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Still looking (desktop and laptop)


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#1 millipede

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 12:33 PM

I will probably be one of the worst procrastinators you will ever meet.  :(

I've started a few topics on buying and building as I've been looking for something better.  This desktop I'm on now still haven't crapped out so I'm surviving just fine.

 

Note: I appreciate ALL help/advice but keep in mind my technical needs are typically not very high.  I have for many years survived with typical store bought computers... walmart, best buy, etc.  and we've been happy.
Also... prefer to stay away from Acer due to a bad customer support experience and, I refuse to get a computer built by google... don't trust them.  ha

 

Laptop:  Looking to spend $400 or less, but COULD go up to $500 if we have to.
This one is slightly more urgent as it's needed for the kids schoolwork.  They occasionally play other simple pc games such as angry birds, coolmath-games, and a few others but nothing that requires a fancy system.  I've been told to stay away from the i3's and other things of that nature... but again, my needs are not great.  My kids will likely put pictures from their camera on it, maybe use paint...  just not a whole lot. 
Their school curriculum has system requirements that are also fairly low.

 

Minimum Requirements
1.4 GHz or higher processor
2 GB memory (RAM)
3 GB hard drive space
1024x768 or higher resolution monitor
CD-ROM drive
Adobe® Reader®
Printer recommended

Optimal Performance
Dual core processor
4 GB memory (RAM)
10 GB hard drive space
1024x768 or higher resolution monitor
CD-ROM drive
Adobe® Reader®
Printer recommended

I've seen a couple even at walmart that didn't look too bad.  Like THIS ONE that's even camo...  I, of course, don't have to buy from walmart but I do have $400 worth of gift cards from Christmas.
Oh, and we love laptops that have the number pad.  I think most 15" and higher will have that...

 

Desktop: Looking to spend around $500, could go up JUST a little.

I've gone back and forth(repeatedly) on whether to build or buy.  Having a limited budget makes either option quite frustrating.  My requirements aren't great either.  I'd like 8gb or more of ram, 1tb hdd, dvd drive.  pci slot would be good for my tv tuner card but not necessary as they make usb ones these days.  Would love sound ports as well as a memory card reader in the front but that's not a necessity. 
I do some photo editing(Gimp, sometimes) play some basic games, facebook games, email, internet, etc.  Nothing heavy duty needed.  I'd love colored fans but not a necessity either... ha.
I just HATE trying to make decisions on these things.  Back and forth... searching, giving up...  The budget makes the decision making so much harder.  :(
I've seen a few decent systems on amazon in my price range but wading through them is a pain.  I still consider building once in a while but I'm so picky and poor, choosing all the right parts and all gets frustrating quickly.  Sometimes I get so frustrated I just want to walk into walmart and buy whatever they have in my range...

I have a monitor so that's not a need.  I do intend to get a new keyboard and mouse.  I don't know what I do to mice but they wear out on me.

eh...  Any thoughts? help? 

 



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#2 Drillingmachine

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 02:07 PM

For desktop, that's quite easy IF you can build that computer your self. Can you?



#3 millipede

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 02:27 PM

For desktop, that's quite easy IF you can build that computer your self. Can you?

I go back and forth on that idea...  have come up with quite a few different setups using that pc part picker site...  finding just the right combo that makes me happy and has a good price is really the only hard part.

I've never built a computer from scratch but I'm good with directions, good at figuring things out, and I've replaced MB's, hdd's, memory, cpu's, psu's, and more.  So, I feel brave enough to say yes, I can. 
I've started a conversation in the building pc forum a time or two...  I just get frustrated with it too easily.  Making a decision... humbug.  ha



#4 Drillingmachine

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 02:42 PM

OK, since you already have couple of setups @ Pcpartpicker, post them here and I check what needs to be changed.


Edited by Drillingmachine, 16 February 2017 - 02:42 PM.


#5 millipede

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 03:08 PM

OK, since you already have couple of setups @ Pcpartpicker, post them here and I check what needs to be changed.

I'll have to see if I have saved the links somewhere.  OR, actually, I might just go through the process again.  If I do that, would you also suggest things like staying away from the i3's?  And, I'm leaning towards sticking with MB's that support DDR4 instead of DDR3 as I'm thinking, newer is better...  any thoughts on that?



#6 RolandJS

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 03:23 PM

You mentioned school, please add in free version Macrium Reflect or anything similar along with affordable & reliable external media for making routine backups of the Data partition, as well as the OS partition.


"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)


#7 RolandJS

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 03:29 PM

Newer might not always be better...you're going with Windows 10, correct?  Get plenty of RAM and HD byte-space, I'd rather you have 8-16GB of DD3 than 4-8GB of DD4.  Getting a 256GB [minimum] - 512GB SSD for your OS and all other programs and another platter-driven HD as a 2nd HD, functioning as the Data drive -- is just one of several great options to consider.


"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)


#8 Kilroy

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 03:33 PM

I recommend spending a minimal amount of money on a child's laptop.  The model you linked should be fine.

