Best Laptop?
General Topic
Contributors to this thread:
SIP 28-Sep-21
35-Acre 29-Sep-21
SIP 29-Sep-21
PECO 29-Sep-21
JB 29-Sep-21
XMan 30-Sep-21
Jack Whitmrie jr 30-Sep-21
DanaC 30-Sep-21
Grey Ghost 30-Sep-21
PECO 30-Sep-21
APauls 30-Sep-21
spike78 30-Sep-21
DanaC 30-Sep-21
soccern23ny 30-Sep-21
WapitiBob 02-Oct-21
Annony Mouse 02-Oct-21
SIP 03-Oct-21
From: SIP
You tech guys…. I need to get a laptop as my work issued microsoft surface pro crapped out and there aren't plans to replace it. I use it sparingly and much less than expected for work, so there just isnt a point for them to replace it.

I also used it at home, and it was my primary source for checking trail cams. I did love the computer overall for the most part, it was nice to have the keyboard but also touch screen capabilities that made it a tablet. It was light and not too big/bulky and rode well in a backpack. But i had the first one replaced because a section of the screen lost its ability to read touch for touchscreen. Then this one, the motherboard just flat went on it. I know electronics are electronics, but i didnt beat the thing up and i guess as much as i want to love it, the issues i had in a handful of years of having it just makes me think it either isnt a good unit OR possibly, it just doesnt have any ruggedness to it.

So, i need to get a laptop for at home. I would also like to be able to take it to the field to check trail cams. I have done the point n shoot cam thing, seem to run into issues sometimes. Ive tried 3 of the iphone cardreaders and every damn one works like a dream the first half dozen times i use it and then it acts like theres nothing on the card to read anymore.

My question for u tech guys, what is a reputable unit for the money? I dont need anything extravagant, but need something that i can use at home for typing something up, browsing bowsite on the interweb and also can be thrown in a bookbag and taken to the field and i dont have to treat it like an egg while doing so. I dont NEED touchscreen as well as the keypad but if i have to choose, i want the keypad.

Any opinions from ppl in this line of business? Thanks in advance if anybody has guidance

From: 35-Acre
This came up on another site too from someone else. This is what I replied (pure copy & paste)...

I'll preface all of this with my "credentials" to lay some credence with my opinion - LOL. I've been working in the technology field for over 25 years. Much of that time, during my career, I have risen through the ranks at a large financial institution where technology has risen to the forefront of everything we do. The work is non-stop. That being said... I don't have a help desk for my family. I don't have teams of people dedicated to support my family with internet protection, office products, browsing, etc.

So, I'm a HUGE fan of the Chromebook! They are super simple. No 20 minute software downloads and updates every time you turn it on, no extra $oftware needed, etc. They are basically a piece of hardware with an embedded web browser (all the apps are web-based and on the more newer models you can use many of the same apps as you install on your phone). So the updates are few and far between. The reboot or power on cycle is SOOOOO FAST! And battery life is phenomenal!

For my own sanity and to get time back in my life from helping others, I have gotten chromebooks for my mother-in-law, father, and my wife. Obviously I was tired of having to be the "support guy"... I started with getting one for my wife and it passed "the wife test" (meaning no complaining, nothing broken, etc.). She could print, open files, browse the web, and so on. I now have user names and passwords for the rest of my family and if they have trouble, I can just login on my Chromebook with their account see what's going on because the user experience is the same for each user on almost any device. So I can spot their problem and either fix it or show them how. My wife actually helps her mom that way; something I never would have expected from two people who are not technical.

Of course, you need a gmail account and you upload all of your documents to Google Drive (yeah - word, powerpoint, excel, etc. can all be opened in the web-based Google apps). Setup your printer and you're done.

As for devices, there aren't a lot of parts inside. You don't need a TON of RAM, hard drive space, etc. This makes them super cheap! And the battery charge lasts seemingly forever; I know I said it already but it's true. It's actually the price that had me try it out because for a couple hundred if it didn't work for my wife, I would just keep it.

I have gotten them through Amazon (re-furbished) lately. While I am working from home and have been, my chromebook has become a mainstay on my desk. Sure, my work equipment is great - 35" curved screen with all the bells and whistles and my $2000+ laptop docked to it are great. But when I just want to do something quick (personal stuff), I open the lid on my chromebook and just get things done.


You can connect a wireless keyboard or mouse.

There are SD or Micros SD slots along with USB slots for connecting other stuff.

