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  1. #1
    Senior Moment Tony's Avatar
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    Default New laptop specs

    My tech-challenged friend (see previous thread) has decided she needs to get a new laptop, and wants me to help her choose.
    This is a machine that is used for her office work and some social stuff - no video/graphics work, no gaming.
    My initial thought is that she could almost go into a store and pick anything at random and it would do the job - would that be right? I would steer her away from Chromebooks, but apart from that the main criteria would seem to be screen size and price.

    Any opinions?
    We are all but temporary files on the great HDD of life.

  2. #2
    Senior Member 1101's Avatar
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    Default Re: New laptop specs

    Its pretty much you get what you pay for . Brand isnt that important, they are all made using other companies parts .
    Pay $600 , get a $600 laptop thats going to be aweful :-)

    In general ,
    go for a 15" display .
    a SSD Hard drive is a must have . 500Gb prefered, but 256Gb SSD HD is OK if they dont have alot of photos, movies etc.
    Avoid laptops with 2 Hard drives : just to confusing for non techy types: the 1st HD tends to be far too small & thats the one that gets filled up & the 2nd ignored
    An i3 CPU with 8Gb RAM would be my recommended minimum spec. The retailer will be able to upgrade RAM to 8Gb (if not, buy from someone who will)
    Do they want/need a DVD\CD drive ? Many no longer have that
    See if the new laptop supports 5.8Ghz wifi
    See how many USB ports it has , how many USB ports does she need ?

    Its going to need to be de-crapified . It will usually be pre-loaded with uneeded & unwanted crap the manufacturer was bribed(paid) to install
    If it has any 3rd party antivirus installed , uninstall that. It will be a 30day-3month trial, and when it expires her laptop will be unprotected .
    Last edited by 1101; 09-07-2020 at 10:56 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Moment Tony's Avatar
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    Default Re: New laptop specs

    Thanks 1101, your thoughts pretty much match mine. What I'm not sure is what is going to be awful about a $600 machine? Possibly it will be a Chromebook - don't want that, probably a tiny screen - don't think she will want that either - but what else?
    I agree about the SSD, that's a no-brainer these days, IMO. I haven't checked, but I suspect 256GB would be enough for her. Don't know about the optical drive. As you say, you rarely see one integrated these days. I guess she can always get an external one if necessary.
    We are all but temporary files on the great HDD of life.

  4. #4
    Senior Member 1101's Avatar
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    Default Re: New laptop specs

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony View Post
    What I'm not sure is what is going to be awful about a $600 machine?.

    Cover your arse, recommend a GOOD laptop,
    give her the option of a cheapie if she doesnt want to spend $$, but make sure to say its not what you would normally recommend
    You dont want to be blamed for recommending something that turns out to be a dud

    My mother bought a $600 cheapy . Nothing but a pain in the a for her, just too slow .
    Some of the Asus cheapies seemed OK , but I'd never recommend one.

  5. #5
    Senior Member piroska's Avatar
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    Default Re: New laptop specs

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony View Post
    This is a machine that is used for her office work and some social stuff - no video/graphics work, no gaming.
    My initial thought is that she could almost go into a store and pick anything at random and it would do the job -

    Yes.
    Ex-pctek

  6. #6
    Computer Technician wainuitech's Avatar
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    Default Re: New laptop specs

    Anything worth having is going to be over $1000, especially if you want a 15.6" screen, as trends change so do prices, the latest "trend - Standard" Size is 14", so 15.6 are going to be more expensive.

    You more than likely wont find many i3 CPU's as they are now normally i5 or i7. This is my own experience but I tend to stay away from selling anything AMD, unless they really want cheap, but I also warn against it and say why. Most of the problems I deal with esp with graphics are usually AMD.

    One Brand I sell is lenovo, only had one come back and that was to replace a screen, the owner found out they don't bounce to well down steps

    Several of my customers have also brought them directly from lenovo at a cheaper price than any Store.
    Update / Upgrades = Replace old bugs with new ones.

  7. #7
    Senior Member 1101's Avatar
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    Default Re: New laptop specs

    a couple of cheap examples, if you must .

    https://www.pbtech.co.nz/product/NBK...5-8GB-256GB-SS
    Cheap $600ish : 8Gb RAM & SSD were a surprise at that price
    15" screen
    8Gb RAM
    SSD HD
    but , relatively slower AMD CPU.


    https://www.dicksmith.co.nz/dn/buy/h...ok-6vv94pa-hp/
    Cheap $500 ish
    try & get something from an actual store though
    Intel CPU
    15" screen
    but old mechanical HD . It may be as slow as a pig with Win10 , but still useable if patient with it
    Ive sold quite a few higher Spec'ed HP 250's (they are OK, nothing special)

  8. #8
    Computer Technician wainuitech's Avatar
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    Default Re: New laptop specs

    Both those linked in 1101's post are basically bottom line, ones a celeron the AMD not much better. Correct in saying "useable if patient " just don't expect much though.

    The processors in Intel go, Celeron, Pentium, i3, i5, i7. Then higher still ( server cpu's etc)

    Thats one of the problems sometimes, people go buying low spec laptops , all they see is the price, get them home and then complain about lack of performance, its really a bit hard to say well you brought a piece of Sh*** So I put it the polite way and say along the lines of, I'll tweak it to the best I can, but at the end of the day its working to within its Specifications (they generally figure out what I'm actually meaning )
    Update / Upgrades = Replace old bugs with new ones.

  9. #9
    Senior Moment Tony's Avatar
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    Default Re: New laptop specs

    Thanks everyone. I'm thinking Intel I5 probably. I like Lenovo also. Cost is moot at the moment as I haven't really had the proper conversation/analysis yet. I just know she is not very flush with cash, although it will be a business expense which may ease the pain a bit. I'm also guessing 15" screen, which is what she has at the moment.
    I'll post again when I have a clearer idea of exactly what she is looking at.
    We are all but temporary files on the great HDD of life.

  10. #10
    amateur expert dugimodo's Avatar
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    Default Re: New laptop specs

    Would an ex lease business class hp be worth considering? they are all over the place for fairly cheap. Some places will upgrade to an SSD and add extra ram.
    Something like https://www.pbtech.co.nz/product/EXN...-Core-I5-5300u

    I've owned a few cheaper laptops and have never been happy with them, last year I got one of these https://www.pbtech.co.nz/product/NBK...ing-Laptop-156 and it's great. But I game a bit so it's a bit focussed towards that.

    The problems with cheap laptops are many
    Low res screens with terrible viewing angles and poor brightness
    Lack of ports
    Lack of storage
    slow hard drive
    under powered CPU
    not enough RAM
    Cheap plastic construction, easily broken
    Ryzen 2700X, 16Gb DDR4RAM, 512GB M.2 NVME SSD, MSI GTX1070

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