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Thread: Recommendations for a Laptop?

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  1. #1
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    Default Recommendations for a Laptop?

    I am looking to purchase a new laptop in the next few days, and I thought I would come here since I imagine most of you use your laptops for similar purposes as me--MS Word, Powerpoint, maybe Publisher, web browsing, occasional multimedia, and of course, BibleWorks.

    I want to stick with a 17-inch display. I have a hard time with smaller screens, and with the four panes now in BW, going smaller just doesn't make sense for me. I've never really found it too cumbersome to tote around.

    I have heard good things about Asus computers although I have never used one. It seems there is a huge discrepancy in price between 17-inch laptops from the same manufacturer. http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olstemplatemapper.jsp?id=pcat17080&type=page&qp=q7 0726f63657373696e6774696d653a3e313930302d30312d303 1~~cabcat0500000%23%230%23%2311a~~cabcat0502000%23 %230%23%23o~~f510||41737573~~nf534||31372671756f74 3b20616e64205570&list=y&nrp=15&sc=abComputerSP&ks= 960&usc=abcat0500000&sp=-bestsellingsort+skuid&list=y&iht=n&st=processingti me%3A%3E1900-01-01#storeInventoryLink Are these differences relevant to someone who doesn't play video games, and rarely watches movies? Or do I need to pony up to get decent performance for what I want to do? Or am I barking up the wrong tree altogether?

    Any help or information from recent personal experiences along these lines would be appreciated.
    καὶ ὑπὲρ πάντων ἀπέθανεν ἵνα οἱ ζῶντες μηκέτι ἑαυτοῖς ζῶσιν, ἀλλὰ τῷ ὑπὲρ αὐτῶν ἀποθανόντι καὶ ἐγερθέντι.

  2. #2
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    Hey Lee,

    I can't really comment on the Asus since I have no experience with them. However a company that has definitely caught my eye and won my admiration is Acer. They seem to be putting out pretty good laptops these days. I am on my third consecutive HP laptop and I have, some time ago, sworn to myself that I would never again get an HP laptop. Interestingly, HP recently revealed that they are going to be divesting themselves of their personal computing division and manufacturing, which is just as well; I have just about had it "up to here" with them. My next laptop will probably be an Acer, though I will probably consider Dell as well. Do you have a subscription to Consumer Reports? You can get an online subscription for about $20.00/yr. They are usually excellent and "spot on" with their ratings. If I were you, I would look up their article and ratings on laptop computers.

    Irving

  3. #3
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    Not to distract you from your question, but...

    Do you really use your laptop primarily for the portability feature or do you want a desktop replacement? A 17 inch laptop seems a bit much to me. I'd rather it be smaller and then when I want to really use it, plug it into a big external monitor.
    Michael Hanel
    PhD candidate Classics Univ. of Cincinnati
    MDiv Concordia Seminary
    MA Classics Washington University
    Unofficial BibleWorks Blog
    LibraryThing!

  4. #4
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    I have a HP laptop with 17" display, 8GB RAM, and it's the best computer I've ever owned. I don't even use a desktop anymore, as this one does everything and more that I coulld hope for. I run Office 2010 Pro, BW 8, Adobe X, Visual Studio 2010, Paint Shop Pro X, etc., and everything is blazingly fast. I do use a wireless keyboard and mouse when I'm at my desk instead of the pad and keys on the laptop itself, but they are both easy to use if I am using the computer away from my desk.

    I would recommend that you go with AT LEAST 8GB RAM on whatever computer you get. I'll probably be upgrading mine to 16GB or even 32GB in the future. But as of now, it is already very, very fast.

    EDIT: I should add, my laptop is 64-bit, but I think that's all they're really selling anymore for the up-to-date machines.
    Last edited by Adelphos; 10-21-2011 at 06:06 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ISalzman View Post
    Hey Lee,

    I can't really comment on the Asus since I have no experience with them. However a company that has definitely caught my eye and won my admiration is Acer. They seem to be putting out pretty good laptops these days. I am on my third consecutive HP laptop and I have, some time ago, sworn to myself that I would never again get an HP laptop. Interestingly, HP recently revealed that they are going to be divesting themselves of their personal computing division and manufacturing, which is just as well; I have just about had it "up to here" with them. My next laptop will probably be an Acer, though I will probably consider Dell as well. Do you have a subscription to Consumer Reports? You can get an online subscription for about $20.00/yr. They are usually excellent and "spot on" with their ratings. If I were you, I would look up their article and ratings on laptop computers.
    Thanks for the suggestions, Irving. I went ahead and subscribed to Consumer Reports for one month (I think it was $5.95). They didn't have a comprehensive list of reviews, but it had some good ideas. Interestingly enough, they favored the HP (that you warned against) and the Dell (with which I have had significant problems).

