Laptop Recommendation

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  #1  
Old 05-05-14, 12:42 PM
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Laptop Recommendation

I'd like to get my wife a new laptop for Mother's Day. She just started a home-based business and her 8-year old Toshiba laptop (with Vista) isn't cutting it. Not because she needs more processing power or anything, but because the laptop wasn't that great to begin with (it was only $399 brand new 8 years ago). A 17" screen and Windows 8.1 are must-haves and I'd like to keep the cost around $500.
 
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Old 05-05-14, 01:08 PM
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Thumbs up Laptop Recommendation

I would try the new Lenovos, so far the are the best today. Go to a site called Dealnews,and you will find all the Laptos with the best prices.Make sure you get one with a HDMI port,this way you could stream movies from your Laptop to your TV with an HDMI port.
Good Luck!
 
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Old 05-05-14, 01:12 PM
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Lenovo is good--that's what we use at work--they're a little bulky and outdated looking though. I'm sure she wants something shiny and sleek ("pretty" or "cute" she would call it). I forgot to mention that she will only be using it to surf the web, update her website, Facebook, email, and word processing, so graphics and processor speed aren't at the top of the list. Something reliable with good battery life that is designed for Windows 8.1 is important. I've heard negative things about consumers buying a Windows 8 laptop and upgrading to 8.1. And it appears that the newer laptops are switching to 64-bit exclusively. Is this accurate? On second thought, I don't think a touchscreen-based OS is the best way to go. Think I'll stick with Windows 7 (sorry lawrosa, maybe I'll get a Dell though ).
 

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Old 05-05-14, 01:53 PM
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Windows 8 will run as normal without a touchscreen. If no touchscreen, you just use the mouse.
 
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Old 05-05-14, 02:12 PM
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One of my laptops is that same 8 year old Toshiba with Vista Business. It's actually still going strong. As far as I know.... Toshiba laptops have been reliable.
 
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Old 05-05-14, 02:15 PM
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It still works for the most part, but has never fully recovered from the malware that was inadvertently installed on it years ago. If I had the Vista disk, I would reinstall it, but I don't. I've also thought of upgrading the OS, but have heard finding the right drivers is an issue. I would love to just buy a copy of Windows 7 and wipe her drive. I'd also have to buy Office.
 
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Old 05-05-14, 02:37 PM
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Actually keeping the computer should be fine. I bet that Toshiba has drivers for Windows 7 and you could easily download them off of their website. As for having to have to buy Office maybe not maybe you can get back what was installed on the computer. I did that with my used Dell I just bought recently. No big programs like office but I was able to recover other things. Then too though my new used laptop is newer so it might not work. I like LibreOffice though and have Office 2010 and LibreOffice on my desktop. You can get LibreOffice free here https://www.libreoffice.org/.

Speaking of Dell that is the computer I recommend and think they are the best as if something goes wrong with the computer they have guides on how to fix it yourself. Of course I don't recommend working on a laptop until the warranty is up but after warranty is another matter. If you do buy a Windows 8.1 computer for your wife then I strongly suggest you download the classic shell as that gives you back some of what unfortunately is lost with Windows 8.
 
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Old 05-05-14, 03:35 PM
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Laptop Recommendation

Toshiba's are very good laptops, I had one of then,and it was very reliable. You could always install Windows 7 over Vista but look on the web how to do it with the same version of Vista and 7.( Vista Ultimate with 7 Ultimate, and so on).

Again,If you decide to buy a new Laptop try one with Windows 7. Tiger direct usually has them,but remember to check the Dealnews site,there you will find the best deals on Laptops, new and refurbished.
Windows 8.1 updated recently it fine,and you do not need to use the Apps page,but the regular Desktop,and your reliable mouse.

Good Luck!
 
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Old 05-05-14, 03:46 PM
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Her Toshiba also gets very hot and the battery doesn't hold charge any longer. She wants a new laptop for Mother's Day so that's likely what I'm going to do. Thanks for all of your advice!
 
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Old 05-05-14, 04:09 PM
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I've bought several systems from DellOutlet.com. If you (and your wife) don't mind a machine branded "refurbished", you can get laptops there with the same warranty as new at VERY good prices. These are mostly just machines that they cannot sell as new, ie., customer returns, "scratch and dent", etc.

Google "Dell Outlet Coupons", and you can usually find a 10-20% off code. I just bought a laptop that would be close to $500 new for $325 (exact same warranty as new). It was a "scratch and dent" model, and all I saw on it was a slight scuff on one of the hinges...I'll save $200 for a scuff! It was for my mother, and she's quite happy with it.

