Need some help picking a new laptop... Any advice?

  • 16 September 2016
  • 36 replies
  • 712 views

Userlevel 6
I am THE leaset tech savvy person on the planet and felt that I had scaled the summit of Mt. Everest when I figured out how to hook my laptop up to my personal Hot Spot device without having to call for help, so that should tell you what a remedial techie I am...
 
The laptop I have is a HP Pavilion g7 with a full keyboard ( includes the 10 key pad on the right) and while I really enjoy using it, I am working with Windows 8 and when I tried to do the 8.1 upgrade it froze up my system, so I went back to version 8 and haven't upgraded since, which means that Windows 10 free upgrade passed me by, and, based on the complaints I heard about it, I don't really mind that I don't have it, however, Windows isn't sending me security updates anymore so that compromises my system, apparently.
 
I am going to be going on a road trip in a few weeks and I wanted to have something smaller than the laptop I have now to take with me and keep up with business matters.  Nothing like lugging a 10lb briefcase along with everything else to convince me the time to upgrade is now!
 
Anyway, I was wondering if anyone could suggest a good, servicable laptop that is smallish, very user friendly for a remedial techie like me, that will take my old Word 2003 program so that I can use the documents I have saved on a thumb drive ( yeah, I managed another monumental goal by figuring out how to do that, too!).  Nothing too expensive, I'm used to HP but I'm not married to the idea of sticking with them if something else is better quality and easy to use.
 
Thank you in advance for any help and input you can give me!

36 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +56
I personally like Dell and Acer laptops and my Alienware is now made by Dell as dell purchased Alienware a few years ago like 10 years ago. http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,1941376,00.asp
 
Must haves:
 
Intel CPU i5 or even better an i7 CPU
Dedicated GPU not just Intel Based GPU and I like NVIDIA Video Cards.
At least 8GB of RAM
If you have the Money a SSD Drive will knock it out of the park!
 
Daniel ;)
Userlevel 6
?   Thank you for the advice, Daniel!  When it comes to picking the touch screen vs. traditional, which would you suggest for someone as low tech as I am?  I still have trouble using my smart phone touch screen!!! :D
 
Uhm...  SSD drive?  Wazzat? 😳
Userlevel 7
Badge +58
I would like to say I like Dell/ Alienware but this system is rather pricey. Dell has others though. I also liked the Lenovo. My Lenovo ran for 8 years and it's still running besides.
 
 
Hooe this helps? 🙂
Userlevel 6
? Thanks, Sherry!  All input is appreciated!  Even as much of a tech trogoldyte as I am, I have heard about Lenovo and heard good things at that.  I was checking out specials at Staples to see what they have ( the closest store to me ) and they had a couple of Lenovo listed but not at the local store, and they had Dell, too.
 
I'm wanting the smaller laptop for convenience on this trip and portability in future, too, but also to get the Windows 10 security protections, but I am seeing some people saying that getting their Windows 10 set up on these new items, regardless of maker, is a nightmare.
 
Has anyone had this problem or are you all too smart for those kinds of gremlins in the machines?  😉
Userlevel 7
Badge +56
@ wrote:
@   Thank you for the advice, Daniel!  When it comes to picking the touch screen vs. traditional, which would you suggest for someone as low tech as I am?  I still have trouble using my smart phone touch screen!!! :D
 
Uhm...  SSD drive?  Wazzat? :$

Solid-State Drive

 
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2404258,00.asp and if you want a touch screen go for it. Again I don't care for touch screens but I do need my Mouse!
 
I have 5 SSD's in my Alienware laptop:
 
?
Userlevel 7
Badge +58
?, You are quite welcome. I installed Windows 10 on 2 of my Desktop machines without any issues. I'm running Windows 10 on my Dell without any problems. I love Windows 10! It has everything at your fingertips. You'll get Windows 10 with a new laptop. I also don't care for touch screens. I have an iPad and that's the only touch screen that I will touch. Just my preference. 
 
Good of luck picking out a new Laptop. Others may also suggest their feeling on what machines they like. ;) 
 
Daniel has a top notch laptop that can't be beat! Holy cow 5 SSDs. ;) 
Userlevel 6
?  Yeah, when I saw 5 of them my eyes kinda bugged out!  Clearly Daniel knows what's what! 
 
