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What is the best computer out there?



January 24, 2014 – Comments (15)

Do you ever wonder if I go through life with the grace of Lucy (as in I Love Lucy)?  I seem to get myself into some definite scrapes.  The latest is with my computer.  I picked it up - yes, of course it is a laptop - started to carry it down the hall, and bumped it, ever so gently, into a door.  I now have 3" top to bottom that is still readable.  The rest of the screen looks like an Etch-a-Sketch that has been badly shaken.  Soooo - 

What is the best computer out there?  I am seeking another laptop and I have never learned to use Mac.  Those are the only parameters.  If you happen to have read something of late about this, let me know where you read it.  Since PC World is now on-line only, I don't have back copies floating around the house to refer to.  And I am going to have real trouble researching via computer  for obvious reasons.

Can you help me out here, friends? 

15 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On January 24, 2014 at 2:20 PM, rd80 (95.49) wrote:

If you mostly use you laptop at a desk and it's fine except for the display, another option would be to get a monitor for it.

Advantages:  Less expensive than a new computer, no hassle with transferring files.

Disadvantage:  Your portable laptop becomes a desktop.

Could also see what Geek Squad would charge to fix it / replace the display.

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#2) On January 24, 2014 at 2:49 PM, constructive (99.97) wrote:

If you don't want to shell out much cash, you could get a Chromebook. Whether you go with Windows 8, Mac or Chrome, you should plan for a bit of a learning curve from your previous laptop.

Personally I like Lenovo laptops. They are good quality (built for business), high resolution screens and quality keyboards, not just the newfangled chiclet style keyboards.

You could go to Best Buy and see what you like.

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#3) On January 24, 2014 at 3:01 PM, constructive (99.97) wrote:

Specifically I like my Thinkpad T540.

The one upgrade I suggest with any computer model is a higher screen resolution. To my eyes the standard screens used by HP, Dell, etc are pixelated and don't offer enough screen space. But they offer upgrades on some models.

What's your budget?

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#4) On January 24, 2014 at 6:35 PM, jiltin (46.38) wrote:

Here is my info.

HP Cheaper, Used 2 years crappy ones, Ruled out, do not buy.

Dell is fine,used for 5+ years, performance wise better, cost effective.

Lenova, I used 6 years, slim, performance average, expensive than dell.

Apple mac, very expensive, I am unable use mac having worked windows for 20+ years. Hence, reformatted Mac with windows 7. Cool. Performance wise supergood.

If you need to store your records, pdfs or document etc, you need laptop. Laptops are going to be for heavy duty usage.

For browsing, trading, blogging, it is better to use either ipad or samsung notepad. This is very easy to work, very light weight and lot of apps are there. 

I have Mac-with windows for my office usage, but use the samsung quadcore notepad for regular browing purpose.

Soon laptops are going to confined to office work especially programming work only.

 Now you know why AAPL is strong.

 Whatever you buy, get the quad core machines.





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#5) On January 25, 2014 at 9:58 AM, Mary953 (84.97) wrote:

To answer a few questions -

To fix the screen, the bill will be $600 minimum, or I can buy a used laptop like mine and let my son-in-law change things out.  (Downside, he is going to school, working full time, has a wife and child and just found out that he is going to be a Daddy again.  Yes, that means I am going to have another grandchild and my brain is fizzing from joy!)

Budget is "I will spend what I need to spend.  No real limit."  I don't intend to spend a lot more than necessary.  If I find two computers that would fit the bill and both are good strong possibilities, it would be in my nature to get the one that is less expensive.  And fwiw, that is the budget you get when you have "lived tight" for 4 decades.  In my 30's and 40's, we upgraded our computer one board at a time, trading parts at the computer store.

And yes a laptop is needed.  I need to take it with me to archives, genealogy collections, and, at times, out of town.  Just because I am retired, it doesn't mean that I have stopped doing genealogies or writing.books.

Thanks to all of you for your suggestions.  I am going to jot them all down and go looking next week.  Today is the 'Home Show' with lots of chances to look at kitchens, flooring, landscaping, and everything else that we want to consider for next year. (Yeah, I would rather be on the keyboard.  Hubby would rather remodel the house - and he finally has time.) 


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#6) On January 25, 2014 at 10:05 AM, Mary953 (84.97) wrote:

Rd - I have a couple of monitors around here.  Short term, I may try turning my laptop into a desktop. We never seem to toss anything electronic.

Mega - Lenovo, Thinkpad, Best Buy...Got it!  I will especially check out the Thinkpad.

Jiltin - Do you think you can reformat a Windows 8 non-Mac to run Windows 7?  And is there a better term than non-Mac?  They used to be called IBM-compatible.  I will look for quad core.

And guys, my iPad will not do at all.  I need a typewriter keyboard or you will never ever hear from me. 

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#7) On January 25, 2014 at 10:37 AM, jiltin (46.38) wrote:

Based on your updates, best is to go Lenova (Look and feel is good, easy to carry) or Dell (Performance, look and feel not good). Both costs almost same. Lenova may be little expensive.

Apple products are very expensive. Hence, you wont naturally choose it.

There are dual core and quad core CPUs are there. Dual core is cheaper. However, quad core, you will love it with the speed and performance, even though expensive.

Regarding reformating to windows 7, anyone is computer geek or high school or college student, they can do it. 

