PC laptops

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
EvelynTroy
Posts: 325
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 8:35 am

Re: PC laptops

Post by EvelynTroy » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:21 pm

I agree the apple line is not a good value. I've had the MotoG 1st gen. for 4 yrs yesterday - congratulatory email from my phone service yesterday Republic Wireless - sure not a fancy phone but it had served me well using the apps I need/want.
I diverted.
I purchased this refurbished Lenovo laptop Dec. 2017 - $200, have been very pleased with it - no complaints. My usage requirements are like yours - email, web surfing, Youtube watching, Netflix streaming on occasion, 3-4 small software products I use. I use google drive and accompanying docs, and sheets so no need for big hard drive, or fancy stuff. The screen flips over for a touch-screen if you like to use it that way.
I've bought several items from this store - one in my area so I ordered and picked it up. Of course they ship - $10 for standard shipping.
I've been happy with the service of the store. Check perhaps one is in your area.

http://www.microcenter.com/product/5029 ... ed_-_Black

Evelyn

Dottie57
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Re: PC laptops

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:06 pm

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.

I was looking at BestBuy.com and see there are Chromebooks. They have eMMC flash which is like a slow SSD. The sizes are not big, but looks like you can store programs or data. The sizes are very small compared to laptops. But I think the Chromebooks are designed for cloud computing.

mariezzz
Posts: 202
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:02 pm

Re: PC laptops

Post by mariezzz » Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:06 pm

Lenovo trackpads are horrible. I've had 4 different Lenovos in the last 7 years (work, personal) and with all (even after spending hours searching on line & playing around with ways to adjust their settings), I've experienced the cursor randomly jumping around the screen. Others I work with have reported the same thing.

I finally replaced my personal laptop with a Dell Latitude 2 years ago - I had had the Lenovo trackpad for 1 year, and the hard drive died. Out of the box, the Dell trackpad worked exactly as I wanted it to, no random jumps around the screen. No problems (knock on wood) in >2 years.

If you buy Dell, buy a Latitude, and not the lowest in their line. They're probably 10% more expensive than Lenovo, but for $100 difference, the lack of frustration pays for itself. I use my computer intensively, have many things open at the same time, etc.

Whatever you do, buy the line intended for enterprise, not home use. According to many IT professionals I've talked to, the home lines are never very high quality. Enterprises won't put up with parts failing constantly, even if they're covered under warranty - it's too expensive in terms of time.

Someone who just surfs the web might have a different opinion & experience with Lenovo. Or if you don't expect high performance from your computer. You also might not be bothered if you're not frustrated by typing along and realizing mid-sentence your cursor jumped somewhere else on the page (or to another program you have open).

Our IT dept chooses Lenovo NOT because employees like them, but because Lenovo saves them money at purchase time (they don't calculate in the long-term cost). The decision making here is poor, because many employees complain about all the time they spend dealing with this and a few other Lenovov headaches, but unfortunately, people higher up haven't caught on yet.

Dottie57
Posts: 4456
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 5:43 pm

Re: PC laptops

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:10 pm

EvelynTroy wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:21 pm
I agree the apple line is not a good value. I've had the MotoG 1st gen. for 4 yrs yesterday - congratulatory email from my phone service yesterday Republic Wireless - sure not a fancy phone but it had served me well using the apps I need/want.
I diverted.
I purchased this refurbished Lenovo laptop Dec. 2017 - $200, have been very pleased with it - no complaints. My usage requirements are like yours - email, web surfing, Youtube watching, Netflix streaming on occasion, 3-4 small software products I use. I use google drive and accompanying docs, and sheets so no need for big hard drive, or fancy stuff. The screen flips over for a touch-screen if you like to use it that way.
I've bought several items from this store - one in my area so I ordered and picked it up. Of course they ship - $10 for standard shipping.
I've been happy with the service of the store. Check perhaps one is in your area.

http://www.microcenter.com/product/5029 ... ed_-_Black

Evelyn
The Apple line is good value for me. All of my computers work well so far. 11 year old iMac which serves as a server. 6year old MacBook Pro. So if it has no value for you, fine, but it can have value for others. Each to his/her own.

Gadget
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Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:38 pm

Re: PC laptops

Post by Gadget » Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:36 pm

Just to clarify some points... New Chromebooks can now install almost every android app from the play store. I have yet to find an app I use that won't install. Only older chrome books may not be able to install Android apps from the Google play store.

