Author Topic: Buying a new computer  (Read 7186 times)

curlycue

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Buying a new computer
« on: April 19, 2014, 07:20:39 PM »
So my wonderful little Netbook crashed beyond repair. I definitely need a new, light laptop, but not sure how to cut costs doing it. Tablets aren't good as I need ms office. what would a mustachian do?

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Buying a new Computer
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2014, 07:29:45 PM »
What is your budget? What screen size?

Acer and ASUS generally make the best budget laptops in the PC space.

curlycue

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Re: Buying a new computer
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2014, 07:44:02 PM »
Screen size isn't too important for me. Cost I want to keep low but will pay more for something that will last a long time, which I prefer.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Buying a new computer
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2014, 08:00:54 PM »
Read this article:

http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-budget-laptop/

But if you want longevity and Windows, a Thinkpad is going to be your best bet.

See this piece, albeit out of date:

http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/the-lenovo-t430-is-the-best-workhorse-laptop/

In my experience, as long as you avoid the sub-$500 space, most laptops will last 5 years or more.

krishnamba

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Re: Buying a new computer
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2014, 08:20:16 PM »
Go to CDW outlet. You will need to create an account.
You can get Business Stock laptops, desktops with 3/4 year onsite
warranties for the same price you would pay consumer line
at Best buy or big retailer.

I would stick to lenovo or hp.

obstinate

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Re: Buying a new computer
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2014, 08:35:16 PM »
Plenty of <$200 laptops that are fine for business work on Craigslist. Laptops these days last a lot longer than they used to. I'd say going used would be fine, if performance is not paramount.

galliver

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Re: Buying a new computer
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2014, 10:28:15 PM »
You can sometimes find good deals on refurbished tech on woot.com. I think it's worth checking, but do your research.

My experience looming through Craigslist postings has been that there are shady ones. ("I forgot the password, but you can wipe it").

You could also check eBay, I know someone who has had success.

[edit: fixed URL]
« Last Edit: April 20, 2014, 12:01:47 PM by galliver »

sleepyguy

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Re: Buying a new computer
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2014, 05:12:13 AM »
For like 99% of your needs, yesteryear builds of Thinkpads or Latitude would be my choice.  I would obvious upgrade them to SSD and up the RAM.  Our staples here has a refurb E4200 Latitude for $180 which is a steal (solid units, portable and comes with SSD hdd).

Personally I'm still using a free laptop, R61 Thinkpad (2006) that a client gave me years ago.  Once I got the RAM to 4gb, upgraded the CPU, then installed an 80gb SSD... thing FLIES in Windows7-64bit.  I won't be changing anytime soon, only thing would be to buy an extended battery fro $30 soon, as this current one holds only about a 2hr charge.

With that in mind don't ditch the tablet market so quick.  You do realize that Surface Pro run REAL versions of Office right?  Heck even a Dell Venue Pro 8, can run FULL DESKTOP apps, screen is obviously kinda small.  Now Win8 on the other hand I'm not too fond of.

Plenty of <$200 laptops that are fine for business work on Craigslist. Laptops these days last a lot longer than they used to. I'd say going used would be fine, if performance is not paramount.

El Limon

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Re: Buying a new computer
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2014, 07:10:37 AM »
Refurbished Dells on Amazon for $200 or less. The only thing is the cheaper ones tend to be heavier models. 
Many of my coworkers rush straight to Best Buy whenever their laptops "crash." After financing, service plan, extended warranty, and sales tax they're usually out a grand for a high-end laptop that will most likely be used for internet browsing. Same people will show up at the union meeting and claim that the teachers are grossly underpaid and nearly starving.

CarDude

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Re: Buying a new computer
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2014, 08:49:36 AM »
Another thing to keep in mind is that if you're willing to install Ubuntu or a similar Linux system, you can get an older laptop running pretty smoothly for the things most people use computers for (word processing, surfing, email, music, and video).

SEdude

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Re: Buying a new computer
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2014, 11:27:02 AM »
I've seen plenty of good deals on craigslist, especially on old business grade laptops that a local business needs to get rid of. And sometimes bestbuy will put low end laptops way on sale for < $300 (I would check their weekly ad for your area).

curlycue

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Re: Buying a new computer
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2014, 08:36:14 PM »
Thanks for the suggestions, they are all very helpful!

wtjbatman

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Re: Buying a new computer
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2014, 09:21:42 PM »
In my experience, as long as you avoid the sub-$500 space, most laptops will last 5 years or more.

Back in 2008 when I started college, I bought a $400 Compaq (a what?!) laptop. This beast is still my go-to laptop for web browsing on the couch nearly six years later.

That said, it basically chugs when I try to do anything besides surf the web. Too bad I'm all mustachian now and don't "need" to upgrade.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Buying a new computer
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2014, 06:02:37 AM »
In my experience, as long as you avoid the sub-$500 space, most laptops will last 5 years or more.

Back in 2008 when I started college, I bought a $400 Compaq (a what?!) laptop. This beast is still my go-to laptop for web browsing on the couch nearly six years later.

That said, it basically chugs when I try to do anything besides surf the web. Too bad I'm all mustachian now and don't "need" to upgrade.

Then you've had really good luck. Usually the cheapo laptops can be repaired when they break, but in my unscientific experience they have problems much more frequently than even marginally nicer machines.

Refurbished Thinkpads are a great recommendation. Thankfully the quality has kept on par or better with Lenovo at the head.

zachd

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Re: Buying a new computer
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2014, 08:48:50 AM »
For like 99% of your needs, yesteryear builds of Thinkpads or Latitude would be my choice.  I would obvious upgrade them to SSD and up the RAM.  Our staples here has a refurb E4200 Latitude for $180 which is a steal (solid units, portable and comes with SSD hdd).

