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Need "cheap" laptop

Old 03-04-2012, 04:07 AM
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Default Need "cheap" laptop

My Father in Law (68 yrs old and not in good health) is wanting us to hook him up to the net.

He is severe diabetic and has hard time getting around and I think he would really enjoy it.

He is not wanting to spend a lot of money but I thought maybe ya'll give me some ideas on a "cheap" laptop It will be nothing more than searching the net from his recliner

We bought my son one for Christmas from Dell and seems like it was about $500 or so but wondering if something out there for less that is fairly decent

I imagine Admiral and I will end up buying it for him
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Old 03-04-2012, 04:10 AM
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Dells are available in WalMart and Sams Clubs. I would check them out on line and see they have anything you want.
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Old 03-04-2012, 04:38 AM
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Ran my little 10 inch mini by the computer shop the other day and upped the memory to two gigs and we were talking about laptops. He told me he could not compare to walmart prices.
I buy mine through verizon but I love the smaller 10 inch mini's. Just bought another one for spare. 100 dollars but I have the wireless contract and drive them crazy cause I won't switch from Alltel.. . All I use mine for is bouncing internet, e mails, the forums I play on and the Delorme GPS program so for internet it works fine.

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Old 03-04-2012, 04:40 AM
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cheap laptops should be thought of as a two year investment. Things like fans, batteries, chargers break on them way before they would on a more expensive one.

Maybe a tablet with wireless keyboard would suit him better?
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Old 03-04-2012, 04:47 AM
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I tried Walmart for a cheap laptop but they couldn't compare to Best Buys or Tigerdirect if you dig into what your getting.

Simple research into Memory and processor speed and walmart couldn't compete. Their machines where a little less expensive, maybe by $30 bucks or so, but all had major slow processors and half the ram I ended up with online.
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Old 03-04-2012, 04:49 AM
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I've have a Toshiba Sattelite L355 with a 17" screen I got my wife 4 years ago that still works perfect for $325 I take it with us and do reports and proposals when we're on vacation 'self employed never get a true vacation'. Gave my daughter one as well after the same cost Dell petered out rather quickly.
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Old 03-04-2012, 05:28 AM
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Got a 15" gateway core i3 in the fall for $325. Works great, does well with the abuse from 3 boys at home. Have an older gatway that still works but the screen broke from being dropped. Not worth fixing when new ones cost so little.
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Old 03-04-2012, 05:43 AM
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The Acer one is a good little laptop. I picked mine up for $300. Had more ram than the others in its price range. The battery seems to last forever. While it may be true a cheaper netbook or laptop may not last as long, so what. You can by a new one every 3 years with the newest operating system and newest technology. That is about a $100 a year. Even the best laptops are outdated quickly. I am done buying expensive machines.
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Old 03-04-2012, 05:51 AM
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Originally Posted by mikeloew View Post
The Acer one is a good little laptop. I picked mine up for $300. Had more ram than the others in its price range. The battery seems to last forever. While it may be true a cheaper netbook or laptop may not last as long, so what. You can by a new one every 3 years with the newest operating system and newest technology. That is about a $100 a year. Even the best laptops are outdated quickly. I am done buying expensive machines.
Even the best laptops are outdated quickly? Not really..

My workplace has somewhere around 200 users all with laptops. They are on their 4th year with their t61 lenovo's cost was about 1000 per user.

We are JUST starting to see hard drive failures, these machines are on 7-12 hours a day for business use and the rest of the time personal use...

As hard drives fail we are going to SSD's for the users, of course they are much faster.

My point is that if you spend good money on high quality stuff things like fans giving out, running hot, melting batteries, etc do not happen.

Nothing wrong with a cheap laptop, but you explain that to my best friend who bought a 400 dollar toshiba that 2 years down the road has a wireless problem...a capacitor issue caused it to constantly lose connection. It was not able to be fixed and now sits in my basement, he spent 800 on a lenovo and couldn't be happier.
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Old 03-04-2012, 06:06 AM
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Counterpoint to the high end laptop. We have Dells and HPs at work, higher end ones that ran $1000+. 3 year leases. Many have issues before the leases are up. They get used hard, many used outside the office type environment. So if they last 4 years, comes down to $250/year. I'll take my cheap $300 version and if it lasts 2 years, better off.
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Old 03-04-2012, 06:20 AM
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I helped a friend get his first laptop about 6 months ago. It was a Toshiba for $329. If it works out of the box and he doesn't drop it or spill coffee on it, it should be fine for him. Just do him a favor and help him get rid of all the pre-loaded junk that comes on them. My buddy who was not very internet savvy ended up with 5 or 6 toolbars that took up half the screen.
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Old 03-04-2012, 06:25 AM
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Is he reasonably computer savvy?