As far as excel spreadsheet replacement... Google sheets is excellent. It now even supports pivot tables. Many of the boggleheads investment tracking spreadsheets are using Google sheets to get current stock quotes. There is a slight learning curve for some excel users. And it can't do any vba or macro programming on Google sheets as far as I know yet. But it is pretty darn close to being as good as excel. It'll open excel documents too.

ncbill
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Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 4:03 pm

Re: PC laptops

Post by ncbill » Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:45 pm

5 year old iMac will have USB 3.0 ports.

OP should just buy an external USB 3.0 enclosure, install a SSD into it, clone the internal hard drive to the external SSD via Disk Utility and then set the startup disk to that external SSD.

It will be much faster once it's running from the SSD.
Last edited by ncbill on Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Dottie57
Posts: 4456
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 5:43 pm

Re: PC laptops

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:46 pm

Gadget wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:36 pm
Just to clarify some points... New Chromebooks can now install almost every android app from the play store. I have yet to find an app I use that won't install. Only older chrome books may not be able to install Android apps from the Google play store.

As far as excel spreadsheet replacement... Google sheets is excellent. It now even supports pivot tables. Many of the boggleheads investment tracking spreadsheets are using Google sheets to get current stock quotes. There is a slight learning curve for some excel users. And it can't do any vba or macro programming on Google sheets as far as I know yet. But it is pretty darn close to being as good as excel. It'll open excel documents too.

How do you get access to google sheets?

pochax
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Re: PC laptops

Post by pochax » Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:46 pm

Gadget wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:36 pm
Just to clarify some points... New Chromebooks can now install almost every android app from the play store. I have yet to find an app I use that won't install. Only older chrome books may not be able to install Android apps from the Google play store.

As far as excel spreadsheet replacement... Google sheets is excellent. It now even supports pivot tables. Many of the boggleheads investment tracking spreadsheets are using Google sheets to get current stock quotes. There is a slight learning curve for some excel users. And it can't do any vba or macro programming on Google sheets as far as I know yet. But it is pretty darn close to being as good as excel. It'll open excel documents too.
perhaps you are correct that they will all "install" correctly but that doesn't mean the app is compatible with the device (ie. chromebook in this case). For example, my Dell Chromebook 13 (7310) now has Google Play store App and i tried to install the Google Play Movies app so i can download movies to SD card (the website will not allow me to do this). However, when i try to launch the app, it states "not compatible with this device".

an_asker
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Re: PC laptops

Post by an_asker » Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:51 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:46 pm
Gadget wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:36 pm
Just to clarify some points... New Chromebooks can now install almost every android app from the play store. I have yet to find an app I use that won't install. Only older chrome books may not be able to install Android apps from the Google play store.

As far as excel spreadsheet replacement... Google sheets is excellent. It now even supports pivot tables. Many of the boggleheads investment tracking spreadsheets are using Google sheets to get current stock quotes. There is a slight learning curve for some excel users. And it can't do any vba or macro programming on Google sheets as far as I know yet. But it is pretty darn close to being as good as excel. It'll open excel documents too.

How do you get access to google sheets?
Aah! A question I can answer. This is pretty simple. Log in to your google account online, then go to google drive. You can create docs, spreadsheets, etc.

My issue with google docs has been its clunkiness/kludgy feel. But half of that might actually be the result of the internet speed being not that great!

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Alexa9
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Re: PC laptops

Post by Alexa9 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:02 pm

I just picked up a Dell Inspiron 3567 with 128GB SSD, 8GB RAM, 7th Gen i3 for $300 used on eBay. It’s no MacBook replacement but it works fine for 1/4 the price. I also highly recommend putting Linux Mint on it. You may also be fine with just an iPad.

Dottie57
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Re: PC laptops

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:04 pm

an_asker wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:51 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:46 pm
Gadget wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:36 pm
Just to clarify some points... New Chromebooks can now install almost every android app from the play store. I have yet to find an app I use that won't install. Only older chrome books may not be able to install Android apps from the Google play store.

As far as excel spreadsheet replacement... Google sheets is excellent. It now even supports pivot tables. Many of the boggleheads investment tracking spreadsheets are using Google sheets to get current stock quotes. There is a slight learning curve for some excel users. And it can't do any vba or macro programming on Google sheets as far as I know yet. But it is pretty darn close to being as good as excel. It'll open excel documents too.

How do you get access to google sheets?
Aah! A question I can answer. This is pretty simple. Log in to your google account online, then go to google drive. You can create docs, spreadsheets, etc.

My issue with google docs has been its clunkiness/kludgy feel. But half of that might actually be the result of the internet speed being not that great!
How do I get a google account?

