What kind of laptop do you have? What are the pros and cons of it?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Em_Catz, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Nov 18, 2012

    DB's laptop is on it's last leg. The motherboard is failing and there's some serious issue with the harddrive and his fan is starting to go.

    I'd really like to purchase a new laptop for him for Christmas, but there are so many choices out there that I don't know what to buy. Hopefully you all can tell me about your laptops and the pros and cons which will help me make a decision.


    Edit: I've been observing his computer habits and here's what I know about what he would like -

    1. Microsoft Office (current computer doesn't have word which he needs)

    2. Able to play games on it (he really likes Starcraft, so I guess he needs a lot of memory)

    3. Must be a PC (his best friend has a Mac and DB hates it)

    4. Needs to be able to stream youtube and other web videos

    5. Has a 15 or 17'' screen

    6. Needs to a full sized keyboard (he has big hands, so one of those paper thin laptops with a mini board would be hard for him to type on)

    7. Can withstand being left on overnight (I keep reminding him to turn off his computer, but when he's not using it, he leaves it on)

    Any suggestions would be great!
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Nov 18, 2012

    Most mid-grade laptops these days have all those specs. I bet you could find a pretty good one at the Christmas sales in the $200-300 range.

    I have an HP that I bought at last year's Black Friday sales for like $175. While I like it, I have had some problems with it, including needing to get it replaced due to a broken disc drive (within two days of getting it) and a blown hard drive (within 10 days of getting the replacement). Prior to this one, I had a Toshiba Satellite, which I got at a Black Friday sale about 4 years ago.

    With the constant improvements in technology these days, I think that laptops are becoming more and more expendable. I wouldn't recommend spending more than $500 on one, because it will probably end up needing to be replaced/upgraded within 3 years anyway.
     
  4. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    lol that's kinda funny because his current laptop is actually an HP. I guess I could give black friday a try...I never go because I'm like, "the sales can't be THAT great because stores know people are going to be shopping like crazy so why lower their prices?"

    Isn't there a different Black Friday date for electronics? like it's called Black Tuesday or something?
     
  5. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I have had Averatec and Gateway at home. The Averatec was smaller and never gave me any trouble. It just got too old and slow. The Gateway has needed a new power adapted and the power button doesn't always work. The card reader works intermittently, as does the WiFi. Both were $800.

    I dislike the Dell models I have at work. Drives stop working. Keys pop off. Adapters get loose so the cord will not stay plugged in.
     
  6. stampin'teacher

    stampin'teacher Cohort

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    Yeah I can't help too much...I have a Mac and will never turn back!
     
  7. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I had an HP desktop. Then I got a Dell laptop and I had it about a year when I dropped it on the tile floor last month. I purchased an ASUS and it is quite a bit faster than the Dell. It didn't come with Microsoft Word, but I just downloaded a free program that is compatible with Word (Open Office) and it works the same way. This keyboard/screen is a little bigger (17 ", I think) and I wish it were just a bit lighter. I think it was $400 and this time I added on a service contract.
     
  8. bros

    bros Phenom

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  9. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    I had an HP laptop that I loved - totally decked out, Black Friday sale, around $500. The video card died 16 days out of warranty; I would have had to replace the motherboard, and it was cheaper to just buy a new computer.

    I bought a Dell Inspiron (since I'd had a Dell desktop that ran forever), and it's ok. Cost about $400. Doesn't have a lot of the cool bells and whistles. It's 2.5 years old, and the display driver is starting to crash. Had to have the motherboard replaced - under warranty - and the Dell guy told me on the side to get a Sony next time.
     
  10. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Well, I was going to suggest a Mac. I LOVE mine and I never have to worry about it getting a virus. It has been through a lot for last 4 years and is still ticking like it is new despite having teenagers that take advantage of it. I have also had a dell for four years. It is a trusty computer too. :)
     
  11. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I have 2 laptops:

    A 15.7" Dell that's about 4 or 5 yrs old, yet since I've moved to my apt, it's been VERY SLOW...a lot slower than my 7 yr old Dell Desktop. So I've just stopped using it. But it was nice before it got slow.

    and

    A 10.1" HP that I got when I won an HP gift card in 2009 or 2010. That one's very nice & I have a laptop stick, so I can take it on the go w/ me occasionally.

    I've had a few Dell desktops & laptops, but will probably never get Dell again, especially after this experience:

    http://forums.atozteacherstuff.com/showthread.php?t=165044&highlight=dell

    If I was to keep getting PCs, I'd get HP, whether it was a desktop or laptop. But in a couple of years, I want to switch over to Mac, but I don't know much about Macs. I just know I never hear complaints. Exactly what things about Mac doesn't your BF like?
     
  12. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    I have a Toshiba. I'm quite happy with it. The only issues I've had with it are the screen broke (obviously not the manufacturer's fault) and the battery is now dead. Like I have to keep it plugged in or it turns off instantly. I've had my laptop for about 3 years. I have the extra number keys on the side, which I use all the time. I paid for extra processing speed, etc, but I don't play games on my laptop so I'm not sure how it is.
     
  13. TeachingHistory

    TeachingHistory Companion

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    I have a Toshiba Satellite. It's going on four years old and it works like new still. I got the blue screen of death once and couldn't get it to turn back on at all, and I was terrified it completely died. I forget what happened to it, but it was fixed under warranty and its been fine ever since.

