PC laptops

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catdude
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PC laptops

Post by catdude » Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:24 pm

Hi there Bogleheads -

I'm in the process of exiting the Apple ecosystem. A couple months ago I replaced my iPhone SE with a Motorola Moto G. Now my iMac seems to be giving up the ghost. It's almost five years old and it's really slowing down.

I'm thinking I'll get a new PC laptop. I was checking out Amazon's collection last night and it looks like there are good ones available for $275 - $325. My needs are fairly minimal. I mainly use my computers for web surfing and emailing. I don't need anything really fancy.

Any advice on which brands are the best? Which ones to avoid? I'm amazed at what's available for relatively little money, certainly as compared to Macs, and compared to what PC's cost last time I shopped for one, many years ago....
catdude | | "I yield to the gentleman for a few feeble remarks." (Congressman Thaddeus Stevens)

JohnFiscal
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Re: PC laptops

Post by JohnFiscal » Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:28 pm

FWIW, I suggest taking a look at Lenovo. They have models in all price range. They used to build the ThinkPads for IBM, then bought that line when IBM exited the pc business.

Of course, Dell, Acer, HP.

And Sony Vaio is back, though pricier than your stated range.

Most of those companies I'd just deal direct rather than go through a reseller (Amazon, Best Buy, etc)

I had a Dell laptop many years ago. Hated that junk. Got a Sony Vaio back in 2006 or so, really liked that and still have it, Replaced with a high end Lenovo ThinkPad last year.

pochax
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Re: PC laptops

Post by pochax » Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:30 pm

are you sure you even need a PC (ie. Windows OS)? or could you get by with a chromebook? Chromebooks are in general less expensive and more secure than comparably spec'ed Windows PC laptops. the tradeoff is that you need to have a gmail/google account (and all the privacy, information sharing issues related to that, although Microsoft seems to want the same info nowadays when you register your new PC laptop too) and you do not have the ability to download/install all the applications that Windows and Macs allow. But if all you do, as you say, is email and websurf, a chromebook will work great.

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Pajamas
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Re: PC laptops

Post by Pajamas » Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:30 pm

If you were looking at laptops on Amazon in that price range you probably noticed that none of them have particularly good ratings and reviews unless they are Chromebooks. You should consider either spending more or getting a Chromebook, which would meet your basic needs.

One of the big problems with an inexpensive laptop is that the screen is cheap compared to even your older iMac. No way to get around that and it can really be miserable to use a cheap screen.
Last edited by Pajamas on Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

onourway
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Re: PC laptops

Post by onourway » Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:30 pm

If you have been using Macs I think you will be disappointed in what you get from a PC for $300. You do get what you pay for.

At the sub-$1000 level it really comes down to the particular model you get. Some will be decent. Many will be junk.

The Dell XPS 13 is a solid choice that can be found in this price range.

raveon
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Re: PC laptops

Post by raveon » Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:31 pm

If you are only interested in surfing/emailing, look into Chromebook. I agree Apple ecosystem is a waste of money.

bloom2708
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Re: PC laptops

Post by bloom2708 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:34 pm

i3 or i5, 128gb or 256gb SSD drive, 4gb or 8gb RAM

If you set your lower boundaries and don't get below, you will get a pretty fast, very usable laptop.

There are a bunch of ways to shop for a laptop. New, Refurb. Sites like eBay, woot.com, amazon.com, slickdeals, techbargains.

I like Lenovo. At work I have a newer X1 Carbon. At home I have a couple versions older X1 Carbon. i5, 256gb SSD.
"We are here not to please but to provoke thoughtfulness" Unknown Boglehead

Hulu
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Re: PC laptops

Post by Hulu » Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:35 pm

Slickdeals.com has good deals. Ditto Costco and Best Buy (open box). For your stated purposes a Chromebook might do if you're light on wear and tear. If waiting is an option between Tday and Xmas is usually better.

mcraepat9
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Re: PC laptops

Post by mcraepat9 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:51 pm

bloom2708 wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:34 pm
I like Lenovo. At work I have a newer X1 Carbon. At home I have a couple versions older X1 Carbon. i5, 256gb SSD.
+1

Couldn't be happier with my X1 Carbon Lenovo
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Momus
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Re: PC laptops

Post by Momus » Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:56 pm

Whatever you do, get a laptop with an SSD drive. RAM 8GB, and i-5 processor, but doesn't matter much.

