Simple Notebook/laptop

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Barefootgirl
Posts: 2150
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:05 pm

Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by Barefootgirl » Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:54 am

Please recommend a simple, easy to use, reliable laptop or notebook computer (with attached keyboard preferably) for my elderly Mom.

Simplest is best. Good price would be nice too. Thank you.
How many retired people does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Only one, but he takes all day.

zimmer0
Posts: 177
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 3:15 pm

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by zimmer0 » Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:00 am

simple internet browsing, email, youtube playback, no CD-ROM requirement...tough to beat a Google Chromebook IMO

mhalley
Posts: 5065
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:02 am

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by mhalley » Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:06 am

Seconding the chromebook. They generally have great deals on these for Black Friday if you can wait. Of course she needs access to the internet for it to work.

Sconie
Posts: 522
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 10:23 am
Location: Arizona

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by Sconie » Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:54 am

Chromebook!
I know that you think you understand what you thought I said, but I don't think you realize that what I said is necessarily what I meant......

User avatar
Toons
Posts: 11912
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:20 am
Location: Hills of Tennessee

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by Toons » Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:00 pm

"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

inbox788
Posts: 4099
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:24 pm

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by inbox788 » Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:28 pm

Agree, the consensus answer seems to be Chromebook.

But do you have the right question? What is your mom going to do online? Anything offline? For some tasks an iPad may be a better answer. Also, do you have an old unused laptop lying around? Give CloudReady a try!

https://www.neverware.com/freedownload

It's a free ChromeOS/Chromium alternative to a Chromebook.

rgs92
Posts: 1377
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:00 pm

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by rgs92 » Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:49 pm

Actually, at her age, I would set her up with a nice big screen (17 inches) and also a pair of powered external speakers since her hearing may need help (and I think everyone should get external speakers to avoid painful tinny sound; they just plug in to the audio jack very simply).

Look up 17 inch laptops on amazon. Asus and Lenovo are good. Read the reviews. I hear HP quality has improved.

User avatar
Hyperborea
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2017 10:31 am
Location: Silicon Valley

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by Hyperborea » Wed Oct 04, 2017 1:06 pm

I will nth the Chromebook suggestion. I will add however to consider one of the ruggedized educational models. These will have spill resistant keyboards and bumper edges designed to take a drop. I got my 70-something mum one to use in addition to her desktop iMac. She loves it for use around the house and out on the deck rather than being tied to the desk in the study.

User avatar
abuss368
Posts: 11564
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: Where the water is warm, the drinks are cold, and I don't know the names of the players!

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by abuss368 » Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:18 pm

By far the best computer we have ever used is from Apple. After a lifetime of Microsoft Windows and unlimited frustration we finally moved to Apple. It has been the best computer and technology decision we ever made.
John C. Bogle: "You simply do not need to put your money into 8 different mutual funds!" | | Disclosure: Three Fund Portfolio + U.S. & International REITs

User avatar
sunny_socal
Posts: 1178
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2015 4:22 pm

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by sunny_socal » Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:46 am

abuss368 wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:18 pm
By far the best computer we have ever used is from Apple. After a lifetime of Microsoft Windows and unlimited frustration we finally moved to Apple. It has been the best computer and technology decision we ever made.
^^^ This.

My mom's old windows laptop just stopped working so I convinced her to get a Chromebook to replace it. She wants to surf the web and watch streaming video.

Chromebook doesn't support all popular plugins very well. My kids use Chromebooks but they are primarily on Youtube and things work well for them. My mom expects _every_ website to work properly, a Chromebook simply won't do it.

Even a used Mac will serve her well (eg. 2-3 years old.) It is hands down the most reliable platform for home use with the least maintenance required.

dbr
Posts: 23297
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 9:50 am

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by dbr » Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:40 am

rgs92 wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:49 pm
Actually, at her age, I would set her up with a nice big screen (17 inches) and also a pair of powered external speakers since her hearing may need help (and I think everyone should get external speakers to avoid painful tinny sound; they just plug in to the audio jack very simply).

