mdsh00
Topic Author
Posts: 3968
Joined: Mon May 17, 2004 11:28 am

Laptop Buying Advice Needed

Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:01 am

Hello All,

So my faithful laptop of 7(!) years is starting to reach the end of its useful life and I'm looking into getting a new one. Lately with Windows 8 coming out as well as these new tablet/convertible tablets, I'm getting confused on which one to go for. This is pretty sad for me because I used to be such a techie before. Anyway, my main needs are:

-Web browsing
-Light video using
-Don't really have time for games other than those that don't use up much resources.
-Remote login for my job so that I can finish patient charting at home. (generally I know this is more of an OS compatibility issue than anything else, but just to give an idea of what my computer habits are).
-Windows, and less than $1,000 (ideally less than $600-$800).
-Core i5+

I also don't really plan on taking it around too much so while I don't need an ultra-light and ultra-portable laptop, I don't want one too heavy.

Thanks for the help in advance!
"Look Lois, the two symbols of the Republican Party: an elephant, and a big fat white guy who is threatened by change."
 
darthluke12694
Posts: 185
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:47 am

RE: Laptop Buying Advice Needed

Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:13 am

After seven years of having a laptop, it sounds like it is definitely time to upgrade!

The first thing that you need to decide is if you want a touchscreen laptop. Any laptop you buy new will come with Windows 8. Windows 8 is optimized for touchscreens, but it works very well with a mouse/touchpad, as I have it with a non-touchscreen laptop. For what you state you will use it for, I would suggest not to get a touchscreen. The price will be higher for a touchscreen. The cheapest Core i5 touchscreen computer I see is $750. Unless you absolutely want touchscreen, I wouldn't recommend it.

Also keep in mind that ultrabooks are more expensive.

For remote login, that is more OS. As long as the OS is compatible with the software, then any laptop brand will work.

Now a days, pretty much any laptop brand is good. Dell, HP, Toshiba, Samsung, Sony, even Acer are all good brands.

When selecting a laptop, I recommend getting a laptop with at least 4GB of RAM. For what you are using your laptop for, 4GB should be plenty, but if you find a laptop you like with more, then by all means go for it. Having more RAM will never hurt, and keep in mind you can always add more RAM later on if you need to.

For a hard drive size, I would recommend at least 300GB (most come with more). Again, if you have a lot of pictures or videos, definitely get a bigger hard drive size, I'd say at least 600GB.

Screen size. That's totally up to you. Best way to decide is go to the store and see which one works for you. The bigger the screen, the bigger the price.

Excellent choice on selecting at least Core i5. For what you are going to do, i5 will be more than enough.

Your ideal price range from $600-800 would be about the price you would pay for a laptop with the specs that I've listed.

I'm not going to start listing individual laptops, as there would be tons to list. However, I recommend going to bestbuy.com or amazon and go to laptops, and narrow down the specs to what you wanted. If you find a laptop you like, feel free to post it here and I'll be glad to check it out for you.
KBNA - "To most people, the sky is the limit. To those who love aviation, the sky is home."
 
Geezer
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RE: Laptop Buying Advice Needed

Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:39 am

What ever a "guru", "nerd", "techie" is.........I'm the exact opposite; I have problems getting my damned yahoo mail to work; (and it has nothing to do with "hardware" either ); I'm currently using a 3 month old, 27 inch iMac with 16 gigs of RAM, and a TB of HD; it's something between my crappy "wild blue" satellite internet connection, and Yahoo, (which I'm really starting to believe is "run" by a whole bunch of "Yahoos" ! ) Now......having just mentioned my impeccable "credentials"............here's something I've noticed a lot lately;