SS396
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Re: PC laptops

Post by SS396 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:11 pm

I recommend you buy a Chromebook if all you do is email and surf the web. The CB maintains itself and is by far the most secure Laptop you can buy. Due to the nature of the Cloud based OS, malware, spyware, ransomware and viruses cannot install on the device. Everytime the CB boots up it compares the files on the device to the Cloud based OS and corrects any deviation before you can use the Laptop. If the device ever starts acting odd, you can complete a hard reset and in a minute or so your OS is back to square one. Problem solved. There are no quick fixes on Windows or Mac units. The CB will boot up in about 7 or 8 seconds and the battery life is better than Apple or Windows Laptops. If you are a Costco member, they have a 90 day return policy. The CB includes 100GB of free storage in the Cloud for two years. After that period the free storage space is 15 GB. That is plenty for some people, but if you need more you can pay for the extra storage.

If you need to use Office products, Office Online is free and can be used in the CB environment as long as you have an Office.com account (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote). It is MS offering to compete with Google Docs.

Good luck.
Last edited by SS396 on Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:04 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Pajamas
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Re: PC laptops

Post by Pajamas » Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:15 pm

SS396 wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:11 pm
The CB . . . is immune from malware, spyware, ransomware and viruses.
They are certainly significantly less susceptible than most other computers but they are not immune.

iamlucky13
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Re: PC laptops

Post by iamlucky13 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:24 pm

Minor nomenclature nitpick here:

PC is a general term for "personal computer."

Your iMac is a PC, despite the way an old ad series suggested otherwise.

mmmodem
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Re: PC laptops

Post by mmmodem » Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:30 pm

I've been quite impressed by the quality of the HP Stream 14" I got a few months ago refurbished from Walmart for $150. It's on Amazon right now for $200. It's small, light and easy to carry to surf the web, email, and YouTube videos.

The beauty of it is that it runs full windows 10. It's not a Chromebook that can only do some things. It only has a 32 gb SSD but I can add a small form factor USB drive to bring storage to 128 gb. I haven't needed to though because like I said all I do is email and surf the web with it. I also used it this year to do TurboTax. Because there are no moving parts it gets me 8+ hours of battery life. It also came with a year of office 360.

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Pajamas
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Re: PC laptops

Post by Pajamas » Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:44 pm

mmmodem wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:30 pm

The beauty of it is that it runs full windows 10. It's not a Chromebook that can only do some things. . . . all I do is email and surf the web with it.
So why would it matter to you that it runs Windows 10 if you only email and browse?

mega317
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Re: PC laptops

Post by mega317 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:53 pm

I love the Bogleheads. OP asks for a PC, clearly meaning a windows computer, and gets 5 suggestions for a Chromebook and one nomenclature correction.

I swear by refurbished/used computers. I have had great luck with Ebay--make sure you understand the seller's return policy. I agree to get an SSD. My current laptop was 3 years old when I bought it 3 years ago and still runs great. I don't do much more than email and web but I often have a lot of tabs open plus Word, Excel, and my EMR remotely accessed.

Dottie57
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Re: PC laptops

Post by Dottie57 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:05 pm

My work PC was an HP Elite. It did quite well. Even with the multiple layers of security software it worked well.

For myself I use Apple as it feels like home. Sorry you are having problem with it.

jeroly
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Re: PC laptops

Post by jeroly » Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:07 pm

I'm a big fan of Chromebooks but you can run into problems with many printers if you want to print over the network from one. "Using email" can work great on a Chromebook if you are using gmail or another web-based email service, less well if you routinely use an email client like Outlook that stores messages locally on the laptop as you can't run Windows or Mac programs.

For about $500 you can get the Asus Chromebook Flip 2 which has a very good (hi-res and touch-) screen, doubles as a tablet that runs Android apps (so you could, for example, use the Outlook app) and has a great keyboard.
If you insist on a full PC I'd go with a Lenovo - they almost always have excellent keyboards which many other laptops lack, and that to me can make or break the user experience...
For the price range you're talking about there will be compromises required (eg, less RAM / slower processor / lower screen resolution), but by all means get one with an SSD as it is the single best 'upgrade' you can make on a machine these days.
Last edited by jeroly on Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.

