Author Topic: Laptop recommendations  (Read 2548 times)

Apples

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 846
Laptop recommendations
« on: December 15, 2016, 07:13:28 AM »
Hi Mustachians, I'm hoping the collective wisdom of forum members will guide me to the kind of laptop I want.  So, the details of my laptop use/desires are:

  • I mostly use Microsoft Office (Word and Excel) and surf the internet (I'm a 10-tabs-open-at-once kind of lady)
  • I also have an iTunes library of about 16 gigs that currently is all saved on my current laptop
  • I have a laptop with a 14" screen right now, and I don't want to go much if any smaller.  If I wanted to use a small screen, I would just use my phone.  The whole point of my laptop is to have multiple windows on the same screen easy to see, or a large spreadsheet where I can see a lot of it.
  • I have only ever run Windows OS.  So right now Windows 10.  I'm not really interested in learning a different operating system

Is there a unicorn laptop out there that fits my list without totally going overboard?  General internet searching hasn't turned up much.  I have't decided on a maximum I'm willing to spend because I don't know what's realistic.  My current laptop will no longer connect to the internet (even with add-on parts and a lot of troubleshooting), which is why I'm looking to change.  If it matters, our internet speed is only 6 Mbps on a good day.

brute

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 658
Re: Laptop recommendations
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2016, 07:16:25 AM »
Check the newegg and dell outlet stores online. I got my first laptop ever from there, half off list price. Someone had bought it, didn't like it, and returned it. The machine was fine, lasted 6 years with daily use.

marielle

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 861
  • Age: 26
  • Location: South Carolina
Re: Laptop recommendations
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2016, 07:20:05 AM »
Why a laptop? Do you constantly travel to have a need for a laptop? A desktop would be half the price of a laptop for the same specs. Even less if you build it yourself.

You could probably get something for like $200 plus $100 for a monitor. Your usage is very light so you don't need a $500+ PC. The best part is that you can get a much bigger screen while paying a lot less--making excel/word even easier to use. Check Craigslist and you can probably get a nice monitor for $50.

A laptop you may need to shell out $400-$500+ for a screen that size with decent specs.

Daley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3936
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
Re: Laptop recommendations
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2016, 07:44:54 AM »
For risk of sounding like a broke record, I'm going to repeat myself once more with the same advice I've given in the past few laptop threads that have cropped up the past few weeks...

Buy a refurbished Lenovo Thinkpad T series (430/530 is the sweet spot feature/price wise currently), or Dell Latitude E series (The E5430/6430 models are the sweet spots here). US Micro has a good refurbish program, good prices, and decent warranty. Following these recommendations, you shouldn't have to spend more than $200-300 for a solid laptop built like a tank and easy to repair/upgrade.

Don't get too lost in processor speeds. Pretty much any 2-4 core i3/i5 will be plenty for most anyone. The biggest changes hasn't been so much processing speed as power consumption and battery life for some time now. There's some screaming multi-core processors out there, but they're not worth the premium given that all but specialty high-end applications and games don't need them to run. Even Windows 10 doesn't have much beefier system requirements (beyond RAM/graphics) than XP SP3 and Win7. Don't sweat it, and care more about how much RAM the thing has... that'll be the biggest performance booster. Aim for 4-8GB.

EDIT:

This said....

So right now Windows 10.
[snip]
My current laptop will no longer connect to the internet (even with add-on parts and a lot of troubleshooting), which is why I'm looking to change.

Be aware that patch KB3201845 pushed out on December 9th broke DHCP on Win 10 machines. The fix is in KB3206632. You will have to manually assign an IP address on your router's network to your existing laptop's NIC to connect to the internet to install it, or download and install it manually from a separate machine. That or a hard restart.

