice

Post by pezworld » Sun Jul 07, 2013 8:02 pm

Costco computers - Canadian site, under $500ish:
http://www.costco.ca/all-laptops.html?refine=57507%2b62

Note: some of these don't have optical drives. There was an HP that didn't look half bad though:
http://www.costco.ca/HP-2000-2c20ca%2c- ... 57466.html

BTW ehs isn't thrilled w/Win 8 but the part that drives him most crazy on his kid's other laptop is the lack of Start button. He was able to find some software he downloaded to bring a version of it back:
http://www.classicshell.net/

Office via Amazon and download:
http://www.amazon.ca/Office-Home-Studen ... ce+windows
Jesus, you turn your back for one second and the next thing you know, everyone's going all fucking kumbaya and shit around this dump - Moe

User avatar
ZAffer
Stew Ingredient
Posts: 24336
Joined: Sat May 20, 2006 8:47 pm

Re: laptop advice

Post by ZAffer » Sun Jul 07, 2013 8:32 pm

That win8 sucks. I think I did read somewhere that the start button is still there, just hidden.
sce to aux

User avatar
mothership
Stew Ingredient
Posts: 783
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 4:22 pm

Re: laptop advice

Post by mothership » Mon Jul 08, 2013 2:41 am

Tcop, you should visit memory express.
Legalize Cheese

User avatar
thoughtpolice
Stew Ingredient
Posts: 15989
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2005 5:38 pm

Re: laptop advice

Post by thoughtpolice » Mon Jul 08, 2013 9:52 pm

Thanks, I have checked the usual places: Cosctco, Best Buy, London Drugs, Staples.
So many choices.
Has anybody had experience good or bad withToshiba? Sony? Asus?

User avatar
thoughtpolice
Stew Ingredient
Posts: 15989
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2005 5:38 pm

Re: laptop advice

Post by thoughtpolice » Mon Jul 08, 2013 9:53 pm

Are touchscreens worth the extra money?

User avatar
ZAffer
Stew Ingredient
Posts: 24336
Joined: Sat May 20, 2006 8:47 pm

Re: laptop advice

Post by ZAffer » Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:20 am

thoughtpolice wrote:Are touchscreens worth the extra money?


I don't think so. Briefly used win8 to load some development software, (didn't work properly, very erratic) didn't like it at all. Mind you, I've never really used a trackpad; prefer a mouse.
sce to aux

User avatar
F4J
Stew Ingredient
Posts: 5120
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 7:21 pm

Re: laptop advice

Post by F4J » Tue Jul 09, 2013 11:40 am

I got a touchscreen pc thinking it would make for better gaming. 2 years on and I have only ever used it for angry birds (which was loaded on to the pc) otherwise I am still using mouse and joystick.

User avatar
CatScanMan
Goat Roper
Posts: 15833
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2005 3:46 pm

Re: laptop advice

Post by CatScanMan » Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:17 pm

You basically have to add extra software to Windows 8 (I use Start8) to make it not annoying (when using a non-touchscreen device). That software costs a few quid at most though and Windows 8 offers some nice speed and features upgrade over 7 so I think it's worth it.

It's kind of true that laptops are all the same inside, their major components are, but the rest of it isn't and the way it's put together isn't either. There are good reasons why business laptops cost more than cheap, consumer grade ones for the 'same spec'.

Now which laptop to buy? It's such a difficult question. What do you mean by 'decent' resolution exactly? Do you care about battery life? Do you care what it looks like? How long will you be using it every day? How long do you want it to last?

The last two questions are probably the most pertinent. If it's going to be on for say 12 hours a day you probably want to spend at least $700 getting a business laptop from Lenovo/Dell/HP (maybe even Asus). Also, the same goes if you want it to have a reasonable chance of lasting 5+ years. If it's going to be used for only say a couple of hours a day and you don't care about it maybe dropping dead in 2-3 years then you can get away with spending less than $700.

Personally, I'd love a Lenovo T430 with a new Haswell. But that's gonna cost more than $700.

User avatar
CatScanMan
Goat Roper
Posts: 15833
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2005 3:46 pm

Re: laptop advice

Post by CatScanMan » Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:24 pm

Forget about touchscreens unless you've got a burning desire for one and are willing to pay for it.

User avatar
thoughtpolice
Stew Ingredient
Posts: 15989
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2005 5:38 pm

Re: laptop advice

Post by thoughtpolice » Thu Jul 11, 2013 6:36 pm

Now which laptop to buy? It's such a difficult question. What do you mean by 'decent' resolution exactly? Do you care about battery life? Do you care what it looks like? How long will you be using it every day? How long do you want it to last?