 

As far as the desktop I'd recommend getting a USB tuner, that way you can easily move it to any machine.



#9 Drillingmachine

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 03:50 PM

 

OK, since you already have couple of setups @ Pcpartpicker, post them here and I check what needs to be changed.

I'll have to see if I have saved the links somewhere.  OR, actually, I might just go through the process again.  If I do that, would you also suggest things like staying away from the i3's?  And, I'm leaning towards sticking with MB's that support DDR4 instead of DDR3 as I'm thinking, newer is better...  any thoughts on that?

 

 

Basically there's no performance difference using DDR3 or DDR4 and right now DDR prices are sky high, so older DDR3 is quite good choice.

 

Here's suitable system, pretty OK machine for gaming also. No operating system or accessories included https://pcpartpicker.com/list/8f6QM8



#10 millipede

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 11:18 PM

You mentioned school, please add in free version Macrium Reflect or anything similar along with affordable & reliable external media for making routine backups of the Data partition, as well as the OS partition.

Good thought.  The particular curriculum we use has database backups that can be stored on the hdd as well as a flash drive.  That's what we've done in the past but I do need to look into something like an external hdd.
Speaking of, one of the cases I was looking at had a spot on the top to plug in a hdd.  Found that interesting. 

 

I recommend spending a minimal amount of money on a child's laptop.  The model you linked should be fine.

 

As far as the desktop I'd recommend getting a USB tuner, that way you can easily move it to any machine.

anyone else have thoughts on the laptop?  The child that will end up with it is a teen but just the same, they indeed don't need it for much... so I'm liking it so far.  
And I will definitely look into a usb tuner unless whatever I settle on happens to already have the slot that I need for my current tuner card.  We'll see.

 

and drillingmachine... thanks.  I'd kind of like to work with THIS CASE   That is IF I go with a build.  It's a little more but I like it.  
And, that system with an OS thrown in gets close to $500 I think.  Would you still say that's better than store bought?  When it comes to the basic specs like hdd and memory I can get something for that or cheaper already built.  But, I can't tell what's good and what's not.  In fact, I spent quite a few hours today on pc partpicker trying out different configurations...  frustrated me to no end, as usual. 
Here's an example of what can be found at >>Walmart<<   This one is only a dual core and has win 8.1 I believe but it's only $400.  On Amazon I can find pc's with windows 10 on it for a bit more but still similar to a build. 

 

I will try to look at this again tomorrow...   It's the Great Backyard Bird Count this weekend and I'll be out birding some, and other aspects of life so this frustration is not high on my priority list... even if it should be.  ha.
I'll try to get the laptop ordered before settling on the desktop

 

Thanks for the advice so far everyone.



#11 RolandJS

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 03:14 PM

...I'd recommend getting a USB tuner, that way you can easily move it to any machine.

Kilroy, very probably the thread starter and me too will want to know:

what is a USB tuner, how does it work?


"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)


#12 millipede

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 04:57 PM

 

...I'd recommend getting a USB tuner, that way you can easily move it to any machine.

Kilroy, very probably the thread starter and me too will want to know:

what is a USB tuner, how does it work?

 

Currently, I watch over the air tv on my computer, using a tuner card in a pci slot.  The antenna cable(connected to the antenna on my roof) connects to the card and receives tv channels. 
If I get a new computer and it doesn't have the right slots on the MB, I can't use that card.  I COULD find another card to accommodate the new MB but, they make them that just plug into a USB port these days.  I've never tried one of that kind before but I imagine it would work just fine.



#13 Kilroy

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 03:28 PM

Hauppauge 1595 WinTV-dualHD Dual Tuner USB is similar to what I have on my media machine.  I'm able to use it on my wife's laptop or easily move it to another machine should something happen to my media machine.  It is just a tuner to catch over the air television transmissions, to allow you to watch and record television on your computer.



#14 millipede

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 08:10 PM

Going to focus on the laptop first so I don't keep getting distracted.  Was all set to buy that camo one(and, we still could) but then my wife asked if they had it at amazon because she could get 5% back or something.  They had it, for more money OR refurbished.  So I told her I could look at others on amazon.  yay.

If people don't mind I'd like to make a list of some I was just looking at...  looking to spend $400 or less on the laptop I guess.  If someone has a suggestion outside of the ones I mention I wouldn't mind hearing it.
And, I'm going to try and make this easy on anyone brave enough to help.  I have 17 amazon tabs open at the moment but I might not paste all those... will go through them as I post them here.  But rather than just plain links I will list the prices and features/specs of each and make them clickable.  Might be easier to scroll through the list that way and if any stand out as good or, if any stand out as "hey, stay away from that", let me know.
Please?  Thanks.  :)    (oh, and can anyone explain what a "flagship model" is?)
Looks like I'm listing about 15 different laptops. Different processors, memory, hdd size, etc so it's tough for me to compare them all adequately.  If anyone has any thoughts on which would be "okay" even or ones to stay far away from I really, really would appreciate it.  :)
Keeping in mind, our needs aren't great. 