Lynette
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Re: PC laptops

Post by Lynette » Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:12 pm

Yesterday I bought an Acer Chromebook 15 CB515-1H from Best Buy for about $350. It is made from Aluminium - don't know the pros or cons of that! I love it. I just downloaded Excel from the Google Play Store. I have a Microsoft 365 subscription on another Windows machine so I logged in with that. Excel is not the full function Excel on my Desktop.

As I was taking Photography at a Community College, I needed Photoshop, I considered getting a Mac - but I was looking at over $1500 for top-of-the line. My Surface Pro 3 is a few years old and it still runs better that my Lenovo Yoga or Lenovo Desktop - in my opinion. In addition to the price of switching to a Mac, there was the issue of compatibility with my other devices. So I guess I'm stuck with Windows and Chromebook.

I think I will use my Acer 15 Chromebook most of the time as I read news, browse etc most of the time. It's touch screen and the resolution is great.

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catdude
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Location: Central Oregon

Re: PC laptops

Post by catdude » Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:32 pm

Hi, OP again. Let me talk a bit about my old iMac. Maybe if I get more specific y'all can help me squeeze a bit more life out of it.

When I say that it's slowed down, I mean that there frequently seems to be a latency or lag with several functions. For example, in typing this post, there have been a couple times when it took 10 to 12 seconds for my typed words to show up on the screen. Or when I'm on the internet, there's a similar lag... I click on a bookmark, and it takes 10 - 12 seconds for the page to load. Pretty frustrating. Any idea what the problem could be?

Thanks much, BTW, for your feedback so far.
catdude | | All generalizations are false, including this one.

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Alexa9
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Re: PC laptops

Post by Alexa9 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:38 pm

catdude wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:32 pm
Hi, OP again. Let me talk a bit about my old iMac. Maybe if I get more specific y'all can help me squeeze a bit more life out of it.

When I say that it's slowed down, I mean that there frequently seems to be a latency or lag with several functions. For example, in typing this post, there have been a couple times when it took 10 to 12 seconds for my typed words to show up on the screen. Or when I'm on the internet, there's a similar lag... I click on a bookmark, and it takes 10 - 12 seconds for the page to load. Pretty frustrating. Any idea what the problem could be?

Thanks much, BTW, for your feedback so far.
If you want more life out of your computer (if possible):
-Replace HD with SSD
-Add Memory to 16GB Total
-Replace bluetooth keyboard/mouse with USB wireless 2.4Ghz keyboard/mouse. Apple bluetooth keyboard and mice sometimes have latency issues.

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munemaker
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Re: PC laptops

Post by munemaker » Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:19 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:04 pm
How do I get a google account?
To create an account:
Go to www.gmail.com.
Click Create account.
The signup form will appear. ...
Review Google's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, click the check box, then click Next step.
Here, you'll have an opportunity to set up recovery options. ...
Your account will be created, and the Google welcome page will appear.

JohnFiscal
Posts: 607
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:28 pm
Location: Florida

Re: PC laptops

Post by JohnFiscal » Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:30 pm

munemaker wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:19 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:04 pm
How do I get a google account?
To create an account:
Go to www.gmail.com.
Click Create account.
The signup form will appear. ...
Review Google's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, click the check box, then click Next step.
Here, you'll have an opportunity to set up recovery options. ...
Your account will be created, and the Google welcome page will appear.

my experience has been that a Google (chrome browser) account is not the same as a gmail account. And Google just told me so!
https://www.techrepublic.com/blog/googl ... s-account/

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: PC laptops

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:41 pm

Yeah, I have a Google account but not Gmail.
This week's fortune cookie: "Your financial life will be secure and beneficial." So I got that going for me, which is nice.

Dottie57
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Re: PC laptops

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:01 pm

JohnFiscal wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:30 pm
munemaker wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:19 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:04 pm
How do I get a google account?
To create an account:
Go to www.gmail.com.
Click Create account.
The signup form will appear. ...
Review Google's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, click the check box, then click Next step.
Here, you'll have an opportunity to set up recovery options. ...
Your account will be created, and the Google welcome page will appear.

my experience has been that a Google (chrome browser) account is not the same as a gmail account. And Google just told me so!
https://www.techrepublic.com/blog/googl ... s-account/
I thanks for this. I had to create two logins ... one for accounts.google.com and then a gmail account. Rather confusing.