Odds are, your existing laptop is fine. Don't spend any money.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2016, 08:03:58 AM by I.P. Daley »

Phenix

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 68
  • Location: Ohio
Re: Laptop recommendations
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2016, 08:05:08 AM »
I have had great experiences buying factory refurbished and customer returned laptops from newegg, tigerdirect, and groupon.
My daily use (email, MMM forums, YNAB) laptop is Gateway Refurb I bought from tigerdirect 7 years ago for under $300.  With the Windows 10 update, it's still running flawlessly.
My travel laptop that I use for school work is an HP Refurb I bought from groupon for $199 almost 3 years ago.  Updated to Windows 10 and it works great.
Recently, my wife wanted a more powerful laptop with a larger screen.  I bought her a Dell Refurb from groupon for $399.

I will probably go the same route in the future.

Given what you are looking for, just about any laptop running Windows 10 will be fine.

Apples

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 846
Re: Laptop recommendations
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2016, 08:06:56 AM »
Thank you everyone!  Brute, thanks for the website recommendations.  Marielle-thoughtful and helpful, but I use my laptop regularly in 3 different rooms in the house, take it to meetings, and don't have a place to put a desktop (kitchen counter, dining room table, coffee table, and dresser are my options).  I.P. Daley, thank you so much!  I sheepishly admit that I only did a skim of the recent threads.  I lost the ability to connect to the internet overnight sometime last week, so it's possible that it was December 9th.  I'll look into the patch situation.  I'll have to google how to assign and IP address to my router's network and what an NIC is :p

And thanks for the recommendations PFBCoach.

adair

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: Laptop recommendations
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2016, 10:15:38 PM »
I currently love the Dell XPS 13 or XPS 15 models for this exact task.

adair

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: Laptop recommendations
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2016, 10:16:02 PM »

Johnez

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1064
  • Location: Southern California
Re: Laptop recommendations
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2016, 04:56:16 AM »
I keep forgetting to save Daley's laptop rec, thanks for the repost lol. Definitely following.

chasesfish

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2928
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Texas
    • Years in the making, I created a journal!
Re: Laptop recommendations
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2016, 06:57:52 AM »
IP - Have they removed HDMI ports from most laptops now?  My cheap netbook had one six years ago but most of the refurbished lenovos don't have them now.

Daley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3936
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
Re: Laptop recommendations
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2016, 08:06:26 PM »
IP - Have they removed HDMI ports from most laptops now?  My cheap netbook had one six years ago but most of the refurbished lenovos don't have them now.

DisplayPort is the VESA standard designed for computer displays to replace older VGA and DVI outputs, and is designed to be backwards and cross compatible to output to VGA, DVI and HDMI via mostly passive (but sometimes needing active) adapters.

HDMI is a proprietary A/V standard for home entertainment equipment connectivity.

Lenovo uses DisplayPort.

Dell uses HDMI.

Lenovo's choice is smart and more flexible, especially in a corporate environment. Dell's choice is just being cheap and pandering to the lowest and most common denominator. (It's a shame the Lenovo Thinkpad T/W/X x30 series are the last Thinkpads I'm comfortable recommending, as the build quality just isn't there anymore - and even the x30s are almost borderline, honestly. Dell's build quality, however, is still there.) Anyway, most people don't give a fig about the true superiority of DisplayPort as an output standard for computers, and just focus on wanting to connect to an HDMI television with their laptops and grouse about needing an adapter to make it work.

In the case of the T430 specifically, it uses Mini DisplayPort on the laptop with the optional docking station utilizing the full size DisplayPort. There are penty of cheap, passive mDP to HDMI dongels that should work with the laptop including one from Lenovo specifically (p/n: 0B47089).
« Last Edit: December 24, 2016, 08:08:07 PM by I.P. Daley »

chasesfish

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2928
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Texas
    • Years in the making, I created a journal!
Re: Laptop recommendations
« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2016, 07:35:58 AM »
Thank you IP.  I picked up on this thread late, but was looking for a functional laptop with a display out - The T430 refurbished will do the trick.