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Old 07-30-2020, 08:59 AM   #15
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We got the HP Pavilion we use in the coach from Sam's Club. They have a great selection and prices are good. Everyone has told you the SSD is an important point and I agree. Our laptop also has a touchscreen.
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Old 07-30-2020, 09:37 AM   #16
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You might consider a Chromebook. I went from a standard HP laptop to a Lenovo Chromebook and am very happy. As long as you have wifi and you don't need any heavy data usage, it might work for you. I do email, web browsing and don't need anything else. I use Google Drive to save my files and data and it's super cheap for 100 GB (1.99/month). I paid less than $200 for my Chromebook and won't ever go back to a standard laptop. It works great for me.
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Old 07-30-2020, 02:13 PM   #17
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Previous posters have given you excellent advice.
I love my 10-year-old 17-in laptop with Linux mint on it and an SSD. Smooth, fast, stable. Linux mint is an excellent Windows replacement. Runs on old hardware smooth and fast. The only thing that holds most people back is the installation and the unknown. (The OP is still using Windows Vista, so installing an entirely different operating system is probably not what he is looking to do)
17-in laptops are bulky, hot and can be heavy. Depends on how you're going to use it and whether you move it often or not.
SSD is absolutely the way to go. You won't notice the difference in processing speed between an i3 and an i5 as long as both have 8 gig of RAM, but you will absolutely notice the difference between a hard drive and an SSD.
The $400 17-in laptop the OP lists, sounds like a lot of laptop for $400, depending on the brand.

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Old 07-30-2020, 09:56 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Tim-n-Gina View Post
Previous posters have given you excellent advice.
I love my 10-year-old 17-in laptop with Linux mint on it and an SSD. Smooth, fast, stable. Linux mint is an excellent Windows replacement. Runs on old hardware smooth and fast. The only thing that holds most people back is the installation and the unknown. (The OP is still using Windows Vista, so installing an entirely different operating system is probably not what he is looking to do)
17-in laptops are bulky, hot and can be heavy. Depends on how you're going to use it and whether you move it often or not.
SSD is absolutely the way to go. You won't notice the difference in processing speed between an i3 and an i5 as long as both have 8 gig of RAM, but you will absolutely notice the difference between a hard drive and an SSD.
The $400 17-in laptop the OP lists, sounds like a lot of laptop for $400, depending on the brand.

Tim
The 17" $400 is a HP laptop with Intel Core i3 Processor, with 8GB RAM, and 1TB+128 SSD storage.

Not sure if 128 SSD is enough or how it works in combination with 1TB (assume hard drive).
For $350 gets practically same thing but 15" screen and only 128 SSD storage.
Installing a different OS on my current HP laptop would probably be just a bit out of my reach in technical knowledge. Now really a whiz at anything on these computers. Am learning a great deal but so much of the above is all Greek to me.
Will probably just have to pick a laptop with the best of every feature in one unit. Can't have everything.
Sounds like the 17" screen isn't as great as I thought it might be, not like a TV - bigger is better. Take the laptop with us whenever we travel in the motor home so bigger may not be better.


Is 128 SSD storage enough, or should it be 256 SSD? Several I see adds 1TB hard drive with 128 SSD, is this advisable?




Would love to be where I could reach a better outlets than Staples but Wichita, Oklahoma City, and Tulsa are all 1 1/2 to 2 hrs drive away.
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Old 07-30-2020, 10:11 PM   #19
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I just ordered a refurb HP off Amazon. 15.6”. Intel Core i5, 16gb RAM, 512 gb SSD, DVD, Bluetooth. Win 10 Pro. Got it for $425. Best deal I could find.
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Old 07-31-2020, 04:45 AM   #20
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I had a Lenovo laptop and it was a real workhorse and served me well. When I replaced it I purchased a Dell refurbished laptop and I'm very happy with it. Their refurbished units come with the same warranty as a new unit, and they do offer extended warranty plans.

How you use your laptop determines what you need. I'm an amateur photographer, and since my laptop is my main computer, I chose one based on screen size, processor power and storage space. Although my files are backed up to Carbonite and an auxiliary hard drive, I like to have plenty of storage space to save files on my computer.
So, only you can determine what you need and for what price. On my Dell, running Windows 10 hasn't been a problem.
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Old 07-31-2020, 05:54 AM   #21
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fyi: it is not advisable to connect a Windows 7 computer to the internet for even a short while. It is no longer supported by Microsoft and is extremely vurnable to hacking. Many websites do not support win 7. Let alone vista which hasn't been supported for several years.
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Old 07-31-2020, 06:32 AM   #22
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Is 128 SSD storage enough, or should it be 256 SSD? Several I see adds 1TB hard drive with 128 SSD, is this advisable?

Bigger is better, as long as you go SSD, you probably won't be disappointed. I'd personally stay away from the combo unit. I look at it this way "A thumbdrive is cheap backup" You can add 128GB of storage with a thumbdrive for under $50. Back everything up to that and you never have to worry if the PC takes a crap.