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munemaker
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Re: PC laptops

Post by munemaker » Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:28 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:01 pm
JohnFiscal wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:30 pm
munemaker wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:19 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:04 pm
How do I get a google account?
To create an account:
Go to www.gmail.com.
Click Create account.
The signup form will appear. ...
Review Google's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, click the check box, then click Next step.
Here, you'll have an opportunity to set up recovery options. ...
Your account will be created, and the Google welcome page will appear.

my experience has been that a Google (chrome browser) account is not the same as a gmail account. And Google just told me so!
https://www.techrepublic.com/blog/googl ... s-account/
I thanks for this. I had to create two logins ... one for accounts.google.com and then a gmail account. Rather confusing.
I guess you guys must be right, but I only remember signing up once, and my login is the same for all the Google apps, including gmail, calendar, docs, sheets, keep, and others.

JohnFiscal
Posts: 607
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Location: Florida

Re: PC laptops

Post by JohnFiscal » Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:57 pm

munemaker wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:28 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:01 pm
JohnFiscal wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:30 pm
munemaker wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:19 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:04 pm
How do I get a google account?
To create an account:
Go to www.gmail.com.
Click Create account.
The signup form will appear. ...
Review Google's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, click the check box, then click Next step.
Here, you'll have an opportunity to set up recovery options. ...
Your account will be created, and the Google welcome page will appear.

my experience has been that a Google (chrome browser) account is not the same as a gmail account. And Google just told me so!
https://www.techrepublic.com/blog/googl ... s-account/
I thanks for this. I had to create two logins ... one for accounts.google.com and then a gmail account. Rather confusing.
I guess you guys must be right, but I only remember signing up once, and my login is the same for all the Google apps, including gmail, calendar, docs, sheets, keep, and others.
It is confusing...

Dottie57
Posts: 4456
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 5:43 pm

Re: PC laptops

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:10 pm

munemaker wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:28 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:01 pm
JohnFiscal wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:30 pm
munemaker wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:19 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:04 pm
How do I get a google account?
To create an account:
Go to www.gmail.com.
Click Create account.
The signup form will appear. ...
Review Google's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, click the check box, then click Next step.
Here, you'll have an opportunity to set up recovery options. ...
Your account will be created, and the Google welcome page will appear.

my experience has been that a Google (chrome browser) account is not the same as a gmail account. And Google just told me so!
https://www.techrepublic.com/blog/googl ... s-account/
I thanks for this. I had to create two logins ... one for accounts.google.com and then a gmail account. Rather confusing.
I guess you guys must be right, but I only remember signing up once, and my login is the same for all the Google apps, including gmail, calendar, docs, sheets, keep, and others.
Could be they separated gmail and google account after you joined.

jpsc
Posts: 114
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:05 pm

Re: PC laptops

Post by jpsc » Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:29 pm

if all you use the laptop is to browse the internet/email - instead of buying a laptop, get a quad-core android tablet with wifi and/or cell phone
and those 64G sim flash. Lots of free games and apps to keep you entertain for years :-)

Dominic
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Re: PC laptops

Post by Dominic » Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:34 pm

onourway wrote:
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.
I agree.

Desktop/laptop CPU performance has essentially gone nowhere in the last ~8 years. All Intel has done is drop their power consumption and improve their integrated graphics offerings. These are real improvements, but are only useful under certain conditions. If OP doesn't need to move around their computer, and isn't doing anything outside of a browser, then wattage and graphics are meaningless.

The biggest bottleneck in most computers this old is the hard drive. Add an SSD, maybe even an extra stick of RAM to keep up with memory hogging software, and OP's computer is just as good as a new one for much less money.

In the process of installing the new SSD, you'll install a fresh OS, which might help performance as well.

tibbitts
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Re: PC laptops

Post by tibbitts » Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:55 pm

This is just my opinion but I believe that if you don't get windows or maybe mac, sooner or later you'll want to do something you can''t do - or at least not in the same way or as well. That is less true today than a few years ago and may be less true a few years from now, but it still is what it is.

Also several people have mentioned refurbished devices. I've bought a bunch of refurbished laptops and generally what you are getting are just very used computers. There are certain products I've bought - GPS for example - where the refurbs have been truly like new. Laptops in general, and definitely when bought from anyone other than the manufacturer, are absolutely not like that. I've had to replace hinges (wouldn't stay open), label keys (labels had worn off), defeat BIOS passwords, replace batteries, argue over windows license keys - the list goes on. Returning the item isn't always practical, because you have shipping to deal with. I just bought a new-to-me laptop that seems really nice, but it's the exception in my experience, rather than the rule.

