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      09-22-2018, 09:16 PM   #1
Johnny_Bravo
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Total newb needing help deciding on a laptop..

So I am going back to college in January to better myself career wise, and need help selecting a laptop.

I have a hand me down laptop literally from 10 years ago that's heavy, it gets hot, and is just too old. My school for the most part is a Google based school, so I would prefer to stay away from Apple products.

It would mainly be used for online classes, writing reports, internet. I am changing careers and going into Cyber Security, and it would be great if I could purchase something that I could take with me into work after the program is over.
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      09-22-2018, 09:24 PM   #2
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For starters, don't worry about a work laptop. Any place that hires you is going to provide that. You should never expect to use your own equipment at a job.

Second, just because school is "Google based" does not mean you cannot use Apple computers. All of the Google suite of tools is available via browser (Chrome) and will run on any OS. I'd recommend a Mac any day if you can afford it. Try to find a 2016 MacBook pro before they put the stupid touch bars on them. You can find them on the Apple refurbished site.

But if you're dead set on a PC laptop, take a look at the Dell Latitude E7450. Was the last pc laptop I used and it was a solid machine. I ditched windows and ran Linux in it, but that's up to you.

Good luck!
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      09-23-2018, 03:55 AM   #3
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I'm normally a Dell guy, but at work I have a HP EliteBook which is really pretty good. It is very thin, very light, and very powerful. I'd recommend that without hesitation.

Generally in my view you need to be looking for at least an intel i5 (or equivalent), 8gb/16gb ram (8gb for standard internet / word processing etc or 16gb for more intensive tasks), and then an SSD - 512gb should be fine. Any laptop with that spec should run just fine for quite a while.
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      09-23-2018, 07:46 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by ztx84 View Post
Generally in my view you need to be looking for at least an intel i5 (or equivalent), 8gb/16gb ram (8gb for standard internet / word processing etc or 16gb for more intensive tasks), and then an SSD - 512gb should be fine. Any laptop with that spec should run just fine for quite a while.
Yup,

Totally agree on all points here.
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      09-23-2018, 07:16 PM   #5
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I really appreciate everyone's advice so much!!
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      09-23-2018, 10:51 PM   #6
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Check out slick deals.

I've been a mac user for years and own a 2500 mac book pro 13 inch and would advise against it. My windows computers are far less problematic for half the price and double the features.

Check out the dell xps 13 or lenovo carbon. Phenomenal laptops
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      10-02-2018, 08:22 PM   #7
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I got tired of the windows laptops breaking down after 2-3 years, I broke down and bought a MacBook Pro 4 years ago. Couldn't be happier.

Twice as expensive but maybe last twice as long, we'll see.
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      10-02-2018, 09:09 PM   #8
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I got tired of the windows laptops breaking down after 2-3 years, I broke down and bought a MacBook Pro 4 years ago. Couldn't be happier.

Twice as expensive but maybe last twice as long, we'll see.
Agreed. However, the soldered on memory and drives are irritating on the newer models, no upgradability so you're forced to pay the apple tax on ram and storage.
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      10-18-2018, 02:23 PM   #9
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i'm in a similar boat.. in need of advice on a laptop purchase. I've always been a dell guy.. have one macbook.. but now my older child is getting into PC gaming. I want to get him a gaming lapop (as he will need to be able to bring in to friends houses.... on trips.. etc) i'm looking at something a hair above entry level.
something with a 256gb ssd, i7 processor... decent video card...
i see alot of the higher end stuff starts at like 2k...
i was hoping to go no higher than 1200-1500?

any thoughts?
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      10-18-2018, 04:51 PM   #10
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Depends on the games he wants to play. If someone is serious about gaming, laptops generally aren't going to cut it until you spend a ton of money.

