Laptop recommendations

Laptops, PDAs, Cell Phones, and all other tech that you carry with you.

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Laptop recommendations

Postposted on Sun Sep 22, 2013 7:40 am

Hello all,

My fiancée has an aging HP dm1 (AMD E-350, 2 GB RAM) that seems to be increasingly frustrating for her to use. She is a school teacher, and she uses this computer for work (word processing) as well as surfing the internet. This is the only computer she owns, and she was able to get it for $250 during some Groupon deal about 1-1.5 years ago. She has been saying that the computer has become increasingly slow over time, with increased lag during single tasks and multitasking. I understand that a majority of the problem (aside from the relatively anemic CPU) is the low amount of RAM the computer has.

I was entertaining the idea of buying more RAM, and maybe throwing in a SSD. The total upgrade cost will be a little under $200. I know that this will help improve her computing experience tremendously, but I'm concerned the system is hamstrung by its lack of CPU power. I don't just want to throw away $200 if I'm going to have to end up getting her a new computer anyway. So, I'm wondering if it might be better to just get her a new PC. She is not necessarily in the market for a new computer, but I feel that if I could find one in her price range (lowest possible) that meets her needs, I might be able to convince her that it's worth it. What makes this a bit more challenging is that she likes the sub 13" form factor, and probably won't be interested in anything bigger than that. I appreciate any help/suggestions you all can give me. Thanks!
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Re: Laptop recommendations

Postposted on Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:47 am

Hi. The reviews on this are mixed but I have been using one for a year with no problems and like it a lot. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6834200702

I did add an SSD. Basic but faster enough.
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Re: Laptop recommendations

Postposted on Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:10 am

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Re: Laptop recommendations

Postposted on Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:27 am

Thanks for the suggestions so far!
I saw this one too: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834231091
There was another similar model for $309, but I was a little bit concerned about the mileage of a refurbished notebook just in terms of warranty, reliability, etc. - Do you all have any experience with that aspect of ASUS/newegg?

Edit: Just realized that the link I posted was essentially the same ASUS notebook, but "B Grade" refurb stock, hence the lower price
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Re: Laptop recommendations

Postposted on Sun Sep 22, 2013 11:09 am

Since she's a teacher, shouldn't she have access to education discounts? If so, might want to check into that.
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Re: Laptop recommendations

Postposted on Sun Sep 22, 2013 12:16 pm

If all she needs is word processing and the internet you might be able to save the HP by throwing Linux on it; Windows is notorious for slowing down over time and the success of Ubuntu and Android has led to an explosion of user-friendliness in neckbeard land. You'd want to upgrade to 4GB RAM but an SSD is not necessary.

I use a midrange Asus like this and like it (though mine is a slower i7 with flamboyant GPU), it's got enough power to do anything including games and shouldn't go obsolete anytime soon. If you're okay with refurb and don't need discrete graphics you should look into ThinkPads, Latitudes and Elitebooks. Business class notebooks are built like tanks and corporate users take good care of their stuff.
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Re: Laptop recommendations

Postposted on Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:41 pm

I think the upgrade makes much more sense than to buy (yet another) cheap crappy computer that will also become unusable in less than two years.
You can buy a 64 GB SSD and a stick of RAM for around $100 and save the rest towards buying something at least Core i5 Haswell based next year.
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Re: Laptop recommendations

Postposted on Sun Sep 22, 2013 8:47 pm

I think the upgrade makes much more sense than to buy (yet another) cheap crappy computer that will also become unusable in less than two years.
You can buy a 64 GB SSD and a stick of RAM for around $100 and save the rest towards buying something at least Core i5 Haswell based next year.


This seems to be the cheapest option, and the path of least resistance. I'll probably place the order here soon. Thanks for your help everyone!
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Re: Laptop recommendations

Postposted on Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:37 am

windwalker wrote:You can buy a 64 GB SSD and a stick of RAM for around $100

If you want to go that route, that's your perogative. I'd recommend checking her existing storage situation to make sure 64GB will be enough to hold everything she needs. I'd personally never buy an SSD less than 90GB. (120GB is better) Keep in mind, that if you're going to be buying another super low cost laptop as a replacement in the next couple years, it probably won't have an SSD, so you can transfer this SSD into the new laptop.

If I were you in this situation, I would buy the SSD first, install it, and see how the situation improves. If it's still slow, then get more RAM.
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Re: Laptop recommendations

Postposted on Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:17 pm

Just got a refurbed Newegg ASUS for my son for his schoolwork http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6834231228
It said Class B scratch and dent but physically is perfect. Merged some partitions, cleaned digital crap off the hard drive, adjusted performance parameters, etc., and it seems fine. One bit of advice.

I know money is an issue, but with "how low can you go" on the price your fiancee may find herself in the same situation in a couple of years if you get a really basic machne. IF you have the money consider going for a more powerful machine that should be more useful for a longer period.

But I have lots of free advice that is often worth what it costs. Good luck.
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