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  1. #1
    Lounger
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    Question Which Laptop Brand?

    Hi everyone,

    I have kind of a time-critical issue here. Sorry for the rush....

    I'm looking for a low-priced laptop for my high-school granddaughter. (Her autistic sister dropped her old one in a sink of water!) Her mother waiting in line on Black Friday but wasn't successful, and she's enlisted my help for cyber Monday.

    I have a pretty good idea of what features to look for, but I'm not up to date on manufacturers. Which one(s) would you recommend? It seems that everyone sells HPs, and it seems that they have hundreds of models that are pretty much the same. I've been moderately disappointed in my old HP, but one of those would probably be fine. However, I've also seen good prices on other brands, for example, Gateway. Are they any good any more? How about Toshiba? ASUS? Acer? Others?

    Or are they all pretty much equivalent on the low end?

    And while I'm on the topic, should I be looking at Windows 8 laptops, or would Windows 7 be a better choice, since that's what she's used to?

    Thanks for any help you can give me!

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    With some minor customizations Win 8 will look just like Win 7 and work faster. Point her to this forum and have her check out the sticky threads listed here for many tips in making Win 8 work her way. There are 5 sticky threads in the Win 8 Forum. Take a look.

    I would look at one of the newer varieties that are 2 PC's in one. They will flip around somehow and switch from a laptop to a tablet. I would also look to upgrade to Win 8 Pro so that you can add Media Center for free (until Jan. 31st). Most of the new PC's are preloaded with Win 8 Standard. Many of the newer PCs/tablets come pre-loaded with Win 8 RT which is a lighter version of Win 8. I would tend to stay away from these because they are not able to run on the Desktop UI.

    I cannot give advice on brands, etc., sorry. I have not been shopping for PCs in a while. I suppose a lot would depend on your budget. I'm sure you will get some great advice.
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  3. #3
    Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medico View Post
    With some minor customizations Win 8 will look just like Win 7 and work faster. Point her to this forum and have her check out the sticky threads listed here for many tips in making Win 8 work her way. There are 5 sticky threads in the Win 8 Forum. Take a look.
    Just like Win 7? That's good to know. I had seen references to getting the Start button back, but I didn't know it could be customized so completely.

    I would look at one of the newer varieties that are 2 PC's in one. They will flip around somehow and switch from a laptop to a tablet.
    Are you talking about tablets that can have a keyboard added, like the (Android) ASUS Transformers I've bought? Or something different? Do you have an example?

    I would also look to upgrade to Win 8 Pro so that you can add Media Center for free (until Jan. 31st).
    This is something I was totally unaware of. So thanks.

    Most of the new PC's are preloaded with Win 8 Standard. Many of the newer PCs/tablets come pre-loaded with Win 8 RT which is a lighter version of Win 8. I would tend to stay away from these because they are not able to run on the Desktop UI.
    Thanks. I was aware of that but had forgotten to consider it. I've been skimming over all the Win8 articles in the newsletter for the past several months, but never read them especially carefully, because I didn't expect to be looking in the near future.

    I cannot give advice on brands, etc., sorry. I have not been shopping for PCs in a while.
    Exactly my problem. :-(

    I suppose a lot would depend on your budget.
    Yes, and unfortunately, the budget is very limited. Fortunately, however, her needs are pretty simple.

    I'm sure you will get some great advice.
    I hope so. Thanks very much for yours.

  4. #4
    Lounger
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    I have a related question, as well. I know AMD processors are reliable, although not quite up to the stands of Intel, and they do tend to be cheaper. However, the references to chip "model numbers" are pretty much meaningless to me. Most of the cheaper laptops I've been looking at include processors in the E-series, although I've seen a couple in the A-series. For example, I've seen E, E1, and E2 (e.g., E1-122, E-300, E1-1200), and A4, A6, and 10 (e.g, A4-3420, A6-5400K).

    I went to AMD's site and didn't find anything. I checked several Wikipedia articles but was unable to find a discussion of these series. Can some help me sort these out, please?

    Thanks!

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    This is one of the convertibles I'm talking about:

    xps_232x249.png

    However to get one with a complete OS, not the RT version will probably go out of your price range.

    I bought my granddaughter a Dell Inspiron 15R last Christmas. It's a very nice little laptop. I believe Best Buy carries Dells. Be advised most of these will have Win 8 Standard pre-installed. If your granddaughter wants to add Media Center, they will need the Win 8 Pro pack upgrade, so factor in this extra cost as well.

    Any of the manufacturer's PCs will come loaded with a bunch of junkware. I used a nice little app called PC Decrapifier to remove much of the junk, including McAfee AV. Do her a favor and remove this piece of junk. Either use the built in default Windows Defender AV, or install AVG AV 2013 free. It is doing a great job on our PCs.

    I cannot answer the question about the CPU, sorry. The Dell's have Intel CPUs.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

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  7. #6
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    I always shop at officedepot.com first, because Office Depot usually has something worthwhile on sale. And if you don't like it for any reason, it is really easy to return it at your local Office Depot.

    I like HP the best. Toshiba would be another good brand.

    Here are a couple of good laptop deals at Office Depot:

    This one is $400 -- http://www.officedepot.com/a/product...ptop-Computer/ -- This one has Windows 8 and a BIG screen. (probably a teenage girl wouldn't want to have to lug around such a big laptop)


    Here's a Toshiba that's a bit smaller, for $289: http://www.officedepot.com/a/product...ptop-Computer/ -- This one has Windows 7.

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    magicspeller (2012-11-26)

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