About 9 months ago, my wife was diagnosed with CKD; because of that, (and three surgeries), she was in Union Hospital three different times, for a total of 39 days; because of all that, I was AT Union Hospital every one of those 39 days, and a bunch more days shortly after she started getting "straightened out"; here's what I noticed; the hospital just built a new "wing" several years ago, and all of my wife's three rooms were in the new wing; on the first "level" was the cafeteria; just outside the cafeteria, and directly beneath this huge, 4 story high "atrium", they had dozens and dozens of very nice chairs and tables, where all of the nurses, doctors, visitors, patients, and ANYONE else can sit and read books.......or work on their laptops; I kept seeing LOTS of people, spending LOTS of time on their laptops; now......I had just bought my wife a new 17 inch Dell laptop, just as Win 7 first came out; she used it every day for a few months........until I bought her a new Kindle Fire when they first came out; since then, the Dell has mostly served as a "dust magnet"; she does EVERYTHING on the Kindle; so out of sheer curiosity, one day when she was in the hospital, I took the Dell with me, and during the day, I want down by the cafeteria, sat down with the laptop, and pretty much "pretended" to be a big "laptop user"; and I immediately found out why so many people always seem to be sitting around working on their laptops; because the hospital has this MRAVELOUS "connection" ! here I am, sitting less than 25 miles from the hospital, paying $75 a month to "wild blue" for a connection that is only slightly "faster" than the "speed" that my hair grows, while students, (and I'm guessing now, various other "freeloaders" are going to the hospital EVERY DAY to enjoy the blinding 4G, wi-fi, what ever it is, on their laptops, all for free !

I must admit.....every time I'm in Terre Haute and I need to use a "bathroom", I never go in McDonalds or other restaurants; their customers are SAVAGES, she it come to there "restroom habits" ! So I always head straight for Union Hospital, where I already know half the nurses, and some of the doctors, and where ALL of the many rest rooms are always as spotless as their OR's are; (and I NEVER have to "wait" !

I think much the same thing may happen at Barnes & Noble, and possibly Panera Bread; my wife gets more done with her Kindle than I do with my iMac ! (Of course she types 4 times as fast on her touch-screen Kindle, than I do on my new keyboard !) I am anything but an expert on what can and can not be done on a tablet, but I do know she does most of the things you were mentioning you need to do on a laptop, just on the little Kindle Fire; (she used the first one so much it finally died, so I bought her a new one for Xmas ). My 19 yr old grand son recently returned from a year in London, and a three week, "round the world the other direction" adventure (on the way home ) which, BTW, took him through S. Korea), and all he used the whole time was his iPad; I realize tablets won't "do everything", but they sure do a lot of stuff I don't think a lot of people are aware that they are capable of; my wife and I have a half hour chat with her nephrologist every month, and I never see him without his iPad ! so they must be good for a lot of things; (especiallly when you have a fast, free connection !)

Good luck with what ever you get !

Charley
Stupidity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result; Albert Einstein
 
ouboy79
Posts: 4111
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2001 1:48 pm

RE: Laptop Buying Advice Needed

Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:38 am

Quoting mdsh00 (Thread starter):
Web browsing
-Light video using
-Don't really have time for games other than those that don't use up much resources.
-Remote login for my job so that I can finish patient charting at home. (generally I know this is more of an OS compatibility issue than anything else, but just to give an idea of what my computer habits are).
-Windows, and less than $1,000 (ideally less than $600-$800).
-Core i5+

Pretty standard specs that you need. Price range is pretty easy.

If you want the touch screen ultrabook: http://configure.us.dell.com/dellsto...&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19&ref=2065int_anav

If you don't want touch screen: http://configure.us.dell.com/dellsto...ron-15r-5521&c=us&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19

I might be a little biased since I resell probably about 200 of these units a week, but you know.  
 
mdsh00
Topic Author
Posts: 3968
Joined: Mon May 17, 2004 11:28 am

RE: Laptop Buying Advice Needed

Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:55 am

Quoting darthluke12694 (Reply 1):
Now a days, pretty much any laptop brand is good. Dell, HP, Toshiba, Samsung, Sony, even Acer are all good brands.

What have you heard about ASUS? They have some pretty good looking laptops and I know they make some good PC components. My geriatric laptop is an HP and while I would like to stay loyal, I tried out the new ones and that touchpad really irks me (why cant they make it smooth like everyone else).

