Which are the better laptops to buy?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Del Pickup, Feb 26, 2016.

  1. rdwhitti

    rdwhitti Tele-Holic

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    Excellent advice if considering Apple. It could be argued that refurbished units are actually better than new with the same warranty. Refurbished by Apple, not some outside refurbisher.
     
  2. Del Pickup

    Del Pickup Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yes. The audio is fine withYouTube and playing mp3s. Its only with the GoPro studio software that there seems to be a problem but no-one who knows more about computers than I do seems to be able to work out what the problem might be.
     
  3. Radioking

    Radioking Tele-Meister

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    If you search "GoPro studio no sound" it seems that you're not the only one with the problem. I have no experience with the software, so I'm just going from others posts. If you go to advanced options in GP Studio do you have any of the slow down/speed up options selected?
     
  4. telleutelleme

    telleutelleme Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I usually get lots of negatives when I suggest refurbished HP workbooks, but I've bought 4 for work and one for myself and two friends. You can get a windows 10 (no other saleware) home or pro Intel I7 plus 8Gig memory, 1/2 GB drive, Nvidia graphics, decent audio, USB 3 & 2, Eithernet, HDMI and Ethernet and RGB for about $350.00.

    I get mine from an EBay seller out of Austin Texas.

    Certainly worth investigating as opposed to new.
     
  5. BartS

    BartS Friend of Leo's

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    I had a gateway ran for about 9-10 years. I got my money worth out of it times 1000. I can't really recommend gateway fully because I have only owned one laptop so maybe I got a good one. I did run ubuntu on it though. After a couple of years with windows and I cleaned it did everything it was just so slow it was slow out of the box. You could always try looking up how to swap sound cars on a laptop on youtube maybe something you can do yourself. If your going to get a new one anyway. It's already broken
     
  6. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Good timing on this thread. My 10 year old Dell D630 running my Linux development workstation's display starting giving me trouble today - the whole bottom where the menu bar is just a blur of fuzz and static. I've been looking for a new one, but the search just got more urgent. For the last year it has been flashing a line or two, about a pixel wide, across the bottom of the screen, red, green, red, green, ... about a second on each color. Just odd.

    I need a good laptop to run Linux Mint or Ubuntu. I have heard the HP laptops are a bugger to get around secure boot. Lenovo use a proprietary wireless N adapter that is not well supported and needs to be re-installed with every OS update. I've had good luck with my Dell, my daughter likes her Asus, or I am even considering a System 76. A decent development machine is just a good chunk of money.

    The whole process of rebuilding, re-installing, and re-configuring is not something I am looking forward to. I am looking forward to a faster machine. Although, even my old Core II Duo still performs well with Linux; I have flirted with putting a solid state drive in it, but it did not seem worth it for an old machine that has been showing signs of dying for the last year.
     
  7. 017_017

    017_017 Friend of Leo's

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    I'm not a fan of HP. They seem to have boatloads of bloatware loaded onto and intertwined into them. I had a high-end one about 3 years ago and it used to take about 10 minutes to turn on, and only got worse as it got older (factory refreshing the system didn't help). It would also sound like a Rolls-Royce turbofan most of the time.

    I replaced it with a lower-end Toshiba, that now only takes about 15-20 seconds to turn on. My only complaint, is the wireless network adapter sporadically fails, and I have to disable/enable cycle it to get it working again. Other than that, I'm quite happy with Toshiba.
     
  8. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Never a particular fan of Dell but I got a special offer on a Dell Latitude with an i7 chipset and all flash storage.
    The speed of this thing is absolutely incredible.
    Well built too
    Zero complaints other than the fact that my entire family borrow it all the time.
     
  9. BartS

    BartS Friend of Leo's

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    I had a amd phenom 2 and no ssd and it was faster than a newer windows desktop. Still not great my desktop everything except rendering 2 hours of video is instant.

    If your installing Linux mint or ubuntu what's there to configure? I just install google chrome and that plays Amazon instant video and netflix. Then I put in a new background image for my desktop. I do install I think it's either unity tweak tool or gnome tweak tool so I can change the look to my liking but that is unnecessary. A newer computer with a modern processor you should be installed in 30-45 miniuts tops. My computer is a high speed one takes about 20 minutes.