Any "cheap" laptop will be fine but you will have the same problems with all of them when it comes to teaching him to use it, "difficulties" of a laptop (small screen, pointing devices, etc) and hassles with viruses etc for windows.

Have you considered a tablet instead? It is a different learning curve but not a bad one. An ipad+keyboard is not cheap and NORMALLY I would not suggest it as a replacement for a laptop, but it might be worth considering for your use case. (small screen still an issue but "zooming" works great) With rumors of the new ipads coming out you could probably pick up an ipad 2 for under $400.
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Old 03-04-2012, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Flot View Post
Is he reasonably computer savvy?

Any "cheap" laptop will be fine but you will have the same problems with all of them when it comes to teaching him to use it, "difficulties" of a laptop (small screen, pointing devices, etc) and hassles with viruses etc for windows.

Have you considered a tablet instead? It is a different learning curve but not a bad one. An ipad+keyboard is not cheap and NORMALLY I would not suggest it as a replacement for a laptop, but it might be worth considering for your use case. (small screen still an issue but "zooming" works great)
Not computer savy at all, he is no dummy just never used one but I am sure will pick it up pretty easy

I suggested a tablet but Admiral thinks that would be hard to use than a laptop but I think she is going to let him come over and try both at our house before we do anything

I have also looked at refurbished Dells for about $350 or so
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Old 03-04-2012, 06:54 AM
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Newegg.com or Fry's


http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Asus+-+1...&skuId=4776005
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Old 03-04-2012, 07:04 AM
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I dont know what some posters expectations are.

I bought a used DELL Latitude E5500 that was used during a politicians campaign. She lost and they sold he equipment.

Was about $150.00 the hardrive was clean and it had all of the discs for a "new" set up.

I use it when I work from home and on vacation.

Everyone in the house uses it except for my 13 y/o who has a Macbook Pro.

What's wrong with that picture?

I would roll the dice on ebay or craigslist.
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Old 03-04-2012, 07:09 AM
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Maybe a tablet with wireless keyboard would suit him better?
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Old 03-04-2012, 07:14 AM
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Good points. if he is older maybe a bigger screen would be beneficial. If you buy him a cheap laptop, you might have enough money left over to sign him up for one of those 1-2 day classes, Windows for dummy's. No matter what he gets he will need a basic understanding.
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Old 03-04-2012, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by tprice View Post
Not computer savy at all, he is no dummy just never used one but I am sure will pick it up pretty easy

I suggested a tablet but Admiral thinks that would be hard to use than a laptop but I think she is going to let him come over and try both at our house before we do anything

I have also looked at refurbished Dells for about $350 or so
My mom had a hard time with typing on my ipad, but loved the overall usability - I recently picked up a bluetooth keyboard for mine and was surprised at how easy it became to compose long emails etc.

If I were buying a PC for someone who "didn't need" a PC, I would be hard pressed to do anything but a tablet. If apple made a 20" Ipad (you know what I mean) I think it would be the IDEAL device for seniors.

On the flip side my mother in law's computer makes it about 3 days before she picks up a virus from "click here to do something fun" links online, which means it's monthly maintenance for me.
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Old 03-04-2012, 07:21 AM
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Todays cheap laptops are better than 1000 dollar lap tops from 7 years ago. Buy em cheap and toss them in a couple or 4 years when they start acting up. Great way to stay up with the curve. Office max and the like all have them as the ones already mentioned. Get him the biggest screen you can.
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Old 03-04-2012, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Flot View Post
My mom had a hard time with typing on my ipad, but loved the overall usability - I recently picked up a bluetooth keyboard for mine and was surprised at how easy it became to compose long emails etc.

If I were buying a PC for someone who "didn't need" a PC, I would be hard pressed to do anything but a tablet. If apple made a 20" Ipad (you know what I mean) I think it would be the IDEAL device for seniors.

On the flip side my mother in law's computer makes it about 3 days before she picks up a virus from "click here to do something fun" links online, which means it's monthly maintenance for me.

Yup, the tablet + wireless keyboard really is a great experience.
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