JohnFiscal
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Re: PC laptops

Post by JohnFiscal » Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:09 pm

mega317 wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:53 pm
I swear by refurbished/used computers. I have had great luck with Ebay--make sure you understand the seller's return policy. I agree to get an SSD. My current laptop was 3 years old when I bought it 3 years ago and still runs great. I don't do much more than email and web but I often have a lot of tabs open plus Word, Excel, and my EMR remotely accessed.
Good idea.

My wife has bought 3-4 used Lenovo ThinkPads of varying ages, all in the range of $99 to $249 from New Egg. All are very nice machines, all running Windows 10. Sometimes I question why I had to buy a new ThinkPad.

bampf
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Re: PC laptops

Post by bampf » Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:18 pm

catdude wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:24 pm
Now my iMac seems to be giving up the ghost. It's almost five years old and it's really slowing down.

<snip> I mainly use my computers for web surfing and emailing. I don't need anything really fancy.
I am all for refreshing technology when you need to. I have probably a dozen different computers lying around in some sort of state, but, I am a nerd geek at heart. Parsing your statement, I am puzzled. Memory doesn't really slow down (nor do CPUs) with age. Hard drives get full. Operating systems get crufty, but, the hardware stack is probably just fine. For example, my mac book air is 6 years old and works great. I have had to slap a new battery in it and I put in new ssd, but, that doesn't sound like your issue. If you just need surfing and emailing, why not just rebuild the OS and move on? You will get a fresh install, which will likely clean up any bloat you have, and off you go. Its fairly trivial to do (google "clean install osx" or "Make your mac feel like new again with a fresh install"). In other words, your issue is probably easily rectified with a bit of maintenance. If you want a new box, great. There are lots of choices. If you just want factory performance, wipe your system and start over....

My frugal .02
Last edited by bampf on Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jdowney
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Re: PC laptops

Post by jdowney » Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:27 pm

I would second the Lenovo line of laptops and I strongly recommend that you have it configured with a solid state drive. It will greatly improve the startup time for the laptop.

jebmke
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Re: PC laptops

Post by jebmke » Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:30 pm

I have deployed about 15 Lenovo laptops over the last couple of years. I like the hardware. We don't use the OEM image so I can't comment on whether the retail versions are clogged with crapware. But if you have the license key you should be able to do a clean install without all the OEM add-ons if you don't want them.
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JohnFiscal
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Re: PC laptops

Post by JohnFiscal » Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:32 pm

jebmke wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:30 pm
I have deployed about 15 Lenovo laptops over the last couple of years. I like the hardware. We don't use the OEM image so I can't comment on whether the retail versions are clogged with crapware. But if you have the license key you should be able to do a clean install without all the OEM add-ons if you don't want them.
No crapware/bloatware when I bought my ThinkPad a year ago (direct from Lenovo). This was after the incident where they were inadvertently including some sort of spyware a year or two ago.

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munemaker
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Re: PC laptops

Post by munemaker » Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:42 pm

mmmodem wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:30 pm
The beauty of it is that it runs full windows 10.
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

Hillview
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Re: PC laptops

Post by Hillview » Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:44 pm

Husband has this and has been very happy

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075N ... UTF8&psc=1

Son has chrome book also been very happy but it is not a full computer like you are used to.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N5 ... UTF8&psc=1

02nz
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Re: PC laptops

Post by 02nz » Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:50 pm

The Acer Swift 1 is probably among the best budget choices. It has a few things (solid state drive, high-quality IPS screen) that you won't find in most computers in this price range. However right now I'm not seeing too many places selling it new, only refurbished. If you can stretch your budget a bit to $500 or so, you'll have much better choices, with faster processors and more storage. Costco has an Acer Swift 3 for $550. Acer is kind of a "budget" brand but actually makes better budget laptops than most, and their tech support is among the best (after Apple).

