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mack_turtle

Need a computer

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My laptop is on it's last leg. Looking for recommendations. I mostly need it for the freelance writing I do. I write articles using Google Docs and WordPress, so I really need something that won't bog down while using a browser. I'm not playing games or editing feature-length movies on it.

I see some simple laptops online for under $300. Any reason why something that cheap is going to let me down?

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Are you a heavy typist?  Are you picky about keyboard feel?  How about do you like a touchpad or the little nub some laptops have? 

Having asked all that, someone here was listing a Lenovo T460 new for $450 (killer deal).  If you can swing that extra $150 you'll get quite a lot more quality.  

I've bought really cheap laptops and have been unhappy with them mostly because of keyboard feel and touchpad feel.  I personally stay away from the cheap HP.  Lenovos seem to do really well (one of two choices we have at work).  My wife is very happy with her Acer.  I also have a mini tower Acer that's my media computer.  I've had it since 2010 and still works great.  I'm pretty happy with the Acer brand quality.

If I were buying for the purpose of what you're describing, I'd pick by keyboard feel (because I'm picky and I'm a heavy typist), touchpad performance, screen resolution, then I'd maximize the memory and disk size for my budget.  Without needing graphics capability, you should be able to get what you want for $300.

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Touchpads always make me want to throw myself in front of an 18-wheeler (one that's moving fast, not 5:30 I-35 lower deck traffic). Give me a damn mouse!

Never thought about keyboard feel.

I might have to hook it up to a second monitor so I have more visual space to lay out my research materials. So it has to have a physical port to hook up an external monitor. I've done that with my old Lenovo Thinkpad with success, but it's dying now.

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Yeah my wife hates touchpads, while I use mine even for CAD work.  Though I have to admit, they are vastly different from brand to brand.  Some are horrible.  I'm just glad you don't like the little joystick thing.  Now, those people are weird. 🙂

The landscape of what ports come with new laptops is changing.  I haven't looked into the latest Windows laptops but I think they mostly come with HDMI now.   That may be a consideration for you depending on whether you already have a monitor.

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I have a monitor. Not sure if it has HMDI or VGA but either will work with the right cable. Resolution is not as important as visual real estate. I just need room to fit a few things on the screen at a time.

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I have an older Dell Latitude, maybe 5 or 6 years old. Works perfectly fine, and my son used to watch HBO on it. I'll find it and get back with you.

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Any modern 64-bit low cost computer like you describe should be fine for text work and browsing. Those tasks shouldn't load the system much.

Then, with money saved you can spring for a really nice USB or Wireless Keyboard and Mouse with the feel that suits you. Laptop keyboards, as a rule, are a compromise, at best.

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20 hours ago, texbiker said:

Sounds like a Chromebook would work for your needs. Look at the Samsung Chromebook Plus.

This! I have an Asus and it rocks. Chromebook FTW.

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