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catdude
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Location: Central Oregon

Re: PC laptops

Post by catdude » Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:07 am

Alexa9 wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:38 pm
If you want more life out of your computer (if possible):
-Replace HD with SSD
-Add Memory to 16GB Total
-Replace bluetooth keyboard/mouse with USB wireless 2.4Ghz keyboard/mouse. Apple bluetooth keyboard and mice sometimes have latency issues.
Thanks very much for the suggestions. I ordered a new keyboard/mouse today online, so we'll see if that resolves the latency problem...
catdude | | All generalizations are false, including this one.

anoop
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Re: PC laptops

Post by anoop » Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:04 am


mouses
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Re: PC laptops

Post by mouses » Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:04 am

I have found that HP laptops are not good. The hinges tend to break over time. The customer service is terrible; you wind up on two hour hold to our friends in Bombay or wherever the heck they are, and when you finally reach them you might as well not have.

I am really happy that I changed to Lenovo. I have two of their laptops and they wear like iron. I bought them both used on ebay for under $200. I picked sellers with at least hundreds of sales and 99% or better ratings.

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F150HD
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Re: PC laptops

Post by F150HD » Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:44 am

JohnFiscal wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:28 pm
FWIW, I suggest taking a look at Lenovo.
In the original complaint against Lenovo, the FTC charged that "beginning in August 2014 Lenovo began selling consumer laptops in the United States that came with a pre-installed advertising software program called VisualDiscovery that interfered with how a user's browser interacted with websites and created serious security vulnerabilities".

It was found that the VisualDiscovery was a modified version of the Superfish adware, a tool that allowed web pages to deliver targeted advertising to users when their mouse hovered over links. The tool was installed on hundreds of thousands of Lenovo machines and advertised as a search assistant to help users find similar products to those shown on screen.

However, VisualDiscovery was found to not only collect vast quantities of user data, such as logins, payment information and social security numbers, but also contained a major security risk that allowed hackers to access the encrypted data sent over the internet.


http://www.itpro.co.uk/desktop-hardware ... it-for-35m

Tons of bloatware and intrusive programs on Lenovo laptops despite any recent legal action against them.

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samsoes
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Re: PC laptops

Post by samsoes » Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:59 am

Momus wrote:
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.
Regarding SSD drives, are they modular and removable like magnetic media drives?

Whenever I decommission a PC, I pull the hard drive, mount it in a USB enclosure, connect it to another PC and wipe it with Kill Disk, since my entire financial existence is on it. Not being able to do this to an SSD drive when necessary is a show-stopper.
"Happiness Is Not My Companion" - Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren. | (Avatar is the statue of Gen. Warren atop Little Round Top @ Gettysburg National Military Park.)

Momus
Posts: 440
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Re: PC laptops

Post by Momus » Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:43 am

samsoes wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:59 am
Momus wrote:
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.
Regarding SSD drives, are they modular and removable like magnetic media drives?

Whenever I decommission a PC, I pull the hard drive, mount it in a USB enclosure, connect it to another PC and wipe it with Kill Disk, since my entire financial existence is on it. Not being able to do this to an SSD drive when necessary is a show-stopper.
You can securely erase (flush out all the electrons) on SSD effectively wiping it out of any traceable data in about 2 mins. Faster and easier than HDD. SSD Wins again...

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samsoes
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Re: PC laptops

Post by samsoes » Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:47 am

Momus wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:43 am
samsoes wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:59 am
Momus wrote:
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.
Regarding SSD drives, are they modular and removable like magnetic media drives?

Whenever I decommission a PC, I pull the hard drive, mount it in a USB enclosure, connect it to another PC and wipe it with Kill Disk, since my entire financial existence is on it. Not being able to do this to an SSD drive when necessary is a show-stopper.
You can securely erase (flush out all the electrons) on SSD effectively wiping it out of any traceable data in about 2 mins. Faster and easier than HDD. SSD Wins again...
Interesting. How is that accomplished? Is the SSD drive removable?
"Happiness Is Not My Companion" - Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren. | (Avatar is the statue of Gen. Warren atop Little Round Top @ Gettysburg National Military Park.)

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Toons
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Re: PC laptops

Post by Toons » Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:19 am

Dell,Lenovo ,or
Chromebook Asus
:happy
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

tibbitts
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Re: PC laptops

Post by tibbitts » Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:51 am

samsoes wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:47 am
Momus wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:43 am
samsoes wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:59 am
Momus wrote:
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.
Regarding SSD drives, are they modular and removable like magnetic media drives?

