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  1. #1
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    Default Advice on which of 2 Laptop/Notebooks to buy

    Hi. A question about laptops/ notebooks.
    I am wanting to buy a laptop as a birthday gift for a friend. I don't use laptops, all desktops for me. What I would like for the item to have are the following:
    8GB DDR3 (faster the better), SSD pref M.2 NVMe,( 2x NVMe or a 1 NVME with a Storage space for 2.5inch SSD or HDD, Quad core CPU, or Dual core, FHD 1920x1080, USB3.1 or 3.2, USB C, CD/DVD DL Optic Drive, Battery life 8 hour minimum before recharge, Touchscreen, Pen.
    I am trying to decide between two used models. Both are in different shops.

    1/ Toshiba Satellite P840, 4GB DDR3, Intel i5 Dual-core,(either Intel Core i5 3317U or Intel Core i5 3337U ... I am not sure which exactly), 500GB HDD, Display: 14.00 inch, 16:9, 1366 x 768 pixels, CD/DVD Optic Drive, W10 x64 Home, No touch screen and no space for a 2nd HDD, tidy, price $NZ470.00
    The Closest I can get to a description of this device is at this link
    https://www.notebookcheck.net/Toshib...s.84452.0.html

    2/Acer TravelMate Spin B3, 4GB DDR4,(Speed unknown) 128GB NVMe SSD, FHD, Touchscreen, Pen, 2x USB Type-A 3.2 Gen2, I x USB Type-C Boxed with all manuals, Looks unused! Running W10 x64 Pro Academic Price $NZ389.00 Cons: NO Optic Drive... store said they are outa date now! I like Optic drives to burn and play CD's / DVD's. (The intended recipient doesn't have a CD or DVD player... in 2021!?) Small Screen size.
    I can send the HP V216 LCD VGA Monitor I have and no longer use, just an extra option.
    https://laptopmedia.com/laptop-specs...te-spin-b3-14/

    I am not too sure what the W10 Pro Academic OS is... I presume 'Academic' means the same as Educational.
    I want to install MS Office 2016 Pro Plus and Adobe CC Photoshop. The Toshiba Satellite P840 store person hummed and haaa'd when I asked if the device would run those 2 programs... I can add another 4GB RAM or buy a new matched pair of 8GB for $40-$50 and slot them into the device.
    The question is: Which of those two devices I am considering buying is the better of the two? Both of them have Pro's and Cons
    The TravelMate appeals and I can buy an external Optic Drive new for under $50.00 but will it run MSOffice and PShop?? It stated that the CPU was 1.1GHz Quad. It has the Intel Pentium Silver N5030 CPU.
    The intended recipient of the device is not a Gamer such as I so there's no need for something ultra-powerful The good thing is the battery life is 12 hours (depending on what is being done of course but it will play a 3-4 hour movie without dying in the last half of the movie)

    Opinions appreciated and thanks in advance.
    Last edited by kioti; 19-08-2021 at 05:07 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Advice on which of 2 Laptop/Notebooks to buy

    On checking Google, I got this review https://www.theverge.com/22339981/ac...features-price . Also Harvey Norman are advertising one for $798 new.

    Following on from the review above, I have read (sometime ago) that Acer were more a budget type constructer - be that as it may.

    Also do you want to be able to ensure that your purchase will be able to go to Windows 11 in the future, You should check the specs required for Windows 11 as they are quite onerous and might affect your thinking. It would be too bad if your gift was suspect after 2025 when Windows 10 will be unsupported! Not sure about the Toshiba but I personally think it is a better brand.
    Last edited by Bryan; 19-08-2021 at 06:57 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member piroska's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on which of 2 Laptop/Notebooks to buy

    Quote Originally Posted by kioti View Post

    1/ Toshiba Satellite P840,

    2/Acer TravelMate Spin B3,

    .
    Acer is crap. Stick with quality parts, so of the 2 that would be the Toshiba.
    Ex-pctek

  4. #4
    Senior Member 1101's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on which of 2 Laptop/Notebooks to buy

    Avoid a notebook that uses old mechanical HD's : ie that Tosh. Ive seen so many where the old HD is running so slow its barely usable.
    The HD on that Acer is too small
    Avoid gimmicks like "spin" or "convertible" if buying used. ie the Acer
    Go for a 15" , not a 14" . Unless you have a need for smaller notebooks

    "The good thing is the battery life is 12 hours"
    You will NEVER get that on a used older laptop, is the safe assumption.

    With used notebooks , assume the batt is on its last legs . Assume you will need to install a SSD .

  5. #5
    Computer Technician wainuitech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on which of 2 Laptop/Notebooks to buy

    many people dont care to listen to this, BUT anything cheap is just that cheap rubbish -- You get what you pay for.

    Seen Countless number of people that think a cheap laptop will perform well --- 99% of the time it doesn't.

    Laptops like Pentiums -- Forget it, they wont have the power to run most apps well. Photoshop can require a lot more grunt depending on what you are doing.

    Just a suggestion -- have a look at Lenovo's You can buy them directly from lenovo's site cheaper than most other places.

    Hope this link works https://www.lenovo.com/nz/en/d/laptops-by-specs?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Advice on which of 2 Laptop/Notebooks to buy

    [QUOTE=Bryan;1309170]On checking Google, I got this review https://www.theverge.com/22339981/ac...features-price . Also Harvey Norman are advertising one for $798 new.

    Following on from the review above, I have read (sometime ago) that Acer were more a budget type constructer - be that as it may.