    I'm not saying for the original poster to install linux. I just know there is a few brands of laptops out there where the hardware will be good for at least ten years. Which is kind of sad because there are still computers from the 80s
    that will plug in and run today. Boot time maybe 20 minutes but they do work.:D
     
  10. ItchyFingers

    ItchyFingers Tele-Afflicted

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    I am still running 2 Dell inspirons that are 2008 models. Windows 10 even ran fine on them but it didn't like the cam and mic on them. They are both running Linux Mint today. Easily solved with a usb cam/mic for the win 10 issue. I also run a DELL XPS with win 10. Again an older machine.
    The older inspirons are a pain to change the CMOS watch battery. If you go by the manual, you have to remove every single part to get at it.
    There is a nice hack on youtube that allows me to change themin 5 minutes.
    The memory is easily accessed on all my Dells for easy upgrades.
    I find the less you pay for them, the harder they are to service.
    I wanted to add memory to my sister's HP laptop that the store said could not be done. The whole rear cover has to come off and one has to pry it off. It runs 8 gig today. My other sisters higher end HP had a cover that was easily removed to add memory. You get what you pay for.
    Either Dell or HP would be my choice if buying new but just about anything will do.
    My Dell XPS cost me $100 used. It wouldn't run for more than 3 miutes without locking up. I blanked the drive (even the boot sector) and installed windows 10 on it and it has been flawless. It's an older model.
    Used laptops are a dime a dozen these days as folks upgrade.
    Advertisements would have you think you need the latest greatest laptop.
    I disagree. Mind you my gaming desktop is always cutting edge and homebuilt.
    I have worked on all kinds of different makes. Accessability to internal parts is important. Hard drives are usually easily changed to SSD if that is what you want to do (highly recommended). I like the way the inspiron's drives just slide out the side. One can have different operating systems and data on different drives and swap at will almost as fast as you can plug and unplug a thumb drive. I like my dells.
    Some parts are much cheaper to buy for the HP machines. I'll use anything from any manufacturer. I can't think of any make I would consider bad.
     
  11. PC_Hater

    PC_Hater Tele-Meister

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    A few months ago I bought an Asus ZenBook UX305 series laptop to replace my tired old Toshiba. 8GB of RAM and an SSD, it is only a 1GHz quad-core processor but I don't need speed. I am running debian sid (= debian unstable) for software development and it all works well. It came with Windoze so persuading the Asus to boot from an external cdrom was a bit tedious but grub efi works fine.

    From my experience at work and that of friends I would urge anyone not to buy HP computers. Terrible support. I like Toshiba (don't but the cheap ones!), I like Dell, Lenovo are used by a lot of BSD devs so could be handy if you fancy saying goodbye to systemd (which I do). Trashing a new macbook to install linux / BSD is deviant but has been done!
     
  12. Cat MacKinnon

    Cat MacKinnon Friend of Leo's

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    If the computer's only four years old and otherwise works fine, you might want to just consider upgrading to an SSD (assuming your current comp has an access panel on the bottom.) You can get a 500GB SSD and an external USB enclosure for your old HDD for $150 or less if you shop around, and it'll really give your computer a boost. You could even put the rest towards a new audio interface in the $100-$149 range, and still be well under what a new mid-range laptop will cost.

    Just a thought, but I figured I'd throw it out there. I think the vast majority of modern computers are more than fast enough for most uses, even the budget ones. If you can toss an upgrade or two at it, it should get you through another couple years at least and save some money on the process.

    As someone who's been buying computers for myself since '98 or so, built quite a few, and even worked for IBM and Maxtor at various times, I assure you it is not "cheaper 9 times out of 10". This is especially apparent when you factor in how difficult Apple now makes it to do any upgrades or repairs yourself; you can't even install more RAM on most (or any) Apple laptops these days...unless perhaps you want to drive to the Apple store and get ridiculously overcharged to have a "Genius" do it for you! Installing more RAM or swapping out a battery is not rocket science and anyone can do it themselves in a minute or two. There are still quite a few non-Apple manufacturers who realize consumers are not idiots and can unscrew a plastic panel and insert a stick of RAM (into a keyed slot, no less!) Meanwhile, many of the non-Apple manufacturers go so far as to print instructions in the manual on how to upgrade RAM, storage drives, even Bluetooth and Wifi cards in some cases.
     