Thanks for the input on Windows 10.  That was another factor in why I wanted a new laptop was to make sure that I had all the up to date security stuff on my computer and I can keep this one as my workhorse when it comes to my off time work... 
 
Or, I can create my documents on this one and then open them using a thumb drive on the other.
 
Do you think it will pose a problem to load the old Word 2003 program onto the new system?  I had been warned when I bought this laptop in 2013 that it might not want to take the program off the disc I have, but it took it just fine.  I am used to the program and prefer it, soI have my fingers crossed.
 
And, if I haven't troubled you too much, what do you think of having an external CD RW driver?  I think those are the ones where you can download off a disk onto the laptop since they don't have the actual disc tray in the laptop, plus it allows you to watch movies and listen to music, too.
 
It strikes me as a great advantage and probably something I can use with this laptop as well since the disc tray won't read anymore.
 
Again, thank you for everybody's kind responses and input.  It is MUCH appreciated!
Userlevel 7
Badge +58
Hi there! 
 
You  are no trouble at all. We are on this Forum to help anyway we can. Some of us know more then others so it always helps when the Forum members add their take on things.;) I am always learning!
 
I believe that having a external! DVD CD Rewritable that reads all disk types would be a important asset/device to have. These can be bought for fairly cheap. Depending on your needs. BlueRay may cost abit more. ? What would you advise in types/brands? I have a cheap one that works great with my new laptop. I'd like to get a better one but only money stops me. LOLs. 😉 Amazon carries some good ones. Or Google here
 
By the way a "driver" is: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Device_driver
In a computer, a driver is a piece of software that tells hardware how to run on a certain operating system. That means your PC card, DVD drive, video card and other hardware all use drivers to make their operations work. Just encase you would like to know that.

 
As for Microsoft Office 2003 working with Windows 10? Please look here.
 
Hope this helps?
Userlevel 7
Badge +56
This is the one I have and it works great but to each there own: https://www.asus.com/ca-en/Optical-Drives-Storage/BW12D1SU/
 
Cheers,
 
Daniel 😉
Userlevel 7
Badge +51
Well just to throw another one into the equation, I bought myself a laptop this week which is an HP.  http://store.hp.com/UKStore/Merch/Product.aspx?id=F1W08EA&opt=ABU&sel=NTB.
Yes it has a touchscreen as well as a keyboard. Until now I have only briefly used a touchscreen and I don't mind them but prefer a proper keyboard. One of the reasons I went for this set up was actually nothing to do with technology. My wife is very sensitive to lights and using a normal keyboard I need a light on to see properly so I went for the option to have backlit keyboard plus touchscreen to make things better for her as well.
That looks like a very nice laptop, Jasper. I've always had good luck with HP's.
Userlevel 7
Hi gr8auntteffie
 
Hope that you are well?
 
Just my two pennies worth on this. GIven what you say about your lack of 'skills' (which I don't believe for a moment ;)) I would suggest that you go for a lighter weight hybrid, i.e, a laptop that has a touch screen and that can double up by folding back the keyboard part of the laptop on itself so that you effectively have a tablet.
 
I will see if I can find some examples for you.
 
Regards, Baldrick
Userlevel 7
Badge +51
@ wrote:
Hi gr8auntteffie
 
Hope that you are well?
 
Just my two pennies worth on this. GIven what you say about your lack of 'skills' (which I don't believe for a moment ;)) I would suggest that you go for a lighter weight hybrid, i.e, a laptop that has a touch screen and that can double up by folding back the keyboard part of the laptop on itself so that you effectively have a tablet.
 
I will see if I can find some examples for you.
 