Quoting Geezer (Reply 2):
until I bought her a new Kindle Fire when they first came out; since then, the Dell has mostly served as a "dust magnet"

I thought long and hard about going tablet only however given that I would need it for work, I didn't want to run into problems. That is part of the reason I'm also trying to stay away from the Surface Tablet. Maybe I'll get one later on the side just for fun, haha.


Thanks again everyone. One other question; I keep hearing there are going to be a lot of fancy new laptop styles and types coming out next month. Any truth to this and how "revolutionary" will it be?
"Look Lois, the two symbols of the Republican Party: an elephant, and a big fat white guy who is threatened by change."
 
Ken777
Posts: 9046
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 5:39 am

RE: Laptop Buying Advice Needed

Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:14 am

Quoting Geezer (Reply 2):
I'm currently using a 3 month old, 27 inch iMac with 16 gigs of RAM, and a TB of HD; i

You're not a geek, but you have a computer that a geek would love. LMAO!

I've been drooling, but wanted to wait until after my surgery. Now that 27" is looking nice for me.

For a lot of people a tablet works really well. My son-in-law uses an iPad when traveling with his band, but takes a bluetooth keypad along with him. Works out well for him.

Depending on what your OS demands are the MacBook Air is a great computer for the lap. Not exactly below your target level, but a solid computer. You can also run a wide range of Windows, DOS, etc under Parallels. There is also a wide range of medical apps available - OsiriX works well and you can even have an iPad version if you want.
 
ouboy79
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Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2001 1:48 pm

RE: Laptop Buying Advice Needed

Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:15 am

Quoting mdsh00 (Reply 4):
Thanks again everyone. One other question; I keep hearing there are going to be a lot of fancy new laptop styles and types coming out next month. Any truth to this and how "revolutionary" will it be?

The major new push is the Ultrabook brand. It is across all the manufacturers. Essentially brings the touchscreen to laptops in a more mainstream way to fully utilize Windows 8.
 
darthluke12694
Posts: 185
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:47 am

RE: Laptop Buying Advice Needed

Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:39 pm

Quoting mdsh00 (Reply 4):
What have you heard about ASUS?

Asus is probably fine. I don't think it is as popular as the others, but should be a fine laptop.
KBNA - "To most people, the sky is the limit. To those who love aviation, the sky is home."
 
ouboy79
Posts: 4111
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2001 1:48 pm

RE: Laptop Buying Advice Needed

Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:10 pm

Quoting darthluke12694 (Reply 7):
Asus is probably fine. I don't think it is as popular as the others, but should be a fine laptop.

ASUS puts out a lot of good quality products. I use their motherboards for all my system builds.
 
L0VE2FLY
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Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:54 pm

RE: Laptop Buying Advice Needed

Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:30 pm

Quoting darthluke12694 (Reply 7):
Asus is probably fine. I don't think it is as popular as the others, but should be a fine laptop.

It's just as good as the bigger and more popular brands, my cousin has been using one for 5+ years and it's still going strong.

ASUS is the world's largest manufacturer of motherboards, a lot of big brand laptops have ASUS motherboards.
 
mdsh00
Topic Author
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Joined: Mon May 17, 2004 11:28 am

RE: Laptop Buying Advice Needed

Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:21 pm

Felt like I needed to revive and old thread. There are some models that I'm interested in. I know they aren't the same specs but trying to get some opinions if it is worth the extra price. I can't find a Samsung of the same config online for a similar price:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Samsung+...6576740&skuId=6774657#tab=overview

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834230598

Any recommendations
"Look Lois, the two symbols of the Republican Party: an elephant, and a big fat white guy who is threatened by change."
 
darthluke12694
Posts: 185
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:47 am

RE: Laptop Buying Advice Needed

Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:58 pm

Quoting mdsh00 (Reply 10):

Felt like I needed to revive and old thread. There are some models that I'm interested in. I know they aren't the same specs but trying to get some opinions if it is worth the extra price. I can't find a Samsung of the same config online for a similar price:

For what you stated you would use the laptop for, the Asus would probably be fine. However, the Samsung would offer better performance should you ever need to use your laptop any high performance needs.