  13. imwjl

    imwjl Poster Extraordinaire

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    I always suggest first tier aka business models if the buyer can afford them, and suggest individuals look for the official outlet sales on them from HP and Dell. A Mac would be a first tier model too.

    These are typically a little or noticeably more money but you get a well supported model with better components. The first tier products also have much better support if you need a warranty claim. In the Windows realm it can mean you don't have crappy software subsidizing the cost.
     
  14. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    The base OS is easy. From there, I have to put together a list of everything else I've installed.

    Install PySVN Workbench and re-configure / pull config files to point to client's SVN servers. Sometimes this runs into Python version and package issues.

    MySQL workbench - although that is easy. MySQL server. I think I can skip Apache this time, as I have not done any web development for awhile, and my clients have not asked for it in years.

    Editing and debugging tools, compilers, libraries for the compilers.

    ShrewSoft VPN can sometimes be a bugger - it is usually on the software install sources, but sometimes it falls off for months at a time. Compiling this from scratch takes a few hours of installing pre-requisites.

    The driver for my Epson XP-410 does not work out of the box. This took a few hours of "dorking around" until I could print and scan.

    Then the various MP3 drivers for editing sound files, setting up Libre Office the way I like it, restoring source directories and test accounts (some of my code Emails events to accounts, so I set them up locally to test - I've been blacklisted by Google and Microsoft when I tested by bouncing off SMPT servers), setting up postfix, configuring my local firewall, restoring all the utilities and cron jobs I run for development, etc. I'm sure there is a lot I've overlooked.

    If all I were doing was setting a background and getting my browser ready, it would be a piece of cake.

    I do have a USB adapter I plug into a hard drive to ease the pain of transferring settings, or just pull a recent backup from storage to restore files, so I *have* the stuff I need, I just need to get it and restore it.

    If I had been smart, I would have kept a list of every package I installed. I didn't. However, I can almost always find the compiler packages by just test compiling a handful of programs that I know use most of the add-on libraries.

    Yeah - this whole process takes awhile. This is also the laptop I use to surf at night, so it is a multi-tasking unit (sorry about the pun).
     
  15. Del Pickup

    Del Pickup Poster Extraordinaire

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    I haven't seen anything referring to slow down/speed up options in any of the tabs I've clicked on. I'll have another look tonight.

    Having read all the posts here, it looks to me like it might be a better option for me to get the laptop overhauled and upgraded by someone who knows what they're doing rather than buying a new one.
     
  16. RCinMempho

    RCinMempho Friend of Leo's

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    Out Toshiba's have had fewer problems than our Dells and Sony's. But we bought high end ones.
     
  17. Radioking

    Radioking Tele-Meister

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    I would start with a clean install of Windows. You would be amazed at how much junk builds up after 4 years. If you do that and install a SSD, chances are it would seem like a new computer.
     
  18. esetter

    esetter Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    IBM has nothing to do with Lenovo except for the fact that IBM sold their laptop line to Lenovo. To call them "IBM Lenovo" is erroneous!

    Personally, after Lenovo was caught putting spyware on their laptop twice, I'd never buy any of their products!

    If one is looking for a quality laptop the Dell XPS line is excellent. I also like the Apple MacBooks.
     
  19. Guitarzan

    Guitarzan Poster Extraordinaire

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    Based on what you've said, I'd recommend getting one with a "pro" version of Windows for better up and down compatibility with productivity software and remote access features.

    I use an HP ProBook for similar things, and it is fine. Getting a later version CPU like an Intel I7 with the implicit speed and computing power will help extend the life usefulness of the machine. A better CPU is better than older one with claims of whatever Mghz. One can expand from 4 to 8 gigs of RAM fairly easily and cheaply if he needs, just inquire about expansion.
     
  20. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Tell that to IBM/Lenovo then, because that is what my laptop has stamped on it, and my previous laptop also, and my son's laptop as well. Also the IBM CEs that I know and work with.

    You may want to consider sticking to talking about your Dells and Macbooks :lol:
     
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