Personally I'm still using a free laptop, R61 Thinkpad (2006) that a client gave me years ago.  Once I got the RAM to 4gb, upgraded the CPU, then installed an 80gb SSD... thing FLIES in Windows7-64bit.  I won't be changing anytime soon, only thing would be to buy an extended battery fro $30 soon, as this current one holds only about a 2hr charge.

Plenty of <$200 laptops that are fine for business work on Craigslist. Laptops these days last a lot longer than they used to. I'd say going used would be fine, if performance is not paramount.

Any links to notebooks with 4gb ram and an ssd drive?  That's a good deal, would be interested.

zurich78

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Re: Buying a new computer
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2014, 09:33:51 AM »
Hmm.  I don't understand why people would recommend buying such old hardware.  Understand that the up-front costs are lower, but, beyond that, what's the real benefits?

Older laptops
- Are more likely to break
- Cannot run newer O/S or software
- May not have the ports necessary to connect newer peripherals
- Have poorer battery life if you take them to go
- Are slower performance wise

I suppose it boils down to what you're using your laptop for.  If it's just web browsing and absolutely nothing else, then an older laptop I suppose would be fine (although you may have to buy a wifi card since some of the older ones don't have built-in wifi).  But if you plan on doing anything in terms of productivity, you're going to need a little more.  By productivity I mean using MS Office, photo editing, etc.  (And I know you can use older versions of Office, but, there is a chance you won't be able to open newer version files that you receive on an older version of Office).  I like to make videos and edit them together and so I have to use a machine with a little more gusto.  And then there's gaming which will require a little more machine as well.

IMO, if a laptop is something that is going to get used quite a bit, then I would try to get the newest or most powerful machine within your budget.

AMustachianMurse

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Re: Buying a new computer
« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2014, 09:42:41 AM »
Do you need something that reads MS Office files? Or do you need a word processor?  Do you need it to run any programs that exclusively run on windows that you need offline?

If not I would recommend seriously considering a chromebook.  I got an Acer C720 refurbished off of an amazon deal for $150 and this thing has been the best $150 i've ever spent in my life.  There is zero malware, zero viruses (for now), since it's just a shell for a browser.  They are adding more and more offline able apps such as google docs, google spreadsheet, and google keep. 

If you need to view things on a windows computer, but have a desktop at home.  Chrome has a remote desktop viewer that works seamlessly, AND even allows me to view my dual monitor setup at home.  It's 11.6" with 2 usb and hdmi out, light as a feather, and extraordinarily long battery life because it doesnt have a strong GPU as do windows laptops. 

Also for those personal finance paranoid people like me out there.  I have my chromebook loaded with lastpass premium and dual authenticator via google authenticator on my phone.  So in order to log into my browser on chromebook, you have to enter a code that is constantly cycling ad infinitum on my phone every 60 seconds.  Since there aren't any viruses/malware/installable applications on my chromebook.  I do all of my financial stuff on that, and never visit any risky sites knowing that all my information is pretty secure.

Gin1984

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Re: Buying a new computer
« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2014, 11:31:08 AM »
Read this article:

http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-budget-laptop/

But if you want longevity and Windows, a Thinkpad is going to be your best bet.

See this piece, albeit out of date:

http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/the-lenovo-t430-is-the-best-workhorse-laptop/

In my experience, as long as you avoid the sub-$500 space, most laptops will last 5 years or more.
Unless you are as hard on computers as I am and kill laptops every two years, lol.  I got warranties because it was worth it, a three year warranty and I got a replacement computer.

skunkfunk

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Re: Buying a new computer
« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2014, 11:36:01 AM »
Another thing to keep in mind is that if you're willing to install Ubuntu or a similar Linux system, you can get an older laptop running pretty smoothly for the things most people use computers for (word processing, surfing, email, music, and video).

I got a secondhand netbook in 2009. The owner said it was too slow. I stuck LXDE Ubuntu on there and it works great now for all my normal stuff.

Anything heavier gets done on the desktop I salvaged from the office. I think it was bought in 2007. It had a hard time running internet explorer, much less CAD software, when they replaced it, but it runs Ubuntu and all of the associated programs just fine.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Buying a new computer
« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2014, 12:59:47 PM »
I've bought lots of refurbished laptops for our small company.  My suggestion:  a refurbished Thinkpad.  You can get a Thinkpad T410 for $200 or less with Windows 7 and 4GB of RAM pretty easily on ebay, and often wind up with a laptop that looks like it was never used.  There is no better bargain on a laptop, in my opinion, than a refurbished Thinkpad T-series.

curlycue

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Re: Buying a new computer
« Reply #20 on: May 10, 2014, 05:02:25 PM »
I definitely need ms office, and I will be installing some research/statistics programs like spss for grad school.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2014, 05:04:40 PM by curlycue »

wtjbatman

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Re: Buying a new computer
« Reply #21 on: May 10, 2014, 06:59:49 PM »
In my experience, as long as you avoid the sub-$500 space, most laptops will last 5 years or more.

Back in 2008 when I started college, I bought a $400 Compaq (a what?!) laptop. This beast is still my go-to laptop for web browsing on the couch nearly six years later.

That said, it basically chugs when I try to do anything besides surf the web. Too bad I'm all mustachian now and don't "need" to upgrade.

Then you've had really good luck.

I expect it will implode sooner or later. One of the reasons I back up all of my important data (watch my "luck" turn out to be that the old Compaq lasts longer than my much newer Asus gaming laptop).