Look up 17 inch laptops on amazon. Asus and Lenovo are good. Read the reviews. I hear HP quality has improved.
I would piggy back on this to suggest looking at how this computer is going to be used and where it will be used before choosing a laptop or mayber better a desktop for this case. A large screen, a mouse, and a good keyboard may be much appreciated. A key question is why the machine needs to be portable or, on the other hand, is she in a shared living facility where the computer needs to be kept at hand.

I do not consider myself naive about computing devices and have my smartphones, iPad, etc. but far and away do almost all computing on a desktop with a 21" screen, etc.

User avatar
Pajamas
Posts: 2530
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:32 pm

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by Pajamas » Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:46 am

I agree that a Chromebook is probably ideal for your mother. If you are willing to spend $500 on it, you can get a really good one that also flips into a tablet. If you aren't sure, just make sure to buy it somewhere that will take it back and doesn't have a restocking fee.

https://www.theverge.com/2017/8/25/1620 ... os-android

Barefootgirl
Posts: 2150
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:05 pm

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by Barefootgirl » Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:58 am

Thank you all. Use will be limited to web surfing, email, Facebook, looking up the news... lol.
How many retired people does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Only one, but he takes all day.

dbr
Posts: 23297
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 9:50 am

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by dbr » Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:38 am

Barefootgirl wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:58 am
Thank you all. Use will be limited to web surfing, email, Facebook, looking up the news... lol.
By how used I have in mind the ergonomics of how easy it is to:

1) See and read the screen. A lot of web surfing presents large and complicated arrays of text and pictures that are much easier to see, enjoy, and navigate on a large screen with a mouse than on a touch screen. I personally rate this as a really big deal.

2) Even just for reading a screen set up at desk is more ergonomic than having to hold something to work with it if any more than just reading a book is involved. I am not even sure a newspaper is superior any more. I just replaced my old iPad with an iPad mini to get the weight down. I can almost use it to read in bed but my original not-backlighted Kindle is still the only thing I can read comfortably lying down. An iPhone could be used but is now too small to read.

3) Email and Facebook involve typing messages to other people. That is why you asked for a real keyboard. I find a compact wireless keyboard with a desktop is ideal, similar also to the current iMac.

4) Again a dominating factor may be where the machine needs to used and kept. That could rule out a desktop.

bondsr4me
Posts: 643
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:08 am

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by bondsr4me » Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:54 am

If I was to buy a laptop for my mom, I would get her a Mac.
They are easy to use; very little hands on maintenance required (Apple does this under the hood); no virus worries; excellent hardware and software.
If you live close to an Apple store, you and your mom can hands on all the different hardware they offer; they will help you and your mom set it up when you buy it.
They also offer free in-store classes to learn about the Apple products you buy; computers, iPhones, tablets.
Hope this is helpful.

Don

rgs92
Posts: 1377
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:00 pm

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by rgs92 » Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:00 am

Yep, Barefootgirl did not necessarily emphasize the desire for the cheapest solution (it was simplicity first), and cheapest is not always the best overall or the simplest solution.

Simplicity is expensive.

If there is not enough processing power, you have to be careful not to open too many things at once. And having to manage limited resources adds complexity, not simplicity.

And looking a several things at once is simpler with a larger screen.

mega317
Posts: 896
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2016 10:55 am

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by mega317 » Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:07 pm

sunny_socal wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:46 am
My mom expects _every_ website to work properly, a Chromebook simply won't do it.
This is not a challenge, I am genuinely curious: what websites won't work properly on a Chromebook?

munemaker
Posts: 2008
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:14 pm

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by munemaker » Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:51 pm

mega317 wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:07 pm
sunny_socal wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:46 am
My mom expects _every_ website to work properly, a Chromebook simply won't do it.
This is not a challenge, I am genuinely curious: what websites won't work properly on a Chromebook?
I have been using Chromebooks for years. To the user, the browser is the same as a Chrome browser that runs on an Apple or Windows machine. I have never noticed a website that did not display properly, and I am on this machine for about 8 hours per day. No disrespect, but I think this is just bad information.

User avatar
sunny_socal
Posts: 1178
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2015 4:22 pm

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by sunny_socal » Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:32 pm

mega317 wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:07 pm
sunny_socal wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:46 am
My mom expects _every_ website to work properly, a Chromebook simply won't do it.
This is not a challenge, I am genuinely curious: what websites won't work properly on a Chromebook?
I don't know, she lives overseas and I'm in the USA. All I know is that the new computer didn't work :?