Personally, I would go for the Samsung. But if you absolutely sure you won't need it for any high performance needs, go with the Asus.
KBNA - "To most people, the sky is the limit. To those who love aviation, the sky is home."
 
mdsh00
Topic Author
Posts: 3968
Joined: Mon May 17, 2004 11:28 am

RE: Laptop Buying Advice Needed

Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:51 am

Quoting darthluke12694 (Reply 11):

I actually ended up comparing the Series 7 with a Series 5 ultra which was core i5 and 14" and had almost decided on that until I came across this:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Asus---1...3.p?id=1218806578593&skuId=6775213

Which I ultimately ended up getting. I'm liking it so far.
"Look Lois, the two symbols of the Republican Party: an elephant, and a big fat white guy who is threatened by change."
 
ImperialEagle
Posts: 2238
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2006 10:53 am

RE: Laptop Buying Advice Needed

Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:18 pm

I purchased a new Dell lap-top last year. I chose Dell out of customer loyalty having owned two of their desktops.
I also ordered a new wireless printer and got the "extended warranties" on both. The lap-top is a Windows7/i7Core with JBL speakers.You get the idea----it's not a cheap lap-top. From day one the lap-top refused to communicate with the printer. I started the process of calling customer service to remedy the situation.

The HELL began. I got passed from one hustler to another for hours. I was deceived. lied to, given misinformation and was passed from one droid to another for hours on end. Every time I called them it was the same story. This went on for over eighteen months. I finally took them to small claims court which forced their hand. Suddenly they were able to trouble-shoot the problem correctly. All I wanted was to use the printer. Ridiculous.

So what I learned from this ordeal is that Dell will not honor either their original factory warranty or their extended warranty unless you threaten them with legal action. At this point I wouldn't buy a paper-clip from Dell.
If I go for another lap-top it will be an Acer or something inexpensive.
So beware!
"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough!"
 
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kngkyle
Crew
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RE: Laptop Buying Advice Needed

Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:59 pm

Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 13):
I purchased a new Dell lap-top last year. I chose Dell out of customer loyalty having owned two of their desktops.
I also ordered a new wireless printer and got the "extended warranties" on both. The lap-top is a Windows7/i7Core with JBL speakers.You get the idea----it's not a cheap lap-top. From day one the lap-top refused to communicate with the printer. I started the process of calling customer service to remedy the situation.

The HELL began. I got passed from one hustler to another for hours. I was deceived. lied to, given misinformation and was passed from one droid to another for hours on end. Every time I called them it was the same story. This went on for over eighteen months. I finally took them to small claims court which forced their hand. Suddenly they were able to trouble-shoot the problem correctly. All I wanted was to use the printer. Ridiculous.

So what I learned from this ordeal is that Dell will not honor either their original factory warranty or their extended warranty unless you threaten them with legal action. At this point I wouldn't buy a paper-clip from Dell.
If I go for another lap-top it will be an Acer or something inexpensive.
So beware!

Strange. When one of my hard drives stopped working on my computer that was still under warranty, Dell overnighted me a new one and told me to just put the old one in the box the new one came with and give it to Fedex. I thought it was weird that they would just send me a new one with almost no questions asked and without even being sent the old one first. I could have just lied and got a new free hard drive... So I was happy, but it shouldn't have broke in the first place since it was less than 6 months old...

I don't think one brand is considerably better than another, they all pretty much use the same parts from the same factories. So go with what has the best specs for the lowest price.
 
Gemuser
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RE: Laptop Buying Advice Needed

Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:13 am

Quoting mdsh00 (Reply 4):
What have you heard about ASUS?

I have an ASUS TF700T tablet running the latest Android, an ASUS netbook running Windows 7 and a desktop with an ASUS motherboard running Windows 7.
Love them all!!! Have had no problems with any of them.

Gemuser
DC23468910;B72172273373G73873H74374475275376377L77W;A319 320321332333343;BAe146;C402;DHC6;F27;L188;MD80MD85
 
ImperialEagle
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RE: Laptop Buying Advice Needed

Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:25 am

Quoting kngkyle (Reply 14):
So I was happy, but it shouldn't have broke in the first place since it was less than 6 months old...