Whenever I decommission a PC, I pull the hard drive, mount it in a USB enclosure, connect it to another PC and wipe it with Kill Disk, since my entire financial existence is on it. Not being able to do this to an SSD drive when necessary is a show-stopper.
You can securely erase (flush out all the electrons) on SSD effectively wiping it out of any traceable data in about 2 mins. Faster and easier than HDD. SSD Wins again...
Interesting. How is that accomplished? Is the SSD drive removable?
That's a complicated question due to different ways SSD drives are being integrated into computers. Everything is "removable" if you're good enough at soldering, but you mean "intended to be removed." There are SSD drives that simply replace traditional SATA 2.5in spinning disks in laptops. That is most likely the case with a traditional laptop, especially a large-ish one, if it ships with a choice of spinning disk or SSD. Then there are M.2 format drives for which there may be an internal slot - sort of like for RAM (although some smaller laptops do not have traditional slots for removable RAM.) Then I believe some of the netbook/ultrabook models simply have a certain amount of onboard SSD that is not intended to be replaced or upgraded. It is important to know which one you're buying since that can somewhat influence the potential life of the computer.

tibbitts
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Re: PC laptops

Post by tibbitts » Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:56 am

samsoes wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:59 am
Momus wrote:
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.
Regarding SSD drives, are they modular and removable like magnetic media drives?

Whenever I decommission a PC, I pull the hard drive, mount it in a USB enclosure, connect it to another PC and wipe it with Kill Disk, since my entire financial existence is on it. Not being able to do this to an SSD drive when necessary is a show-stopper.
You can do this with the vast majority of SSDs, but not all - and you may need a different external enclosure for some of them than you're accustomed to. But if the SSD just physically replaces a 2.5in spinning disk you can generally do the same things (wipe it, etc.) to it you could do with a spinning disk.

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munemaker
Posts: 3458
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Re: PC laptops

Post by munemaker » Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:00 am

samsoes wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:59 am

Whenever I decommission a PC, I pull the hard drive, mount it in a USB enclosure, connect it to another PC and wipe it with Kill Disk, since my entire financial existence is on it. Not being able to do this to an SSD drive when necessary is a show-stopper.
I beat the old hard drive to death with a sledge hammer, and then drop it in a nearby lake.
Last edited by munemaker on Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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munemaker
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Re: PC laptops

Post by munemaker » Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:05 am

Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:10 pm
munemaker wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:28 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:01 pm
JohnFiscal wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:30 pm
munemaker wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:19 pm


To create an account:
Go to www.gmail.com.
Click Create account.
The signup form will appear. ...
Review Google's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, click the check box, then click Next step.
Here, you'll have an opportunity to set up recovery options. ...
Your account will be created, and the Google welcome page will appear.

my experience has been that a Google (chrome browser) account is not the same as a gmail account. And Google just told me so!
https://www.techrepublic.com/blog/googl ... s-account/
I thanks for this. I had to create two logins ... one for accounts.google.com and then a gmail account. Rather confusing.
I guess you guys must be right, but I only remember signing up once, and my login is the same for all the Google apps, including gmail, calendar, docs, sheets, keep, and others.
Could be they separated gmail and google account after you joined.
Possibly, or more likely my memory is at fault. It has been a long time.

anoop
Posts: 690
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:33 am

Re: PC laptops

Post by anoop » Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:33 am

F150HD wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:44 am
JohnFiscal wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:28 pm
FWIW, I suggest taking a look at Lenovo.
In the original complaint against Lenovo, the FTC charged that "beginning in August 2014 Lenovo began selling consumer laptops in the United States that came with a pre-installed advertising software program called VisualDiscovery that interfered with how a user's browser interacted with websites and created serious security vulnerabilities".

It was found that the VisualDiscovery was a modified version of the Superfish adware, a tool that allowed web pages to deliver targeted advertising to users when their mouse hovered over links. The tool was installed on hundreds of thousands of Lenovo machines and advertised as a search assistant to help users find similar products to those shown on screen.

However, VisualDiscovery was found to not only collect vast quantities of user data, such as logins, payment information and social security numbers, but also contained a major security risk that allowed hackers to access the encrypted data sent over the internet.


http://www.itpro.co.uk/desktop-hardware ... it-for-35m

Tons of bloatware and intrusive programs on Lenovo laptops despite any recent legal action against them.
Only reliable way that I am aware of to avoid bloatware on a Windows machine is to buy a Signature Edition directly from Microsoft.
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/b ... ureedition
Unfortunately you pay a premium for that and it's typically only higher-spec'ed machines that are sold that way.

