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iamjsmith83
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New Laptop Suggestions?

Sat Mar 18, 2017 12:46 pm

I am looking to purchase a laptop to aid me in working on my truck using AutoEnginuity scan tool software. Looking for something that is inexpensive yet reliable. The website and user guide for the AutoEnginuity software provide conflicting information for minimum requirements so I will list the "safer" of the two listings. For the processor it says Pentium or Athlon (can't imagine a Celeron wouldn't work though). 200 MB free drive space. CD-ROM. 128 MB RAM. 1 USB port. Windows XP. Your advice and recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
 
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Re: New Laptop Suggestions?

Sat Mar 18, 2017 1:48 pm

I'd suggest something like the ASUS X200- it's got an atom, but with those specs, I'd say anything will work. It's 11" so it won't take up too much space, and the battery lasts forever. We got one for $200 in an emergency and it's surprisingly capable. Screen is terrible but the keys aren't too bad, and there's space in between them so it might even work with gloves on. You could get the equivalent from dell (Inspiron 11), from their outlet site, for $120. Refurbished means NOW it's reliable, right? :D

That Chuwi Lapbook recently reviewed on Anandtech would work too- larger screen, worse battery for $270.

Maybe a used Surface 3? It's got a full-sized USB port, and a stylus would let you use it with gloves or dirty hands in the garage? And it'd be easy to hold in one hand? Those seem to run in the 200-300 range used.

But really, if you can get your hands on any old laptop, it'll meet those specs. You need to make the software will run on newer versions of Windows- that might be more of a sticking point than meeting those wimpy hardware requirements.
 
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Re: New Laptop Suggestions?

Sat Mar 18, 2017 4:51 pm

If this will spend its life in the garage, then maybe try a Dell Latitude E6420 ATG and make sure it has an SSD, not HDD. The E6420 ATG is about the newest Dell ATG-series that's available on eBay (mobile Sandy Bridge-series CPUs), and many of them have the carry handle in addition to the hardened case and corner bumpers. Just make sure the seller is offering a working laptop with Windows 7 or Windows 10 installed and not a parts unit. Something like this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-Latitude-E ... Sw241YceXr
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Re: New Laptop Suggestions?

Sat Mar 18, 2017 4:59 pm

Given that the system requirements are quite modest, and given that cost seems to be a concern, I'd recommend an off-lease refurb HP ProBook or EliteBook. If this laptop will get knocked around, upgrade the internal drive to a SSD if it comes with a HDD (you'll appreciate the faster boot times too).

Verify that the software will work with newer versions of Windows, you're going to have a hard time finding anything decent with XP on it these days (inexpensive refurbs typically come with Windows 7, though Windows 10 seems to be trickling into the channel lately).

Microcenter frequently has some pretty good deals on refurb HP laptops.
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Re: New Laptop Suggestions?

Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:29 pm

Those specs are so low, you could probably find something at Goodwill that would do what you need. The main problem is going to be finding a laptop with an optical drive in it. I second the suggestion of a used Latitude; Newegg's been selling them for less than $200 lately.

Note that for consumer laptops, "inexpensive" and "reliable" don't go in the same sentence. I'd argue that "consumer" and "reliable" don't either, but that's a rant for a different time.
 
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Re: New Laptop Suggestions?

Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:38 pm

NovusBogus wrote:
Those specs are so low, you could probably find something at Goodwill that would do what you need. The main problem is going to be finding a laptop with an optical drive in it. I second the suggestion of a used Latitude; Newegg's been selling them for less than $200 lately.

The other problem is going to be finding something reliable at Goodwill.

NovusBogus wrote:
Note that for consumer laptops, "inexpensive" and "reliable" don't go in the same sentence. I'd argue that "consumer" and "reliable" don't either, but that's a rant for a different time.

Hence my recommendation to go with a refurb ProBook/EliteBook (HP's mainstream/high-end "business class" lines, respectively). I own one of each (purchased from MicroCenter), and they've both been solid. HP's consumer stuff is indeed junk.
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iamjsmith83
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Re: New Laptop Suggestions?

Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:16 pm

Thank you very much everyone. I'm not sure why I wrote that I needed an optical drive (lol). I think I am going to roll with a refurbished (as much as that scares me) HP Probook. Found them for barely over $100, including shipping.
 
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Re: New Laptop Suggestions?

Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:39 pm

iamjsmith83 wrote:
Thank you very much everyone. I'm not sure why I wrote that I needed an optical drive (lol). I think I am going to roll with a refurbished (as much as that scares me) HP Probook. Found them for barely over $100, including shipping.

Make sure you buy from a place that has some sort of warranty (even if it is of short duration) and/or accepts returns. This will cover you if it is DOA. Haven't had a problem with either of the ones I've bought from MicroCenter, but there are some shady sellers out there on eBay etc.
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iamjsmith83
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Re: New Laptop Suggestions?

Sun Mar 19, 2017 5:14 pm

It's from Tekmobility through Newegg. So hopefully I should be good if it's DOA...

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