My advise, get a desktop. You can build a decent setup for less than 1000 bucks., plus whatever you want to spend on a monitor. A 1200 to 1500 laptop isn't going to get you very far with modern games.
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      10-19-2018, 09:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DC F15 View Post
i'm in a similar boat.. in need of advice on a laptop purchase. I've always been a dell guy.. have one macbook.. but now my older child is getting into PC gaming. I want to get him a gaming lapop (as he will need to be able to bring in to friends houses.... on trips.. etc) i'm looking at something a hair above entry level.
something with a 256gb ssd, i7 processor... decent video card...
i see alot of the higher end stuff starts at like 2k...
i was hoping to go no higher than 1200-1500?

any thoughts?
I was in the same boat last year. My son's older desktop and even my decent-at-the-time-I-bought-it (now 2-3 years old) notebook weren't cutting it for newer games. So... for Christmas, my son and I did a combined gift to "us". We built a mid-level gaming rig. It actually made for a nice Christmas morning as there were a bunch of presents to unwrap, being all the various components. We then made a project out of it between Christmas and New Year's, getting it all built and configured. He's 10 so I tried to make it a learning experience.

As others mentioned, you'll get more performance, dollar-for-dollar going desktop but portability sounds like a key consideration.

I would suggest watching bensbargains.com and techbargains.com for good deals to pop up. Dell has some coupon codes to be used in their "Outlet". I can't say how good of a deal they might be without researching a bit but... For example, you can get the Dell G5 15 Gaming (5587) with the i7 8750H, 256GB SSD, 1TB HD, 1060 GTX with 6GB, 16GB for under $1000 with the code, "Certified Refurbished".
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      10-19-2018, 10:01 AM   #12
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https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lenovo-X1-C...pTuD:rk:7:pf:0
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      10-19-2018, 11:52 AM   #13
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I run IT security for my company. Surface Laptops and Pros and MacBook Pros seem to be the most maintenance free laptops we issue. We have sourced Dells and HPs and many go back due to video, motherboard or miscellaneous hardware issues. The MS and Apple laptops cost more, but users tend to keep them longer. We just had a MacBook user who had their i7 for eight years. Not worth the headache IMO to save a few hundred on others right now unless you can afford to replace or get an extended warranty.
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      10-19-2018, 12:50 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by MGM135is View Post
I run IT security for my company. Surface Laptops and Pros and MacBook Pros seem to be the most maintenance free laptops we issue. We have sourced Dells and HPs and many go back due to video, motherboard or miscellaneous hardware issues. The MS and Apple laptops cost more, but users tend to keep them longer. We just had a MacBook user who had their i7 for eight years. Not worth the headache IMO to save a few hundred on others right now unless you can afford to replace or get an extended warranty.
My company replaces laptops every 3 years. We switched a few years ago to MacBooks over dell's due to the resale being much better on them.

Also as you pointed out, we have far less issues with them. The cost is worth it in our environment.
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      10-19-2018, 01:02 PM   #15
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I recommend picking up a mid range Lenovo.

You wont be disappointed.

Been using a T500s for about 6 solid years as my personal laptop and the thing still rocks. Ive upgraded my hard drive and RAM in the past couple years. It has an i5 processor and is very quick.

To replace this computer... it would cost $800 EASILY.

I plan to keep using it for a few more years at least.
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      10-19-2018, 01:46 PM   #16
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I work on the Cloud Architecture and Governance team for... uh... one of the major wireless telecoms. I'll leave it at that, so as to not draw specific (probably deserved) ire...

We do the whole replace every three years thing too... Dells, HPs, and Apple. I'm not on that side of the IT house but I've never had an issue with any of the HPs or Dells I've had over the last 20 years there... At home, I've got a 2-3 year old Lenovo, my wife has a year old HP, my daughter has a 5-year old Toshiba and we've had a number of others before. Other than the hinge breaking on my Lenovo, which is a known issue, I've never had one fail, that I can remember. The only laptop "repairs" I've done have been "upgrades" or battery replacements when they stop holding a decent charge.

I'm not brand specific at all... As long as it's a brand name with some established history, I usually buy the best deal in the "sweet spot" of price/performance. I am a fan of buying manufacturer refurb, open box, etc. My wife's HP Envy 360 was an Amazon - Like New, from Amazon, not third-party. It was a good $150 or so less than new and just came in a different box. It was "new". I guess the box was just damaged.
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      10-20-2018, 04:14 PM   #17
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Thanks everyone SO much for the information, real life experience is so much nicer to read then salesmen trying to talk you in to their product. I really appreciate it so much!!
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