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  1.    20 Jul 2017 #1
    Join Date : Jul 2017
    Posts : 12
    OSX

    Requesting Advice On First PC Purchase


    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.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    20 Jul 2017 #2
    Join Date : Aug 2014
    Forever West
    Posts : 3,922
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, Win7 Home, Linux Mint

    1. I picked up a nice 11" Dell Inspiron 3000 2-in-1 last month at Wal*Mart for $139 with 2GB RAM, Celeron CPU and 32GB SSD, turned out they were on sale to make room for the replacement. I did add a 64GB MicroSDXC memory card for more storage. The new one is the same 2-in-1 but has a Pentium CPU, 4GB RAM and a 500GB HDD for $369. I've been looking at the Notebooks but don't really need a larger one. The sizes are 14", 15.6" and maybe a 17.3" but the cheapest seems to be between $400 and $700. Don't see many 12" or 13" in my area so would have to shop on-line.

    2. Depends upon your location. Most of the major well-known brands are available around the world.

    The Notebooks of today will do nearly everything a Desktop will do, a lot depends upon the programs one installs.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    20 Jul 2017 #3
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,403
    Windows 10 Pro

    I would look at refurbished laptop from a reputable retailer like Best Buy:
    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/searchpa...=960&keys=keys
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    20 Jul 2017 #4
    Join Date : Jul 2017
    Posts : 12
    OSX
    Thread Starter

    Wow, that was fast, thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Berton View Post
    1. I picked up a nice 11" Dell Inspiron 3000 2-in-1 last month at Wal*Mart for $139 with 2GB RAM, Celeron CPU and 32GB SSD, turned out they were on sale to make room for the replacement.
    Interesting, thanks. Does it web surf with ease? Have you tried playing videos? Price is certainly right.

    My Mac laptop has 2GB of RAM as well, and it web surfs and plays video well enough. However, it cost $400, used.

    I did add a 64GB MicroSDXC memory card for more storage.
    I was amazed to see a 128GB card on Amazon for only $30.

    The new one is the same 2-in-1 but has a Pentium CPU, 4GB RAM and a 500GB HDD for $369.
    That might work, almost within budget.

    Most of the major well-known brands are available around the world.
    What are the major well known brands in the PC realm? Like I said, I know nothing.

    If you had to limit all your future computer purchases to a single maker, who would you go with? Who has the best credibility and reputation etc?
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    20 Jul 2017 #5
    Join Date : Jul 2017
    Posts : 12
    OSX
    Thread Starter

    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
    Thanks for that. We do have a Best Buy here, and they do appear to have a collection of refurbs. For now I'm still hoping to buy new directly from the maker, but nothing is set in stone, very much a learning curve.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    20 Jul 2017 #6
    Join Date : Aug 2016
    S/E England
    Posts : 4,515
    10 Home x64 (1709) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)

    Best & Worst Laptop Brands 2017: https://www.laptopmag.com/articles/laptop-brand-ratings
    The Most Reliable Laptop Brands of 2016 - Digital Trends https://www.digitaltrends.com/comput...most-reliable/
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  7.    20 Jul 2017 #7
    Join Date : Aug 2014
    Forever West
    Posts : 3,922
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, Win7 Home, Linux Mint

    No, the Inspiron 3000 11" is like a lot of the thinner, lighter, smaller Tablets and Notebooks, no ODD/Optical Disc Drive. But one can accomplish the need by getting a USB External ODD or using a bigger computer to transfer CDs and DVDs to a USB Thumb drive. An issue with my 8" and 7" Tablets is they don't have the standard size USB ports, use a micro port and may need to use an OTG/On The Go adapter to get up to the standard plug. They also may not have an Ethernet adapter/port.

    Some of the 10" and 11" Tablets come with a keyboard.

    A number of the larger Notebooks such as 15.6" [one I'm fixing now for a client] also don't come with an ODD drive, also may not have the VGA port for use with an external monitor or projector. Some do have an HDMI port which works well with a monitor with such a port. It's quite important to check specs and decide what you need in making a list.

    Haven't seen a Notebook or Tablet in a few years now that didn't also include the Bluetooth wireless, good for a Bluetooth mouse to free up a USB port or for pairing to Smartphones. The Bluetooth is usually part of the Wireless/Wi-Fi adapter.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    21 Jul 2017 #8
    Join Date : Jul 2017
    Posts : 12
    OSX
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by Bree View Post
    Best & Worst Laptop Brands 2017: https://www.laptopmag.com/articles/laptop-brand-ratings
    The Most Reliable Laptop Brands of 2016 - Digital Trends https://www.digitaltrends.com/comput...most-reliable/
    Excellent article, thanks! I found it credible because they dropped Apple to #5, which corresponds to my experience with everything Apple these days. They are no longer focused on Macs, but on iPhones, because that's where most of their profits come from.

    Here's a similar article:

    https://www.digitaltrends.com/comput...most-reliable/
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  9.    21 Jul 2017 #9
    Join Date : Jul 2017
    Posts : 12
    OSX
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by Berton View Post
    It's quite important to check specs and decide what you need in making a list.
    Yes, you are so right. Especially true in this case given that I'm venturing in to very new territory. I'll stop shopping for now and focus on my "must have" list. First things first, good advice.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  10.    21 Jul 2017 #10
    Join Date : Jul 2016
    Posts : 184
    Windows 10

    Danger, Will Robinson!

    1) Cheap - say $300 or so?
    These are available. But ...

    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.
    Cheap laptops don't last. They're junk, really. I would never own one again.
    First Toshiba laptop ... turned to junk inside one year. Dead wireless.
    First Dell laptop ... turned to junk inside two years. Broken hinge.
    Second Dell laptop ... turned to junk inside one year. Three successive dead chargers. Dead wireless.
    Daughter's Dell laptop ... turned to junk inside two years. Dead screen.
    Other daughter's HP laptop ... dead inside of two years.

    I'm a die-hard Windows user ... but if you insist on finding a sub-$300 PC, just stick with your Mac.
    The "home laptops" are crap.
    The "good" laptops are sold as "business laptops". They're MUCH better than the home versions.
    They generally start at around $1000. Maybe a bit less, but still far above your $300 target.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 
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