In no particular order...

 

$419 - ASUS 15.6"  (AMD Quad-Core A10-8700P AMD Radeon R6 Graphics 8GB DDR3 500GB HDD DVDRW WIFI Bluetooth Windows 10)

 

$277.99 - Newest Flagship Model Lenovo 15.6" Intel Pentium N3710, 4GB RAM, 1TB HDD. Webcam, Bluetooth, SuperMulti DVD, Windows 10

 

$399 - 2017  15.6 Inch Business Laptop AMD A10-9600P APU Quad-Core Processor 8GB Memory 1TB Hard Drive HD Webcam DVD HDMI Webcam 802.11ac Bluetooth Window 10- Blue

 

$406.99 - Dell Inspiron 15.6” Touch-Screen HD I3558-10000BLK Laptop (2017 ), Intel Core i5-5200U Processor, 6GB Memory, 1TB HDD, HDMI, Bluetooth, DVD-RW, WiFi, HD Webcam, Windows 10 -MaxxAudio

 

$399.99 - HP 15-g007dx, AMD Quad-Core A8, 4GB, 750GB HD, DVD, 15.6" HD, Win 8.1 (Red)  (windows 8.1 but mention in case it's still worth it)

 

$406.99 - Dell Inspiron 15.6” Touch-Screen HD I3558-10000BLK Laptop (2017), Intel Core i5-5200U Processor, 6GB Memory, 1TB HDD, HDMI, Bluetooth, DVD-RW, WiFi, HD Webcam, Windows 10 -MaxxAudio  I like Dell and this one looks good to me

 

$264 - 2016 Newest Lenovo IdeaPad 15.6 Inch Thin Portable Laptop (Intel Dual-Core Celeron CPU up to 2.58GHz, 4GB DDR3 RAM 500GB HDD, DVDRW, HDMI, USB 3.0, Bluetooth, Windows 10, 0.9 Inch Thick)  (not sure what I think of this but a very nice price...)

 

$398 - 2017 Newest HP 15.6” (Intel Quad Core Pentium N3710 Processor up to 2.5 GHz, 8GB RAM, 500GB HDD, SuperMulti DVD, Wifi, HDMI, Webcam, Windows 10-silver)

 

$389.99 - 2016 Lenovo IdeaPad  15.6" HD LED Backlit Display Laptop, Intel Gen 5 Core i5-5200U 2.2GHz CPU, 4GB RAM, 1TB HDD, Bluetooth, HDMI, DVD+/-RW, Win 10

 

$298.46 - Dell Inspiron i5555  (2016l), 15.6-inch HD LED-backlit Display, AMD A8-7410 Quad Core Processor, 6GB DDR3L RAM, 500GB HDD, DVD +/- RW, Radeon R5 Graphics, Windows 10  (3.5 stars but specs look good for price)

 

$387 - 2016 Newest Lenovo  15.6-Inch HD Laptop, AMD FX-7500 APU with Radeon R7 Graphics, 8 GB RAM, 1 TB HDD, Windows 10 Home  (specs for price look okay here too)

 

$399 - 2017 Newest HP 15.6 Inch Business Laptop AMD A10-9600P APU Quad-Core Processor 8GB Memory 1TB Hard Drive HD Webcam DVD HDMI Webcam 802.11ac Bluetooth Window 10-Dreamy Teal  (this looks decent and has a pretty color too - for a teenage girl anyway)

 

$299 - 2017 Newest Lenovo  15.6 inch HD Laptop Intel Pentium Quad-Core Processor 4GB RAM 1T HDD DVD RW Bluetooth, Webcam WiFi 801.22 AC HDMI Windows 10 Black  (another decent price)

 

$416 - 2017 Newest HP 15.6" HD Touchscreen Flagship Laptop Computer, AMD Quad-Core A10-9600P 2.40GHz APU, 8GB DDR3 RAM, 1TB HDD, DVDRW, USB 3.0, HDMI, HD Webcam, WIFI, Windows 10 Home  (looks to be about the same as the other teal one, only a touchscreen and about $17 more)

 

$395.78 - 2016 Newest HP Probook 15.6" , AMD Quad Core A10-8700P up to 3.2GHz, 16GB RAM, 1TB HDD, AMD Radeon R6 Graphics, DVD+/-RW, HDMI, VGA, Bluetooth, Wifi, Webcam, Windows 10  (a few bad reviews, crashes etc, so might be worth skipping but 16gb ram...)



#15 millipede

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 11:01 AM

did people lost interest in this topic?  :( 
Guess I'll go over those choices again and just hope for the best.  I don't think any of them would be "horrible" so it should be okay if I pick the wrong one.  ha

 

Edit:  I can't go back and edit the last post but it seems I did duplicate one link.  The Dell that's $406.99.  oops.


Edited by millipede, 22 February 2017 - 11:21 AM.





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