I definitely recommend getting a computer with a solid state drive instead of hard drive. You get less capacity at the same price but the computer feels much, much faster. But it's hard to find laptops with SSDs for under $500.

iamlucky13
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Re: PC laptops

Post by iamlucky13 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:22 pm

mega317 wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:53 pm
I love the Bogleheads. OP asks for a PC, clearly meaning a windows computer, and gets 5 suggestions for a Chromebook and one nomenclature correction.
Did they mean that? He or she never said Windows. They only indicated they didn't want a Mac, and they were looking to spend around $300. While admittedly OEM's get better pricing, the retail cost of Windows over 1/3 of their budget, which factors into system price.

In that context, I think it's understandable why several posters are recommending Chrome OS and pretty relevant to clarify that PC is a general term, so if they specifically want Windows, it would be helpful to say so.

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catdude
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Re: PC laptops

Post by catdude » Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:18 pm

iamlucky13 wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:22 pm
mega317 wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:53 pm
I love the Bogleheads. OP asks for a PC, clearly meaning a windows computer, and gets 5 suggestions for a Chromebook and one nomenclature correction.
Did they mean that? He or she never said Windows. They only indicated they didn't want a Mac, and they were looking to spend around $300. While admittedly OEM's get better pricing, the retail cost of Windows over 1/3 of their budget, which factors into system price.

In that context, I think it's understandable why several posters are recommending Chrome OS and pretty relevant to clarify that PC is a general term, so if they specifically want Windows, it would be helpful to say so.
Hi, OP here. Thanks to all who've responded. I'm definitely OK with those who suggested Chromebooks. That sounds like a good option, I will consider it. I'll also consider bumping up my budget to get an SSD drive.

Thanks again...
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tennisplyr
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Re: PC laptops

Post by tennisplyr » Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:24 am

I'm thinking between Lenovo and Chromebook, what it is that Chromebook cannot do.
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JohnFiscal
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Re: PC laptops

Post by JohnFiscal » Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:42 am

tennisplyr wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:24 am
I'm thinking between Lenovo and Chromebook, what it is that Chromebook cannot do.
You could get both-in-one: Lenovo model 100e Chromebook. $199
https://www3.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/l ... 8ELC1S9999

I think of Chromebooks as large format smart phones, tablets, etc, with a built-in keyboard. You have a bunch of "apps" available. If they do what you want great! If someone's a "power user", they're going to want a more powerful system (Mac or PC) with more powerful software applications to choose from. In my case, I use Google Sheets (web-based spreadsheets) a lot for purposes of setting up spreadsheets for several family members' financial and budgeting. But I do all the development and my own work using Microsoft Excel. I would never give up Excel to use Sheets exclusively... too frustrating.

Lynette
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Re: PC laptops

Post by Lynette » Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:51 am

I recommend Chromebooks to all of my elderly non-techie friends - if they don't need to print. As far as I can tell you either need a wireless printer or another device with a printer attached. I bought a new laser printer last month but was too lazy to try to attach it to my wifi network. If I need to printer and I've typed something on my Chromebook, i email it to myself on my other Windows 10 computer that is attached to the printer - via a usb cable. I dropped my small Asus Chromebook and it doesn't use the up and down arrows very well. So yesterday, I bought an Acer 15 inch CBS-15-1H Chromebook for about $350. The screen resolution is fabulous.

I still use my Windows 10 computers as I need Photoshop but use Chromebooks 90% of the time.

kjvmartin
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Re: PC laptops

Post by kjvmartin » Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:55 am

I replace my MacBook Pro every 3 years by selling it outright and buying a new one. The total cost of having the latest every three years is about $400. In my mind, Apple is the most cost effective brand if you time your upgrades correctly.

I tried to exit the Apple ecosystem as well, but PC laptops for whatever reason cannot make a decent trackpad. I tried many and found all sub $1000 Windows laptops had terrible trackpads. You may also feel a bit underwhelmed by the quality of the display on a low end Windows machine. The Dell XPS line is the closest thing I discovered to an Apple MB display/trackpad, but the cost was not attractive. Beware of these issue before buying on Amazon.

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Pajamas
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Re: PC laptops

Post by Pajamas » Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:20 am

bampf wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:18 pm
catdude wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:24 pm
Now my iMac seems to be giving up the ghost. It's almost five years old and it's really slowing down.

