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  #1  
Old 25 January 2013, 03:30 PM
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Frying Pan Help me buy my sister a laptop

My sister is going back to school and needs a laptop. I want to buy it for her birthday and although I don't want to spend a bundle I want something decent. She'll need one that can load Windows Office, but other than that she uses a computer (mostly her blackberry) for Facebook ( ) and online purchases. No doubt she'll want to store photos on it. I think that covers her needs.

I'm so far removed from current technology I haven't a clue what most I read is about. If I could, I would gladly go back to my 386 and Win 98.

So, will some of you saavy people help me buy her birthday present?

I have this list, but don't know if there's anything decent on it. http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olstempl...c=abcat0500000
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  #2  
Old 25 January 2013, 03:42 PM
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Over at CNET they have a few pages that might prove useful. One is step-by-step search tool that narrows your choices based on the desired options. For some insight into what some of the options (and terminology) mean as well as a general buying guide, there is this site.
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Old 25 January 2013, 05:17 PM
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I might go back to Windows 98, but not to a 386.
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Old 25 January 2013, 05:46 PM
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Yeah, but if you go up too much, it won't load Win 98.

Thanks for the resources, Moose.
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Old 25 January 2013, 07:59 PM
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I'd still like some input from others. Anyone have a laptop they would recommend?

I think another consideration should be weight. I think most are lightweight these days but I don't see anything about weight in descriptions. Is that moot?
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  #6  
Old 25 January 2013, 08:32 PM
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i work for one of the companies listed on your list but -- the 17" Pavillion for $374 with 4 GB of memory and HDMI output is an awesome deal.
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Old 26 January 2013, 04:27 AM
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She's a small woman, only 5' 3". Wouldn't that be a bit large for her?

But, wait, isn't HP getting out of the computer biz?

ETA: What do you think of this one? Would she need more than 2 GB memory?

Last edited by tagurit; 26 January 2013 at 04:36 AM.
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  #8  
Old 26 January 2013, 05:42 AM
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I am just about 5'3"- I don't think a 17" laptop would be difficult to carry around. I have a Dell Latitude but I've forgotten what the size is- either 15" or 17" (it's..wow 5 years old already- purchased in 2008). She might be able to get away with 2GB if she is not going to do a whole lot on it (I had thought 4GB memory was the standard these days...).
I love my Latitude (am using it heavily right now as I still can't get my desktop hard drive looked at and/or saved... )- Dell, HP are both good machines- maybe look at refurbished laptops if you want to keep the price down.

Good luck! (and happy birthday/good luck in school to your sister )
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Old 26 January 2013, 06:40 AM
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My daughter uses a 17" laptop and she's not even 5' 1".
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  #10  
Old 26 January 2013, 07:03 AM
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I've had a couple of Toshiba laptops and have been very impressed with their durability.

That said, if I were buying a laptop today the number one thing I'd be looking for is Windows 7 instead of 8. I've really heard nothing but bad things about 8 for non-touch screen devices. It can be a little hard to find, but here's one that seems like a good computer to me. (And Tiger Direct is a reputable online seller).

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...590&CatId=4935

ETA: I see that when you customize a laptop on the Toshiba website you can choose to have Windows 7 installed, but you have to pay an extra $50 for it. I suppose there could be a good reason for that, but it seems telling to me--nobody* was paying extra to downgrade to Windows Vista instead of 7 when 7 came out.

*I'm sure someone was, but, you know, hardly anyone.

Last edited by erwins; 26 January 2013 at 07:25 AM.
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  #11  
Old 26 January 2013, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tagurit View Post
But, wait, isn't HP getting out of the computer biz?
They originally made that announcement, but that was before their CEO was replaced. After their current leadership took hold they retracted that decision and said that they would continue to make PC's.
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  #12  
Old 26 January 2013, 03:44 PM
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I'm a Dell Outlet fan - they have coupons all the time for laptops. Best one I saw was a 25% off one, I nailed a 17" for $350.

Win7, AT LEAST 4gb memory, and a 500gb hard drive should be your minimum. Don't buy celeron CPUs! Look for something in the 2.0 ghz range and higher for the CPU speed. Dual core is fine, multi core is better. 64 bit win7 is the way to go. Unfortunately, they are even switching in the outlet store to Winblows8.

check: www.techbargains.com for discounts, the outlet store's contents change rapidly, and disappear when there's a good sale.

ETA: 17" is really too big. I replaced two computers with this one. Haven't had a Dell Outlet failure in 10 years of buying from them.
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  #13  
Old 26 January 2013, 06:08 PM
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I went to tigerdirect, techbargains, and Dell Outlet as well as checking out more product at Best Buy. It seems to me that this laptop gives the most bang for the buck. It's on sale for two days so I think I'll pick it up today, then I can take it back if anyone convinces me there's a better deal out there.

Thank you, Diddy! I hadn't heard.
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  #14  
Old 26 January 2013, 09:02 PM
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It will most likely work. Just remember when you make your recovery media Samsung requires a flash drive. Windows 8 isn't bad, just requires that you learn something new. Most of the people I have sold it to have enjoyed it or at least have had no major issues with it.
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  #15  
Old 26 January 2013, 09:20 PM
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Thanks, Drakkon. I found an article titled something like "how to make win 8 not suck so bad" about optimizing the os. So, we shall see. For only $299.99 I just couldn't find anything to beat it.
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  #16  
Old 26 January 2013, 09:25 PM
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That's the way to use my shopping method! Do tons of research, go shopping for something specific, then = "HEY! LOOKIE! It's on sale!" no matter what it is, lol.
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  #17  
Old 27 January 2013, 05:33 PM
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Been using my new convertible notebook with windows 8 for about a month now. As a tablet with touch screen, windows 8 is great and fun to use. On the other hand I would prefer to have just windows 7 when using it as a notebook. Not that windows 8 is bad, it that is it designed with a touchscreen as the main method of input.
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  #18  
Old 28 January 2013, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hambubba View Post
That's the way to use my shopping method! Do tons of research, go shopping for something specific, then = "HEY! LOOKIE! It's on sale!" no matter what it is, lol.
Why do you say that? Is the laptop I bought not any good? The specs looked good to me, save the Win 8 part. You seeing red flags?
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  #19  
Old 29 January 2013, 12:11 PM
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Nope! You did good. I was just referring to my normal way of shopping, apparently. I spec things out, then find something else all of a sudden that is "just fine".
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  #20  
Old 29 January 2013, 01:55 PM
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Alrighty, then! I guess I'll just keep the Samsung, which is a notebook. What's the difference between a laptop and a notebook? Just the label?

I bought my one and only laptop back in 2000. Things have changed since then.
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