Keep in mind "customer returns" doesn't mean anything is wrong with the machine. My employer just sent back 5x Optiplex 3020's because we intended to get small form factor, but the sales person erroneously quoted us mini-tower and we didn't catch their error until they arrived. None of them were taken out of the boxes, but now Dell will end up selling them as "refurbished" or "open box" on their outlet site since they were previously sold. My guess is a LOT of the Windows 8 laptops on DellOutlet (and other outlet sites) were machines people returned because they just did not like Windows 8.

Just my 3 cents (inflation)...
 
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Old 05-05-14, 04:51 PM
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A couple of things (I'm sure you are aware of anyway)...this is a very personal choice. What seems good based on specs, reviews, etc...may not be what she wants or feels comfortable with.

When my wife wanted a laptop for her stay in St Croix, she went with her son to the University bookstore he used to work at and tried all the models they had (and they had a lot...college kids ya know). She wound up with a display model ASUS Zenbook with a SSD of only 128Gb, and a 13" display. But since it was so small and light and has great battery life, it was perfect for her needs. (plus it was only about $300!) I thought something that small would have a tiny keyboard, but it fit my fingers fine the few times I used it. Still hate touchpads for all but basic functions.

Oh...and you know you still need to do the flowers and breakfast/dinner thing right? How did that happen anyway? When I was young...we kids bought the presents, flowers, candy and all, Dad just drove us to breakfast (of course he had to give us the money to buy the presents, flowers, candy, and all...lol)
 
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Old 05-06-14, 10:30 AM
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I've gotten pretty partial to Asus products over the last few years - newegg typically has some pretty good prices.
 
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Old 05-07-14, 01:27 PM
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I ended up getting her an HP Probook 455 G1 Laptop (16" screen, 2.7GHz AMD A6-Series processor, 8GB RAM, 750GB Hard Drive, Windows 7 Professional 64-Bit). The reviews aren't that great, but it was only $499 and should be sufficient for what she is doing. I'll going to take her old laptop, wipe the drive, and install Windows 7 on it.
 
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Old 05-07-14, 05:20 PM
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Looks like a decent machine. What's wrong in the reviews?
 
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Old 05-08-14, 12:51 AM
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I read that some people had trouble with running the laptop on the battery alone and that the laptop would shut down. I also read that it was slow and that compared to a Dell that was compared to this laptop the Dell scored higher. The Dell though was also more expensive and while not as highly rated came in second. I don't pay too much attention to reviews though although they weigh in with my decision to buy something. I don't think this is a heavy use laptop but really can't find anything bad about it either.

The battery issue too was only based on the review of one person and you really can't go by the word of only one person. No safety issues either that popped up and that is certainly great to know. Only thing I didn't like is just a trial of Office 360 was included which quits working after 30 days. If it were me I would download LibreOffice which is free and just as good if not better than Microsoft Office which I have a link to in this thread.
 
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Old 05-09-14, 12:10 PM
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Only thing I didn't like is just a trial of Office 360 was included which quits working after 30 days. If it were me I would download LibreOffice which is free and just as good if not better than Microsoft Office which I have a link to in this thread.
That was one of the reasons I wanted to keep the price under $500--anticipating the need to buy MS Office. Now that I know of LibreOffice, hopefully I won't need to buy Office. How does Libre compare to OpenOffice?
 
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Old 05-09-14, 12:38 PM
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OpenOffice was run by Oracle and they closed the project in 2011. LibreOffice, NeoOffice, and Apache OpenOffice are the successors. Seems Libre is the one I see mentioned the most.
 
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Old 05-09-14, 02:13 PM
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Vic (Gunguy45) is right OpenOffice is a closed project, you can still go to their website but no new contributions are being made to it. I don't know about NeoOffice I have never heard of that but Apache OpenOffice is essentially the same as OpenOffice and not really supported. LibreOffice though is cross platform in that it is also now on major Linux distributions like PCLinuxOS to name at least one major distributor. I can open any Microsoft Office file and files even Office can't open.

The names for things will be different like for instance Calc is an equivalent to Excel and Present is equivalent to Powerpoint to name just a couple of equivalent programs. It has a different feel to the program too and some things are definitely different but it is well supported and you can always ask them questions or look something up on their website. There is also a help file that you download separate from the main program as the main program is installed first. One other thing I really like no restrictions on the program like with Microsoft Office Home and Student addition.
 
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