Many news sites have their own video delivery system, mostly to keep people from stealing the content.

User avatar
sunny_socal
Posts: 1178
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2015 4:22 pm

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by sunny_socal » Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:32 pm

munemaker wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:51 pm
mega317 wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:07 pm
sunny_socal wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:46 am
My mom expects _every_ website to work properly, a Chromebook simply won't do it.
This is not a challenge, I am genuinely curious: what websites won't work properly on a Chromebook?
I have been using Chromebooks for years. To the user, the browser is the same as a Chrome browser that runs on an Apple or Windows machine. I have never noticed a website that did not display properly, and I am on this machine for about 8 hours per day. No disrespect, but I think this is just bad information.
It is not the same. The plugins/extensions must still be ported to the host operating system.

munemaker
Posts: 2008
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:14 pm

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by munemaker » Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:42 pm

sunny_socal wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:32 pm
munemaker wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:51 pm
mega317 wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:07 pm
sunny_socal wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:46 am
My mom expects _every_ website to work properly, a Chromebook simply won't do it.
This is not a challenge, I am genuinely curious: what websites won't work properly on a Chromebook?
I have been using Chromebooks for years. To the user, the browser is the same as a Chrome browser that runs on an Apple or Windows machine. I have never noticed a website that did not display properly, and I am on this machine for about 8 hours per day. No disrespect, but I think this is just bad information.
It is not the same. The plugins/extensions must still be ported to the host operating system.
I use the same extensions on the Windows Chrome version and the Chromebook Chrome version. To the user, it seems to be transparent. Obviously they are different "under the hood."

User avatar
Mel Lindauer
Moderator
Posts: 27358
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 8:49 pm
Location: Daytona Beach Shores, Florida
Contact:

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by Mel Lindauer » Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:56 pm

FWIW, if it were my Mom, I'd get her a Chromebook as has been recommended by the majority of responders on this thread.
Best Regards - Mel | | Semper Fi

Dottie57
Posts: 2104
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 5:43 pm

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by Dottie57 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:30 am

Depends on activities wanted.

If internet and email is all that is wanted, then chromebook of s fine.

Katietsu
Posts: 779
Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:48 am

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by Katietsu » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:49 am

I would throw out the iPad possibility again. My BIL got one as a gift for MIL. I thought it was nuts but she loves it. It depends on whether she wants to just be consuming content or she actually needs to produce material, including emails.

User avatar
Kenkat
Posts: 3749
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:18 am
Location: Cincinnati, OH

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by Kenkat » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:57 am

A step up from a Chromebook is a 2-in-1. It has some if the features of a tablet (lighter weight, ability to reduce the form factor size) while keeping some of the benefits of a laptop (full Windows OS, full size keyboard, etc.). Examples are the Lenovo Yoga line; Dell, Asusu and HP make similar products.

munemaker
Posts: 2008
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:14 pm

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by munemaker » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:09 am

Kenkat wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:57 am
A step up from a Chromebook is a 2-in-1. It has some if the features of a tablet (lighter weight, ability to reduce the form factor size) while keeping some of the benefits of a laptop (full Windows OS, full size keyboard, etc.). Examples are the Lenovo Yoga line; Dell, Asusu and HP make similar products.
You can get a Chromebook 2 in 1 and have the best of both worlds!

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/searchpage ... n-1+Design

User avatar
Kenkat
Posts: 3749
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:18 am
Location: Cincinnati, OH

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by Kenkat » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:25 am

Well it doesn’t have the Windows OS which may or may not be important depending on your use case.

User avatar
FrugalInvestor
Posts: 4420
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:20 am

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by FrugalInvestor » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:38 am

+1 for a Chromebook. Since retiring it's all we use. Chromebooks are inexpensive, secure by design and as simple as a computer can get. If lost or broken they are simple to replace and since all the setup is saved in your Google account there is nothing to do on a replacement machine other than logging in.

The only drawback is that most 3rd party software cannot be loaded (which adds to security) but most things that we used to load software for can now be accomplished online. Google has it's own spreadsheet, word processing, calendar, mail and other standard programs which can open and save files in other standard (i.e. Microsoft) formats.