    One positive thing about Asus is that they have U.S.-based customer support. I'm pretty sure neither Dell nor HP do. I have no idea about Acer.


    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Hanel View Post
    Do you really use your laptop primarily for the portability feature or do you want a desktop replacement? A 17 inch laptop seems a bit much to me. I'd rather it be smaller and then when I want to really use it, plug it into a big external monitor.
    I'm not sure I understand your question. Yes, I carry my laptop with me quite a bit. I bring it when I make Power Point presentations, and I like the large screen because I can see it better at a distance (albeit a slight distance). I also use it on occasions when I am being taught in a classroom setting to take notes. Again, the 17-inch is what I am used to--I could probably adapt if need so dictated, but I would rather stay with a larger screen. I have never found it to be any kind of hassle to carry around a 17-inch laptop--is there some other reason why a smaller screen would be better?


    Quote Originally Posted by Adelphos View Post
    I have a HP laptop with 17" display, 8GB RAM, and it's the best computer I've ever owned. I don't even use a desktop anymore, as this one does everything and more that I coulld hope for. I run Office 2010 Pro, BW 8, Adobe X, Visual Studio 2010, Paint Shop Pro X, etc., and everything is blazingly fast. I do use a wireless keyboard and mouse when I'm at my desk instead of the pad and keys on the laptop itself, but they are both easy to use if I am using the computer away from my desk.

    I would recommend that you go with AT LEAST 8GB RAM on whatever computer you get. I'll probably be upgrading mine to 16GB or even 32GB in the future. But as of now, it is already very, very fast.

    EDIT: I should add, my laptop is 64-bit, but I think that's all they're really selling anymore for the up-to-date machines.
    Thanks for the info and advice. That sounds in line with what Computer Reports had to say about the HP, but they hadn't tested any with that kind of memory. But I will keep what you said about that in mind.
    καὶ ὑπὲρ πάντων ἀπέθανεν ἵνα οἱ ζῶντες μηκέτι ἑαυτοῖς ζῶσιν, ἀλλὰ τῷ ὑπὲρ αὐτῶν ἀποθανόντι καὶ ἐγερθέντι.

  6. #6
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    HP has reversed itself on the computer issue. With the new CEO, they have stated that they are going to remain in the computer hardware business and even make that their prime effort in computers.

    I have an ASUS netbook and I like it, but I would rather go with a US firm on my main computer, especially since the HP has been rated so highly by the reviewers.

    Irving, just out of curiosity, does your HP have an Intel chip?

    I had problems with an HP desktop that didn't have the Intel chip, but every one I've had with a Intel chip, including my present laptop, has worked flawlessly.

  7. #7
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    Hey Lee,

    I can absolutely confirm for you that HP does NOT have US based support. It is outsourced to the Asia and the Philippines, etc. No aspersions on those countries, but it is very hard to understand and communicate with the support reps and/with their HEAVY accents. Call quality is not good either. The other thing I've found is that it takes them forever to determine that you have a warranty and support plan. I've been on the phone sometimes for a good half an hour before they were able to locate me in their system. And Scott, yes, every HP laptop I've ever had - and HP desktop too! - has had an Intel chip. For reasons beyond my comprehension, I have just not had good experiences with HP, neither with the hardware, nor with the support. And their printers, supposedly the core engine of their business, forget about it! They have been just dreadful for me. Three different HP All-in-one printers over the last ten years and all of them have been problematic in one way or another. In fact, not long ago, HP lost a class action suit that several plaintiffs launched against their printers. The lawsuit alleged that HP printers would alert their users that they were low on ink prematurely and would stop working. The lawsuit charges were upheld in court and HP was ordered to make restitution to those customers that were part of the class action suit. I didn't join in - I'm not the "class action-type" - but I can vouch from my own personal experience, as to the veracity of the charges. To sum up, I am not really the complaining type - I'm generally pretty easy to please. But my experience with HP has not been very good. And I have bought 1 desktop, three laptops, and 5 printers from them over the years. No more. My next purchase will be from a competitor. No axe to grind; I'm just tired of all the headaches and problems.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ISalzman View Post
    Hey Lee,

