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Reliable Everyday Laptops


Trainmaster5

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I've been traveling since my retirement and I'm thinking of getting a notebook to help me pass the time. I've noticed everything from 17"ers to netbooks in my travels but I've decided that a 15.6" one would serve my purpose. I keep getting emails from Dell and Apple touting their latest and greatest but I'd rather hear your thoughts. I'm not into Crysis or video editing on the go but I'd like to watch the occasional movie, check mail and weather, listen to music, etc. I build my own desktops but I'm not ready to try to build a notebook any time soon. I'd rather order factory direct if possible, rather than the generic stuff they have at Best Buy, Staples... unless you know of an extremely good model off the shelf. Dell, HP, Apple, Lenovo, ASUS, Gateway, Acer, whatever it's all good. Just leave out the Celerons, Atoms, AMD-Vs 'cause if I find something I like I might need a little more power than these provide. Thanks in advance, folks.

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I've been traveling since my retirement and I'm thinking of getting a notebook to help me pass the time. I've noticed everything from 17"ers to netbooks in my travels but I've decided that a 15.6" one would serve my purpose. I keep getting emails from Dell and Apple touting their latest and greatest but I'd rather hear your thoughts. I'm not into Crysis or video editing on the go but I'd like to watch the occasional movie, check mail and weather, listen to music, etc. I build my own desktops but I'm not ready to try to build a notebook any time soon. I'd rather order factory direct if possible, rather than the generic stuff they have at Best Buy, Staples... unless you know of an extremely good model off the shelf. Dell, HP, Apple, Lenovo, ASUS, Gateway, Acer, whatever it's all good. Just leave out the Celerons, Atoms, AMD-Vs 'cause if I find something I like I might need a little more power than these provide. Thanks in advance, folks.

 

I have a Sony Vaio that's been pretty good. Stay away from Dell and Compaq/HP models.

 

Unfortunately with "planned obsolescence" it's unlikely you'll find a laptop that lasts more than 4 years. After that parts will slowly start to go one by one, likely beginning with the main hard drive. Back up your data frequently somewhere else (external hard drive, etc.) and value price accordingly knowing you're probably only going to get 3-5 years out of any laptop.

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Stay away from Dell and Compaq/HP models.

 

I have to disagree with that. HP computers are just fine, and I'm typing this on my proof. The only thing that's gone wrong is that I accidentally cracked the screen, and all I had to do was buy a $90 screen and replace it myself.

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I have to disagree with that. HP computers are just fine, and I'm typing this on my proof. The only thing that's gone wrong is that I accidentally cracked the screen, and all I had to do was buy a $90 screen and replace it myself.

 

I agree, HP computers is good stuff, same goes for Acer. Right now I'm using the Acer Aspire 5820TG and no issues with it so far. It all depends on how one takes care of their laptops and such.

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I have a fairly high-end notebook that I use, but I wouldn't recommend it since you aren't into something like that. It's harder to build a custom notebook so I suggest you do some research on computer parts, see what's efficient, what's suited for your needs and base your searches off that so you get your money's worth.

 

Look into:

Processors

RAM/Memory

Hard Drives

Operating Systems

 

Make sure they're for notebook PCs.

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I agree, HP computers is good stuff, same goes for Acer. Right now I'm using the Acer Aspire 5820TG and no issues with it so far. It all depends on how one takes care of their laptops and such.

 

ACER is good! I have that same model. I back up all my things, I also Have a Aspire 5335-2238 which I carry with me to work and everywhere I go.

 

I have a HP Desktop and that thing is good.

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DOH! If you like to travel and go around places alot, and want a small relable computer, get the Samsung Netbook! thats the computer who I used to have until someone stole it... :mad:

 

It costs about $300 - $325. Im actually getting it again. Its a very small computer, but big enough to see the screen and keyboard ;).

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HP pc's/notebooks are straight.... Dell's are the one's I'm wary of....

 

I remember when ACER's were straight BS.... now that company's made a name for themselves the past few years...

 

About 10 yrs back, my gran'ma gave me a laptop (compaq)... thing lasted pretty long, about 5-6 yrs or so...

