Laptop Selection Help

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by AverageDiser, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. AverageDiser

    AverageDiser 'Cause we can't all be perfect

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    Dd (11) has a netbook that seems to be on its' last legs. I've been looking around to try to find a budget (under 300) replacement, preferably a laptop since she does online classes. Other than that, mostly web browsing and word processing. For the most part I've been looking at refurbs, and have found one (a Thinkpad) with the following specs:
    1) FAST Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0GHz Processor. 2) 2.0GB DDR2 memory. 3) Large 80GB Hard disk. 4) Fast Wireless 802.11g (WiFi) and wired internet.
    5) DVD (watch DVD movies). 6) 14.1" Widescreen Display. 7) Includes a 56k modem + 10/100/1000 ethernet, VGA and audio output, 3 USB 2.0 ports, 1394 Firewire. 8) Battery included. 9) AC charger / adapter included. Software included: 1) Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium fresh preloaded.

    This falls within the budget, and looks like a great deal to me. My concern is the age thing. Original manufactoring was in 2007. While I consider myself relatively knowledgeable, I wanted some second opinions from people more tech savvy than I am. Totally open to suggestions, preferably laptops..just under $300. ** I did look at chromebooks, but not hot on the pita to print, and that you can't download to it.
     
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  3. AverageDiser

    AverageDiser 'Cause we can't all be perfect

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  4. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon DIS Veteran

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    My biggest concern is the 80Gig hard drive. That's not a lot.
    My second concern is the Processor. It's a little on the slow side.

    Google the manufacturer, model, & "review". Find out what the battery life is like.

    Also something to think about is what she'll use to do word processing on. Microsoft office is the gold standard, but costs money. There are a number of free knockoffs (LibreOffice, GoogleDocs, and OpenOffice are some).

    I don't understand why a laptop is necessary for online classes. Do you have a wireless router already at home? I would think you'd get more "bang for your buck" with a desktop model.
     
  5. AverageDiser

    AverageDiser 'Cause we can't all be perfect

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    Thank you, Sam. It comes with Office, and the battery life is around six hrs with normal use (with a new battery anyway). We have prepaid wireless, but her lectures eat that pretty quickly, so a lot of times we go to my mom's to use her wifi, hence the desire for something portable. I meant a laptop vs. a netbook, simply because the screen is so much larger. I can get the same model with a larger hard drive for a bit more, I thought 80 was a lot, lol. Our desktop is from around 2002 though, so almost anything is an upgrade! I'm definitely open to any suggestions!
     
  6. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon DIS Veteran

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    Find out if the Office it "comes with" is a demo version that's only good for 30 days. That's usually what happens. To use it longer, you'd need to pay for it.

    And prepaid wireless? Are you using a cell phone to connect? I understand the portability so she can use it at grandmothers, that's fine.

    80Gig is not big. I don't think it would last very long before you'd need to delete things to keep it operating. The more you "fill" a HD, the slower it can go. "Standard" hard drives now are 500Gig, FYI.
     
  7. AverageDiser

    AverageDiser 'Cause we can't all be perfect

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    It's prepaid wifi through internet to go, we get 8 gbs/month. I'll definitely check on the office also, thank you! Part of the reason I liked the Thinkpad was the durability factor (it's a T61), but I'm starting to wonder if I'd be better off getting a new hp laptop at walmart for the same price. The laptops now just seem flimsy to me, I guess.
     
  8. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon DIS Veteran

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    Ah, now I see, a portable hot spot. I personally would rank a bigger hard drive more important than durability, but that's just me.
     
  9. Micca

    Micca Where there's a will, there's an heir

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    Costco is a good place to look at laptops. Good prices, and they have a one-year warranty. I just think you're better off with something new with a warranty than taking a chance on a refurb. When I bought my latest laptop at Costco there was actually someone in the department that knew what they were talking about and helped me make a selection. :)
     
  10. Domo

    Domo Wotcha

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    You may be able to save some money if you don't mind the laptop shipping with Ubuntu Linux as opposed to Windows 7 or 8.
     
  11. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon DIS Veteran

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    The refurbs I get (on various items) come with the "new" warranty. That's assuming they're refurbed by the manufacturer.
     
