I’m getting a laptop

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

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  1. Ric-Tic

    Ric-Tic Forum Resident

    Location:
    Stockholm
    For surfin and reading email, playing music I would recommend an used business laptop and Linux as OS. If you want a (better) user experience that mimic OSX you could install Elementary OS. Otherwise Ubuntu Mate or Linux Mint will work great.
     
  2. Grant

    Grant A 60s, 70s & 90s Lovin' Musical Free-Spirit

    Linux is not for most people. Linux offers no support, and is for the experienced computer person. Most average people need for their programs to be compatible with their operating system, and for most people, that means Windows.
     
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  3. Grant

    Grant A 60s, 70s & 90s Lovin' Musical Free-Spirit

    The good thing is that most new laptops I see today, unless they are the extreme cheap end, all have SSDs.
     
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  4. Rolltide

    Rolltide Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vallejo, CA
    You're not wrong about software, but its amazing how little software most people use these days with so much being web or app based. The OP's use description is "Email, music, etc". I'd be very surprised if a Chromebook wouldn't be enough.
     
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  5. Madness

    Madness Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    Music how? Streaming? Ripping from CD? Storing? Playing from the hard drive? Downloading?
     
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  6. George P

    George P Forum Pianophile

    Location:
    NYC
    :agree:

    I dig my Lenovo.
     
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  7. William K

    William K Forum Resident

    Location:
    NW Indiana
    I bought a Toshiba Chromebook for my Wife and I agree with that. It has been really good for her since all she uses it for is surfing. However that being said, I did have constant problems getting it to work with our old printer, so keep that in mind and if you buy a printer get one that is a "Cloud Ready" printer or you may have a ton of headaches IMO.
     
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  8. JohnO

    JohnO Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    I know you'll be looking at the lower priced ones, and that's OK. But the very lowest priced Windows machines have a 32gb solid state "hard drive". Usually shown, like on the BB website, as "32gb eMMC Flash Memory".

    Do NOT get one of these. Please trust me on this one factor. 32gb is not enough to hold Windows 10 and more than a few tiny applications, and it is impossible for the 32gb machine to digest a large Windows Update automatically.

    Because - I just forced the recent 1803 update to install into one with this "32gb eMMC" type memory drive. It is possible, but only by doing things MS does not explain and no place on the web explains (as far as I know) and you're not supposed to do, so I did it and it worked. But such an update should just happen automatically, not me taking six hours to force it in undocumented ways.

    The next models up will have "64gb eMMC". That will be ok.

    If any Windows machine you look at there says "32gb eMMC", SKIP IT like it doesn't exist.

    (32gb eMMC, and even 16gb eMMC, is workable for a Chromebook.)
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
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  9. PhxJohn

    PhxJohn Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    I have found that going out and buying a new one is cheaper than what the repair guys charge. I am referring to hardware failures. I have only ever experienced one virus and I was able to remove that myself. This HP laptop cost $199 at Walmart. I bought a friend of mine a refurbished Dell from Amazon for her birthday. Amazing deal. Great performance, 17" monitor. Desktop. Desktops tend to be faster. Typically. Anyway, the desktop was only $100 complete.
     
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  10. nick99nack

    nick99nack Forum Resident

    Location:
    Statesboro, GA
    Lenovo ThinkPad, with linux (I recommend Ubuntu or Linux Mint). You can find used ones at good prices.

    I disagree. I set up my grandmother on Ubuntu (a very inexperienced, non-tech-savvy person) and it cut down the number of tech support calls (to me) in half. She's been using it for about 5 years now with very few issues. And, when one laptop died, all I had to do was take out the drive from the old one, pop it in the newer one, and it was like nothing ever changed. Completely different make and model, but the OS reconfigured itself and she was up and running in no time.
     
  11. Grant

    Grant A 60s, 70s & 90s Lovin' Musical Free-Spirit

    I still say going with an established OS with a huge common user base is better than fooling around with Linux.
     
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  12. Rolltide

    Rolltide Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vallejo, CA
    You give off a very strong "hasn't used Linux since Redhat in 1999" vibe, FWIW. For a casual user, there's an order of magnitude less "fooling around" with Linux then Win10 these days.

    That said, the OP should go Chromebook.
     
  13. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Orleans
    I may have to load Linux up and see where it's got to. Haven't used it in years, but I bet it's perfect for casual user.

    Personally, I would never use a Chromebook, for the same reason that I do not use the Chrome browser. Google has been caught with their hand in the privacy cookie jar too many times. I am always shocked at how much intrusion folks allow Google to have into their life. It's OK if they are Ok with it, but there have been several times where Google has gone as far as hacking settings in other apps to bypass privacy settings. If someone can show me where the Chrome OS has some level off privacy and security I would listen but Google's track record has not been good.
     