    Also do you want to be able to ensure that your purchase will be able to go to Windows 11 in the future, You should check the specs required for Windows 11 as they are quite onerous and might affect your thinking. It would be too bad if your gift was suspect after 2025 when Windows 10 will be unsupported! Not sure about the Toshiba but I personally think it is a better brand.[/QUO
    Hi Bryan
    Thanks for your reply. That Acer TravelMate P6 in the link you sent is 3 to 4 times what I wish to spend. $500 Max is my limit. It is also a Business Laptop. If I opt for a business laptop I would be looking at the Lenova Thinkpad T460 which are appealing. Decent enough specs but no optic drive. As said I can buy one of them for under $50.
    As for W11 I will be quite happy with W10 until it's unsupported and cast aside like W7 was.

    Thanks

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Advice on which of 2 Laptop/Notebooks to buy

    Quote Originally Posted by piroska View Post
    Acer is crap. Stick with quality parts, so of the 2 that would be the Toshiba.
    piroska

    Hi and thanks. I might consider a Lenova Thinkpad T460 and buy external Optic Drive for it. I would like to have USB 3.1 at least and USB C but that means I looking for something from 2016 to now.

    Thanks

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Advice on which of 2 Laptop/Notebooks to buy

    Quote Originally Posted by 1101 View Post
    Avoid a notebook that uses old mechanical HD's : ie that Tosh. Ive seen so many where the old HD is running so slow its barely usable.
    The HD on that Acer is too small
    Avoid gimmicks like "spin" or "convertible" if buying used. ie the Acer
    Go for a 15" , not a 14" . Unless you have a need for smaller notebooks

    "The good thing is the battery life is 12 hours"
    You will NEVER get that on a used older laptop, is the safe assumption.

    With used notebooks , assume the batt is on its last legs . Assume you will need to install a SSD .
    1101
    Hi. The Toshiba has Mechanical HDD the Acer has SSD. Yep 128GB is too small. I was thinking I replace it with a 500GB Seagate Barracuda costing $150, or a 1TB Barracuda for about $200. Image the existing 128GB in the Acer and place it on the new SSD I thinking of getting.
    'Spin' 'Flip' 'Convertible' 2 in 1 all seem to be the in thing at the mo. Not really my cuppa tea and the screen on the Acer TravelMate is small.
    As for the Battery Life.... I have no idea how old the battery is and how much use it has had in the past. As I said, The Acer looked pretty near Brand New, including the manuals, paperwork that was in the original box. Thought it was going Cheap at $389 considering the Touchscreen, SSD FHD etc.. especially in a Cash Converters shop.... I wonder why it's not $400-$500+. RSP for them shows about $800-$900+

    Thanks

  9. #9
    Computer Technician wainuitech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on which of 2 Laptop/Notebooks to buy

    Quote Originally Posted by kioti View Post
    The Toshiba has Mechanical HDD the Acer has SSD. Yep 128GB is too small. I was thinking I replace it with a 500GB Seagate Barracuda costing $150, or a 1TB Barracuda for about $200. Image the existing 128GB in the Acer and place it on the new SSD I thinking of getting.
    '
    Be VERY careful with those cheaper options and SSD drives. Had a laptop a customer gave me to upgrade about 3 weeks ago, had a 128GB Drive-- The Gotya!! was it was a inbuilt Drive/Chip-- and couldn't be removed and upgraded to a larger drive.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Advice on which of 2 Laptop/Notebooks to buy

    Quote Originally Posted by wainuitech View Post
    many people dont care to listen to this, BUT anything cheap is just that cheap rubbish -- You get what you pay for.

    Seen Countless number of people that think a cheap laptop will perform well --- 99% of the time it doesn't.

    Laptops like Pentiums -- Forget it, they wont have the power to run most apps well. Photoshop can require a lot more grunt depending on what you are doing.

    Just a suggestion -- have a look at Lenovo's You can buy them directly from lenovo's site cheaper than most other places.

    Hope this link works https://www.lenovo.com/nz/en/d/laptops-by-specs?
    wainuitech
    Hi. Yep I know the maxim ya get what ya pay for... pay peanuts and get a monkey. As I said in reply to 1101, I wonder why the shop selling the Acer has it priced at $380 and NOT $500+ considering that it appears unused, is in immaculate condition, Touchscreen, FHD, SSD (albeit only 128GB) and 4GB DDR4 2400MHz.
    I was looking into Lenova Thinkpad T460 a week + ago, Business laptops, no Optic Drive and have good reviews. They getting on a bit now though.
    Those shown in the Lenova Link you sent are all the recent offerings and the price is 3-4 times over that which I am allowing ($500)
    As for the Toshiba, it is for sale from a Laptop Repair store here and I think it originally may have had an Intel i3 and he has put the i5 into it. Just a thought. I also don't like it having W10 Home. To go to Pro means buying a license from MS.
    I am not keen on the Mechanical HDD, prefer SSD/NVMe if it can be got but... something might have to fall off the back of a truck for me to get lucky.
    Past 2 weeks, I have been looking through Trade me for something suitable, but buying from there can be a gamble.
    I also want to install the Bitdefender Total security 2020 that I use and have 3 more computers I can protect in my yearly subscription.
    I contacted a Shop in Nelson named Affordable Computers, I used them a year+ ago to update the BIOS in my Gigaboard MB to enable my running the AMD Ryzen 5 2400G APU I had and asked if they had anything. They had a couple I will list here: They are both above the max I wished to spend, but......
    HP ProBook 640 G2 6th Gen i5 cost $689 (has the optic drive and USB-C) Doesn't state what OS is installed
    Toshiba Portege Z30-C cost $659
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by kioti; 19-08-2021 at 01:10 PM.

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