My mother's Toshiba laptop is just about dead, so I am thinking about picking one up for her and setting it up the next time I visit them (first week in September). She is in her late 60s, and only uses the computer for email, and web browsing. Unfortunately (since I have a ton of desktop parts), she wants a laptop. So ideally, I am looking for something RELIABLE with a decent processor/RAM (to be somewhat "future proof"), a big display (at least 15 inches), and wireless 802.11n (I upgraded my parents home network to N last year...). Now, the problem - she can't really afford more than about $350. I am willing to put in some money above that, but really want to keep it under about $600 - especially if that buys a more reliable machine that can last several years. I haven't bought a PC laptop in a long time, but I've had good luck with brands like Asus, and lenovo, and would prefer to stay away from Acer (and anyone that loads up their machines with tons of bloatware, like Sony). Suggestions?
I was in the same boat as you a couple of years back.
Bought my 70-year-old dad a big 17" HP G-something laptop for about £300. It's plastic, but it's sturdy and doesn't creak or flex like those Cheap Clevo/Dell Inspiron/Acer/Msi/Asus bargain-basement varieties. Despite the 1600x900 screen resolution I run it at 1366x768 and he's happy because the text is big and the buttons are easy to see.
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I'm almost ready to pull the trigger on this guy: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834246318 I trust lenovo in general as they seem to produce decent quality laptops, I like the Core i5 and 8 GB of RAM, and I think the 15 inch screen is fine (since she has a 15 inch screen on her current laptop). Blu-ray is a nice bonus. Any thoughts/opinions from the gerbils?
My concern with a larger screen is twoford - what compromises in specs are required to get into our price range, and weight. She doesn't leave the laptop setup most of the time, so while it doesn't need to be ultraportable, she does have to be able to lift it comfortably. All specs being equal, a bigger screen would be fine. I think the Corei5 + 8 GB of RAM would handily outperform the A series and 4 GB of RAM in basic Windows tasks.