<snip> I mainly use my computers for web surfing and emailing. I don't need anything really fancy.
I am all for refreshing technology when you need to. I have probably a dozen different computers lying around in some sort of state, but, I am a nerd geek at heart. Parsing your statement, I am puzzled. Memory doesn't really slow down (nor do CPUs) with age. Hard drives get full. Operating systems get crufty, but, the hardware stack is probably just fine. For example, my mac book air is 6 years old and works great. I have had to slap a new battery in it and I put in new ssd, but, that doesn't sound like your issue. If you just need surfing and emailing, why not just rebuild the OS and move on? You will get a fresh install, which will likely clean up any bloat you have, and off you go. Its fairly trivial to do (google "clean install osx" or "Make your mac feel like new again with a fresh install"). In other words, your issue is probably easily rectified with a bit of maintenance. If you want a new box, great. There are lots of choices. If you just want factory performance, wipe your system and start over....

My frugal .02
Good point there.

https://support.apple.com/kb/sp665?locale=en_US

Might need more RAM but that is pretty cheap for an iMac that is five years old or thereabouts. A fresh install of the OS or even just a good clean up and a new keyboard and mouse and it would probably be much more satisfactory than a new $350 laptop, with a better display, etc. I'm thinking you could get someone to do all of that for you for under $200 or so, but I'm not sure about that.

My current 2012 Apple computer is just fine. I upgraded the RAM a couple of years ago and keep the OS updated but see no reason to replace it any time soon. The last one was a laptop and I finally replaced it because it was physically falling apart, but it operated just fine otherwise.

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munemaker
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Re: PC laptops

Post by munemaker » Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:30 am

tennisplyr wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:24 am
I'm thinking between Lenovo and Chromebook, what it is that Chromebook cannot do.
Read this for some good advice on whether a chromebook is right for you. For most people, it is. I have a desktop PC (had it before I bought my two chromebooks), but seldom use it anymore. As has been mentioned, setting up the printer is a little tricky. Make sure you look into this before you buy a printer...if you need a printer.

https://www.laptopmag.com/articles/chro ... ing-advice

lostdog
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Re: PC laptops

Post by lostdog » Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:34 am

If all you do is surf and email get a Chromebook. They're rock solid and Google updates the OS quite frequently. They're very secure also. The Google drive and office apps are great too.
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Gadget
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Re: PC laptops

Post by Gadget » Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:47 am

Printers are fairly cheap. It's the ink that is expensive.

If you really need to print, you can find tons of printers that work with Google cloud printing. A chrome book can easily print to a Google cloud printer. The advantage of this setup is that you can also print to your printer from your phone or while away from home. I like the brother inkinvestment line as a cheap Google cloud printer.

Based on your stated requirements, I agree a chrome book is the way to go. I have a Samsung chromebook pro. It has a great screen, and I find that I'm using it almost exclusively over my much more expensive Microsoft surface book laptop. It's fun to be able to run Android apps and games on a chrome book. It starts up so fast that i find I don't want to wait on a windows machine to boot up.

That said, some software requires windows. I had to use my windows laptop to run the desktop version of TurboTax. I realize there is an online version of TurboTax, but I prefer the desktop one.

Katietsu
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Re: PC laptops

Post by Katietsu » Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:50 am

Your 5 year old iMac is a better computer for email and surfing the web than any new $350 laptop. I would spend your time on the iMac.

Think of it like saying, I am going to trade in my 2014 Mercedes S class because it needs new tires, brake pads, and an oil change and I am going to replace it with the cheapest no option new vehicle I can find.
Last edited by Katietsu on Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

Gadget
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Re: PC laptops

Post by Gadget » Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:14 am

Katietsu wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:50 am
Your 5 year old iMac is a better computer for email and surfing the web than any new $350 laptop. I would spend your time on the iMac.

Think of it like saying, I am going to trade in my 2014 Mercedes S class because it needs new tires, brake pads, and an oil change and I am going to replace it with the cheapest no option new vehicle I can find.
This is a terrible analogy in the world of computers. A solid state drive alone would likely give the feeling of a giant performance boost. Laptop batteries that old are usually terrible. I'm not a Mac user, but I have many former hot rod laptops that now collect dust. The Samsung chrome book pro I use was 350 I think on black Friday last year, but retails at 600.