Microsoft does have stores in many malls and I think they sell them there in person if you're the type that likes to try before you buy.

Gadget
Posts: 159
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:38 pm

Re: PC laptops

Post by Gadget » Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:37 am

Dominic wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:34 pm
onourway wrote:
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.
I agree.

Desktop/laptop CPU performance has essentially gone nowhere in the last ~8 years. All Intel has done is drop their power consumption and improve their integrated graphics offerings. These are real improvements, but are only useful under certain conditions. If OP doesn't need to move around their computer, and isn't doing anything outside of a browser, then wattage and graphics are meaningless.

The biggest bottleneck in most computers this old is the hard drive. Add an SSD, maybe even an extra stick of RAM to keep up with memory hogging software, and OP's computer is just as good as a new one for much less money.

In the process of installing the new SSD, you'll install a fresh OS, which might help performance as well.
If you want to talk how processors are reaching a limit to Moores law and the chip fabrication technology is at such a small nanometer scale now that it will take a major technological change to keep pace with Moores law then fine. But this is a consumer discussion about what a normal person using a computer perceives. What you described about fixing up the laptop is something that I might do for fun (before I had kids). But for the average person who asks this question on a message board, what you're talking about likely requires too much research and or external help. There are many different things that could go wrong and require troubleshooting. It is a much safer bet that buying a new chromebook or cheap pc will serve their needs better and faster compared to fixing up a 5 year old laptop.

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sunny_socal
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Re: PC laptops

Post by sunny_socal » Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:49 am

I'd avoid a PC laptop in that price range, especially HP.

My brother just bought one of these and it's a lot of computer for the money:
https://www.bestbuy.com/site/acer-nitro ... &gclsrc=ds

- Fast processor
- SSD
- Fast graphics
- Decent amount of memory

Would last you for many years. A $300 HP would only last 1-2 before bogging down.

tibbitts
Posts: 8003
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:50 pm

Re: PC laptops

Post by tibbitts » Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:32 pm

munemaker wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:00 am
samsoes wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:59 am

Whenever I decommission a PC, I pull the hard drive, mount it in a USB enclosure, connect it to another PC and wipe it with Kill Disk, since my entire financial existence is on it. Not being able to do this to an SSD drive when necessary is a show-stopper.
I beat the old hard drive to death with a sledge hammer, and then drop it in a nearby lake.
Hopefully you wouldn't actually drop it, or other trash, in a lake.

Momus
Posts: 440
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:23 pm

Re: PC laptops

Post by Momus » Sat Apr 21, 2018 1:36 pm

samsoes wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:47 am
Momus wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:43 am
samsoes wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:59 am
Momus wrote:
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.
Regarding SSD drives, are they modular and removable like magnetic media drives?

Whenever I decommission a PC, I pull the hard drive, mount it in a USB enclosure, connect it to another PC and wipe it with Kill Disk, since my entire financial existence is on it. Not being able to do this to an SSD drive when necessary is a show-stopper.
You can securely erase (flush out all the electrons) on SSD effectively wiping it out of any traceable data in about 2 mins. Faster and easier than HDD. SSD Wins again...
Interesting. How is that accomplished? Is the SSD drive removable?
https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/securely- ... estroying/

SSD use a completely different tech than a crappy spinning hard drive.

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samsoes
Posts: 865
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Location: Northeast Rat Race

Re: PC laptops

Post by samsoes » Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:21 pm

Momus wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 1:36 pm
samsoes wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:47 am
Momus wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:43 am
samsoes wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:59 am
Momus wrote:
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.
Regarding SSD drives, are they modular and removable like magnetic media drives?

Whenever I decommission a PC, I pull the hard drive, mount it in a USB enclosure, connect it to another PC and wipe it with Kill Disk, since my entire financial existence is on it. Not being able to do this to an SSD drive when necessary is a show-stopper.
You can securely erase (flush out all the electrons) on SSD effectively wiping it out of any traceable data in about 2 mins. Faster and easier than HDD. SSD Wins again...
Interesting. How is that accomplished? Is the SSD drive removable?
https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/securely- ... estroying/

SSD use a completely different tech than a crappy spinning hard drive.
Yes, I understand that it's different technology, and thank you for the article.

