I’m getting a laptop

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by MikaelaArsenault, Jun 11, 2018.

  1. MikaelaArsenault

    MikaelaArsenault Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Email, music, etc.
     
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  2. MikaelaArsenault

    MikaelaArsenault Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New Hampshire
    See my last post.
     
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  3. MikaelaArsenault

    MikaelaArsenault Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New Hampshire
    I’ll be buying in store, but the price range will not be expensive.
     
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  4. Chris Schoen

    Chris Schoen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland, U.S.A.
    Cool - I have bought from them many times. Keep all your receipts, software discs, and documentation together. Good luck.
     
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  5. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    Location:
    Arizona
    I do not recommend service plans. The machine is already backed by the manufacturer warranty. And, if anything did go wrong, I would not trust Geek Squad to fix the machine. It really is best to learn how to do things on your own, too.
     
  6. SamS

    SamS Forum Legend

    Location:
    Texas
    Sounds like you might be OK with a decent tablet?
     
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  7. Bob_in_OKC

    Bob_in_OKC Frequent Visitor

    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    Considering BestBuy will be the place, and this will be an inexpensive model for email, music, etc. Lenovo Ideapad sounds like a good option.
     
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  8. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    @MikaelaArsenault please take what I'm about to say in the spirit with which it is meant. I've seen a lot of your posts in the past few months about issues you were having with your PC. In almost all cases, they can easily be addressed if one has the right knowledge.

    Personally, I would strongly recommend a Chromebook for the type of usage you are aiming for. They are essentially devoid of the typical issues you've run into on your Windows PC and I believe it would result in a smoother experience for you since you wouldn't need to spend any time dealing with issues and posting about them.

    The only bad part is if there's a game or specific application you'd like to use which was made for Windows, you won't be able to install/run it. In my view, it's a small price to pay.

    A tablet is another terrific suggestion which, again, wouldn't require much (if at all) babysitting by the user (you). Food for thought.
     
  9. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Orleans
    Not the greatest selection of laptops at BB. It's a shames the most of the public never gets to even see how much better many of the real pro laptops are. I was a MacBook Pro user for years, but Apple will have to really step up their game to beat my Lenovo X1 Carbon. Once you use a Thinkpad, it's pretty hard to go back to other PC laptops. Dell's XPS series is nice, unfortunately, it comes with Dell's "support" and quality. Great is you don't need things like the the TB3 port to work or decent docks, etc.
     
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  10. Nephrodoc

    Nephrodoc Well-Known Member

    I got my son a chrome book for school and I wind up using it a lot. It’s a pretty good design and practical for online browsing and email for $300. Basically it refreshes the operating system every time it is turned on so no crashes, virus, etc.. It will fill your needs except for the music part.
     
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  11. JohnO

    JohnO Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    OK, and Best Buy is OK. Even if you don't get their Geek Squad plan, their Geek Squad is there for service if needed. BB has really improved their GS service in the past few years.

    For now, you can look on Newegg dot com, at laptops, and there you will find virtually every model for sale in the US. You can set filters for price and various features, and have an idea what is out there and prices. BB won't have them all, but they might have the best one(s) you pick, or something very similar. BB's price should not be more than 10% above Newegg's price.

    I would recommend the HP brand first, with Dell and Acer tied second. Every tech knows or better know how to fix an issue with HP, and most Dells and Acers. HP is everywhere.

    I have to recommend against a Chromebook for you. I have a (Acer) Chromebook, and it's neat, but it is only useful for web browsing and web email (and some downloading to an SD card or USB to take to the real machines, and some music listening with headphones). It's a good secondary machine after you have a decent laptop. You just can't write anything serious on it, or spreadsheets, or presentations.

    You don't need Microsoft's Office in any version or to pay for that. I will link you to a great FREE Office program (fully file compatible with MS) that I use on all my machines, from SoftMaker. I have used this for many years, even though I have MS Office available.
     
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  12. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    Location:
    Arizona
    @MikaelaArsenault

    Since you are not spending much more than $350 on a laptop, you likely will not find one with a Ryzen chip. In that price range, go with an intel chip.

    For that price, do not expect that laptop to last more than three years. It may, but do not expect it. Just learn how to fix issues on your own and save some money.

    Again, no need for a service plan. Just take it home, set it up, and back up your data. Make a restore USB.

    For you, I do recommend buying a full-featured anti-malware. Get something like the paid version of Malwarebytes or BitDefender. For technical reasons mentioned on another thread, avoid Avast.

    Use extra money you may have and buy a separate drive to back up your data.

    Stick with a major brand. Lenovo is a great choice.

    Don't install programs you don't need. When you do, read everything as you go along.

    For you, I recommend not turning off Cortana. I do not think you'll be doing anything on your machine that would cause you or anyone else to be alarmed. besides, turning off stuff causes things to not work as you intend or need. leave the tweaking to the pros, or as you learn things.