You are a lucky one. If there is a hustler in India, I spoke with them all. Amazing how many of them assume the general public is stupid for buying their products!

Quoting mdsh00 (Reply 4):
What have you heard about ASUS

I have two friends with Asus products that are very happy with them.
"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough!"
 
Ken777
Posts: 9046
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 5:39 am

RE: Laptop Buying Advice Needed

Tue Feb 19, 2013 5:29 pm

Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 13):
I finally took them to small claims court which forced their hand. Suddenly they were able to trouble-shoot the problem correctly.

Well Done!

Dell used to have outstanding customer service. Real Dell employees working to keep you loyal. Then they went super cheap, moving everything to third party companies in India. The backlash from their corporate customers was sufficient to get Dell to rapidly bring back Real Dell support to them, but obviously not the individual customers. I went through a week of misery with their dumbed down service then moved to a computer with the top customer service ratings - which is how I ended up with Apple.
 
dallasnewark
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RE: Laptop Buying Advice Needed

Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:28 pm

Here's my two cents regarding Laptops
.
We get the new ones every 18 monts and I do change my personal ones every two years.

ASUS - It is one of the best laptops out there, it has the least amount of issues or those little annoying bugs that some others do.

DELL - The laptop does its job, but the battery overheats. They claim to solve the problem, but I just got the new one from work, and it still gets really hot from time to time

HP - They used to be really good a few years ago, unfortunately the quality has slipped off significantly, issues with the WiFi card and other little annoying things. It's a shame, they used to be a great company

SONY VAIO - One of the worst Laptops out there in my opininon. I have sepnt $1400 on the custom made VAIO and it turned out to be the absolut worst laptop I have ever owned. It contstanly overheats, the components don't mesh well, it's really loud, the Sony Supoort Center is a joke.
B732/3/4/5/6/7/8/9, B742/4, B752/3,B762/3/4, B772/3, A306, A318/9/20/21, A332/3, A343/6, MD80/83/88, L1011, TU104/134, F
 
comorin
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RE: Laptop Buying Advice Needed

Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:28 am

This thread is useless with Klaus  

I too have been looking for a laptop and I am partial to Lenovo. I really like the red button pointer on the Thinkpads. Both the Yoga and the Carbon are my candidates in this area.

I have had really bad experiences with HP. My geek friends really like the Toshiba Portege and the ASUS.

Good luck!
 
damirc
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RE: Laptop Buying Advice Needed

Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:03 am

I would suggest looking at the following:

http://www.amazon.com/Acer-TimelineU...15-6-Inch-Ultrabook/dp/B0085H660S/

I have the previous model (Acer TimelineX 4830TG) and I'm very happy with it. It was cheap, it has very long autonomy (6hrs is quite a realistic expectation) and it gave me now headaches thus far. I've previously owned a Dell Inspiron and a Lenovo Thinkpad T400 and I'd say it does compare favorably with those two. I will admit that the build quality is not on the same level as a Thinkpad, but it costs less than half of a Thinkpad, so I'm quite willing to live with this compromise.

Any model you pick I would advise you to read a few reviews (if possible end-user reviews) to feel comfortable about picking up any given laptop. Amazon reviews ia good start and http://www.notebookcheck.net is a good site to check out before buying.

D.
 
compensateme
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RE: Laptop Buying Advice Needed

Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:37 pm

Quoting comorin (Reply 19):
I too have been looking for a laptop and I am partial to Lenovo. I really like the red button pointer on the Thinkpads. Both the Yoga and the Carbon are my candidates in this area.

ThinkPads remain excellent products, but Lenovo's consumer products (Essentials & IdeaCenter/IdeaPads) have shady reputations for build quality. The system board failed without any warning shortly after my IdeaPad was a year old (and thus out of warranty; more recently, the system board on my 11-month-old IdeaCentre decided it would no longer recognize USB devices.

I ended up harvesting the memory and hard drive from the dead notebook and inserting them into my 8-year-old Dell - surprisingly, they were compatible. After a clean install of Windows 7, it runs great ... but unfortunately still weighs 7.1 lbs.
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