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Laptop Question


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#1 persse3  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 6, 2015 - 6:26 pm

I'm looking for a cheap laptop. I don't need anything fancy, just to do its job.
I've been spending a lot of time waiting around for my kids to get out of activities. So I've come to the conclusion why not get something done lol.

I need to be able to log on remotely to my work server. Once on, I will need to be able to use internet, Excel (not alot), and word. Also adobe.
I would like to be able for the kids to use it if needed for school here or there or for watching videos.

I'm technology stupid, so I have no clue what to look for spec wise or any of that. I'm afraid if I go to best buy and ask, they will.try to sell me the fancy unneeded $1000 version.
I'm hoping this thing will pay for itself pretty quickly.

Any recommendations? Or suggestions as to what I should look for with specs?
Thanks!!

#2 Pnambic  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 7, 2015 - 7:29 am

You say you will need to be able to log on remotely to your work server.  From where?  From your kids' activities?  Do those locations have free WIFI?  Paid WIFI?  If not, the more expensive part of this equation is likely to be your Data to get you online.  Many phones can be tethered to share your data, but wireless data is generally not cheap.  Most Wireless carriers sell little mobile WIFI hotspots, but they use the data on your wireless plan.  FreedomPop might be an interesting option, but it isn't widely available.

 

For (basic) Excel, Word, and Internet browsing, pretty much any laptop will do just fine.  But what do you mean by Adobe?  Adobe CS requires the laptop to have some chops whereas Adobe Acrobat doesn't.

 

As far as connecting to your work server, check with your IT deparment to see what VPN application you need to be using to determine what OS options you might have.  Will it work on a Mac?  Will it work on Linux?  Will it work on a Chromebook?  They pretty much all "work" in Windows...  ;)

 

Have you considered a tablet with a wireless bluetooth keyboard/mouse?  Most big wireless carriers sell a few options with built in access to your wireless plan.  They can use free WIFI when its available, or use your data when necessary.  I picked up an 8 inch LG GTab with 4G from Verizon 18 months ago for "free" and all it costs me is $10 a month but includes a free GB of data.  I don't use data it often but it has proven nice to have when I needed it.

 

So, to summarize, you're looking at device cost plus possibly mobile data.

The mobile data could be cheap if you have access to free WIFI or you're in a FreedomPop area and don't need lots of it, but if you can't do FreedomPop or need lots, then it could be pricey - at least $10/mo and up depending on your usage.

 

As far as devices go...

 - subsidized tablets through a wireless carrier are often given away with two year agreements.

 - Chromebooks are next cheapest - $200-ish

 - Refurbed laptops from Dell Outlet or Lenovo Outlet or someplace probably start at $250-ish

 - New bottom end laptops probably start at sbout $350.

 - Macbooks start at $1,299 (that was for you jrs!  :g_thumbri )


Da-shiang bad-tza shr duh lah doo-tze!

#3 persse3  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 7, 2015 - 2:51 pm

Thanks!! That's very helpful.

The data they have free Wi-Fi plus phone I can make a mobile hot spot.

As far as the chromebooks, I had one (kids accidentally stepped on it on a road trip). I couldn't figure out how to connect with it.
As far as refurbished go, do they hold up well? I don't want to have to replace it within a couple months.
I did see a Lenovo the other day for a decent price. I wasn't sure though because I'd never seen one.
It's adobe Reader I think. Just to open pdfs, combine them things of that nature.

Thanks again!!

#4 Pnambic  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 9, 2015 - 4:45 am

Just be aware that making your phone a mobile hotspot uses your plan's data and laptops tend to use data much faster than phones as many sites autodetect your platform and deliver downsized content (smaller images, videos with lower quality resolution which make them smaller) optimized for the form factor when applicable.  It lessens their bandwidth requirements (site's cost) and lessens the customer's data consumption (customer cost) - a rare win/win.  A laptop would likely consume the media at full size.

 

Refurbished is good and bad.  Obviously, you pay less - it's only logical to expect you might get less value  I suppose.  But most of these will be offered with the option of an extended warranty if you buy from the manufacturer.

Lenovo has been a decent computer as far as I'm concerned.  My last three work laptops have been Lenovos and I haven't had any problems.  They were all purchased new however.


Edited by Pnambic, Oct 9, 2015 - 4:46 am.

Da-shiang bad-tza shr duh lah doo-tze!

#5 nirvana4all  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 10, 2015 - 6:37 pm

Based off what you have typed so far, you could likely use something like the below, expect it to hold up to every task you have listed without issue and have it hold up for a few years as well.

If I understand your statement above you have wifi at home, just use that to power the laptop connection at home.

http://computers.woo...f=cnt_wp_10_2  for $430


A computer can only be as smart as the person running it. :crash:

#6 persse3  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 11, 2015 - 1:42 pm

Thanks guys!! Very helpful info.
I've decided I might as well just get a new one.
I've looked at a couple Dells, just normal simple ones.
If I post a link of the ones I'm looking at, could you give me your opinion, please? I just want to make sure it's going to do what I'm getting it for.

Thanks guys!!!
My mother in law had an HP and had issue after issue. While it's cute, I'd rather stay aways from HP. Thank you for the link though!!

#7 laddhorn  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 11, 2015 - 3:34 pm

If you are against HP, Check out this Lenovo  http://www.frys.com/...UN date:101115 You can get an additional $50 off (leaving your total at $349) if you sign up for their promos.  It also has Free Shipping.  It is a decent deal and will run as fast as the HP listed above.  I used to use Lenovos for work and they seemed to hold up well considering how much they were banged about.



#8 nirvana4all  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 3, 2015 - 5:25 pm

My second job is repairing computers; highest amount of failure where a new part is needed, not just a software re-install or update for me is Dell & Toshiba.

Best luck I have had is MSI, ASUS, Lenovo.  HP has been pretty good and also able to find decent deals pretty often, but understand if you have a bad taste in your mouth for the moment.


A computer can only be as smart as the person running it. :crash:



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