Printing from a Chromebook is typically accomplished using the cloud so if your mom doesn't have a cloud enabled printer that may be a necessary addition. Most printers these days, even inexpensive ones, are cloud enabled. The setup is sometimes a little convoluted but once that's done using the printer is straightforward.
IGNORE the noise! | Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify. - Henry David Thoreau

User avatar
Hyperborea
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2017 10:31 am
Location: Silicon Valley

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by Hyperborea » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:40 am

Kenkat wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:25 am
Well it doesn’t have the Windows OS which may or may not be important depending on your use case.
I think the odds of that are probably low. If the OP's mother really had software needs that required a Windows box then there is high likelihood that the OP's mother would be doing the computer shopping rather than the OP. For a high majority of people their computer needs have come to be mostly centred around the browser - email, discussion boards, social networking, and some light casual gaming.

When I set my parents up with Macs long ago and more recently with a Chromebook one of the big reasons was for the ease of my remote system administration and tech support desk work. Not having Windows on their computers made my life much easier and I am not a noob with respects to Windows having written commercial software on it since Win 3.1 in the early 90's. This probably needs to be a big part of the OP's decision since they may have to provide the tech support for an aging parent.

User avatar
Hyperborea
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2017 10:31 am
Location: Silicon Valley

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by Hyperborea » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:42 am

FrugalInvestor wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:38 am
The only drawback is that most 3rd party software cannot be loaded (which adds to security) but most things that we used to load software for can now be accomplished online. Google has it's own spreadsheet, word processing, calendar, mail and other standard programs which can open and save files in other standard (i.e. Microsoft) formats.
And if you really want to use MS Office software (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) you can get an Office 365 account and use it on a Chromebook.

munemaker
Posts: 2008
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:14 pm

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by munemaker » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:43 am

Kenkat wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:25 am
Well it doesn’t have the Windows OS which may or may not be important depending on your use case.
Have you ever used a chromebook? Not having Windows is part of the advantage. You don't have to update the operating system (happens seamlessly) or maintain any anti-virus software. You do not have to maintain backups. I have run into very few things that can't be done on a chromebook.
Last edited by munemaker on Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Pajamas
Posts: 2530
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:32 pm

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by Pajamas » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:44 am

Kenkat wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:25 am
Well it doesn’t have the Windows OS which may or may not be important depending on your use case.
These are the needed uses as stated by O.P.:
Barefootgirl wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:58 am
Thank you all. Use will be limited to web surfing, email, Facebook, looking up the news... lol.
Unless you are installing software that only works on Windows, there is no need to have Windows these days. For web surfing, email, Facebook, reading the news, etc., Chrome is better, especially for someone who doesn't want to have to do anything to maintain the software.

MacOs High Sierra is fine and the latest version of Safari that comes with it is significantly better than the previous one, but I really prefer the Chrome browser. A Chromebook really requires almost no effort to maintain, especially when getting a new one or just logging in on a new device.

My experience with using a Samsung Chromebook in public a few years ago is that people were shocked when they saw it and asked about it, including how much it cost. The funniest expressions were on the faces of those who had expensive Mac notebooks, because they looked so much alike. Objectively, the Apple computers were of much better specs and physical quality, but that gap is not meaningful with the better Chromebooks now.
Last edited by Pajamas on Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:47 am, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Sandtrap
Posts: 1672
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:32 pm
Location: Hawaii😀 Northern AZ.😳

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by Sandtrap » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:46 am

I've used laptops for business and home ever since there was IBM on the label (remember the "butterfly" keyboard?).
IMHO the best laptop and simplest to use has been a MacBook. Dependable/reliable. Near bulletproof operating system. Worth the money.
Good luck on your search.
j
Shared experiences to benefit all -- not an exspurt -- per forum guidelines :) Golf score allocation 50/50 swings vs putts.