Computer technology advances exponentially, while car technology advances linearly. At least until self driving cars take over and practically become giant computers...

an_asker
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Re: PC laptops

Post by an_asker » Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:38 am

SS396 wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:11 pm
I recommend you buy a Chromebook if all you do is email and surf the web. The CB maintains itself and is by far the most secure Laptop you can buy. Due to the nature of the Cloud based OS, malware, spyware, ransomware and viruses cannot install on the device. Everytime the CB boots up it compares the files on the device to the Cloud based OS and corrects any deviation before you can use the Laptop. If the device ever starts acting odd, you can complete a hard reset and in a minute or so your OS is back to square one. Problem solved. There are no quick fixes on Windows or Mac units. The CB will boot up in about 7 or 8 seconds and the battery life is better than Apple or Windows Laptops. If you are a Costco member, they have a 90 day return policy. The CB includes 100GB of free storage in the Cloud for two years. After that period the free storage space is 15 GB. That is plenty for some people, but if you need more you can pay for the extra storage.

If you need to use Office products, Office Online is free and can be used in the CB environment as long as you have an Office.com account (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote). It is MS offering to compete with Google Docs.

Good luck.
Totally basic question - what is an Office.com account? Is it free?

Also, with Chromebooks, can you download documents/files off the web - jpg/pdf/mp3/... - to a local storage device; something USB based such either a flash drive or a external hard drive?

onourway
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Re: PC laptops

Post by onourway » Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:42 am

Gadget wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:14 am
This is a terrible analogy in the world of computers. A solid state drive alone would likely give the feeling of a giant performance boost. Laptop batteries that old are usually terrible. I'm not a Mac user, but I have many former hot rod laptops that now collect dust. The Samsung chrome book pro I use was 350 I think on black Friday last year, but retails at 600.

Computer technology advances exponentially, while car technology advances linearly. At least until self driving cars take over and practically become giant computers...
This used to be true in computers. For the past decade it has largely ceased to be so. The last major speed improvement to consumer PC's was the SSD, and we've been installing them in every laptop we buy for a decade. Our laptops have a minimum useful lifespan of 10 years, and the primary difference between one 10 years old and a brand new one is that the new one is thinner and lighter while having much better battery life and a better screen. Speed improvements have been extremely linear.

I actually think most people would see a bigger difference over 10 years in recent car improvements than computer improvements.

Katietsu
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Re: PC laptops

Post by Katietsu » Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:44 am

Gadget wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:14 am
Katietsu wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:50 am
Your 5 year old iMac is a better computer for email and surfing the web than any new $350 laptop. I would spend your time on the iMac.

Think of it like saying, I am going to trade in my 2014 Mercedes S class because it needs new tires, brake pads, and an oil change and I am going to replace it with the cheapest no option new vehicle I can find.
This is a terrible analogy in the world of computers. A solid state drive alone would likely give the feeling of a giant performance boost. Laptop batteries that old are usually terrible. I'm not a Mac user, but I have many former hot rod laptops that now collect dust. The Samsung chrome book pro I use was 350 I think on black Friday last year, but retails at 600.

Computer technology advances exponentially, while car technology advances linearly. At least until self driving cars take over and practically become giant computers...
I agree that in the interest of making my point, I took the analogy too far.

But, I do think maintenance on the iMac may still be the better move. I use a 5 year old iMac when stay with family out of town. I also use a $450 laptop that is a year old and a 2 year old >$1000 Portable with a solid state drive. I think the OP might be happiest with the current hardware if it was cleaned up.