Decent resolution: not shitty as found on the cheapest ones, but not retina grade which costs heaps. Average I guess.

Battery life: would like at least 3 hours, more would be a bonus.

Dont really care what it looks like unless it has a picture of Ereich84 on the case.

Use every day: probably not, more like use if all day for a few days, then not at all for a couple weeks. Mostly for travel or work stuff away from office.

Longevity: would be delighted to get a few years before software makers conspire to make it completely obsolete.

There are so many choices! A gimmick that has got my eye is hyrbid drives, a combo of SSD and regular hard drive. The laptop takes aseconds to boot up, compared to the glacial speed I enjoy now.

Saw a Sony VAIO I liked, also an ASUS. Both cost about $900. The price creep begins.....

User avatar
ZAffer
Stew Ingredient
Posts: 24336
Joined: Sat May 20, 2006 8:47 pm

Re: laptop advice

Post by ZAffer » Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:33 pm

"Battery life: would like at least 3 hours, more would be a bonus." Buy a spare battery. RTFM about state-of-charge. My rule of thumb was always a 'standard' pc, and then double the memory/hdd size. Probably not necessary anymore.
sce to aux

User avatar
CatScanMan
Goat Roper
Posts: 15833
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2005 3:46 pm

Re: laptop advice

Post by CatScanMan » Sat Jul 13, 2013 5:43 pm

OK, as for resolution you're probably looking for the one up from the basic shit one that's on cheap laptops. No problem. You like the Sony? Sounds like you're going for looks...

I recommend you go for a Lenovo. Get a proper business T-series if you can afford or the semi-business ones if not. They're solid laptops and look ace in my opinion. Sony's are alright, but kind of girlie/hairdresser laptops.

How to shop? -- It's half the battle. In the UK going to a bricks and mortar shop is largely futile. Online is the way. Presumably Canada is similar. Check on the Canadian equivalent of HotUKdeals if there is one, it's a forum where people submit deals and vote/discuss them. Some great stuff, sometimes you might want to get something if it's a particularly great deal.

1) Find out which laptop you want, i.e. model, from the manufacturer's website.

2) Look up the model on Newegg (American online shop) and Google reviews (written and YouTube). If still sounding good carry on.

3) Search on Google Shopping (excellent tool), Amazon, Ebay, and big Canadian shops. Find cheapest and buy as long as it's a proper, established business (the cheapest here tend to be shitty dropshippers).

User avatar
CatScanMan
Goat Roper
Posts: 15833
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2005 3:46 pm

Re: laptop advice

Post by CatScanMan » Sat Jul 13, 2013 5:47 pm

*With Lenovo when I was looking I often they themselves had the best prices.

User avatar
milton
Your hero. Ram it
Posts: 2850
Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 3:51 pm

Re: laptop advice

Post by milton » Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:04 am

CatScanMan wrote:OK, as for resolution you're probably looking for the one up from the basic shit one that's on cheap laptops. No problem. You like the Sony? Sounds like you're going for looks...

I recommend you go for a Lenovo. Get a proper business T-series if you can afford or the semi-business ones if not. They're solid laptops and look ace in my opinion. Sony's are alright, but kind of girlie/hairdresser laptops.

How to shop? -- It's half the battle. In the UK going to a bricks and mortar shop is largely futile. Online is the way. Presumably Canada is similar. Check on the Canadian equivalent of HotUKdeals if there is one, it's a forum where people submit deals and vote/discuss them. Some great stuff, sometimes you might want to get something if it's a particularly great deal.

1) Find out which laptop you want, i.e. model, from the manufacturer's website.

2) Look up the model on Newegg (American online shop) and Google reviews (written and YouTube). If still sounding good carry on.

3) Search on Google Shopping (excellent tool), Amazon, Ebay, and big Canadian shops. Find cheapest and buy as long as it's a proper, established business (the cheapest here tend to be shitty dropshippers).

Agree on the above. Last time I bought a laptop, a TV, a tablet... all after going on hotukdeals.com and checking out what's on offer. Sometimes there are ridiculously good offers going on.
another scotch wetbrain

User avatar
Annotated
Stew Ingredient
Posts: 20310
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2005 8:20 am

Re: laptop advice

Post by Annotated » Wed Jul 17, 2013 3:01 am

I have Windows 8. Still getting used to it, but I like it.