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  14. PhilBiker

    PhilBiker sh.tv member number 666

    Location:
    Northern VA, USA
    I ran Ubuntu on an old laptop a few years ago. First thing I installed was Opera. I wonder if Opera is available for a Chromebook? It's a great browser.
     
  15. Chazro

    Chazro Forum Resident

    Location:
    West Palm Bch, Fl.
    I did this last year. Got a 17" HP 8760W for $300 bucks. New, the machine went for 10x that! In practically as-new condition, it's built like a tank and built to deal with so much more than my casual use. More computer than I'll ever need. Its like buying a used BMW vs. a new Kia, there's pros and cons either way.
     
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  16. Gaslight

    Gaslight Geitto Listener

    Location:
    Northeast USA
    One analogy difference on the used BMW is that these laptops are generally easy to do maintenance work on.

    My old HP's bottom cover comes right off and exposes the RAM slots, Wifi, HDD, fan and CPU / heatsink. Reasons for the RAM / HDD are self-explanatory but being able to take out the fan every year or two to clear out dust is a nice option - keeps the CPU cool. The CPU itself is even replaceable / upgradeable without having to take the machine apart.

    Another item of note is firmware upgrades. Unlike many of my consumer-focused systems, this six year old laptop is actually still getting firmware updates, the latest being for Spectre. I assume that it's again due to it being a business laptop and the security expectations from that same clientèle.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
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  17. Gaslight

    Gaslight Geitto Listener

    Location:
    Northeast USA
    Ubuntu is as easy to install as Windows these days. Possibly even easier as there's just less options to click through.

    The problem of course has been and continues to be application support. But if one is happy with open-source software for all the day-to-day stuff like email, browser, audio and video playback etc. it's not necessarily a bad option to consider.
     
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  18. Rolltide

    Rolltide Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vallejo, CA
    Last year at some point I installed both Win 10 and Ubuntu and/or Mint within a few days of one another. Linux is easier to install by a large margin. It's like Win98 - you point it at a target disk, set a username and password, your time zone, and your wifi if desired and that's the extent of it.
     
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  19. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    Interesting. Ever owned one? Our company has switched back and forth between Dells and HPs over the last 20 years and having had my share of each to work with I prefer the Dells in the way they work and handle. HPs are OK but have had very poor battery life and are heavier than they need to be.
    The latest crop of Dells are state of the art Windows laptops. I've also had an Asus personal laptop and its been very good but has some wierd quirks and idiosyncracys.
     
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  20. Grant

    Grant A 60s, 70s & 90s Lovin' Musical Free-Spirit

    It is safe to say that the OP is going to buy a Windows 10 machine, so all this talk about Linux is pointless. If she wants to fiddle with Linux down the road, she can still do that.
     
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  21. coopmv

    coopmv Newton 1/30/2001 - 8/31/2011

    Location:
    CT, USA
    HP desktop models with SSD still cost a bit more than those with conventional HD, all else being equal. The price reduction in those SSD drives has not been passed along to consumers yet IMO ...
     
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  22. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Orleans
    If you are looking for a great bargain B.B. had the 15” HP Envy on sale a outlet weeks ago (they are frequently on sale). I bought an i5 version for one employee for $599 and another with the Ryzen for $649. These have a 1TB spinning HD, but have an unpopulated NVMe slot. In both cases I added a Samsung 960 pro SSD for $129 and they are now very badass laptops with both speed and a ton of storage for a great price.

    Adding the SSD takes a little tech ability as you have to open it up, remove the HD, load Win10 from a USB stick and then reinstall and reformat the HD. Sounds a lot lore difficult than it is if you are somewhat inclined.

    If you are worried about warranty, just remove the HD and put another one in its place. Can always put the original in to go back to stock.
     
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  23. HDOM

    HDOM H D

    Location:
    Scandinavia
    I have a desktop that look like laptop but smaller and no dvd and no screen:winkgrin:
     
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  24. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles CA USA
    I firmly believe (and my work IT guy concurred) that in the long run, they are actually less expensive, especially if you value your time not screwing around with Windows issues. From long experience with both, I rarely fiddle with Macs, and they have a longer usable lifespan than PCs. The last time I really compared a few years back, it also seemed that similar Windows machines to a MacBook Air were nearly as expensive. In the short run, yes, you can get Windows laptops pretty cheaply.

    Tablets and Chromebooks are fine for what they are, but many websites STILL won't render properly on tablets, and significant amounts of legacy Flash & Java stuff won't run on either without some kind of hacking.

    Solid State Drives (SSDs) can really speed things up, but forget storing any music/video at all, even on "big" ones, which are way expensive anyway. And forget the "oh I'll put that all on an external drive!" idea, that just turned out to be a pain IMNSHO.

    By the way, this https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00WRDRRWW/
    lets my wife use her work laptop without a monitor quite well (with an external keyboard), she loves it. It is ergonomically much better than just typing on the laptop on a table...like I'm doing now, huh :p
     
  25. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

    Well said. Accurate summary.
     
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