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  1. #1
    Registered User egoatdoor's Avatar
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    Looking for advice on Laptop Computers

    Its time for me to go more modern and replace my nine year old HP Pavillion desktop computer.

    Me: Not well versed on all things high tech. I use my computer mainly for as an information source from the Internet and for keeping electronic files in Word and Excel. Have only Windows experience( none with Apple). Do not use the computer for games or watching movies.

    What I want: A laptop with a decent sized screen.. Quality is a high consideration as long as the price is reasonable. It has to be fast and not freeze up in the Internet or at start up.

    What have been your personal experiences? Recommendations? Stay away froms?
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  2. #2
    This too shall pass dazlittle's Avatar
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    HP Elitebook or Sony Vaio, I have owned both and both have been great laptops.
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    Registered User jdtemple's Avatar
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    Lenovo ThinkPad.

    Rock solid, reliable, no-nonsense. I have two of them that are several years old and still going strong. I recommend them to anyone that asks, and I have yet to have someone tell me they don't love theirs. A friend of mine dropped his down a flight of stairs. It chipped the concrete floor at the bottom. The laptop booted right up like nothing happened after that.

    Get a good baseline model picked out, put as much RAM in it as you can afford (I typically put as much RAM into a machine as it will take, right out of the gate). Don't buy into those extended warranty plans or buy any anti-virus software. There are plenty of free alternatives that are very well known.
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  4. #4
    H = T + V mslman71's Avatar
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    I'm a Mac person and really like my Macbook Pro. I think my blood pressure dropped 20 points when I hung up my microsoft hat and moved over to Mac. They are more expensive and it would take learning a bit different layout and operating principle but to me it was worth it. I don't fool with music/video/gaming so none of that makes any difference to me. I just like a [relatively] rock solid OS that doesn't take 20% overhead to keep running smoothly. It's a happy compromise between the robustness of Linux (and its relatively steep learning curve) and the hellish abyss that is MSOS. If you're only into browsing, email, and similar tasks then it doesn't make a lot of difference which way you go.
    2 + 2 = 5 (for extremely large values of 2)

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  5. #5
    I love bacon..... Wayne Evans's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jdtemple View Post
    put as much RAM in it as you can afford. Don't buy into those extended warranty plans or buy any anti-virus software.
    Yes....IMO.....even if it adds a bit of cost load up with max amount of RAM for future demands of any added programs. Anti-Virus....I'd recommend AVG free version.
    I have two Dells myself and have had no probs although they are a bit pricier as I went with the Small Business models rather than the basic consumer choices.
    My wife has the 6 year old 15" screen and I have the 1.5 year old 17" screen which is great for my maturing visual orbs.

    Good luck.....carry on.
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  6. #6
    Registered User x-trainer ben's Avatar
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    2 of the best research tools right here
    http://www.laptopmag.com/
    http://reviews.cnet.com/laptops/
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  7. #7
    sudo apt-get beer SP1966's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by egoatdoor View Post
    Its time for me to go more modern and replace my nine year old HP Pavillion desktop computer.

    Me: Not well versed on all things high tech. I use my computer mainly for as an information source from the Internet and for keeping electronic files in Word and Excel. Have only Windows experience( none with Apple). Do not use the computer for games or watching movies.
    This screams buy a Mac if you asked me, and yeah, you kinda did.

    Originally Posted by egoatdoor View Post
    What I want: A laptop with a decent sized screen.. Quality is a high consideration as long as the price is reasonable. It has to be fast and not freeze up in the Internet or at start up.
    You're never going to find a better quality system then a Macbook Pro, the cut from one piece of aluminium body is solid, no flex in it at all. Odds are you have an Apple store not to far from you, most do, and if you have trouble their so called Mac Geniuses will be able to actually help you, not help you empty your wallet like the Geek Squad at Best Buy. It will cost you on average about a hundred dollars more for an equivalent spec machine, but consider it an investment in your mental health!!


    Originally Posted by egoatdoor View Post
    What have been your personal experiences? Recommendations? Stay away froms?
    Stay away from Microsoft. <-- Not the words of a fanboy, I actually despise Apple the company, but you cannot argue with the quality of their computers, hardware and software both are way ahead of the competition.
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  8. #8
    Bored drudixon's Avatar
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    Can't go wrong with Thinkpad T Series. I've used 8 different model thinkpads in 12 years, dropped them, beat them, spilled crap on them and they keep running.