They're bringing back the start button in version 8.1 -- this fall I think. But it won't be exactly like the start button before. It won't throw up a list of your programs as other start buttons do (from what I understand). You just need to think of your apps/programs area as your very expanded and interactive start menu/programs list.
Stay Woke

User avatar
GWashington
Stew Ingredient
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2013 4:12 pm

Re: laptop advice

Post by GWashington » Thu Jul 18, 2013 7:37 pm

Buy a Sony.. If a Mac is not in your budget, Sony makes the best built laptops on the market..

A good test for any laptop is to pick it up by one of the corners and listen for popping or plastic cracking sounds.. Sony's are built well and they are lighter weight than most of their competitors.

User avatar
Jim-2012
Stew Ingredient
Posts: 9321
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2012 12:32 am

Re: laptop advice

Post by Jim-2012 » Sun Jul 21, 2013 1:21 am

Annotated wrote:I have Windows 8. Still getting used to it, but I like it.

They're bringing back the start button in version 8.1 -- this fall I think. But it won't be exactly like the start button before. It won't throw up a list of your programs as other start buttons do (from what I understand). You just need to think of your apps/programs area as your very expanded and interactive start menu/programs list.

Two days ago I bought a Lenovo Idea Pad for $800. It has an 11 inch touch screen, but I had to buy a stylus to use for the fine targets on a window; my fingers are too big for anything but screen sweeps. I also bought a wired mouse, but the built-in mouse pad isn't bad. It was difficult to do things that were easy to do on previous versions of windows. Fortunately, you can get answers on the internet for things that are obscure. For example, I wanted to add functions like Notepad & Paint to the 'SendTo' menu. A search on the Lenovo said nothing was found for 'SendTo'. A search on Bing yielded a website with the answer. So far, I have been able to do everything that I have wanted to do, but it seems to me that the designers of W8 were not the same people that designed & used other Windows versions. It's like they tried to make things as obscure & difficult as they could. But once you learn to do things the W8 way, it's manageable. I like the size which makes it easy to carry while traveling.
“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”
“When you are taking FLAK, you know you are over the target”

User avatar
thoughtpolice
Stew Ingredient
Posts: 15989
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2005 5:38 pm

Re: laptop advice

Post by thoughtpolice » Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:46 pm

mothership wrote:Tcop, you should visit memory express.

I did, thanks mother.
Got a 15" ASUS touchscreen, 24 GB SSD, ITB hard drive, optical drive, 6 GB RAM and the usual other stuff for $800. So far it seems fine.
Thanks to all for the advice

Chip_Oatley
Stew Ingredient
Posts: 28238
Joined: Sat May 17, 2008 5:39 pm

Re: laptop advice

Post by Chip_Oatley » Sat Jun 09, 2018 5:32 pm

Will find out if anyone reads this branch.

My Dell laptop's battery seems to be on the way out. Is this something I can replace?

User avatar
pezworld
Admin's Concubine
Posts: 32323
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2005 7:00 pm

Re: laptop advice

Post by pezworld » Sun Jun 10, 2018 4:34 am

It depends on the computer model - they are all different. I just googled mine (Dell XPS 13) and some said it is "factory replaceable" because it is hard to get to without damaging other parts. I'd do a yelp search on computer repair shops and find a good mom and pop store.

However, ifixit says it's easy. https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Dell+XPS+1 ... ment/76060
Jesus, you turn your back for one second and the next thing you know, everyone's going all fucking kumbaya and shit around this dump - Moe

User avatar
gnd
Stew Ingredient
Posts: 14949
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:19 am

Re: laptop advice

Post by gnd » Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:57 am

youtube has videos which are easy to follow, if you can borrow the parts/get the battery to do it yourself

edit batteries dot com
Taking advantage of what is not working to make changes in your life often leads to your greatest opportunities and accomplishments --GND

Chip_Oatley
Stew Ingredient
Posts: 28238
Joined: Sat May 17, 2008 5:39 pm

Re: laptop advice

Post by Chip_Oatley » Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:07 pm

Thanks, all

It is Inspiron 13, 7000 series

http://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/pfydresu ... oryId=2999

User avatar
pezworld
Admin's Concubine
Posts: 32323
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2005 7:00 pm

Re: laptop advice

Post by pezworld » Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:49 pm

I don't know if this is your exact model, but it seems easy. I personally wouldn't do it myself and would probably ask ehs if he'd want to do it, and he'd probably say go to a shop. Find a mom-and-pop that's highly rated on Yelp and ask them.

https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Dell+Inspi ... ment/52484
Jesus, you turn your back for one second and the next thing you know, everyone's going all fucking kumbaya and shit around this dump - Moe

Post Reply