    There was some sort of sale going on when I bought it so I have more space then I'll ever need and I got the extra large battery. Lasted for about 7 hours. It kept its life until about 6 months ago. I think leaving it on all time running Aesop killed it. I got lazy and left it plugged in 24/7. I have about a half an hour of battery if I'm not doing anything taxing.

    Oh, and 2 of the 3 USB ports got pushed into the computer casing and are non-accessible somehow. So I only have one I can use. There is probably a way to fix it, but I have no idea how.

    Right now I'm thinking about cleaning it out and and replacing the battery.
     
  14. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    I have a Dell. I like my laptop, but I don't like the customer service at Dell. If I were going to purchase a new one I would try and buy one from Costco.
     
  15. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    My last two or three computers have been HPs and I love them. This current laptop I purchased in 2005 and am still using it (though I am thinking of getting a newer one in a few months since this one is now slow and probably doesn't have much life in it).
     
  16. brigidy

    brigidy Comrade

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    I have a Toshiba, but I have only had it a month and absolutely love it!
     
  17. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    My laptop is unique to say the least and it's really not for everyone. For pros: It's military grade indestructible (I require this laptop because most electronics last a grand total of 30 days with me before they're found in pieces - I've had this laptop since my early college years). It is a tablet PC meaning it has a pen that can be used to write on the screen which can lay flat.

    For cons: It weighs as much as a brick. It looks like a brick. It's speed is nothing to write home about though it can handle the everyday use I give it (which is nothing more than light internet browsing and word-processing). It is probably extremely outdated at this point, but I keep it clean so it runs smoothly.

    It's a Panasonic Toughbook CF-19 btw.
     
  18. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Thank you to everyone for the suggestions and a special shout out to Peregrin for giving me such a detailed breakdown. I definately have my work cut out for me! I'll have to take a look at Best Buy on Black Friday I guess and see what'll give me the most bang for my buck (I don't want to pay more than $500 unless I can set up a payment plan)
     
  19. ScubaSteve

    ScubaSteve Rookie

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    I'll throw in a vote for Acer. They've been good to me. Never an issue. Just got a new Travelmate 5760 that I really like, especially the keyboard. Still have a Dell from around 2004. Had to replace the keyboard though. Lenovo is also good, but i hate the "chicklet" style keyboards on the "Edge" models. I had a Fujitsu that I liked. The first one I got though had an issue where it wouldn't hibernate. Second one has been great. I have a 15" Macbook pro and honestly even running Windows on it, I like the other laptops more. I hate the Macbook keyboard and only two close USB ports, and no VGA port.
     
  20. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    Why doesn't he like Macs? Has he really given them a chance?

    My comp sci major friend says if he's insisting on a PC, go with HP. They're the best laptop company out there right now. Do NOT get a Dell. I have one right now and it's a piece of garbage.
     
  21. bros

    bros Phenom

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    On Black Friday (Or with an education discount) you MIGHT be able to snag one for around 500, but probably a bit above ($650 at most)

    One thing you want to keep an eye out for: Since he wants to play games, make sure it does not use an integrated graphics card (usually something like Intel GMA xxxx HD or Intel HD Graphics).

    Intel graphics cards can just do the basics of displaying stuff on the monitor and showing youtube videos
     
  22. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Yeah, that's what I asked in my post too.
     
  23. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    I don't like Macs either. I think it's just cause I first used a PC. When I had to use a mac laptop for work I wanted my old laptop back. Maybe it's the same reason for her bf.

    I do have a guy friend that hated Jobs and Apple. Can't remember why.
     
  24. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I've only had/used PCs. Will it be too much of getting used to if I finally got an iMac?
     
  25. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    PC & MAC aren't as different as they used to be

    I used both a Mac and a PC today, and I didn't have too much trouble. I love the weight of the Mac. It's super thin, and it ran faster than my desktop PC . . . but it's brand new, too. My desktop is at least 5 years old.
     
  26. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Just bought a laptop myself. A few things:

    1) I've had 17", and I now have 15". The 17" was huge, and a b- to carry around. Quite the behemoth. 15 is much more practical IMO.

    2) If you don't have an account at BestBuy (e.g.) consider setting up an account. Many of these stores offering 0% financing (for 12-18 months). You can painlessly pay for it, as long as you don't forget to pay one month!
     
  27. bros

    bros Phenom

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    A desktop with a SSD (Solid State Drive) with Windows on it can boot up in around 5-8 seconds.
     
  28. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    I had no trouble going from a PC to a Mac. We have owned both, and as of now, we are strictly Mac. I love the ease of it, and the fact that we get No viruses.
     
  29. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Oops, sorry I didn't see that.

    Both of us grew up using PCs in school, then college and now we use PCs at work. He also hates the Mac's huge mouse pad. I know he could easily use attach an external mouse, but sometimes that isn't an option (like right now I am sitting with my laptop on my lap typing on the couch, so I dont want an external mouse)

    It's also personal preference
     
  30. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Macs can and will get viruses.

    No system is immune to viruses.

    Because of the recent increase in popularity of Macs, virus development for Macs has become a bit of a... booming industry, so to speak.
     

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