User avatar
Toons
Posts: 11912
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:20 am
Location: Hills of Tennessee

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by Toons » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:02 am

:happy

Image
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

Juliajones54
Posts: 57
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:20 pm

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by Juliajones54 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:32 am

Katietsu wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:49 am
I would throw out the iPad possibility again. My BIL got one as a gift for MIL. I thought it was nuts but she loves it. It depends on whether she wants to just be consuming content or she actually needs to produce material, including emails.
I agree 1000 percent. There is nothing easier for what your mom will use it for.

inbox788
Posts: 4099
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:24 pm

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by inbox788 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:53 am

rgs92 wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:00 am
Yep, Barefootgirl did not necessarily emphasize the desire for the cheapest solution (it was simplicity first), and cheapest is not always the best overall or the simplest solution.

Simplicity is expensive.

If there is not enough processing power, you have to be careful not to open too many things at once. And having to manage limited resources adds complexity, not simplicity.

And looking a several things at once is simpler with a larger screen.
Not having to manage limited resources is a two edge sword. Simplicity is great and it's a goal I reach for, but not managing resources leads to poor habits and waste. With Safari on iPad or iPhone, I often find myself with 30+ open windows/tabs with things I finished, but left unattended (though sometimes, it's incomplete, which is why i don't close all the windows or exit the app). iOS does a terrific job I hardly notice, so I keep the bad habit. Chrome browser is less efficient and while I do the same thing, I often run out of memory, so it forces me to clean up my windows and tabs. But I know folks with high end/high capacity desktops with 100+ windows open at all times. I'd need a search function to find the window I was looking for, and for all I know, Chrome may have one.

Same thing happened when I was encouraged by gmail to archive all my mail instead of deleting it. For a while, I never deleted anything, and that turns out to be too extreme. Some emails that are never going to be used again ever should be deleted. Sure, you can pretty much keep everything, but just adds to the noise. I'm keeping more than when I had limited memory, but deleting many more emails (around 3/4) and archiving the rest, and that small fraction may be getting smaller as I follow the food motto, 'when in doubt, throw it out'. Data doesn't spoil, but most of it gets stale and tasteless/useless.

My simplicity goal is to be device independent, so I can pick up any computer or Chromebook, and access what I need. Any local storage on an iPad/iPhone, or PC/Mac is going against that simplicity goal. Sometimes it's unavoidable, but that is the simplicity goal, and helps when a transition is forced upon us.

User avatar
Pajamas
Posts: 2530
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:32 pm

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by Pajamas » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:57 am

Juliajones54 wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:32 am
Katietsu wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:49 am
I would throw out the iPad possibility again. My BIL got one as a gift for MIL. I thought it was nuts but she loves it. It depends on whether she wants to just be consuming content or she actually needs to produce material, including emails.
I agree 1000 percent. There is nothing easier for what your mom will use it for.
O.P. specifically stated that an attached keyboard was preferred, which would eliminate tablets. A tablet with a separate keyboard is essentially a laptop, especially if a case that holds them both is used with them, but is a lot clumsier to use. I also prefer a real keyboard. Typing on a touchscreen is more difficult.

inbox788
Posts: 4099
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:24 pm

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by inbox788 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:02 pm

munemaker wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:09 am
Kenkat wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:57 am
A step up from a Chromebook is a 2-in-1. It has some if the features of a tablet (lighter weight, ability to reduce the form factor size) while keeping some of the benefits of a laptop (full Windows OS, full size keyboard, etc.). Examples are the Lenovo Yoga line; Dell, Asusu and HP make similar products.
You can get a Chromebook 2 in 1 and have the best of both worlds!

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/searchpage ... n-1+Design
I disagree! It's going to be the WORST of both worlds!

No, don't do it; if simplicity is your goal, avoid these new Chromebooks for the time being. When Windows 8 came out, they had tried to combine table with laptop, and it was extremely confusing. Hopefully Google has learned from this, but inherently, it's a confusing process, and even the much improved Windows 10 is a big compromise. Pick the tablet or laptop mode that comes naturally and adapt to it, so just buy that device. That's much simpler than trying to learn the intricacies of the 2-in-1 systems, especially for the technically challenged. Less is more!

Also, these new android Chromebooks are still under development, so expect lots of problems, changes, and enhancements. All things that are not going to be fun for a novice. Stick with a more mature system where help is readily available either from you (OP) or others.
sunny_socal wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:46 am
Chromebook doesn't support all popular plugins very well. My kids use Chromebooks but they are primarily on Youtube and things work well for them. My mom expects _every_ website to work properly, a Chromebook simply won't do it.
Which 2 or 3 plugins do you use that give you trouble on the Chromebook? And they work well on a PC/Mac running Chrome? Or other browser?

