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  1.    21 Jul 2017 #11
    Join Date : Mar 2015
    Posts : 129
    Windows 10

    You're going to curse any Windows laptop that costs $300. Just MO.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    21 Jul 2017 #12
    Join Date : Oct 2014
    Posts : 920
    Windows 10 Pro

    Just keep an open mind that for $300 you aren't going to get very powerful hardware, so since you will be closer to minimum specs, you will get minimum performance. I wouldn't want you disliking Windows because your computer is slow.

    You have a lot of options, but rather than rehashing it all again, use this: https://laptop.ninja/finding-the-bes...r-300-dollars/
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    21 Jul 2017 #13
    Join Date : Jun 2016
    UK
    Posts : 282
    Windows 10 Home 64 bit (with Creators OS)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanny View Post
    Greetings all, thanks for reading my post.

    I'm a long time Mac user considering our first purchase of a PC laptop. I know nothing at all about the PC realm, so I'm here hoping to benefit from your experience.

    Buying a PC laptop is an experiment for now. We'll continue using our Macs for many things, so the PC laptop doesn't need to replace everything we use computers for. Thus, my goals are modest, something along these lines....


    1) Cheap - say $300 or so?

    2) Ideally new from a reliable vendor. A big part of this experiment is seeing if we can find computer makers we have more confidence in.

    3) Laptop should be able to run the latest web browsers.

    4) Laptop should be able to easily play our nature video collection (.mp4 format)

    5) The longer the battery will run between charges the better.

    6) 13 inch or greater screen

    So, I'm picturing something like an entry level PC laptop, which I assume will be running some version of Windows.

    As a place to start, is there any consensus in the PC realm regarding who the most professional reliable computer makers are?

    Thanks for any advice you may be able to share
    .
    I changed from a Mac to Windows in 2015. I didn't find it difficult to become familiar with Windows. Basic differences include: Windows' screens look a mess compared to Mac; buttons often don't look like buttons but are often just text placed anywhere on the screen; screens are often filled to the four margins with spaced-out elements, wheras a Mac screen tends to keep the business part (buttons, icons etc. in a small part of the screen, leaving the rest for work); Mac OS technicallities and options are more hidden or not available in a Mac whereas Windows lets users poke around a lot more.

    Their interfaces are definitely different but I find Windows 10 works as well as a Mac in getting jobs done efficiently. Windows used to have a poorer reputation for reliability but I don't see that now. Actually, I like Windows 10!
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    21 Jul 2017 #14
    Join Date : Jul 2017
    Posts : 12
    OSX
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
    Just keep an open mind that for $300 you aren't going to get very powerful hardware, so since you will be closer to minimum specs, you will get minimum performance. I wouldn't want you disliking Windows because your computer is slow.
    Thanks to all for the warning about my el-cheapo budget. I don't disagree with anything that's been said, but at this very early stage in my Windows career, I'm just not willing to invest too much in the experiment.

    My needs are more complex so I'll still be spending most of my time on my iMac, but my wife uses our laptop for literally nothing other than web surfing, so we do have use for a cheap PC.

    There is another issue, which applies to all computers, imho. It seems nobody can sell a truly reliable machine which you can count on. Sure, some machines in any model will work flawlessly for years, but you never know which one that will be. You might get the gem, you might get the lemon, who knows. It's a crapshoot, no matter what you buy, no matter how much you spend, new or used, mac or PC.

    Thus, I've been gravitating towards cheaper machines over the years, so I don't have to sweat it so much. As example, I can buy four or five $300 laptops for the cost of one new Mac laptop. It seems to me the odds are better with four machines than just one.

    I would still be buying cheap used Macs, except that the vendor I was using turned out to be a snake oil salesman operation, and I don't know of any reliable alternative at the moment. Thus, it's time to open my mind and explore the PC realm. Anyway, that's how I got here.