  12. goofy4tink

    goofy4tink No tags...not needed! Transportation moderator Moderator

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    What would you recommend as an alternative to Microsoft Office. My dd needs it at school..she's been okay with whatever came with her Macbook Pro, but she is going to need more fairly soon. And when we bought our new laptop, we got Microsoft Office but never thought of her needing it, so got just the one time/single app.
     
  13. Domo

    Domo Wotcha

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    LibreOffice, no doubts. It's the natural progression of OpenOffice and is a darn nice office suite. For Macs, iWork is fantastic, fully compatible with MS Office but even better at the same time! Even IF you want the most current version of MS Office I'd urge you to wait and use LibreOffice for the time being - it's about the right time for an MS Office update (we've hopped from 2003 to 2007 and then 2010 - 2013 is to be expected.)
     
  14. MollyMom

    MollyMom Earning My Ears

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    Hi AverageDiser,
    Don't spend another minute looking at old laptops. Today's laptops are lightening speed compared to older ones. I purchased a great little lenovo laptop from their outlet. I just looked and they have some listed at $225 that are 'scratch and dent', others are new or refurbished. Mine was refurbished but I literally saved hundreds off retail price and it's still kicking a year later -- it does come with a warantee though. Not sure if I can leave a link, but I'll try it at the bottom. If not, just google lenovo outlet, click on "shop laptops", then sort the list by Price from low to high. You have to scroll through a couple pages for some reason. These are great little laptops. I don't think you'll be disappointed. Good luck! website: outlet.lenovo.com
     
  15. wiigirl

    wiigirl DIS Veteran

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    Microsoft Web Apps is free but won't install on the computer. http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/web-apps/

    or Google Docs


    -Open source installs
    OpenOffice
    LibreOffice
    FreeOffice
     
  16. Domo

    Domo Wotcha

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  17. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon DIS Veteran

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    Honestly tink, I'd have to experiment. I've used Google docs mainly for spreadsheets, and it gets the job done, but I don't think as easily as Office. I have some experience with Open Office, but it's been a while.

    My employer installed Libre Office on new computers, but I'm "special" enough :rotfl2: that I got to keep my version of MS Office (2007 version). Many years ago when I bought a desktop for the house, I purchased a 3-license (install on 3 computers) "student" version of MS Office. Since my DD was using the computer (and my wife's laptop), I figured we qualified. :rotfl2:

    My suggestion right now would be to try each version for at least a couple weeks if not a month. See which one "feels" right.
     
  18. tylerb123

    tylerb123 Earning My Ears

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    Get a dell there really good my dad has it and its so fast
     
  19. goofy4tink

    goofy4tink No tags...not needed! Transportation moderator Moderator

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    Thanks. I wish we had known that both my girls would have liked to have Office...we would have spent a little bit more and could have had up to five others use it!! But, that was only for a 2 week period, and we're about a month into the new computer. Looks like they can just fend for themselves!!
     
  20. mnrose

    mnrose Queen of all she surveys

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    2 GGB of RAM is not enough IMO. It will quickly bog down, especially as updates are added to the operating system. You need a minimum of 4 in my opinion.

    I second the vote to go to Costco. You can generally get a decent Acer machine in the $400 range, with ocassional sales to bring the price lower. They come with a warranty. Your used computer, from 2007 (!) will not. 2007 was the dark ages compared with where technology is today. It was "fast" in 2007, but now would be considered barely, barely adequate.

    Quick search on Costco pulled this one up:

    http://www.costco.com/Dell-Inspiron...Windows-7-Home-Premium.product.100026423.html

    $299. 4 GB of RAM, and 320 GB hard drive. WAY more computer than the think pad!

    Or this one...it's $399, but for that you get 6 GB of RAM and 500 GB hard drive.

    http://www.costco.com/Acer-Aspire-E1-Laptop,-Intel-Core-i3-3110M-2.4GHz.product.100032695.html
     
  21. Squidgyness

    Squidgyness DIS Veteran

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    That 2nd one is a real nice specification for the money. When it comes to laptops, $100 can save you from having to upgrade again next year at a higher cost.
     

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