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randomizer
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Re: PC laptops

Post by randomizer » Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:44 am

Good move. Apple hardware seems to be going the way of lunacy of late (the Touch Bar, the keyboards that require the entire top of the machine to be replaced when you get dust in one of the keys etc). I'm not brave enough to make the leap myself (too much stuff in Apple Photos, for example, and some apps that I really like). Not yet.
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munemaker
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Re: PC laptops

Post by munemaker » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:09 am

an_asker wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:38 am
... with Chromebooks, can you download documents/files off the web - jpg/pdf/mp3/... - to a local storage device; something USB based such either a flash drive or a external hard drive?
With Chromebooks, you certainly can download documents/files from the web in any format, including the ones you mentioned. Normally you would want to save them to your Google Drive (cloud) account where Google backs them up for you, and you can access from any computer. Alternatively, you can save to the Chromebook's internal storage. Almost all Chromebooks have a slot for an SD or micro SD card where you can store files. You can also plug in a USB Jump Drive or an external hard drive if you like.

Me, I have a 256 Gb SD card (seems like way more than I can ever use). I find saving most things to the cloud is best, but I do save movies to the SD card so I can watch them where there is no internet connection, on a plane, for example.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: PC laptops

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:36 am

I had thought you couldn't install anything on Chromebooks, but online it seems to indicate that you might be able to load Android apps. Anyone have information? I'm not terribly interested for myself, as I need Windows for various things, but I like to have information.
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Re: PC laptops

Post by an_asker » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:42 am

munemaker wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:09 am
an_asker wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:38 am
... with Chromebooks, can you download documents/files off the web - jpg/pdf/mp3/... - to a local storage device; something USB based such either a flash drive or a external hard drive?
With Chromebooks, you certainly can download documents/files from the web in any format, including the ones you mentioned. Normally you would want to save them to your Google Drive (cloud) account where Google backs them up for you, and you can access from any computer. Alternatively, you can save to the Chromebook's internal storage. Almost all Chromebooks have a slot for an SD or micro SD card where you can store files. You can also plug in a USB Jump Drive or an external hard drive if you like.

Me, I have a 256 Gb SD card (seems like way more than I can ever use). I find saving most things to the cloud is best, but I do save movies to the SD card so I can watch them where there is no internet connection, on a plane, for example.
Thanks!

Then the only issue that might stop me from going to Chromebook for my next computer would be my excel spreadsheet needs. But if I get a free version using Office.com, that issue would go away as well!

jebmke
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Re: PC laptops

Post by jebmke » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:44 am

an_asker wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:42 am
Then the only issue that might stop me from going to Chromebook for my next computer would be my excel spreadsheet needs. But if I get a free version using Office.com, that issue would go away as well!
I am not 100% certain but I think LibreOffice might run on Chromebooks. Depending on how complex your spreadsheets are that might suffice. I have found some complex spreadsheets, especially heavily formatted, sometimes don't port well to Libre.

For simple stuff, I am moving to Google Sheets where feasible.
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pochax
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Re: PC laptops

Post by pochax » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:46 am

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:36 am
I had thought you couldn't install anything on Chromebooks, but online it seems to indicate that you might be able to load Android apps. Anyone have information? I'm not terribly interested for myself, as I need Windows for various things, but I like to have information.
The answer is: it depends. here is the website google has that lists which chromebooks can install android apps via the Play Store:
https://sites.google.com/a/chromium.org ... droid-apps

The caveat is that not all apps will work on the chromebook and it is hit or miss as to be able to tell.

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Pajamas
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Re: PC laptops

Post by Pajamas » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:47 am

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:36 am
I had thought you couldn't install anything on Chromebooks, but online it seems to indicate that you might be able to load Android apps. Anyone have information? I'm not terribly interested for myself, as I need Windows for various things, but I like to have information.
Plenty of extensions are available for Chromebooks. The operating system is basically the browser. The newer Chromebooks also run Android apps and Google seems to be moving towards one OS.

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/category/extensions

https://chromeunboxed.com/news/new-feat ... romebooks/

fishboat
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Re: PC laptops

Post by fishboat » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:58 am

OP..you may want to search the past threads for "laptop" or laptop + "Latitude".

The discussion above has been discussed quite a bit..with similar responses.

Buying a cheap/new/consumer machine..meh..you'll get what you pay for, and less.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: PC laptops

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:59 am

Interesting. Like I said, not for me as I have a number of programs that I use, but it's good to know in case a family member needs advice.
This week's fortune cookie: "Your financial life will be secure and beneficial." So I got that going for me, which is nice.

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