My question was regarding the "removeability" of an SSD drive - if it's modular or integrated into the system board. When the time comes for its disposal, I'd like to be able to unplug it, unscrew it, and remove it in its entirety, and dismember/destroy it with a couple of pairs of pliers and a hammer. My entire financial existence is on my local drive, and when the time comes to upgrade to the subsequent computer, the data in the prior drive must be irretrievable for eternity. This was easily accomplished on a mountable magnetic media drive with security tools and a magnet, and the drive would then be available for a backup. I don't necessarily need another blank backup drive, but I need to know that the data on a SSD drive can be obliterated when the time comes.
"Happiness Is Not My Companion" - Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren. | (Avatar is the statue of Gen. Warren atop Little Round Top @ Gettysburg National Military Park.)

Momus
Posts: 440
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:23 pm

Re: PC laptops

Post by Momus » Sat Apr 21, 2018 4:46 pm

samsoes wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:21 pm
Momus wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 1:36 pm
samsoes wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:47 am
Momus wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:43 am
samsoes wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:59 am


Regarding SSD drives, are they modular and removable like magnetic media drives?

Whenever I decommission a PC, I pull the hard drive, mount it in a USB enclosure, connect it to another PC and wipe it with Kill Disk, since my entire financial existence is on it. Not being able to do this to an SSD drive when necessary is a show-stopper.
You can securely erase (flush out all the electrons) on SSD effectively wiping it out of any traceable data in about 2 mins. Faster and easier than HDD. SSD Wins again...
Interesting. How is that accomplished? Is the SSD drive removable?
https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/securely- ... estroying/

SSD use a completely different tech than a crappy spinning hard drive.
Yes, I understand that it's different technology, and thank you for the article.

My question was regarding the "removeability" of an SSD drive - if it's modular or integrated into the system board. When the time comes for its disposal, I'd like to be able to unplug it, unscrew it, and remove it in its entirety, and dismember/destroy it with a couple of pairs of pliers and a hammer. My entire financial existence is on my local drive, and when the time comes to upgrade to the subsequent computer, the data in the prior drive must be irretrievable for eternity. This was easily accomplished on a mountable magnetic media drive with security tools and a magnet, and the drive would then be available for a backup. I don't necessarily need another blank backup drive, but I need to know that the data on a SSD drive can be obliterated when the time comes.
You can take out SSD drive just like you take out an old hard drive... It either has same form factor as 2.5 inch drive (standard old spinning hard drive) or it will look like this, an M2 stick, attached to a motherboard https://www.samsung.com/us/computing/me ... -v6p2t0bw/ The yellow strip is attaching itself to the board, a simple pull with take it out. It's like playing legos... nothing too hard.

Takes about 2 seconds to take it out after you open a computer case (this is the hard part, youtube it and have a small screw driver laying around).
Last edited by Momus on Sun Apr 22, 2018 3:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

saintsfan342000
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2018 9:46 pm

Re: PC laptops

Post by saintsfan342000 » Sat Apr 21, 2018 4:53 pm

If you're wanting a new machine simply because your current one has slowed down, I wouldn't even buy a new machine: just install a new, free operating system on it. I resurrected my 2009 HP desktop with Lubunutu; Windows, like your OS, got horribly bogged down over the years, and now with a fresh, lightweight operating system it performs beautifully. If you know how to install software on your computer, then you can install this new operating system, and it's completely free and secure.
https://lubuntu.net/downloads/

tibbitts
Posts: 8003
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:50 pm

Re: PC laptops

Post by tibbitts » Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:58 am

saintsfan342000 wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 4:53 pm
If you're wanting a new machine simply because your current one has slowed down, I wouldn't even buy a new machine: just install a new, free operating system on it. I resurrected my 2009 HP desktop with Lubunutu; Windows, like your OS, got horribly bogged down over the years, and now with a fresh, lightweight operating system it performs beautifully. If you know how to install software on your computer, then you can install this new operating system, and it's completely free and secure.
https://lubuntu.net/downloads/
One reason a computer slows down is that you expect it to do more. Even if all you do is interact with websites, those websites require far more bandwidth and even processing power than they used to - the amount just constantly increases. Plus as time goes on you demand more functionality - now every time you go to access a website your LastPass plugin kicks in and opens another browser window, or your Ebates plugin kicks in and prompts you to activate your cash back. Those things weren't using up resources years ago and will still be issues regardless of the operating system. Really I've found that Windows 10, minus bloatware, is a pretty lightweight operating system - it's all the functionality you add to it that slows things down. It's no different with Ubuntu, etc. I used to use Linux exclusively on my laptops, then I dual-booted, now on the newest ones I just run Windows 10 and run Linux in a vm when I want to. Getting Linux to run properly on bare laptop hardware is still challenging in some cases where Windows (as provided by the vendor) "just works" without any quirks.

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