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  1. #1
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    Windows 8 / Computer advice?

    Hello,

    I am brand new here and I apologize if this is not posted in the right place...

    I have to buy a laptop this week and I have no idea what I need or where to get it. Can anyone give me some buying tips? I know nothing about processors, speed, etc. I have been told that I should definitely get a laptop over an iPad?

    If you were to buy a laptop today, what would you get and why? I will be using my laptop for work and home - email, pictures, music,word processing, spreadsheets, etc. I want Windows 8 in it, even if I have to pay a small fee to upgrade. Where would one get the best deal? I am afraid to go into a Best Buy and ask for help as many of my friends have had horrible experiences with them.

    Any suggestions you ,might have would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Welcome to the Lounge

    1. First you will need to determine what your budget is. That will be the starting point.

    2. Give us a rough listing of the applications you plan on installing and we'll assist in determining your hardware needs.

    3. Decide if you want touch screen or not. Windows 8 is built for touch, but a mouse works well too.



    If you were to buy a laptop today, what would you get and why?
    I have an affinity for Lenovo X series laptops, it's mostly a personal preference really. I just like the way they are made.
    Plus, I never ever go to a brick and mortar store. I always buy from the vendor's website. This way I get a hand
    in what goes into it's creation; like processor type, memory, and to a degree, applications...or the lack thereof.

    Getting a Windows 8 laptop will not be hard if that is your choice. There will be plenty of choices out there.

    My basic recommendations;
    Processor: at least a 2GHz duocore.
    Memory: If 64 bit, and there is a very good chance it will be, at least 6GB of RAM at 1300MHz.
    Hard Drive: Preferably a Solid State drive with a minimum of 120 GB in size.
    While your at it, ensure that you have an external drive for image and other backups, this should be at least 1TB in size.
    AN EXTERNAL DRIVE IS A MUST WITH A LAPTOP BECAUSE YOU'LL NEVER HAVE ENOUGH INTERNAL STORAGE SPACE AND BACKUPS ARE AN ABSOLUTE NECESSITY.
    GPU: Less important unless you plan on playing non-online games, or do some serious photo or video manipulation.
    Built in graphic on a laptop are decent these days for non intensive graphics tasks like word processing, on line games, and light photo manipulations.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2013-02-26 at 23:25.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

  3. #3
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    Paige,

    Hi & welcome to the forum. You're concerns are well founded.

    I will advise & comment the same as I would to any of my clients & trust it helps. The 1st brand I would recommend for you is ASUS. Hardware is relatively inexpensive these days. You can pay slightly more & have a lot of the money. Think about your needs & usage but, think of the future, too. Always get enough of a machine that it won't get regretted w/in a short time. Do go 64 Bit. These days most laptops are coming w/ oodles of RAM & huge drives, it's just become very common. For basic stuff duo-cores are fine; some view buying quad-cores a waste unless they are going to be driven really hard. You won't find less than 4GB of RAM, 8 being even more common.
    i3s should be fine. If you are enough of a Power User then, @ least, an i5 but, you need i7s to do HyperThreading.

    Windows 8 will work just fine w/ a mouse. BUT, if you are buying a brand new current laptop, it may as well be Touch capable. There's some really nice units available!

    I do recommend SSDs, especially in laptops for obvious reasons. I'm running Windows 8 on a SSD in a desktop and the performance is superb.

    Now, since you brought it up, I do not recommend big-box stores. No, I don't want to go into all my reasons, @ this moment but, anyway... Please, find a good, reputable, independent, smaller shop, consultant, a MS Partner or VAR locally. Do go x64.

    We suggest our clients do well w/ us than shopping @ the BBs & FBs.

    Oh, yeah, I don't recommend HPs or Dells. Again, here is not to discuss why. Some of it's marketing, service & support.

    Clint has been helpful, I trust I have, too. Do go w/ 64, the hardware and the OS. To give exact specs & models, one cannot. Can suggest norms & minimums. Just don't let anybody sell you security for Windows 8... it is built-in & ON, by default, already w/ the OS.

    ASUS have nice warrantees, too! Good luck.

    Cheers,
    Drew
    Win8Logo (2013_02_06 10_30_24 UTC).jpg

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    What do you use your PC for? This is the most important question that needs to be answered. If your are a casual user (email, web surfing, perhaps a few apps for finances, etc.) then your needs are much lower than a power user that uses their laptop for heavy duty work applications.

    If you are in the former group then many of the lower and mid priced laptops and/or tablets will do the job for you. Now we are seeing touch enabled laptops that convert to tablets and vice versa. You will however tend to spend more on touch enabled, convertible PCs than on conventional laptops.

    If you are accustomed to using a mouse, I would definitely add a wireless mouse to your purchase. People that are accustomed to a mouse generally have a major learning curve with touchpads.

    And finally I will recommend you read through the Win 8 forum sticky threads for many tips on how to make Win 8 work and feel the way you want it. Initially Win 8 looks and feels completely different from what you are accustomed to.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    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

  5. #5
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    I use my PC for work (I would like to get MS Office apps or upgrade), email, internet and research. I also use a simple photo app and download music.

    Are there any good bargains out there with the specs you recommended? Also, is there any deal going on for MS Office upgrades? I have to be price conscious as we all are!

    Thanks to all who responded so far!! I really appreciate all of you!

  6. #6
    2 Star Lounger
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    As you're trying to save money, have you considered the freeware alternatives to MS Office, for example LibreOffice?

    Regarding the best deals, have you checked out the main online retailers' web sites?

  7. #7
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Check some of the threads here to see several discussions of Office products. You might wish to consider Office 365 which is an annual subscription edition.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    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

  8. #8
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    If you are fortunate enough to live in an area that has a Microsoft store I recommend you go there. All the machines are free of bloatware. The machines have been setup to run very well. They are price competitive and have a fairly wide range of hardware.

    Joe

  9. #9
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Along with the MS store, I would also try Walmart as well.

    Go into the store and have a close look at any potential candidates;
    Open up the "System" view in Windows 8 and check the rough specs from there. (right click on the lower left corner of the screen)
    Examine the Windows Experience Index too. You do not want anything listed as too low. (<5)


    Basic Hardware Points
    Duocore processor >2GHz
    6GB memory
    A Solid State Drive

    Basic Wifi and Ethernet adapter for cable internet.

    Office can be purchased from the MS online store.
    Personally I would remove any trial versions of software on the laptop, especially Office.

    Other Hardware Points:
    Try to avoid useless crap devices, like webcams and/or Bluetooth if not needed.
    [A useless deice is anything your not going to actually use on a day to day basis]
    All these extra devices just add complexity in terms of software drivers and other running services & processes
    that the operating system has to contend with.

    Software Points
    Come up with a core set of applications that you will use regularly, this will include backup and diagnostics applications.
    Remove those that you do not use or do not understand how to use. This may take some time and experience if you are a novice.
    The point is to come up with a core set of applications that define your usage. Downloading and tying multiple apps on a regular basis is not
    congruent with stability.
    Get into the habit of keeping copies of important software applications stored SEPARATE from the laptop.

    Don't forget to pick up a compact external drive for backup purposes as well, something like one of these.

    How to create a drive image of your laptop
    What is drive imaging

    How to purchase the right laptop

    Do some reading
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2013-02-27 at 22:21.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

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