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New Laptop - What do I Need?


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Hi All,

Thinking about replacing the laptop as it is getting very slow and webcam not working too well. It will not be used for work, only stuff for home. MS suite (nothing complex), Zoom, Internet browsing, email etc with some YouTube. It will not travel a lot as I usually use an iPad for that. 
 

I have had a look online and it is only confusing me more. I don’t want to pay for features I do not need. Most of my important stuff (photos etc) stored on an external drive. 
 

Can anyone offer any advise as to what I “need” in terms of features? Happy to pay for what I need, but the less the better. 
 

Thanks

NSF

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Does it have to be a Windows PC.

My suggestion would be a MacBook Air.

In general (regardless if you go Mac or PC), you don't need a high end chip unless you are gaming, editing multimedia, or similar.  And the more powerful the chip, the less battery life you will get.

Most (if not all) new laptops will now be using SSD hard drives.  Much faster, but still quite expensive.  So the biggest difference in price is often related to the size of the hard drive.

I bought a MacBook Air back in 2013.  Over that time the battery life has dropped from 12 hours down to about 3 or 4.  But everything else still works fine.  It was only when I started creating YouTube videos earlier this year that I exceeded the MacBook Air's capabilities.  I have now upgraded to a 2020 MacBook Pro.

Edited by Rob
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I often wonder why people would even buy a laptop these days other than for work.

I can operate entriely off my phone. Though I do use a laptop at work supplied by work.

I am a a windows person too. Both my kids have MacBook air's............. so frustrating to use/navigate/do things.

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53 minutes ago, IronmanFoz said:

I can operate entriely off my phone. 

I suppose you watch TV on your 12" portable too.😉😉😉😊

Me, I've got a 130" projector screen.😎

I know, I know. I'm ancient and need my glasses 24/7 these days.

But seriously, most laptops these days are made for students and are 13-14" for portability. 

So much depends on how much you want to spend. 

The cheapest Apple laptop ( 13" screen/ only 256Gb HD) runs around $1600. You can get a 15.6" Hewlett-Packard with the same storage for $700.

If you already have an iPad, are you happy watching Youtube video on that, or do you want more real estate?

As previously stated, if you aren't planning on gaming, pretty much the most basic processor and RAM will be satisfactory. 

 

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Can't add much to what people have suggested above except

If you're not technically minded then make sure you get something with a decent 250GB+ storage

If you are...

Theres a few cheaper options out there where the "hard disk" is actually the same memory they use in USB drives and hard wired into the motherboard (so theres no replacing the HD it if it dies).  Nice and fast to run but an absolute pain to upgrade windows because theres not enough storage space.

I have one for when I'm travelling but it only has 32GB storage as C:\ drive to which I've added an extra 128GB D: drive via an SD card (extra $$$ for the SD card). Usually carry a 2tb external drive if I need any serious storage needs.  

Most of the applications I run are PortableApps (so no installation) stored on the d: drive.  

Don't use Microsoft office on this one but have Libre office Portable if I need a word processor, spreadsheet.

 

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20 minutes ago, chris said:

i run my entire business off it

Please tell me you have a business continuity plan and off cloud backup system in place for when the unthinkable happens... you lose internet for weeks on end... or a Garmin moment on your SAAS providers. Because a virus cannot do that much damage surely? (remember it's 2020!)

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I just inherit which ever laptop just got replaced in our house.  But I can do most with my phone or tablet, and some stuff I do on our desktop (we still have one of those).  My laptop has been used mostly this week to play around with the settings on my new bike light.

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15 minutes ago, iFoz said:

Please tell me you have a business continuity plan and off cloud backup system in place for when the unthinkable happens... you lose internet for weeks on end... or a Garmin moment on your SAAS providers. Because a virus cannot do that much damage surely? (remember it's 2020!)

If he does he'd be the very small minority that does.

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1 hour ago, iFoz said:

Please tell me you have a business continuity plan and off cloud backup system in place for when the unthinkable happens... you lose internet for weeks on end... or a Garmin moment on your SAAS providers. Because a virus cannot do that much damage surely? (remember it's 2020!)

Or there is a 'virus' and Dan Andrews decides we need to shut down the internet for monthes on end in the interest of.......nah....Im out.....

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2 hours ago, Dave T said:

The cheapest Apple laptop ( 13" screen/ only 256Gb HD) runs around $1600. You can get a 15.6" Hewlett-Packard with the same storage for $700.

Think my wife went through 3 HP laptops during the life of my MacBook Air.

Plus the fact that she had to deal with using Windows. Sorry, been in the IT industry for over 30 years. Yet to be remotely impressed with anything that has come out of Microsoft.  A Windows laptop/PC has to be rebooted at least once a week (or it will crash and reboot for you). MacBook gets rebooted once a year to upgrade the operating system.

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16 minutes ago, Rob said:

Think my wife went through 3 HP laptops during the life of my MacBook Air.

(Nothing personal )👌

Another age old debate.

Apple vs Microsoft.

To each their own.

Personally, I find Apple stuff an absolute PITA. And don't get me started on how restrictive their business model is.

Massively overpriced IMHO.

PS my 17" HP is 8yo, but has gone through 2 batteries.

Edited by Dave T
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My daughter recently bought a macbook air and loves it.  Personally I'd be surprised if we ever own anything other than a Dell again.  I just inherited my wifes HP envy 17 and it's been a pos for her.  Fixed twice then they wouldn't again.  Ran like a dog for her.  She's just got a small Dell and loves it.  I've opened the HP up, glued the broken hinge all up and pulled the bits of broken hinge out of the fan (all this a renowned problem with these laptops) and wiped it and it's working great for me.  Can even close the lid again.  Though I rarely seem to use it.

I still have my wifes 10yr old dell laptop in my shed, and it's working great but the hinge and finally broken so you can't close it at all.  We certainly have had issues with Dell laptops and pc's, but everything has been fixed by them at no cost, including a new screen for my son's school laptop 2 years outside of warranty, and a new power button in my fil's dell laptop outside of warranty (I kept telling him it's a button, not a switch that needs to be rammed in).   So while reliability is something you need, back up service is just as important and to me in the pc world, Dell for me is like Garmin.  

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Just looking in my home office.  We have:

- 2 x HP laptops running Windows

- 2 x Microsoft Surface Pro laptops running Windows

- 1 x MacBook Air (2013)

- 1 x MacBook Pro (2020)

- 1 x Toshiba laptop (2011) running Linux

Over the last 10 years we have had 4 or 5 other HP laptops that have died.

And I know it is sad that our laptop count is one higher than our bike count

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14 hours ago, Dave T said:

(Nothing personal )👌

Another age old debate.

Apple vs Microsoft.

To each their own.

Personally, I find Apple stuff an absolute PITA. And don't get me started on how restrictive their business model is.

Massively overpriced IMHO.

PS my 17" HP is 8yo, but has gone through 2 batteries.

Agree for the most part (Cost and business model) from a consumer perspective, though it works for them. A trillion dollar company...did I hear!

I love the Apple Phones and IPad...Hate Apple (Imacs.MacBooks etc). 

 

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