Problem was, there was a short in the wire for the adapter... did a quick fix instead of gettin a new one... What I did was, strip the cord there & soldered the broken/split ends (of the wire) together so that power wouldn't be intermittent (before, I would have to put a book on top of the wire so that the 2 split pieces would touch).... Eventually, the HD failed....

 

RIP notebook.... hadn't had one since....

 

I've been procrastinating b/c it's not dire that I have one right now... but basically, I'm lookin for a laptop that has a s**tload of HD space.... the ones that's been on the market as of late, aint cuttin it for me.... and I have a personal peeve about upgrading hardware on laptops, so that option is immediately eliminated.....

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I buy strictly Fujitsu laptops which are from Japan. They're a bit pricier, but worth the cash. The one I'm currently using is almost three years old and it runs just like it did on day one. I may replace it soon though and keep it just for my travels or just get two Fujitsu laptops... One for home only and a lighter smaller one for travel, although the one I use is also rather light for having a 15" screen.

 

Sony VAIOs are supposedly good also and they are actually Made in USA last I heard, which I'm sure SubwayGuy likes and I may consider getting one of those if I decide to just get one Fujitsu.

 

ACER is actually an Italian computer company and they're big in Italy, although I'm sure the laptops sold here in the US by them are made in China or somewhere since they're really cheap in price usually. The manufacturing of these things will vary based on the country, so the quality will also vary generally. One of my Italian professors had one and she seemed quite pleased with it. From my understanding they've improved quite a bit in quality for those looking to buy a laptop at a bargain.

 

I've used Apple laptops at one of my old jobs and for what they cost, while you can do a lot on them and they're esp. good for editing photos and such, I think they're built like sh*t. I'm sure those are all produced in China, so not too surprised about the shotty quality. :eek:

 

I've also considered having a custom built laptop when I was considering buying American made laptops, but they're quite pricey for what you get, but that's also an option if folks really want it customized to their needs.

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I agree, HP computers is good stuff, same goes for Acer. Right now I'm using the Acer Aspire 5820TG and no issues with it so far. It all depends on how one takes care of their laptops and such.

 

Yes, HP laptops are good. Someone else in my family had one from the Windows XP days. It upgraded straight to Windows 7 and it was still fast.

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I have to disagree with that. HP computers are just fine, and I'm typing this on my proof. The only thing that's gone wrong is that I accidentally cracked the screen, and all I had to do was buy a $90 screen and replace it myself.

 

I agree, HP computers is good stuff, same goes for Acer. Right now I'm using the Acer Aspire 5820TG and no issues with it so far. It all depends on how one takes care of their laptops and such.

 

I will respond to these posts simply by saying that my last HP/Compaq was terrible. Basically, cold solder joints were used to make key connections in the motherboard. Over time these improperly prepared joints failed and the laptop would not recharge the battery despite being plugged in. It needed an expensive spot motherboard repair after only 2.5 years.

 

After another six months, the hard drive failed, that needed to be replaced.

 

One year later a different component of the motherboard failed and it was off to get a new computer.

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I will respond to these posts simply by saying that my last HP/Compaq was terrible. Basically, cold solder joints were used to make key connections in the motherboard. Over time these improperly prepared joints failed and the laptop would not recharge the battery despite being plugged in. It needed an expensive spot motherboard repair after only 2.5 years.

 

After another six months, the hard drive failed, that needed to be replaced.

 

One year later a different component of the motherboard failed and it was off to get a new computer.

 

Maybe you just got a lemon laptop. They're out there.

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Well Compaq was horrible back in the day. Now that HP is running things quality has certainly improved.

 

Well, yeah. Don't remind me of the times Compaq was an individual company ;)

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The one group of laptops I've learned to steer away from was Toshiba, bad ventilation/overheating issues. 6 months into that laptop after I got it(My mom got it for me for my birthday for the price), encountered the SMART HDD failure. The one I currently have that is picking up dust is the T305-S5885 and this thing is prone to overheating issues. I gotta get some of the parts changed...