You can save the Google version of office products to the Micro$oft version (i.e. excel, word and other microsoft applications)

From: SIP
Thanks for the info Dave, greatly appreciate it. I will research them a bit!

From: PECO
One of my computer geek friends, who used to overclock and build them back in the early 90's, recommended a chromebook for me. He uses one. I've had it for probably 4 years now, my wife has had hers for maybe 2 years. Not going back to PC microsuck crap ever again.

From: JB
Bought my father a chromebook and it sucks. Can't print half the time. Have to go thru all kinds of gyracions to get it to start. Will NEVER buy another one.

From: XMan
Cheap and easy Chromebooks are just that… cheap and easy, my kids had them and they are sufficient for email, surfing web, and writing docs. They don’t last long though so know it’s likely a 3 year type investment.

Inexpensive and ok - Lenovo they work good, just make sure you buy a configuration that has a higher rated chip set and have a lifeline when it pukes and goes blue screen in a few years LOl.

Expensive and better - Dell XPS is pricey but a far better laptop with touch screen. I use one for work and it’s reliable, fairly easy to manage and Dell has a good support network.

All depends what you want to spend really and how much tech you want for the laptop. I would stay away from a MacBook if you have never owned one, just has little nuances you need to learn and they are more money than the above options.

I buy for the family and always buy at " best buy " because they have geek squad support. That way ole dad is not the support desk for the whole family. I have good luck with HP computers and Dell Computers.

From: DanaC
I'm on my third MAC since 2002 and you couldn't PAY me to get or use Windows. Dealt with that crap for years at work, be in the middle of editing and *full stop lock-up dead.* Lose a half hour of work.

Yeah, Macs are more expensive, but ease-of-use matters and Mac is so far ahead... Build quality is way up there too. Got 9 years out of my last one, and the new one has solid state memory. No moving disc. Way faster.

PS yeah, there's a bit of a learning curve with Macs, but once you learn a few applications they're 'intuitive'.

From: Grey Ghost
I bought my first Mac in 1987, and haven't used anything but Macs for personal use since. I've dealt with Windows at work, and I agree with Dana, it sux.


From: PECO
JB you got a lemon, that isn't the norm for a chromebook. Xman I guess my chromebook did not get the memo that it is suppose to die withing 3 years.

From: APauls
Anything non-mac is has been about a 4 year deal for me. If you can nurse them that long. Bought a macbook like 8 years ago that will still outperform most laptops. Blows my mind. Even the battery still lasts a long time!!! Every mac user you talk to says the same thing. They are the Swarovski of computers, except financially in the long run they're the cheapest.

From: spike78
I can’t recommend what to buy but I can say I have had bad luck with Lenovo and HP. My HP absolutely sucked! Do ChromeBooks have slots for SD cards? Or a port for Sd card readers?

From: DanaC

DanaC's embedded Photo
DanaC's embedded Photo
Get one of these, they're cheap ($10) and plug into a standard usb slot. (I need an adapter for my latest Mac but that works with my printer etc. too.)

Looked up 'chromebook ports' and it seems they all have at least one usb.

From: soccern23ny
Lenovo... AMD processors run way cooler than gpu

From: WapitiBob
If you need a laptop, buy a laptop. I use Acer, Asus has been OK as well. You'll need to spend about $700 to get one that hasn't been throttled back with windows S, has 8 gig ram and 256 gig ssd. Couldn't give me a chromebook. You can replace a touchscreen for about $100 and 30 minutes. They're way better on paper than real life; I went without one on the laptop I bought a few weeks ago.

From: Annony Mouse
Unless one has special needs/software, a chromebook is the way to go. One can spend more money to get a little faster processor, more memory and touch screen; but unless one is doing heavy graphics processing, it will be hard to tell the difference for most activities. Best thing is that for the price, one can have several at reasonable cost.

My daily use is a 2009(!) Toshiba running Mint far better than a much newer Windows computer--even with an "outdated" CPU! I maxed out the memory on the Toshiba and put a new solid state HD replacing the original drive. One of the reasons I've held on to this computer is that I have not used a computer with a better keyboard than it has.

From: SIP
Picked up a chromebook, refurbished lenovo. Figured for $230 to the door, if i come to find it insufficient for what i need, my kids have one to use. They use school issued chromebooks for school work, that go back to school at the end of the year. So itll be put to use on way or another. Thanks for the input guys

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