    It's probably a better idea to buy a laptop with an Intel processor because they use less power. That will be good your battery life.

    Do not use hibernate. That will cause your drives to fill up. Remember your desktop?

    BTW, keep the desktop. When you get it fixed, you will have two machines.
     
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  13. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    Location:
    Arizona
    It depends on the location.

    She is buying at a store.

    If you avoid HP, you won't have to worry about needing a tech.

    You don't know what she needs as far as Office is concerned.
     
  14. Chris Schoen

    Chris Schoen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland, U.S.A.
    This is for extended service. Also, for folks like me, (that know nothing about computers,) the Geek Squad service has helped me fix problems over the phone.
    They were probably stupid questions, or things you would have known already, but it's good to be able to call the people you bought the computer from, and
    they have a record of the deal (what you have, etc,...)
     
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  15. JohnO

    JohnO Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    With HP, you don't need a tech. But if you do, everyone knows HP.

    I think I have a fair idea what Mikaela can use in an Office program. SoftMaker is FREE, tiny, and fast. The only thing it doesn't have compared to MS is the grammar checker, and the free versions don't have macros or Visual Basic. I recommend SoftMaker to everyone for everything unless macros/Visual Basic/grammar checking is needed. Their pay version does have macros and a near clone of VB. The basic free version is always here
    www.freeoffice.com - FreeOffice for Windows, Linux and Android
    But almost always there is a free promo version of their pay version or one release back of their pay version. They also have Android and Linux versions with the same family feel. MS doesn't.
     
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  16. SamS

    SamS Forum Legend

    Location:
    Texas
    Is HP really any different than a Dell, Lenovo, Toshiba? They're all mass-market machines with similar components at each price point. It's not like if you pick HP over Toshiba, the same $500 laptop will never give you any headaches.
     
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  17. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    Location:
    Arizona
    Ask any tech who has to work on HP machines.
     
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  18. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Not any different, no. Everybody's experiences will be different so one guy might say "I'd avoid HP at all costs" whereas somebody else will say "Avoid Dell at all costs", etc.

    They're all mostly cheaply-made machines. I prefer desktops by a large margin for many reasons, one of them being the ability to choose my components and not go for cheap unreliable stuff for any of my PC's parts.
     
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  19. SamS

    SamS Forum Legend

    Location:
    Texas
    I work with the team that services all the laptops for my company with 200,000+ employees. We have contracts with HP, Dell, Toshiba, Apple and a few other vendors. We have a "Genius Bar" here in my building where walk-ins (employees) bring in their laptops for anything from hardware, to software, to network issues.

    The techs have told me on more than one occasion that no brand is better than another. Occasionally there will be a "bad model" that gives them trouble for 6-12 months. But then it gets refreshed/recycled and the problem-child laptop designation moves to another brand.
     
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  20. JohnO

    JohnO Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Oh dear, this thread is not the place, we want to help and encourage Mikaela with a new laptop. In the Windows 10 thread she said she is getting a Lenovo and here she said at Best Buy. She will buy this in a retail store and she may or hopefully never need easily available retail service.
     
  21. Apesbrain

    Apesbrain Forum Resident

    Location:
    East Coast, USA
    They are also a good deal:
    HP 14-AK040NR 14" Chromebook Intel Celeron N2840 2.16GHz 4GB 16GB Chrome OS 779184023302 | eBay
     
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  22. JohnO

    JohnO Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    I just looked deeper into that current website, and it may not be clear that the free version does include a very good standard spell checker, in the usual languages including US or UK English and others, to which you can add your own special words or abbreviations. Their comparison page almost makes it look like you need the pay version for spell checking. No - the pay version adds enhanced expanded dictionaries, not really necessary, and other plus features.
     
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  23. MemoInPR

    MemoInPR Forum Resident

    Hi Mikaela. If you're a college student, you can get Office 365 for free with your .edu account:

    Office for Students, Teachers, & Schools | Office | Microsoft

    At Ninite (Ninite - Install or Update Multiple Apps at Once ) you can download several Windows programs at once (Chrome, Firefox, VLC, foobar2000, 7-Zip, among others)

    Unidays offers several discounts for students including Apple Music at half price, 20% off at Microsoft Store, 30% off at HP, among others:

    All technology

    You can get discounts at Best Buy when you register at https://www.bestbuy.com/site/clp/college-student-deals/pcmcat276200050000.c?id=pcmcat276200050000

    Spotify and Amazon offer half price on their Premium and Prime memberships:

    Spotify Premium for Students with Hulu: Music for everyone.
    Amazon Prime Student: https://www.amazon.com/Amazon-Student/b?ie=UTF8&node=668781011

    Hope it helps.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
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  24. MemoInPR

    MemoInPR Forum Resident

    LibreOffice is also a free Office alternative: Home | LibreOffice - Free Office Suite - Fun Project - Fantastic People
     
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  25. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

    I recommend Dell.
     
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