When I run into these problems, I ask if the plugin troubles are worth it, or whether they cause more problems (buggy, poorly supported, low userbase, malware, etc.).

Flash is just awful, and I think the iPad still doesn't support it. There are sites that the iPad content can't access, but fewer and fewer now than when it first came out because better, more reliable standards have been adopted.
Last edited by inbox788 on Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

buckeye7983
Posts: 65
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by buckeye7983 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:24 pm

Chromebook!

User avatar
bltkmt
Posts: 86
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:56 pm

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by bltkmt » Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:35 pm

FrugalInvestor wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:38 am

Printing from a Chromebook is typically accomplished using the cloud so if your mom doesn't have a cloud enabled printer that may be a necessary addition. Most printers these days, even inexpensive ones, are cloud enabled. The setup is sometimes a little convoluted but once that's done using the printer is straightforward.

By cloud here do you mean wifi?

Lynette
Posts: 1345
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:47 am

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by Lynette » Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:41 pm

Chromebook. I have several Windows Machines including a Surface Pro 3. I use the Chromebook 95% of the time. Printing is the only thing you will have to take figure out. No virus protection required, simple to use. If you want to make it more sophisticated, there are ways to do more advanced stuff. I email photos to myself and find the photo editor does a reasonable job of resizing and editing my photos.Then there is also Google Docs.

munemaker
Posts: 2008
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:14 pm

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by munemaker » Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:49 pm

inbox788 wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:02 pm
munemaker wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:09 am
Kenkat wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:57 am
A step up from a Chromebook is a 2-in-1. It has some if the features of a tablet (lighter weight, ability to reduce the form factor size) while keeping some of the benefits of a laptop (full Windows OS, full size keyboard, etc.). Examples are the Lenovo Yoga line; Dell, Asusu and HP make similar products.
You can get a Chromebook 2 in 1 and have the best of both worlds!

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/searchpage ... n-1+Design
I disagree! It's going to be the WORST of both worlds!
Have you ever used a Chromebook 2 in 1? Take a look at the user and professional reviews on these Chromebook 2 in 1s. People love them!

inbox788
Posts: 4099
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:24 pm

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by inbox788 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:12 pm

munemaker wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:49 pm
Have you ever used a Chromebook 2 in 1? Take a look at the user and professional reviews on these Chromebook 2 in 1s. People love them!
I've played with them a little, but no long term use. The reviews are mostly good, but those are mainly supporters. I'm guessing the people who love them are mostly reviewers and early adopters/more advanced users. I think the extra complexity is not beneficial to the beginner user and the average user coming from the tablet world or computer world is mainly working in one mode and has a learning curve to take advantage of the extra capabilities. They're not bad devices, but I don't think they're ripe yet, and don't think beginners need to be guinea pigs. I'd revisit in a year or two.

User avatar
JMacDonald
Posts: 2000
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 5:53 pm

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by JMacDonald » Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:36 pm

I have both a MacBook Air and a Chromebook. I use the Chromebook when I travel so if something happens to it, I am not out a lot. However, if I had to chose between the two, I would go with my MacBook Air. I find it easier to use. Go to an Apple store, if there is one in your area and check one out.
Best Wishes, | Joe

User avatar
Pajamas
Posts: 2530
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:32 pm

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by Pajamas » Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:46 pm

inbox788 wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:12 pm
They're not bad devices, but I don't think they're ripe yet, and don't think beginners need to be guinea pigs. I'd revisit in a year or two.
That might have been valid five years ago, but not now. First Chromebook was on the market in 2011.

As someone who has only played with a Chromebook, specifically what is it that makes you think they are not yet "ripe"? What would need to be different in order for them to be deemed "ripe"?

inbox788
Posts: 4099
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:24 pm

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by inbox788 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:54 pm

Pajamas wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:46 pm
inbox788 wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:12 pm
They're not bad devices, but I don't think they're ripe yet, and don't think beginners need to be guinea pigs. I'd revisit in a year or two.
That might have been valid five years ago, but not now. First Chromebook was on the market in 2011.