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Well, yeah. Don't remind me of the times Compaq was an individual company ;)

 

lol... It's worth mentioning though because they were horrible. That could be why SubwayGuy isn't too wild about HP now since they took over.

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The one group of laptops I've learned to steer away from was Toshiba, bad ventilation/overheating issues. 6 months into that laptop after I got it(My mom got it for me for my birthday for the price), encountered the SMART HDD failure. The one I currently have that is picking up dust is the T305-S5885 and this thing is prone to overheating issues. I gotta get some of the parts changed...

 

As I'm sure you know, overheating can be a problem with some laptops more than others. If you don't already have one, I would recommend getting a laptop cooling stand, which helps a lot.

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I thank you all for your responses. Keep 'em coming. I should point out that I subscribe to Maximun PC and PC World and a lot of what's been said doesn't correspond to their reliability surveys ( HP/Compaq), but I like to hear from "real" versus anonymous users. Maybe I should take a look at Consumer Reports, too. I should also point out that I'm not a fanboy of either AMD or Intel but I don't intend to break the bank just because of Sandy Bridge or Bulldozer either. I just want something with a decent processor and a good sized hard drive. I have nothing against Apple either even though, at present, they're using last generations technology. Plus there's the Apple "tax" to consider. I'm trying to fund my retirement, not Steve Jobs'. The Mac Book Pro I tinkered with a few weeks ago was nice but I'd rather stay in the Windows world for now.

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I thank you all for your responses. Keep 'em coming. I should point out that I subscribe to Maximun PC and PC World and a lot of what's been said doesn't correspond to their reliability surveys ( HP/Compaq), but I like to hear from "real" versus anonymous users. Maybe I should take a look at Consumer Reports, too. I should also point out that I'm not a fanboy of either AMD or Intel but I don't intend to break the bank just because of Sandy Bridge or Bulldozer either. I just want something with a decent processor and a good sized hard drive. I have nothing against Apple either even though, at present, they're using last generations technology. Plus there's the Apple "tax" to consider. I'm trying to fund my retirement, not Steve Jobs'. The Mac Book Pro I tinkered with a few weeks ago was nice but I'd rather stay in the Windows world for now.

 

Yeah, Apple is so overpriced it's ridiculous and the quality of the products just sucks. It's the Apple geeks that run out and buy their sh*t the day it's released that keeps the price driven up.

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As I'm sure you know, overheating can be a problem with some laptops more than others. If you don't already have one, I would recommend getting a laptop cooling stand, which helps a lot.

 

Already have one, but that doesnt solve the problem much.

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The one group of laptops I've learned to steer away from was Toshiba, bad ventilation/overheating issues. 6 months into that laptop after I got it(My mom got it for me for my birthday for the price), encountered the SMART HDD failure.

Ouch. That sucks. That same thing happened to my BACKUP hard drive. Guess what? Every sector on that hard disk went bad.

 

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lol... It's worth mentioning though because they were horrible. That could be why SubwayGuy isn't too wild about HP now since they took over.

true

 

 

I thank you all for your responses. Keep 'em coming. I should point out that I subscribe to Maximun PC and PC World and a lot of what's been said doesn't correspond to their reliability surveys ( HP/Compaq), but I like to hear from "real" versus anonymous users. Maybe I should take a look at Consumer Reports, too. I should also point out that I'm not a fanboy of either AMD or Intel but I don't intend to break the bank just because of Sandy Bridge or Bulldozer either. I just want something with a decent processor and a good sized hard drive. I have nothing against Apple either even though, at present, they're using last generations technology. Plus there's the Apple "tax" to consider. I'm trying to fund my retirement, not Steve Jobs'. The Mac Book Pro I tinkered with a few weeks ago was nice but I'd rather stay in the Windows world for now.

 

Screw that Sandy Bridge crap. My laptop is almost 2 years old and it plays games just fine. And what's said online is by only a few people.

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Yeah, Apple is so overpriced it's ridiculous and the quality of the products just sucks. It's the Apple geeks that run out and buy their sh*t the day it's released that keeps the price driven up.

 

You mean Apple sheep ;)

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