shopping for a laptop PC

I haven't bought a laptop in many, many years. All this time I've been using laptops provided by my work. And lately, I've been doing much of my personal computing, so to speak, on my iPad. Not ideal but it's been fine. Now I want to buy a laptop. 

I don't do gaming. I do email, social media, stream movies and write a lot. I use Word, Power Point and lots and lots of Excel. So, my needs are simple and few.

I have no clue what PC laptops are going for. Or where to shop. Or what brands are out there. There used to be a computer big box store in Bergen County, I think, that Monster recommended a number of years ago. I used to read Walter Mossberg's recommendations but I don't know where to turn now. I'm looking for some info and direction. I'm not in a hurry. I'd like to have the laptop by mid to end of June. 

Thanks.


A lot of people like Microcenter in paterson.  I bought a refurb from them and it broke within a few months.

As far as word, if you don't need the newest version, you can buy a legal used version off ebay.  I think I am still using the 2007 version ...but since I don't need it for business, i don't need the newest.

Are you looking for Windows?  Avoid Chromebook and Stream.

A big thing to compare is the type of processor...they vary greatly.  If you want storage on the hard drive, look for that.  with cloud storage, some don't have much hard drive storage


do you have a budget in mind?

I bought this a year ago (not the exact model, mine is discontinued) and am pretty happy with it. Got mine at micro center in paterson.

https://www.amazon.com/HP-Pavilion-2-Touch-Screen-14m-dw1013dx/dp/B08P9RVC81/ref=sr_1_13?crid=1C7ZZU53SZHGZ&keywords=hp%2Bx360&qid=1652458934&sprefix=hp%2Bx360%2Caps%2C78&sr=8-13&th=1


jamie said:

I've been happy with Lenovo - here's one possibility:

https://www.amazon.com/Lenovo-IdeaPad-Touchscreen-i5-1135G7-Fingerprint/dp/B09M7LQVQ9/ref=sr_1_2?crid=BDFFQ6CXA12L&th=1

Thanks, Jamie, but's that's more than I want to spend. 


drummerboy said:

do you have a budget in mind?

I bought this a year ago (not the exact model, mine is discontinued) and am pretty happy with it. Got mine at micro center in paterson.

https://www.amazon.com/HP-Pavilion-2-Touch-Screen-14m-dw1013dx/dp/B08P9RVC81/ref=sr_1_13?crid=1C7ZZU53SZHGZ&keywords=hp%2Bx360&qid=1652458934&sprefix=hp%2Bx360%2Caps%2C78&sr=8-13&th=1

This looks better, price-wise, but still more than I was hoping to pay. Are prices at MicroCenter competitive with Amazon? I'd rather not buy from Amazon. . 


as for processors, with all due respect to jmitw, I really wouldn't concern yourself about that. You're not gaming, any modern processor will be fine for your needs.

as for storage, you can always buy an external usb hard drive if you need extra storage.

definitely look for a laptop with an SSD drive. This significantly adds to performance.

screen size? I'd say a minimum of 14 inches. But that's personal preference I guess.


The_Soulful_Mr_T said:

drummerboy said:

do you have a budget in mind?

I bought this a year ago (not the exact model, mine is discontinued) and am pretty happy with it. Got mine at micro center in paterson.

https://www.amazon.com/HP-Pavilion-2-Touch-Screen-14m-dw1013dx/dp/B08P9RVC81/ref=sr_1_13?crid=1C7ZZU53SZHGZ&keywords=hp%2Bx360&qid=1652458934&sprefix=hp%2Bx360%2Caps%2C78&sr=8-13&th=1

This looks better, price-wise, but still more than I was hoping to pay. Are prices at MicroCenter competitive with Amazon? I'd rather not buy from Amazon. . 

You might want to go the refurbished route then. I've had excellent results with refurbs.  Been buying them for many years.

This looks like a good deal. Under $300.

https://www.microcenter.com/product/646666/hp-15-ef1033ca-156-laptop-computer-refurbished-silver


if you can afford it, it may be better to get brand new....a refurb is good for now, but they can become outdated...brand new may give you a couple extra years

laptops may not fit into an amazon locker delivery...and you risk it being stolen by a porch pirate..at least with microcenter you can just pick up.


I would recommend Lenovo. Dell is also a good brand. Others may disagree, but I would stay away from HP. 

I have had very good luck on the Lenovo and Dell outlet sites with refurbished laptops. drummerboy's comments above on processor and ssd are on the mark. If you are using excel a lot and streaming movies you may want to go for 15 inch monitor. I'd also say you might want 8GB a ram, 4 could be a bit slow. But that is easy to upgrade it you need more. 

I have no experience with Microcenter so can't comment on them. 


mayor_mccheese said:

I would recommend Lenovo. Dell is also a good brand. Others may disagree, but I would stay away from HP. 

I have had very good luck on the Lenovo and Dell outlet sites with refurbished laptops. drummerboy's comments above on processor and ssd are on the mark. If you are using excel a lot and streaming movies you may want to go for 15 inch monitor. I'd also say you might want 8GB a ram, 4 could be a bit slow. But that is easy to upgrade it you need more. 

I have no experience with Microcenter so can't comment on them. 

Mayor McCheese! How the hell are ya? 


The_Soulful_Mr_T said:

Mayor McCheese! How the hell are ya? 

he has aged….


