Buying inexpensive notebook for mostly home use

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by gimpy1, Feb 9, 2020.

  1. gimpy1

    gimpy1 Newbie

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    General Questions

    1) What is your budget? $500

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?
    a. Ultraportable; 10" - 12" screen
    c. Thin and Light; 13" - 14" screen
    d. Mainstream; 15" - 16" screen
    e. Desktop Replacement; 17"+ screen;
    15-17 inches, POSSIBLY SMALLER

    3) Which country will you buying this notebook? USA

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like? NOT REALLY
    a. Like: DELL? LENOVO? HP? ASUS? MICROSOFT?
    b. Dislike: ACER? MAYBE (READ OF DURABILITY ISSUES)
    NOT FAMILIAR WITH THESE, EXCEPT FOR HP
    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed? NO

    6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook? GENERAL, NORMAL VIEWING AND BROWSING, SOME DOCUMENTS--WIFE WANTS TO PUT TOGETHER PICTURE BOOKS OF VACATIONS, Etc. NOTHING REAL MAJOR OR Difficult, I DON'T THINK

    7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both? BOTH

    8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? (If so, please state which games or types of games?). NO

    9) How many hours of battery life do you NEED? 6,7 OR 8? BEST POSSIBLE

    10) Would you prefer to see the notebooks you're considering before purchasing it or buying a notebook on-line without seeing it is OK? NOT NECESSARILY--BUT THERE IS A BEST BUY AND SAM'S CLUB IN MY TOWN

    11) What OS do you prefer? Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Chrome OS, etc. WINDOWS

    Screen Specifics

    12) What screen resolution(s) would you prefer? (See further below for explanations.). THE HIGHER DEFINITION, THE BETTER - - 1920 X1080? LESS IS PROBABLY GOOD

    13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen? (See further below for explanations.)
    NO PREFERENCE
    Build Quality and Design

    14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?
    SOMEWHAT (FOR THE WIFE)
    Notebook Components

    15) How much hard drive space do you need? THE MORE, THE BETTER - - 256GB+? MAYBE 128?

    Timing, Warranty and Longevity


    16) When are you buying this laptop? NEXT MONTH OR TWO , OR SOONER, IF POSSIBLE

    17) How long do you expect to use this LAPTOP? UNTIL IT QUITS

    18) How long could you afford to do without your laptop if it were to fail? DAYS, WEEKS

    19) Would you be willing to pay significantly extra for on-site warranty, or would it be acceptable to you to have to ship the laptop to the vendor for repair with perhaps a week or more outage?
    NOT SURE
    ==========
    END COPY

    This notebook will be replacing a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 which went on the fritz about a year ago. Wife bought an iPad to replace it, but, the iPad just can't do some of the functions that we need to do. We need a "computer" for those functions. She does not want another 2 in 1 (I do, but she wins out). We are both old(er) and retired. She worked at a university in management, so is familiar with the workings of a computer. Me? Not so much. .

    Researching for computers is like looking for anything else nowadays. There are a lot of different brands and models, so much so, that I get information OVERLOAD. No chrome books. Like everyone else, I want the most/best for the least.

    Thx, for any suggestions.
     
  2. Charles P. Jefferies

    Charles P. Jefferies Lead Moderator Super Moderator

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    Welcome. Thanks for filling out our form.

    The tasks you're doing with the computer can be handled by most new PCs sold today. Basic specifications to look for: a full HD screen (also known as 1080p or 1920x1080), 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. The processor (CPU) isn't important for you; an Intel Core i3 or i5 or an AMD Ryzen 3 or 5 would work great.

    I think a Dell Latitude from the Dell Outlet (click that link for our guide) would serve you well. They may not look super stylish, but they have good durability and should last you a while. Look for a model with the specifications above. You might have to stretch your budget a little. But another $100 won't kill you if you're going to keep the machine for many years.

    Charles
     
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  3. gimpy1

    gimpy1 Newbie

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    Thx, for answering, Charles. I have spent quite some time looking at the Dell outlet that you referred me to. Just a quick question. I'm not sure how to ask it. There are several Inspiron notebooks that seem to have, at least on face value to me, better specs overall, than the Latitude, at less cost. So, what would be the difference in price. Is it different hardware material (maybe plastic parts VS metal parts?) or is it the ram and drives inside the computer - - is A Latitude 256 ssd different than an Inspiron's 256 ssd drive. The same for the ram?

    I have done a lot of Googleing trying to find the best value laptop for my price range. I even stopped by Best Buy yesterday evening and spoke with a salesman and looked at computers they have. I still have 3-4 weeks or so before I will buy the laptop. The makes, models and information can be really overwhelming to someone like me. The points you have given me, is making things quite a bit clearer/easier to look for. Thx, again.
     
  4. saturnotaku

    saturnotaku Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Latitudes are business-class machines that tend to have better build quality and customer support.
     
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  5. Charles P. Jefferies

    Charles P. Jefferies Lead Moderator Super Moderator

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    The Inspiron notebooks can be of good quality if they're of the higher tier (7000 series). But the lower-tier ones aren't as robust, usually all plastic. See our article about business notebooks: http://www.notebookreview.com/feature/makes-true-business-notebook/

    As far as the components go, they probably aren't different to a meaningful degree. So as noted you are paying for build quality and better support.

    Charles
     
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  6. gimpy1

    gimpy1 Newbie

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    Thx, so much both of you. You have definitely started clearing things up for me and given me some more reading to do.. I will be discussing more intelligently with my better half to see what she might prefer, although she is the stickler when it comes to the budget . Again, thx.
     
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