    Macbook is fine if you don't run games or enterprise apps. If you have to do any real work, mac book is not the way to go.
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  9. #9
    Foreign American mixbwoy's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mslman71 View Post
    I'm a Mac person and really like my Macbook Pro. I think my blood pressure dropped 20 points when I hung up my microsoft hat and moved over to Mac. They are more expensive and it would take learning a bit different layout and operating principle but to me it was worth it. I don't fool with music/video/gaming so none of that makes any difference to me. I just like a [relatively] rock solid OS that doesn't take 20% overhead to keep running smoothly. It's a happy compromise between the robustness of Linux (and its relatively steep learning curve) and the hellish abyss that is MSOS. If you're only into browsing, email, and similar tasks then it doesn't make a lot of difference which way you go.
    Originally Posted by SP1966 View Post
    This screams buy a Mac if you asked me, and yeah, you kinda did.

    You're never going to find a better quality system then a Macbook Pro, the cut from one piece of aluminium body is solid, no flex in it at all. Odds are you have an Apple store not to far from you, most do, and if you have trouble their so called Mac Geniuses will be able to actually help you, not help you empty your wallet like the Geek Squad at Best Buy. It will cost you on average about a hundred dollars more for an equivalent spec machine, but consider it an investment in your mental health!!

    Stay away from Microsoft. <-- Not the words of a fanboy, I actually despise Apple the company, but you cannot argue with the quality of their computers, hardware and software both are way ahead of the competition.
    Depending on your budget, I would go Mac, too. I have an iMac as a desktop & a HP for a laptop. I prefer using my iMac & wish I would have bought the Macbook. In a few years I'm going to get a Macbook for sure.
    Btw, there is a slight learning curve with the Macs, but nothing too crazy.
    Right on to the real, and death to the fakers. Peace out.

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  10. #10
    sudo apt-get beer SP1966's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by drudixon View Post
    Can't go wrong with Thinkpad T Series. I've used 8 different model thinkpads in 12 years, dropped them, beat them, spilled crap on them and they keep running.
    Back when I was a PC guy I used Thinkpads! I B M (Why does *** get censored?) made some nice computers, not to sure how well Lenovo is keeping up the brand.


    Originally Posted by drudixon View Post
    Macbook is fine if you don't run games or enterprise apps.
    He listed what he uses his pute for, enterprise apps didn't make the list.

    Originally Posted by drudixon View Post
    If you have to do any real work, mac book is not the way to go.
    Now you make me laugh, welcome to the 21st century drudixon. That comment wouldn't even have been valid ten years ago, what qualifies as real work?

    Now dru, for what he actually stated he does, answer the question. Hint: here is where you say buy a mac!
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  11. #11
    Grumpy Old Dwarf MCrow's Avatar
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    The wife and I have owned two Toshibas each and have had no problems with either of them.
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  12. #12
    Registered User m9a1mike's Avatar
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    I would go with a Mac. Bought my son one for college and he's happy. Built like a tank. We looked at ASUS (which I use for work). Not bad. Had a Toshiba for years, also not bad. My sister-in-law works for I B M. Thinkpads were good, but I would run like hell from Lenovo since I would be paranoid about it shipping with spyware, etc...

    Anyone remember the old saying? "Windows 95 = Mac 84 ".

    Can we make a new one? "Once you go Mac, you never go back." To Windows that is.
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  13. #13
    Registered User ChocoChick's Avatar
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    I've had everything under the sun and my HPs are my favorites. Get the I7 processor an as much RAM as you can afford.
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  14. #14
    I'm not that bright phikappa's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ChocoChick View Post
    I've had everything under the sun and my HPs are my favorites. Get the I7 processor an as much RAM as you can afford.
    And while you're at it, get one with an SSD.
    The beatings will continue until morale improves.
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  15. #15
    Coccidioidomycosis 59orphan's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by m9a1mike View Post

    Anyone remember the old saying? "Windows 95 = Mac 84 ".

    Can we make a new one? "Once you go Mac, you never go back." To Windows that is.
    Me think some of you like a certain operating system not computer.
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  16. #16
    I'm not that bright phikappa's Avatar
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    If you're not up for a Mac, you might want to try a Microsoft Signature PC. Supposedly, Microsoft can make a PC suck less.


    http://signature.microsoft.com/
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  17. #17
    Banned flairon's Avatar
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    Dell.

