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Thread: Looking for a new laptop. Need some opinions.

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    Default Looking for a new laptop. Need some opinions.



    Ok. My laptop took a spill off of the desk and is not repairable. Took it for a diagnostic and it just can't be fixed. It's an older computer (circa 2009) and they don't have a source for parts. Insurance is paying me to replace it (less depreciation and deductible, of course), so I will not be getting as much as I had hoped. Still, I'm getting a new computer for about $300 less than it would cost me otherwise. Still, I'm not going to buy another $1k laptop. I'm looking to keep it at $500 or less (the wife wants a new Macbook, so I'm limiting my budget to help with that).

    I'm looking at a few computers and wanted to see what others opinions were on the topic. Is there a laptop that you like around that price range? I've found two in particular that have piqued my interest. Both are Dell Inspirons. One is a touchscreen with 4GB of RAM, the other is a non-touchscreen with 6GB of RAM. I'm wondering if those computer gurus here on FR4x4 think that I could get away with the 4GB touchscreen, of if you think I should go with the 6GB.

    Primary use is for school, but I do like games on occasion. I'll be out of state for quite a while in a couple of months, so I may play more games then because I will be away from my family and will have some time to do so.Any help is greatly appreciated.
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    Default Re: Looking for a new laptop. Need some opinions.



    I know more RAM never really hurts, but the touchscreen is really convenient.
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    Default Re: Looking for a new laptop. Need some opinions.



    i have had nothing but problems with dell laptops, but i love there desktops.

    After owning many different laptops, Toshiba and Asus are my top. I love my asus but we have a toshiba that is working just fine that we bought in 2005. I would suggest an asus but they can be a little pricy, i have never bought a laptop over 500$ so yea!

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    Default Re: Looking for a new laptop. Need some opinions.



    I have had 4 Dell laptops over the years and they have all been great. However, a $500 laptop is probably not going to be all that good. I usually end up spending around $1000-$1200 on a laptop. But then they last 5-6 years. I may just have different performance expectations of computers though.

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    Default Re: Looking for a new laptop. Need some opinions.



    So, am I to take it that you are getting a Windows OS laptop and your wife will be getting a MacBook? Or is it there will be one laptop - the MacBook?

    If you're going for a WinOS device you need / should consider which OS you want - Windows 7 (still orderable) or Windows 8 (or hopefully the just recently release 8.1). If you wish touchscreen - go the win 8/8.1 route as touch with Win7 isn't great (7 wasn't really designed for touch but 8/8.1 is) - BUT, if you have not played with Win8, visit a demo machine and spend 20 minutes playing with it.

    Win 8 has two modes - tiles or metro (whatever name MS decided upon) and desktop (what you're mostly used to). The machine starts into metro and you "click an icon" to jump over to desktop. The one and only issue I have with Win8 is that IT HAS NO START BUTTON. If it did, I likely would not be griping. MS is supposedly "fixing" this glaring issue with the 8.1 release. I have yet to see 8.1 and how well they returned the start button.

    With Win7 there is an evolutionary change (you can sit at it and be productive w/o learning). With Win8 it is more of an revolutionary change (some learn'n might be needed). I sat in front of a Win8 system (in Desktop mode) and was dumfounded for 20 minutes until I figured out I had to move the mouse to the screen corners and right-click. Additionally, the "charms" menu appears from the right side of the screen.

    So, if you're going the 8 / 8.1 route, do consider touch screen. Perhaps consider going with a "convertable" - a laptop system where the screen opens up and rotates all the way back against the case - rotating 355degrees and not just 120degrees. Rotating/flipping back onto itself changes it into tablet mode. Systems that do this will be on the smaller size as you would not wish to be holding, in tablet mode, a heavy system. If you're looking at 15"+ screen size, tablet mode is perhaps not an option (too heavy).

    So, once you've selected your OS - then it's for the spec's:
    - RAM - IMO, 4GB, is acceptable. 6 or 8, fine if the price isn't crazy. I bumped my desktop use Win7 box from 4 to 8 and noticed only a slightly perceptable speed diff.
    - SCREEN: Buy the size and type - (touch & glare or anti-glare) you desire.
    - Hard Drive: How much size / capacity do you NEED. If you need more than ~200GB, go with a conventional mechanical (spinning platter) drive. Capacity is huge for their cost. If you do not need a large capacity, consider going Solid State as they are quite fast (and the HDD is the slowest of the three major components - speeding up the slowest component will give the best bang-for-the-buck for a faster system). $100 will buy a 128GB solid state drive or a 2000GB mechanical drive.
    - CPU: Assuming the system will not meet an early end-of-life (no giggles toward ya, it's always said) - buy the fastest cpu your budget is comfortable with. By buying the fastest CPU you're buying TIME before you say "it's too slow, I want a faster system".

    As for company. I'm happy with Dell and Toshiba. Lexmark systems (sold by IBM to a Chinese company - QC is my concern) still seem decent / solid. Sony, their support doesn't impress me as much. Asus - long time company that makes parts but a new name in the U.S. for full systems- I would consider one of their systems.

    0.02
    Qualification for my remarks:
    www.ColoradoComputerLab.com

    EDIT: Oh, and, moving to some forum I have not figured out... Either wanted to buy or chat - most likely chat - I should check out the guidelines for wanted forums.

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    Default Re: Looking for a new laptop. Need some opinions.



    Thanks everyone. The computer will be new, so most likely Windows 8 OS. And yes, the Macbook will be the wife's. I'm thinking that I will personally go with the 6GB non-touch. But I still have a few other brands to look at. Been on the hunt for a while and I think I'm starting to irritate the wife.
    ___________
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    Ask me about my attention deficit disorder or pie or my cat. A dog. I have a bike. Do you like TV? I saw a rock. Hi.

    Without me, it's just "aweso"

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    Default Re: Looking for a new laptop. Need some opinions.



    Make sure you look a MicroCenter. They don't always have everything listed on their website, or in their flyer. Make sure on their site you browse the clearance stuff too, as it is in a separate tab. I think I paid $225 for my refurb Toshiba about 3 years ago. I think it has 4gb, but I would need to check. Has been flawless.

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    Default Re: Looking for a new laptop. Need some opinions.



    I suspect it's not an option to have just one but if it is you could do a MacBook running both Windows (7 I believe) and Mac OS as a pretty sweet setup. My daughter got tired of her PC's failing and went back to a new version Mac. Since she needs Windows for some work related apps I installed Windows for her. She says it's flawless and loves it.
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