As someone who has only played with a Chromebook, specifically what is it that makes you think they are not yet "ripe"? What would need to be different in order for them to be deemed "ripe"?
I'm not talking about most Chromebooks. These comments are regarding the new crop of 2-in-1 Chromebooks that are came out this year https://www.engadget.com/2017/10/04/goo ... hromebook/ (and some of the limited ones that can be upgraded to the android store https://www.androidcentral.com/these-ar ... droid-apps ).

I'm on-board with a general Chromebook as the best option, as long as there isn't a more specific need:

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=229030#p3559099

User avatar
Hyperborea
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2017 10:31 am
Location: Silicon Valley

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by Hyperborea » Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:51 pm

inbox788 wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:54 pm
Pajamas wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:46 pm
inbox788 wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:12 pm
They're not bad devices, but I don't think they're ripe yet, and don't think beginners need to be guinea pigs. I'd revisit in a year or two.
That might have been valid five years ago, but not now. First Chromebook was on the market in 2011.

As someone who has only played with a Chromebook, specifically what is it that makes you think they are not yet "ripe"? What would need to be different in order for them to be deemed "ripe"?
I'm not talking about most Chromebooks. These comments are regarding the new crop of 2-in-1 Chromebooks that are came out this year https://www.engadget.com/2017/10/04/goo ... hromebook/ (and some of the limited ones that can be upgraded to the android store https://www.androidcentral.com/these-ar ... droid-apps ).

I'm on-board with a general Chromebook as the best option, as long as there isn't a more specific need:

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=229030#p3559099
The first 2-in-1 Chromebook was released 2 years ago - the Asus Flip. It's not a new thing at all. The support for Android apps is just that support for the apps. So, you have a Chromebook that can run Android apps. You aren't forced to run Android apps, you have the choice to run them or not as you wish.

I'm actually in the market for one for myself. I stopped in at a local chain this morning and was checking out the Samsung Chromebook Plus/Pro (two models that differ just in processor) and the Asus Chromebook Flip C302 (the more recent larger model - 12.5" screen). Both seemed really nice, good build quality, and some slight difference that depending on your use cases might sway one way or the other. There's also the newer updated Asus Flip C101 (10" screen, much more compact and light, probably a great travel machine) that the store didn't have in yet.

Though I haven't put hands on one yet the new Google PixelBook looks like an awesome Chromebook but it's more than I would want to spend on one. Even that is about the price of the cheapest Macbook. It will probably end up like the previous Chromebook Pixel and be sold to some hardcore enthusiasts and as a guiding light to other manufacturers on what is possible.

If the OP does want a larger screen, 13", 14" or 15", then the choice will have to be a non 2-in-1 since at those large screen sizes they are too big to operate as tablets and so nobody makes them that large.

User avatar
Alexa9
Posts: 321
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:41 am

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by Alexa9 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:35 pm

How much are you looking to spend?
<$400:Chromebook
>$700:Macbook (Refurbished is as good as new from Apple)
Chromebooks make a good secondary computer but a lot of people need a full fledged computer that runs programs. I think a Macbook is one of the best laptops you can buy and MacOS is much preferred to Windows.

munemaker
Posts: 2008
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:14 pm

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by munemaker » Sat Oct 07, 2017 6:51 am

Alexa9 wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:35 pm
a lot of people need a full fledged computer that runs programs.
Just curious...What are some programs that you personally need that you could not accomplish on a Chromebook?

User avatar
BL
Posts: 7247
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:28 pm

Re: Simple Notebook/laptop

Post by BL » Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:39 am

I have had a Samsung Chromebook for a number of years, maybe 5. I am very pleased with it, and only now thinking of a replacement, either cheap or top of line ASUS or Samsung. Right now I have 13 tabs open with no problem (mostly Facebook links). If you don't care about CD/DVDs it should be fine. I like a keyboard. My IPAD is fine for music or video or short travels with WiFi, Windows desktop is handy for large screen video, DVD/CD, laptop is ok, but I don't like Windows updating, viruses, etc. I am old(er), but have been involved with computers for many years. I think of a Chromebook as simplifying, cheap, and doing almost anything I want.

Had a beautiful Acer 14" that died in 3 weeks so I returned that.

Post Reply