    Laptops are laptops, the parts in a dell is no different than parts in any other intel based machine. As they are portable, by their very nature, they will break..its going to happen. Dell has a superior warranty to everyone else on the market and they come to you to repair it. One spilled drink, one cracked lcd when you pick it up by the lid as most people do, one fried mobo and you're going to likely have almost as much in the repair (if it can be repaired) as you will in the original purchase price if you don't have a warranty.

    Buying anything else is gambling.
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  18. #18
    H = T + V mslman71's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by phikappa View Post
    If you're not up for a Mac, you might want to try a Microsoft Signature PC. Supposedly, Microsoft can make a PC suck less.
    It _is_ the reason why they suck. A PC that doesn't suck is loaded with Linux.
    2 + 2 = 5 (for extremely large values of 2)

    Try SCE to AUX
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  19. #19
    I'm not that bright phikappa's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mslman71 View Post
    It _is_ the reason why they suck. A PC that doesn't suck is loaded with Linux.

    I'm just the messenger, pal.






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  20. #20
    Registered User dnb's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jdtemple View Post
    Lenovo ThinkPad.

    Rock solid, reliable, no-nonsense. I have two of them that are several years old and still going strong. I recommend them to anyone that asks, and I have yet to have someone tell me they don't love theirs. A friend of mine dropped his down a flight of stairs. It chipped the concrete floor at the bottom. The laptop booted right up like nothing happened after that.

    Get a good baseline model picked out, put as much RAM in it as you can afford (I typically put as much RAM into a machine as it will take, right out of the gate). Don't buy into those extended warranty plans or buy any anti-virus software. There are plenty of free alternatives that are very well known.
    I have had an x301 for years, never an issue. If it died I would step up to the new x1 in a hearbeat.

    Get SSD (solid state drive) for less HD crash issues.
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  21. #21
    GO GREEN! tmonkey's Avatar
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    i used to like dell


    buy a toshiba
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    Registered User egoatdoor's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mslman71 View Post
    I'm a Mac person and really like my Macbook Pro. I think my blood pressure dropped 20 points when I hung up my microsoft hat and moved over to Mac. They are more expensive and it would take learning a bit different layout and operating principle but to me it was worth it. I don't fool with music/video/gaming so none of that makes any difference to me. I just like a [relatively] rock solid OS that doesn't take 20% overhead to keep running smoothly. It's a happy compromise between the robustness of Linux (and its relatively steep learning curve) and the hellish abyss that is MSOS. If you're only into browsing, email, and similar tasks then it doesn't make a lot of difference which way you go.
    Originally Posted by SP1966 View Post
    This screams buy a Mac if you asked me, and yeah, you kinda did.



    You're never going to find a better quality system then a Macbook Pro, the cut from one piece of aluminium body is solid, no flex in it at all. Odds are you have an Apple store not to far from you, most do, and if you have trouble their so called Mac Geniuses will be able to actually help you, not help you empty your wallet like the Geek Squad at Best Buy. It will cost you on average about a hundred dollars more for an equivalent spec machine, but consider it an investment in your mental health!!




    Stay away from Microsoft. <-- Not the words of a fanboy, I actually despise Apple the company, but you cannot argue with the quality of their computers, hardware and software both are way ahead of the competition.
    Originally Posted by SP1966 View Post
    Back when I was a PC guy I used Thinkpads! I B M (Why does *** get censored?) made some nice computers, not to sure how well Lenovo is keeping up the brand.




    He listed what he uses his pute for, enterprise apps didn't make the list.



    Now you make me laugh, welcome to the 21st century drudixon. That comment wouldn't even have been valid ten years ago, what qualifies as real work?

    Now dru, for what he actually stated he does, answer the question. Hint: here is where you say buy a mac!
    Originally Posted by m9a1mike View Post
    I would go with a Mac. Bought my son one for college and he's happy. Built like a tank. We looked at ASUS (which I use for work). Not bad. Had a Toshiba for years, also not bad. My sister-in-law works for I B M. Thinkpads were good, but I would run like hell from Lenovo since I would be paranoid about it shipping with spyware, etc...

    Anyone remember the old saying? "Windows 95 = Mac 84 ".

    Can we make a new one? "Once you go Mac, you never go back." To Windows that is.
    There is an Apple store nearby and I am impressed by the company, its reputation and the service I received there when I bought my IPOD a couple of years ago. I am definitely going to consider the MAC alternative, but the learning curve does scare me a bit.

    Question: I currently have Hotmail and GMail for my email. If I go MAC, are these transferable or do I have to start over with new email addresses and locations?
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    Registered User jdtemple's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by egoatdoor View Post
    There is an Apple store nearby and I am impressed by the company, its reputation and the service I received there when I bought my IPOD a couple of years ago. I am definitely going to consider the MAC alternative, but the learning curve does scare me a bit.