Regards, Baldrick
That sounds almost like mine Baldrick 😉
Userlevel 7
It should, Jasper...as I told you before I think that you made an excellent choice. :D
Userlevel 6
Thank you everyone!  Now i have a wish list to take to the store!!!
Userlevel 7
Excellent...do let us know what you finally settle on. :D
For what it's worth, I've recently bought a Medion Akoya laptop (Medion not available in the standard computer shops, I don't think, but only through direct web order or with special offers through the Aldi supermarket chain and some other supermarket chains) and I'm absolutely delighted with what I have managed to get for the price (€499). It seems very solid and so far very reliable. Also it DOESN'T have a touchscreen. You normally get two years free technical support by telephone (I got 3 through the Aldi special offer) and then unlimited email support (I think). Small problem: it seems the smallest screens are 15.3": maybe too large, bulky and heavy for you? Have a look and see what you think. A German make, acquired by Lenovo in 2010 and Lenovo have let them continue to develop in their own independent (German) way (I actually prefer it to my two Lenovos. A more minimalist approach to software and keyboard buttons and a less chunky, more streamlined minimalist appearance). I am certainly very happy with what I've got (bought it almost exactly a month ago). It came with Office 365 which I like very much. That is also like you an upgrade for me from Office 2003.  Office 365 is a subscription payment (€69 p.a.) but you get updates for life and free technical support. Though take care, a phone call tto technical support can keep you hooked to a level 1 technicain for a pretty long time as they sort out whatever problem you  are dealing with. And yes, it's a pain in the neck upgrading from one OS  to another and from one office suite to another, I do heartily agree, but having spent a very, very long time getting everythying absolutely right and customised to my particular quoibles, I am delighted with both Windows 10, Office 365 and my Medion hardware.
www.medion.com
 
@ wrote:
For what it's worth, I've recently bought a Medion Akoya laptop (Medion not available in the standard computer shops, I don't think, but only through direct web order or with special offers through the Aldi supermarket chain...
Didn't know they had Aldis in Belgium. Been shopping at Aldi since I was a bachelor on a budget, and still do. ;)
 
Aldi's all over Europe. For Europe, you have Aldi North and Aldi South, each managed by one of the two brothers. Curiously, Aldi in the UK is part of Aldi South (go figure...)!! I think this is the first time I have bought something in an Aldi in Belgium and I'm most certainly not displeased with my purchase. Not one bit!  At least not so far...
Userlevel 6
Aldi's?  they just opened up a store across the street from where my local Staples Store is, so if you can buy computers there, maybe I should stop in and check it out!  After all, even if they don't, I can pick up something nice to have for my birthday dessert tonight!!!!
 
Thank you all again for your input!!❤️
@ wrote:
Aldi's?  they just opened up a store across the street from where my local Staples Store is, so if you can buy computers there, maybe I should stop in and check it out!  After all, even if they don't, I can pick up something nice to have for my birthday dessert tonight!!!!
 
Thank you all again for your input!!❤️
Well Happy Birthday, gr8auntteffie!
 
http://bestanimations.com/Holidays/Birthday/black-calligraphy-happy-birthday-fireworks-wishes-animated.gif.gif
 
Enjoy your day!
 
BD
Userlevel 7
Badge +51
Happy Birthday ?, I hope you are having a great day.
Userlevel 6
? ?  Thank you for the birthday well wishes! I'm shopping for a new computer for my birthday present!  Takes the guilt out of the splurge, if you know what I mean!
 
Thanks again!!!!
Happy birthday from me as well!
 
Sounds like you live in the US (Staples). I don't know about the US but in Europe the Aldi Medion computer offers only crop up from time to time, are advertised, and as there is only a limited number, tne computers go pretty quickly. Having said that, I was lucky as just when I needed a new computer there happened to be an excellent offer coming up at Aldi's. Who knows, maybe you will be too? That is, of course, if a Medion computer proves to be the best choice for you! (Don't forget you can buy online too)
 
I wish you the best of success in finding the right brand and model of computer for you.
 
Keith
Userlevel 6
Thanks, Keith!  It was a heck of a birthday...  Aside from looking for a new computer ( and being totally tech backward makes that something of a painful adventure 😳 ) Microsoft sprung an updated Outlook on me and now my flagged folder has entirely disappeared from my folder index and there seems to be an issue among their tech people as to how to find it and how to restore it....  Leaving me adding uncountable NEW gray hairs to my already overpopulated salty mop!
 
But, there's always the off chance that I can figure out how to ask for help from all of you tech wizards in here now to find the folder in such a way that you believe me when I tell you I'm entirely tech remedial! 
 
Again, thank you for the birthday well wishes and, yes, I'm here in California...

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