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Would love to be where I could reach a better outlets than Staples but Wichita, Oklahoma City, and Tulsa are all 1 1/2 to 2 hrs drive away.

Look for a MicroCenter store. It's like Walmart for geeks. They are strewn around the US and if you're close enough to one you can touch/feel before you buy. (they also have an online store) I think Dallas is the closest one to you, so that may be a no-go. They also buy back off-lease machines from corporations so you can sometimes find good refurbished deals on a machine that is a couple years old. I've done that before.
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Old 07-31-2020, 06:42 AM   #23
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You might want to check out Dell Refurbishing. I bought a laptop from them three or four years ago and it has been great!

https://www.dell.com/en-us/dfh/shop/...B&gclsrc=aw.ds
I'm on my second Dell refurb. Purchased it 3 years ago. The first one made it 5 years and was still working, just needed more storage so I upgraded.
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Old 07-31-2020, 09:08 PM   #24
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I suggest looking at things similar to what you are used to. I like to venture off into different operating systems here and there but for my daily stuff I want the same old same old. I want to already know which buttons take me where.
So Win10, but with a slight spin. The opening menus are weird. You can download a little free program called "Classic Start Menu" and install it. Once it's in place you can choose the Start menu style of Windows 7 or even like XP. It's simple and visual, offering three choices. Once you do that then all of a sudden your new Win10 is almost like a comfy pair of shoes. OK not really, but at least you won't feel like you've been tossed into the deep end of the pool.

Brands. Toshiba used to be pretty good years ago. Now they seem to specialize in low end stuff you'd buy for a kid. There's cheap and then there's cheap. I don't care for them.
HP/Compaq merged years ago. They were always about the same anyway. Middle of the road. Not bad. Not great, but not bad.
Some years ago I got my hands on a Dell D610. Did lots of work on it. It aged and had issues so I semi retired it. It now only runs a specialty business program that still is useful to me even though it was entirely replaced in 2005. THis laptop has been in use for almost 20 years. It's running Linux. Even I can't believe it still works like it does. It grew a twin years ago as a backup.
I got my hands on a Dell XPS13. Slim little machine. Not super high powered but very light and portable. Nice Screen. VERY pricey new though. One time a flying tool went across the keyboard and took some keys off. I found a brand new genuine keyboard for $11. Bought a second one for parts and ended up fixing it instead. They both still live. My daughter borrowed one for a year for school.
At some point I acquired an XPS 15. Still modest power and too expensive but I liked bigger screen a a LOT. Not nearly as light as the 13.
Now I use Dell Precision M4800's. More business oriented. Fast. 15" screen. But BIG. And heavy. I do not like to carry them. "Them" because after falling in love with #1 I bought a backup. I do that. Too bulky for most folks.

I like Dells. All the the ones I've mentioned I still have and they all work, And when they don't they can be fixed. And I can find parts for them. The real deal with Dells is that they lease a huge number of them to corporations. Then later those come back and get refurbished. Great deals. Plus they made ever so many that new batteries and such are easy to find.

Lenovo has been busted twice and fined for putting spyware on their laptops. One would like to think they've learned their lesson but I don't trust them.

There are more that folks know and love. Or hate. I've no real personal experience with them though.
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Old 07-31-2020, 09:31 PM   #25
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fyi: it is not advisable to connect a Windows 7 computer to the internet for even a short while. It is no longer supported by Microsoft and is extremely vurnable to hacking. Many websites do not support win 7. Let alone vista which hasn't been supported for several years.
Yeah, you'll get computer mumps.

Seriously? True that Win 7 is no longer being updated. If you're behind a fire wall (most home/business routers have NAT firewalls with statefull packet inspection), have current anti-virus/anti-malware software running and know to recognize phishing, chances are decent one not have problems.

I've got 4 Win 7 machines, 3 Win 10 machines, and 1 of each is a dual boot (Linux) machine. One of the Win 7 machines is air-gapped (not internet connected) because it's a dedicated task device with no network needs.

Will the Win 7 machines be safe forever? Nope... but by the time that's a genuine problem for me those machines will be either updated to 10 or will be scrapped.

If I dig deep enough in the bit pit I think I still have a working XP Pro machine I kept for some old software that won't run under emulation. Haven't booted it up in 6 years so the PSU is probably iffy.
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Old 08-01-2020, 07:59 AM   #26
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I've had very good luck with Dell Refurbished. Goto their page and register. A few times a year they do a 50% off.

Regardless of what you get, I highly recommend a Solid State drive. low battery drain, faster boot. Either order it with one, or replace the regular drive.
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Old 08-01-2020, 12:46 PM   #27
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Laptop

Just my $.02 worth.
I pretty much had the same computer needs.
I bought a Lenvo yoga book c930.
It's windows 10" computer that folds into a tablet.Screen resolution is 2560X1640 so haven't found need for a larger screen.
Been using for a few months now and very satisfied.
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Old 08-01-2020, 01:18 PM   #28
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The biggest speed difference is made by the SSD drive. Extremely fast compared to your old hard drive.
Have you encountered any downsides to the SSD?
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