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Windows 7: Buying a Laptop

17 Mar 2011   #1
bigmck

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1
 
 
Buying a Laptop

I need some of your collective wisdom. -- I have always thought about buying a laptop, but never could convince myself that I would use it enough. I will be having a heart bypass in a few weeks and will spend about a week in the hospital. There is no way I can be without the internet for a week. I guess I am in the market for a laptop with little money and no knowledge of buying one. Probably $300 would be my limit. I could use some suggestions and places to buy one. Do local shops build laptops like they do PC's or not? Would it be cheaper to have one built or buy one like a Dell or someother name? I am only going to use it for surfing the web and MS Word or Excel. Any ideas you could pass along would be appreciated. Thanks,
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2011   #2
mickey megabyte

ultimate 64 sp1
 
 

okay - do you need a notebook or will a netbook do?

notebooks = big, heavy, powerful, eats up batteries, expensive

netbooks = opposite

one of the downsides to netbooks is their size - lots of models have only 10inch screens, with keyboard sizes to match - so if you've got big hands, they can be frustrating to use.

there are larger netbooks around - for instance i have an hp/compaq mini 311c, sporting an 11.6 inch screen - the extra 1.6 inch doesn't sound like much, but it makes a lot of difference, allowing a nice crisp resolution of 1366 x 768 - most 10 inch screens only display 1024 x 600.

it's about the size of an A4 bit of paper (if that means anything in the us of a). i don't think it's made any more, not sure why - i think it's a lovely little machine - i'm sure there are similar products out there.

i like it because it's small (but not too small), light, has oodles of battery life, was surprisingly cheap, and it runs windows 7 very well - even with only 1 gig of ram. it's not as powerful as an average notebook, but who needs a super-fast cpu for browsing forums or processing words? i would rather have the long battery life on my portable pc, and keep the big computing jobs for my main rig.

that's what i think any way...i'm sure others will disagree...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2011   #3
Ciara

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit SP1
 
 

Hi bigmck

Well I agree with you mickey a netbook would be a good choice (sorry I don't keep any USA links) but do have a look at your local sales etc as one off the shelf or in your local paper would be cheaper then having a portable PC built.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

17 Mar 2011   #4
The Howling Wolves

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Check with Sams Club or Costco for Refurbished Laptops. They have a 30 day trial run so you can check them out and no restocking fee if you don't like it.
I got an HP 17.3 for $350. with Sam's extended warranty
Tiger and Newegg have them too!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2011   #5
bigmck

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1
 
 

I appreciate your help. That is a lot more info than I had. I know quite a bit about PC's, but laptops very little. I now have to make sure my hospital has a wifi. Thanks,
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2011   #6
strollin

W10 Pro desktop, W10 laptop, W10 laptop, W10 Pro tablet (all 64-bit)
 
 

A netbook sounds like it will fit the bill for you. I purchased 3 refurbished Acer Aspire One netbooks for $200 each from Tiger and couldn't tell them from new.

Heart bypass? Hope it goes well, better cut back on the Big Macs!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2011   #7
bigmck

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by strollin View Post
A netbook sounds like it will fit the bill for you. I purchased 3 refurbished Acer Aspire One netbooks for $200 each from Tiger and couldn't tell them from new.

Heart bypass? Hope it goes well, better cut back on the Big Macs!
Is the only difference in a Notebook and a Netbook the size of the screen and keyboard? Also what about these phones that access the internet? My phone only lets you talk, old fashioned. If I got one of these fancy new ones to surf, are they pretty user friendly for the internet?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2011   #8
Bill2

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86
 
 

Netbooks typically lack a CD/DVD drive, they typically use energy efficient processors like Intel Atom which are however also slower and can run fewer programs simultaneously. But that also means the battery lasts longer, some netbooks have batteries that can stretch upto 12 hours. Basically netbooks are small and light and meant for a mobility driven lifestyle- doing things such as surfing/blogging and word processing.

If you need to do heavy work on the computer in terms of performance, notebook is the way to go. If you can travel light, netbooks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2011   #9
mickey megabyte

ultimate 64 sp1
 
 

yes netbooks are smaller and lighter, and hence smaller keyboards, that's why i don't like the 10 inchers - too fiddly for my fingers.

they also have different hardware inside - generally using lo-power intel 'atom' processors. they aren't for the latest 3d shoot-em-up games or video-editing or that sort of thing, but they are great for less demanding computational tasks like surfing the web, running office-type programs, playing music and watching a movie on, especially if you get one with an ion graphics. these atom chips have a very low power draw, meaning that battery life is generally much longer than notebooks, so you don't have to keep it plugged in for so long.

they don''t have a dvd/cd drive though, in the interests of keeping things small and light.

i find 'fancy phones' are too small to use for a long time - they're ok to look at a quick page when on the move, but if i was stuck in bed for a couple of weeks, i would much prefer a netbook. the phones have got tiny screens and most don't have a keyboard.

here's a quick comparison of my toys:

Buying a Laptop-better.jpg

at the bottom is my old dell 14 inch laptop, then 11.6 inch netbook, and finally my 3.5 inch android phone


My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2011   #10
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bigmck View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by strollin View Post
A netbook sounds like it will fit the bill for you. I purchased 3 refurbished Acer Aspire One netbooks for $200 each from Tiger and couldn't tell them from new.

Heart bypass? Hope it goes well, better cut back on the Big Macs!
Is the only difference in a Notebook and a Netbook the size of the screen and keyboard? Also what about these phones that access the internet? My phone only lets you talk, old fashioned. If I got one of these fancy new ones to surf, are they pretty user friendly for the internet?
The phones you refer to - so called Smartphones can access the internet either via WiFi or via G3/G4 which is the communication protocol with the cell towers. But for that you need y contract with one of the carriers (ATT, T-Mobile, etc.). Just be aware that the screens are very small (3 to 4"). A better solution might be a Tablet. The Coby Kyros sells for $149 on sale. But that is WiFi only. But it has a USB port so you can attach a keyboard.

Have a look at this posting that I made ( https://www.sevenforums.com/hardware-...te-2011-a.html ) There you can download my Technology 2011 update that describes all those devices. There is a lot of material, links, references and videos I made. It will give you a nice overview of what is on the market right now.

PS: A Nook Color for $249 may be another good option. You can easily run it with Android Honeycomb. See on the last page of my presentation where you find a link.
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