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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    May 2013
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    Where to look for best advice on laptop/tablet/notebook computer purchase?

    Hello Loungers. I have always had nothing but success when I come to these fora in search of answers, so I'm going to push my luck a little further.

    My wife and I are at a turning point with our technology. She is still working at a job she loves and will be due a new laptop from her company in the next few months. They seem to be a Dell shop, and she has a high-end Latitude at present. I'm urging her to tell her IT guys to give her an XPS 13. It is light and fast and has gotten great reviews, from what I have read. Am I on the right track with my advice to her? The weight and speed are the two most important features for her, as she travels often.

    The more interesting question is what to do about my situation. I am retired. My computer use is pretty heavy, with lots of email to my kids and friends. I recently reconnected to guys from my high-school class at our 50th reunion.

    I also do a bit of writing, and I want to pursue it more.

    My computer situation is, um, varied. I use a desktop I built about 8 years ago, following recommendations from for a Best Computer Under $800. I have gotten my money's worth and then some.

    I also have an iPad, second generation [16Gb]

    I have a number of storage drives attached to the desktop, including a 5 TB and a couple of 1 TB. It's way too much, but storage is cheap.

    So what I am thinking is this: I will be happy if I have a fast, light, touch-screen machine with a great keyboard. I have been looking at the Lenovos, and the Yoga 3 Pro has caught my eye for the moment.

    So, if you are still with me, folks, does anyone have recommendations on potential purchases? Do you have a publication that you have come to trust above all others so far as purchasing recommendations are concerned? Any suggestions will be appreciated greatly.

    Thank you. Jack Lavelle - Phoenix, AZ

  2. #2
    WS Lounge VIP
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Thanked 1,125 Times in 1,048 Posts
    I agree that a light work laptop is the way to go, but light and good is never cheap. (You can only have 2 of the following 3, quality, small size, low price)

    I am not a fan of laptops for my main machine because I've always got extra drives etc, but you already have a PC, so it can become a backup / server.

    For laptops I just look for something that has most of what I want at a discount somewhere. What brand you buy is less of an issue than getting what you want at a price you are happy with - advice above not withstanding.

    cheers, Paul

  3. #3
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
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    Where to look for best advice on laptop/tablet/notebook computer purchase?
    You can ask people here what their experience has been with laptops, and what they recommend. You can also read reviews.

    If it's for her job, then they likely know what best meets their requirements. But if they give her a choice, then...

    Here's what I look for when purchasing a laptop:

    1. Make sure it has a CD/DVD drive. A lot of laptops these days don't. When we travel, we let our daughter watch movies on the laptop; without a DVD player, we can't do that. Also, we can't burn CDs or DVDs without a CD/DVD burner. I know, I know, everyone is on the cloud these days or uses flash drives, right? Wrong. I still want to be able to burn CDs and DVDs. But if the only place you will ever need to have a CD/DVD drive is at work, then you could forego the internal CD/DVD drive and just have a USB CD/DVD drive on your desk.

    2. Make sure it has enough memory. 4 GB minimum, preferably more, and with room to add memory in the future.

    3. 250 GB hard drive minimum. But I would really prefer at least 500 GB.

    4. Big screen. 17" is nice. If you don't need a big monitor when travelling, then you could get a smaller built-in screen and keep a big external monitor on your desk, and plug it in whenever you are at work.

    5. Name brand. I stick with either Dell, HP, or Toshiba, with Dell as my preference.

    6. This will be up to her job to decide this, but I like a 3-year warranty, because 3 years is plenty of time for things to go wrong. If nothing fails in the first 3 years, then you have a good laptop.

  4. #4
    3 Star Lounger
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    Dec 2009
    Edinburgh, UK
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    I suggest that you work out which you really want, laptop, notebook or tablet. These are distinct categories, with some blurring at the boundaries.

    I use a laptop for my main machine, but rarely, almost never, take it out of the house. It moves only between my lap (laptop!) and a docking station that gives me more connection options. Away from the house, I always use a MS Surface 3 (with keyboard cover), which is superb, lightweight, great screen, but I trade off some of the connection options, as it has only one USB socket. Surface 3 is being replaced by Surface 4; when I visited the USA within the past month, the MS shops had some good deals on Surface 3 remainders. Through OneDrive, I have all my files available to both machines.

    Otherwise, I echo all that Paul and Jim have said.

  5. #5
    5 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Phoenix, AZ
    Thanked 137 Times in 128 Posts
    Good advice to your wife, except it is discontinued and no way the IT dept buys discontinued.
    But they do have it with upgraded screen:

    Good idea for you. Your needs are not particularly hard for any run of the mill computer to meet.

    How much space do you actually have total on all of those hard drives? For your stated uses it should not be that much. If more than say 200GB then stick with laptops with hard drives.

    Yoga 3 Pro should meet your needs but it is a dated discontinued model. If a Lenovo outlet or authorized other with maker's warranty at a good discount then alright.

    Looks like the replacement:

    For laptops I look for >2GHz dual core CPU, 8GB RAM, 64-bit OS, and an SSD. I like the ability to easily upgrade my own RAM and boot drive. And wifi upgrade too is nice. I'd want USB3 ports. At least 2 and 3 USB ports total. SDXC drive nice too. Depends on what multimedia drives your toys use. Is battery life important?
    Last edited by Fascist Nation; 2016-04-22 at 20:29. Reason: Dell link

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