    I can absolutely confirm for you that HP does NOT have US based support. It is outsourced to the Asia and the Philippines, etc. No aspersions on those countries, but it is very hard to understand and communicate with the support reps and/with their HEAVY accents. Call quality is not good either. The other thing I've found is that it takes them forever to determine that you have a warranty and support plan. I've been on the phone sometimes for a good half an hour before they were able to locate me in their system. And Scott, yes, every HP laptop I've ever had - and HP desktop too! - has had an Intel chip. For reasons beyond my comprehension, I have just not had good experiences with HP, neither with the hardware, nor with the support. And their printers, supposedly the core engine of their business, forget about it! They have been just dreadful for me. Three different HP All-in-one printers over the last ten years and all of them have been problematic in one way or another. In fact, not long ago, HP lost a class action suit that several plaintiffs launched against their printers. The lawsuit alleged that HP printers would alert their users that they were low on ink prematurely and would stop working. The lawsuit charges were upheld in court and HP was ordered to make restitution to those customers that were part of the class action suit. I didn't join in - I'm not the "class action-type" - but I can vouch from my own personal experience, as to the veracity of the charges. To sum up, I am not really the complaining type - I'm generally pretty easy to please. But my experience with HP has not been very good. And I have bought 1 desktop, three laptops, and 5 printers from them over the years. No more. My next purchase will be from a competitor. No axe to grind; I'm just tired of all the headaches and problems.
    I agree with you about the printers to a degree. I have been buying HP printers for ever, but this last time I bought the Samsung Color laser printer, which was cheaper and has more capabilities than the HP in the same class. I don't know if HP has an advantage in their top-end printers, but they certainly don't in my class.

    With regard to HP support, while I've never called them on the phone, I have used Live Chat a few times with them, and I've always been able to get the issue resolved or the question answered. But other than the desktop without a Intel chip, I have never had any major issues.

    All I can figure is, you must have cursed HP sometimes in the past without knowing it!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ISalzman View Post
    Hey Lee,

    I can absolutely confirm for you that HP does NOT have US based support. It is outsourced to the Asia and the Philippines, etc. No aspersions on those countries, but it is very hard to understand and communicate with the support reps and/with their HEAVY accents. Call quality is not good either. The other thing I've found is that it takes them forever to determine that you have a warranty and support plan. I've been on the phone sometimes for a good half an hour before they were able to locate me in their system. And Scott, yes, every HP laptop I've ever had - and HP desktop too! - has had an Intel chip. For reasons beyond my comprehension, I have just not had good experiences with HP, neither with the hardware, nor with the support. And their printers, supposedly the core engine of their business, forget about it! They have been just dreadful for me. Three different HP All-in-one printers over the last ten years and all of them have been problematic in one way or another. In fact, not long ago, HP lost a class action suit that several plaintiffs launched against their printers. The lawsuit alleged that HP printers would alert their users that they were low on ink prematurely and would stop working. The lawsuit charges were upheld in court and HP was ordered to make restitution to those customers that were part of the class action suit. I didn't join in - I'm not the "class action-type" - but I can vouch from my own personal experience, as to the veracity of the charges. To sum up, I am not really the complaining type - I'm generally pretty easy to please. But my experience with HP has not been very good. And I have bought 1 desktop, three laptops, and 5 printers from them over the years. No more. My next purchase will be from a competitor. No axe to grind; I'm just tired of all the headaches and problems.
    I have actually had mixed experiences with HP. I bought an HP laptop around 2001 and had nothing but positive experiences with it. As a matter of fact, those positive experiences led me to buy another HP my next time out (nothing went wrong with the first one--my son who was two years old at the time apparently thought it was thirsty--so he poured a glass of water on the keyboard).

    I bought my second HP laptop used, and I had quite a few problems with it. I never knew whether to blame it more on HP or on the fact it was used. But that is also the period when I acquired my aversion to HP's Asian-based customer support. Not that they don't work just as hard as or harder than U.S.-based customer support, but the language barrier can be too much to overcome.
    καὶ ὑπὲρ πάντων ἀπέθανεν ἵνα οἱ ζῶντες μηκέτι ἑαυτοῖς ζῶσιν, ἀλλὰ τῷ ὑπὲρ αὐτῶν ἀποθανόντι καὶ ἐγερθέντι.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    I'm not sure I understand your question. Yes, I carry my laptop with me quite a bit. I bring it when I make Power Point presentations, and I like the large screen because I can see it better at a distance (albeit a slight distance). I also use it on occasions when I am being taught in a classroom setting to take notes. Again, the 17-inch is what I am used to--I could probably adapt if need so dictated, but I would rather stay with a larger screen. I have never found it to be any kind of hassle to carry around a 17-inch laptop--is there some other reason why a smaller screen would be better?
    If you're okay with 17 inch and that's what you're used to, I guess it's no big deal. Some people like to have the best of all possible worlds, and they really don't like carrying around a big laptop, but at times they also like to have the bigger monitor workspace, so they get a smaller notebook (13 or 15inch) and then if they need to they can always plug it in to a larger monitor. This way they have better portability and they can still do things that others prefer to use a desktop for.
    Michael Hanel
    PhD candidate Classics Univ. of Cincinnati
    MDiv Concordia Seminary
    MA Classics Washington University
    Unofficial BibleWorks Blog
    LibraryThing!

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