    Quote Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
    You have a lot of options, but rather than rehashing it all again, use this: https://laptop.ninja/finding-the-bes...r-300-dollars/
    This is a most excellent article, and I thank you very much for it. Very appropriate to my question, and I expect to find it quite useful. Well done!
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    22 Jul 2017 #15
    Join Date : Jul 2016
    Posts : 184
    Windows 10

    Do you really need a laptop? Could you use a desktop instead?
    Unlike a cheap laptop, a cheap desktop PC can be very reliable.

    And you get a lot more for your money.
    And you get a screen you can actually see.
    And a keyboard you can actually use.
    And a real mouse.
    And more horsepower.
    And a DVD/Blue Ray disk.
    And more memory.
    And more storage.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    22 Jul 2017 #16
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 3,743
    10 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by NavyLCDR View Post
    I would look at refurbished laptop from a reputable retailer like Best Buy:
    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/searchpa...=960&keys=keys
    I'd second this approach. There are lots of ex-business laptops around and $300 will get you a decent 4ish year old Lenovo Thinkpad. It will be far better than a equivalently priced new machine.

    Ebay is cheaper if you are willing to risk it - I did recently and was very happy with the result.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    22 Jul 2017 #17
    Join Date : Jun 2016
    UK
    Posts : 282
    Windows 10 Home 64 bit (with Creators OS)

    Quote Originally Posted by margrave55 View Post
    Do you really need a laptop? Could you use a desktop instead?
    Unlike a cheap laptop, a cheap desktop PC can be very reliable.

    And you get a lot more for your money.
    And you get a screen you can actually see.
    And a keyboard you can actually use.
    And a real mouse.
    And more horsepower.
    And a DVD/Blue Ray disk.
    And more memory.
    And more storage.
    That's me 100% I definitely don't need portability of hardware, so its always been a desktop for me. I have two large USB ext. HDDs for duplicate backups of the whole system and all personal files (Documents. etc.,) although I suspect a laptop owner could have the same.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    22 Jul 2017 #18
    Join Date : Jul 2017
    Posts : 12
    OSX
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by margrave55 View Post
    Do you really need a laptop? Could you use a desktop instead?
    Unlike a cheap laptop, a cheap desktop PC can be very reliable.
    Interesting point, I hadn't considered that, even though the situation is similar on the Mac side.

    Well, yes, a laptop is what would serve our particular family situation best at the moment. But your point is taken, we're going to have to pay a price for the mobility.

    That said, I'm not dismissing this consideration for the next purchase. I do a lot of video work and would like to access Windows based tools. Perhaps that will be the excuse to buy a desktop PC too.

    "Oh honey, the expert guys on the forum say we have to buy two new computers, so I guess I'll just have to get a desktop PC too."

    Yep, that's the plan. I see it now. I'll blame it all on you. :-)
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  9.    22 Jul 2017 #19
    Join Date : Jul 2017
    Posts : 12
    OSX
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by lx07 View Post
    I'd second this approach. There are lots of ex-business laptops around and $300 will get you a decent 4ish year old Lenovo Thinkpad. It will be far better than a equivalently priced new machine.
    Ok, this option remains on the table. We do have a local Best Buy. Any opinions on Best Buy? I don't have a good impression of them actually, but I don't remember why. I think I have it stuck in my head to cut out the middlemen and buy directly from the computer maker. I'm wary of all business situations where a buck of blame can be passed off to somebody else. But I'm still listening, perhaps I'm just being paranoid and stubborn.

    Ebay is cheaper if you are willing to risk it - I did recently and was very happy with the result.
    Ebay is a bridge too far for me, but I am open to buying used from a reliable used vendor who actually, serious, really, no kidding, tests the machines before resale. So, now I'm arguing with what I just said in the paragraph above.

    Is there perhaps a reliable company with good rep who specializes in selling used PCs?
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  10.    22 Jul 2017 #20
    Join Date : Aug 2014
    Forever West
    Posts : 3,922
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, Win7 Home, Linux Mint

    I'll mention here that refurbished may not be a bad thing, I've had good service from such deals with printers. Frequently refurbished only means the product was purchased and the serial number entered into a database at the time of purchase meaning if the product got returned for whatever reason it cannot again be sold as new. As long as the warranty is the same as if new the buyer's chances are the same. Sometimes off-lease are good deals.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 
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