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#8) On January 25, 2014 at 6:33 PM, Mary953 (84.97) wrote:


Anyone can do it???  Sweetie, I am in my 60's (barely) as is my husband.  Telling me that a high school student can do it just makes me want to cringe.  On the other hand, I have 3 nephews, two daughters, two sons-in-law, and a niece with an IT husband.  One son-in-law is a software engineer.  I would bet that most of them can reformat my computer. I would lay odds that my husband can also do this.  He is the one that backed all my stuff up to an external hard drive.  He is also the one that found a way to connect a different monitor to the laptop until I can get a new computer...and he is the one that suggested the new computer in the first place.  I have a wonderful husband.  :)

Wait a minute - Do you still do reformatting the way it was done in the early 80's using DOS?  If so, I can do it myself.  I don't think I have reformatted a computer since the early 90's, but I did a lot of that sort of thing in the 70's and 80's.  Maybe not so cringe-worthy after all. 


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#9) On January 25, 2014 at 7:51 PM, stockmanjones (< 20) wrote:

You might just spend an hour or two on neweggs laptop site.


For example, here's a nice quad core laptop for 400 bucks.


The reviews on newegg are very good for the most part.   

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#10) On January 25, 2014 at 8:07 PM, ikkyu2 (97.84) wrote:

I am an Apple guy but recently bought a Lenovo laptop with Windows 8 on it.  I like it more than I was expecting to.

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#11) On January 25, 2014 at 9:30 PM, XMFConnor (96.89) wrote:

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga.

Pricey, but a laptop/tablet touchscreen-- it's awesome and worth it. 

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#12) On January 27, 2014 at 1:14 AM, jiltin (46.38) wrote:

Why GOOG crossed $1000? Because Anyone can do it...There are step by step instructions plenty available on the net to do.

On any case, reformating is not an issue, but getting the drivers main issue. Any case, students are very assertive and they do very fast.

Like ikkyu2 said windows 8 should be better than windows 7.  My son, CS student, also told me after he upgraded to windows 8.




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#13) On January 27, 2014 at 1:45 PM, anchak (99.91) wrote:

Ma'am - if you have figured this out good -else send me an email - I'll walk you thru....

You can easily get a Bluetooth keyboard for the Ipad - and that costs anywhere between $40-$100 ( the Logitech one) .....since they happen to be one of your favorite stock .)

 I second Connor - Lenovo Yoga


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#14) On January 28, 2014 at 10:08 AM, rofgile (99.46) wrote:

Hi Mary,

 I recently bought an ASUS laptop last spring.  I highly recommend this for the quality / cost.  I haven't had any issues after 1 year of use.  

 I recommend getting 8 gigs of memory.  Get an i7 processor (quad).  It would be nice if you got an HD resolution screen, but not essential.  I recommend getting a 14" rather than 15" screen, it makes the laptop far lighter and more portable.  I recommend getting a 1 TB hard drive.  It is hard to get all of these together and a good price.  You should look on Newegg and order from them - much cheaper than other sources.  I notice their prices do change from week to week with sales.  

Some examples I consider good:

I think you should expect to spend between $400-750 for a good Windows laptop that will stay useful for 5 years.  Below that price, you will get an i3 or i5 processor or less memory - and find you laptop is too slow within 2 years.  Just my two cents.

 Do you have a Staples, Office Depot nearby?  If you do, try going to those places with your list of characteristics above and try some of their laptops.  You might not like keyboards on some or screen size on others.  When we shopped we tried several this way.  I was interested in the Lenovo Yoga, but at the time I found the 13.3" screen too small and flimsy feeling.  Plus the hard drive is relatively small for holding much data.  


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#15) On January 29, 2014 at 1:41 PM, Mary953 (84.97) wrote:

Thank you all for your wonderful comments and suggestions.  Here is what I have from everything you have suggested so far and from talking with my husband.

I had a 17" monitor.  I am willing to go down to a 15" but no lower.  I need the larger monitor to see what I am doing.  At the moment, my husband has hooked up a 22" monitor to my computer, so I am able to work with my computer again (finally.)  The larger monitor is so wonderful that I don't really want to tackle something a great deal smaller.

My computers tend to die of old age.  This is the first time I have actually killed part of one.  (  That being the case, I want as much memory as possible.  8 gig is nice but I would rather get 32 if possible.  I am figuring somewhere in the $2000 range for a new computer if necessary.

I tried my son-in-law's laptop this weekend.  The keys are just a fraction too close together.  To get a feel for how they would work, I started a story on the computer.  Within a few sentences, I was backing up as much as going forward.  A full size keyboard will be a necessity as I am writing a book at the moment.  (Yes, I did save the amount of rough draft that I had and no, you would not enjoy either book.  One is a children's picture book aimed at preschoolers and the other is a genealogy book that has thumbnail sketches of some of the people who did things like fighting Spanish pirates, traveling down the rivers with an anvil on his boat (which allowed him safe passage because the Indians wanted his skills more than they wanted to kill him,) or the ones who opened up a large section of what is now the Great Smoky Mountains.  Only interesting if you like learning about how this country was built.) 

I will definitely go to Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, etc to try out the feel of keyboards and computers before I buy.  I have HP now, but will try out some of the brands you all have mentioned.  I had not heard of Lenovo, Newegg, or ASUS, but since my husband has and since you all have seen fit to add links, I obviously need to do my homework before I go check this out.

 Stockman, AC, Jiltin, Rof, Ikkyu, and Connor, It means a great deal that you all added your suggestions, links, and experience to help me figure this out.  I will try to eventually post my choice here, but it is wonderful to see your names here.  Because of all the comments here, I have been forced to answer questions for myself that I would not have even considered.  No matter what I end up with, you have helped me process my needs and possibilities.  After all, even five years ago, I would have gone for the smallest, the lightest, the easiest to carry.  That is no longer the one that I need. Thank you so much.

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