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Posted 17 October 2016 - 06:50 AM
Posted 17 October 2016 - 12:22 PM
Posted 17 October 2016 - 12:28 PM
Also, wander through several local computer and notebook sections within department stores, Fry's Electronics [or anything similar], etc. -- such will give you what Texans can call a "look-see" at what's available; you will be able to experience some of the "look and feel" of different laptops. Many come with internal cd/dvd drives, many do not and will need a usb-connected external cd/dvd drive.
"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." -- Ben Franklin revisited.
Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)
Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)
Posted 17 October 2016 - 12:58 PM
Posted 17 October 2016 - 02:26 PM
I believe that there is a template that you can use for requests like this. It will help answer our questions such as:
What will you use the computer for?
What software do you need to run?
What software do you want to run?
What is your budget?
Posted 17 October 2016 - 02:52 PM
Posted 17 October 2016 - 03:05 PM
Posted 17 October 2016 - 03:23 PM
Several of our schools for that age range and above are using Chromebooks with success. My granddaughter who is in 6th grade has been using an Acer Chromebook now for over a year and loves it. She does all of her homework on it. Heck, one of my college professor friends says that about 1/3 of his students are using a Chromebook for his Chemistry class.
I have been using a Chromebook now for a few years as one of my computers. Even though we have two MacBook Pros and a high end Windows desktop computer, the Chromebook is our most often used computer. It starts up quickly, runs cool, has long battery life, and the only maintenance that it requires is wiping off fingerprints. They are the most secure consumer grade laptop. You will not spend much time having to maintain or administer the device.
I would recommend a Chromebook with a 13-14 inch display as they are easier on the eyes than the real small ones.
This is a good one...
It does not have a CD drive. I have not tried to use an external CD drive from one of our Chromebooks so I cannot comment on that.
Printing from a Chromebook is a bit different. You cannot simply plug a printer into the Chromebook. You will either need a special Google Cloud enabled printer or use another computer with attached printer to print through.
The Chromebook is as close to a "Toaster" as we have for computing. You simply use it and occasionally do very simple cleaning. You don't have to learn how to become an administrator to keep things running smoothly and securely. And it is a great device to use for your secure tasks such as bill pay, shopping, etc.
Posted 17 October 2016 - 03:43 PM
Posted 17 October 2016 - 03:49 PM
From what you describe of your child's needs, any computer will be able to accomplish those tasks. As your child gets older and more computer savvy and develops interests, their needs for hardware might change. For example, they might develop a passion for making movies or photography. But for right now, a budget computer will meet their computational needs.
Some general advice I often give is:
I strongly prefer commercial grade laptops that are built for business versus consumer use. In my experience of refurbishing and using computers, they last much longer than consumer grade stuff. I have some business grade laptops that are 10 years old that I got second hand and still work well. They were not handled gently by their former owner.
The way that you handle, transport, and use your laptop will have a great impact on how long it lasts. I have seen teenagers destroy a laptop within 2 days. Placing a laptop on the couch and walking away is a great way for it to get destroyed. Spilling a drink... placing it on the floor... Pets stepping on them! Etc.
Specs that I recommend to family and friends:
Screen size 13-15 inch. Sweet spot is 13-14 inches.
Processors... avoid the bottom end and the top end. Somewhere in the middle will be the sweet spot. Intel I5 processors work well for most. Most don't need more.
RAM. The more the better. 4GB is the bare minimum. 8 GB is better. More is even better. But don't pay for what you don't need. Chromebooks do not need 4 GB of RAM. The more RAM (within reason) the better your computing experience.
Hard drive: Get a Solid State Drive (SSD) if at all possible. They tend to more reliable in mobile environments. They are very fast. They improve the computing experience. I haven't seen a laptop with too little storage in quite some time. Most hard drives will be adequate for your needs at this time.
Try the keyboard and touch pad if you can! There are some very poorly designed laptops that have almost unusable keyboards for touch typists. Try the keyboard! or at least make sure that reviews you read address the usability of the keyboard and touch pad.
Posted 17 October 2016 - 04:01 PM
Posted 17 October 2016 - 04:28 PM
At the moment, I can't do a lot of research on specific models. So some general responses...
It seems that the trend is toward eliminating optical drives from many laptops. But, yes, there are still a variety of laptops available with optical drives. And remember, that you can always get an external USB optical drive for about $30. Amazon and Newegg are great sources.
I understand why the high school wants the children to use their Chromebooks. They can administer the devices from a central management console and greatly reduce many problems that way. Probably one of the best $25 you can spend!
I would strongly consider a Chromebook even though in 9th grade she will be using the school one. In 3 years, it is quite possible that the laptop will need to be replaced. And if it is still working correctly, it is always good to have another working computer.
I do not have any significant personal experience with either the Toshiba or Samsung Chromebooks. I do know that our area schools were or still are using the Samsung Chromebooks with great success. Not sure which models. Again, I would want to read reviews, and try to actually touch each model I am considering buying.
Whenever possible, I buy my computers from Costco due to having some of the best policies in the retail business. Yeah, choice is limited, but sometimes they have had exactly what I or a friend was looking for.
Posted 17 October 2016 - 04:39 PM
Posted 18 October 2016 - 07:59 AM
Posted 18 October 2016 - 08:16 AM
I have always preferred HP laptops...they generally include less per-installed useless software for me to remove.
Quietman: back to my question. I am in the market for a good laptop. Can you recommend a good laptop that has a CD-ROM/CD-R DRIVE.
If you want you can go to my post in Questions and advice for buying a new computer.
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