    Question: I currently have Hotmail and GMail for my email. If I go MAC, are these transferable or do I have to start over with new email addresses and locations?
    Web based email services work on any web browser. Doesn't matter what OS you're using.

    Off topic: Every time I see your user name I think "E Goat Door".
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    H = T + V mslman71's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by egoatdoor View Post
    There is an Apple store nearby and I am impressed by the company, its reputation and the service I received there when I bought my IPOD a couple of years ago. I am definitely going to consider the MAC alternative, but the learning curve does scare me a bit.

    Question: I currently have Hotmail and GMail for my email. If I go MAC, are these transferable or do I have to start over with new email addresses and locations?
    Yeah, and you can configure the Mac Mail client to work with them if you don't want to use the web based interface. It's trivial to do.
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    Registered User m9a1mike's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=egoatdoor;885284071] I am definitely going to consider the MAC alternative, but the learning curve does scare me a bit.

    I think it is a reverse learning curve. From everyone I ever talked to that has gone from a Windows based PC to a MAC, there has been no learning curve. Everything seems that much more intuitive and easier to use.
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    sudo apt-get beer SP1966's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by egoatdoor View Post
    There is an Apple store nearby and I am impressed by the company, its reputation and the service I received there when I bought my IPOD a couple of years ago. I am definitely going to consider the MAC alternative, but the learning curve does scare me a bit.

    Question: I currently have Hotmail and GMail for my email. If I go MAC, are these transferable or do I have to start over with new email addresses and locations?
    Originally Posted by m9a1mike View Post

    I think it is a reverse learning curve. From everyone I ever talked to that has gone from a Windows based PC to a MAC, there has been no learning curve. Everything seems that much more intuitive and easier to use.
    This ^^^ pretty much sums it up. You will feel a bit lost for a while, but it is very intuitive, unlike the mess that Windows is. I was a long time Windows user and was very comfortable digging around in that mess, but after less then a week I was kicking myself for having stayed loyal to such garbage for so long!

    Your Hotmail/Gmail will both work fine, in fact your Gmail and Google Calendar if you use it will integrate into Apple's mail and calendaring apps.

    If you choose a Mac you will not regret that decision.
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    Originally Posted by SP1966 View Post
    I was a long time Windows user and was very comfortable digging around in that mess, but after less then a week I was kicking myself for having stayed loyal to such garbage for so long!
    x2. It was my wife who purchased our first one and gave her a little grief about it, then I found myself using it more and more, and that was it. Made the full migration at home and at work and have no idea why I waited so long.
    2 + 2 = 5 (for extremely large values of 2)

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    Registered User TooSlow's Avatar
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    I've been a VAIO fan since the beginning of time, until I got a Dell about 18 months ago. I might be sold on Dell for a while. Good with your final decision.
    Be well and breathe deep.
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    Ego -- to give you an example how easy the MACs are to use, my son mows the lawn for an elderly lady who is about 80 years old. She bought a MAC computer about a year ago and loves it. She now shares pictures with her relatives, watches movies on it, uses email, etc... She had ZERO computer expeience before buying it. I don't know if Apple Stores still do this or not, but when you purchase a computer from, they offer no charge classes to help you with anything you have difficulty with. When my son bought his MAC, they converted most, if not all of his files and transferred them to his MAC.
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    Honestly, most PCs are about the same these days as far as chipsets and ram. If you are looking at laptops, one of the best things you can do is first go to a store like Best Buy or other that has alot of different models on display. Go to each one and try out the keyboard, sounds silly but I have tried this on some models that for me don't feel very natural. The keys on a laptop are QWERTY, however because of space the manufacturers get creative on placement of other keys such as laptop function keys and the number pad.

    Here's some bits of info: If you get a laptop with an AMD chip be sure to get a cooling pad of some sort for it to sit on, AMD makes a good chip but they tend to run a bit hotter than Intel. If its in ur lap when mobile you'll overheat the family jewels. If you are looking to save some $$ look at refurbished laptops, they are usually a few hundred cheaper than new and you may be able to get a more powerful machine for less money.

    If you plan on carrying it everywhere then weight will be a big factor, you may want to look at netbooks or something with a smaller screen. The bigger the screen, the more weight, the more it'll be a pain to tote everywhere.

    If you don't care if you purchase online or in a store look at some on-line retailers such as newegg.com
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