Like cheddar cheese I get better with age.  grin


Lenovo and Dell are good brands. I've had both. I've personally had good luck with HP. Agree with the 8gb RAM also.

Concerning micro center - if you're going to get it from them, buy it on the web site for store pick-up. This way you don't have to deal with their sales people, who are the worst.


I have bought locally at Tan's on Springfield Ave.   Perhaps a little more expensive, but got good follow-up service whenever I needed it.  


Happy with my Lenovo.


I bought a new Dell PC recently which was DOA. I had to fight to get a new rather than refurbished replacement. Thankfully I paid through the nose for premium support which I've had to use numerous times for various driver and other issues. I agree that the SSD makes a significant difference in speed and responsiveness. Dell is not what it used to be in its hot years. 


yeah, Dells are pretty reliable. They were the official laptop for my place of work for many years. I must have had 5 of them. Never had an issue.

This one has a 1 year warranty, but I can't seem to find the details of what it covers.


here's another dell from tigerdirect for only $229. It has a regular hard disk instead of an SSD so it will be slower, especially during boot up, but during normal usage it should be fine.

https://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1176140&sku=42624632&utm_source=EML&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=3wwebeml3772&_kla_id=261f23746f0db0a1520858bd8d50065d533f32a48a32c8ca51b79eb1b7dd1a4d&utm_content=Laptop%20Affinity


The_Soulful_Mr_T said:

So here's what I'mlooking at, from Tiger Direct Business

Price: $509.99

Item # 42555476

Dell Latitude 5580 Laptop - Intel Core i5-7300HQ 4C 2.5GHz, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 15.6" HD, Integrated Graphics, HDMI, GigE, WiFi, Win 10 Pro 64-bit, 1 Year Warranty, Grade A Refurbished - JOY5-5514-REF

Available

that looks fine, though I thought you were looking at a lower price point.

It doesn't have a touch-screen though. Not a real big deal, especially if you haven't had one before, but I find it convenient at times,


drummerboy said:

The_Soulful_Mr_T said:

So here's what I'mlooking at, from Tiger Direct Business

Price: $509.99

Item # 42555476

Dell Latitude 5580 Laptop - Intel Core i5-7300HQ 4C 2.5GHz, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 15.6" HD, Integrated Graphics, HDMI, GigE, WiFi, Win 10 Pro 64-bit, 1 Year Warranty, Grade A Refurbished - JOY5-5514-REF

Available

that looks fine, though I thought you were looking at a lower price point.

It doesn't have a touch-screen though. Not a real big deal, especially if you haven't had one before, but I find it convenient at times,

yeah, it’s more than I wanted to spend but i made a list of features I wanted and this is what came up. I might search the same features on different sites. Plus, I’ve never had a laptop w a touch screen so I won’t miss it. 


Yeah, I've had a few with touch screens - never used it.  And on both I had to turn them off because they malfunctioned.

I did a quick search - this is comparable to the one you picked and is only $399

https://www.amazon.com/Lenovo-Ideapad-Touchscreen-i3-1005G1-Processor/dp/B08B6F1NNR/

I've been a lenovo fan the past few purchases and have been happy.


jamie said:

Yeah, I've had a few with touch screens - never used it.  And on both I had to turn them off because they malfunctioned.

I did a quick search - this is comparable to the one you picked and is only $399

https://www.amazon.com/Lenovo-Ideapad-Touchscreen-i3-1005G1-Processor/dp/B08B6F1NNR/

I've been a lenovo fan the past few purchases and have been happy.

Hey, Jamie, thanks for your research. That's $100 less than the one I found. But I can't tell if it's a refurb or new. Also, I'll need MS Office Suite. Is that included? Or do I need to buy it separately and install?  This one does NOT have SSD hard disk storage, which has been recommnded. An issue?  (Lots of questions, I know, but I haven't bought a computer in years.) 


Probably Drummerboy would know better about the hard drives - this is a SSD - PCIe (Solid State Drive) 

So, not sure when you scroll down and compare with other models is does list is as:  flash_memory_solid_state - it should say PCI-e SSD

Is the description it says NVMe:

https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/nvme-vs-ssd/

It does appear to be new.

You probably would need to get Office separately.

Hmm, this one is only 1 pound - https://www.amazon.com/Lenovo-IdeaPad-i3-10110U-15-6-inch-Screen/dp/B08Z3Y66P7

Anyway - hope I haven't made the process trickier for you.  grin


jamie said:

Probably Drummerboy would know better about the hard drives - this is a SSD - PCIe (Solid State Drive) 

So, not sure when you scroll down and compare with other models is does list is as:  flash_memory_solid_state - it should say PCI-e SSD

Is the description it says NVMe:

https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/nvme-vs-ssd/

It does appear to be new.

You probably would need to get Office separately.

Hmm, this one is only 1 pound - https://www.amazon.com/Lenovo-IdeaPad-i3-10110U-15-6-inch-Screen/dp/B08Z3Y66P7

Anyway - hope I haven't made the process trickier for you. 
grin

Well, my head is spinning just a bit. But I appreciate the infomration very much. 


Yeah, the Lenovo has an SSD drive. Looks like it's not a refurb, but I can't figure out why it's marked down so much from MSRP.

Looks like a good deal.

Doesn't come with Office though. I don't see many laptops that come with Office these days.


It is my understanding that you can’t by Office any longer, you can only rent it for an annual fee.  Is this correct?


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