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Laptop Recommendations for Wife

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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March 6, 2006 3:24:39 PM

My wife is talking about getting a Laptop. She'll use it for Word, Excel, Power Point, E Mail, and Photo organizing and basic one click Photo editing. 70% to 75% or more of the useage will be at home so, weight within reason, is not a bit issue and battery life isn't extremely important. I understand that a Bright screen is better for Photos. Eventually would at times be used with a projector. While for my next build I'll use AMD, I have no preferrence as to AMD or Intel. Would like to keep it under $1000. While it is her machine and I don't intend on using it, I would like something that is easy to delete the bloatware and is reliable, i.e, turn it on and it works. Thanks
March 6, 2006 5:34:03 PM

Dell has a pretty good deal on a dual core 15.4" for less than 800 bucks.

Dell Laptop

One thing I would recommend is if you are going to upgrade anything on it to buy it and do it yourself. DELL is pretty crazy with upgrade costs.
For example $100 for an aditional 512 MB of memory? You can get another whole gig for that and it takes about 3 minutes for a child to put in. $365 for a 200 gig SATA 7,200 rpm hard drive? If anyone needs one of these I have an unused one I bought on accident $200.
March 6, 2006 7:28:34 PM

Given the higher cost of parts for notebooks, I thought it might make sense to get it the way I want, i.e., as future proof as possible. Given she will do one click editing of photos, does it make sense to upgrade the scree to the Ultrasharp, an extra $100? I'm thinking it's not but may be wrong.
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March 7, 2006 1:02:37 AM

UltraSharp is nice depending on how long you are going to use it for each day and what you are going to use it for. If your wife is anything like my girlfriend... it really doesn't matter as long as they can get the things done they want. (I just wouldn't mention it is an option to her)

When you are looking at adding $100 to a $800 machine that's a fair piece of change in the overall price, and 'future proofing' is a good idea... maybe the money would be better spent on performance enhancements like an extra gig of memory, or a larger hard drive for your own piece of mind...

The memory for 'bang for your buck' performance increase, or the larger (preferably faster) hard drive to speed up the overall computing AND so you can partition it, use a backup program so if she gets a virus or malware (like I just had to deal with yesterday and today until I gave up) you can save your time and just restore the thing to 3 days ago or whatever (this is a great hindsight piece of advice I wish I would have done myself to save 3 hours of my life in trying to clean the system of malware and trojan's alone... now I have to reinstall all the programs).

The other thing I would recommend is since she is going to be a "casual user" instead of paying big bucks for Office (as you said she would be using Word, Excel Power Point etc) maybe look into Sun's Open Office which I picked up on Ebay for $8.95 shipped and it exactly mimics MSOffice. The programs can open, work with and save just like Office. It is really much better than I thought it was going to be. I really can't see spending the $$$ on Office with an alternative like this available.

I am so sick of spyware, Malware, Viri etc. because "admining my stinking girlfriends computer is getting to be like supporting a whole 'nother company! I am seriously considering a Linux Distro like Linspire so I don't have to deal with it! It's like giving your kid an unbreakable toy, yea, it might not be the fanciest thing in the world, but it's great for breaking other toys! It will ultimately save me a ton of time and my sanity!

March 7, 2006 3:05:47 PM

I'm pretty well set on software. I agree, it makes more sense to put the money into memory and storage. Figure a Gig of memory and 60GB or 80GB of storage, both are probably overkill but I'm planning on having the machine for 5 plus years. What CPU speed would you recommend? I've been pretty lucky with malware, I have my wife really paranoid. Plus I use Spybot, Adaware, and Spysweeper that really help. Have a grand daughter living with us and she ended up with a bunch of viruses. Made her format her hard drive and re-install Windows and all her programs, she's a lot more careful now. Of course when something goes wrong, they call me and expect me to fix it immediately, which is a pain.
March 7, 2006 3:17:32 PM

If you are planning on having this machine for 5 years plus i would look at a Turion processor because they are 64 bit, and within 2 years I think you are going to be seeing a real mainstream push to that.

There are alot of low cost Turion's out there right now, and coming in May (supposedly) is the Turion X@ (dual core) check out the posts on AMD vs. Inel in this same forum for our exhaustive diatribe on this subject.
March 7, 2006 3:42:17 PM

Read too many of the fanboy diatribes. Seems even a lot of AMD fanboys think Intel mobile is better than AMD, what to you think? Turion would make sense but don't think she'll need dual core given what she'll do. You mendtioned Del but they don't do AMD, who would you recommend that uses AMD? One of my problems is that I really know very little about laptops in large part because I prefer desktops and build them myself. That's why I asked about the CPU speed and best manufactures. There is one company I bought my last "store bought" computer from 4 years or so ago that sells laptops but they seem pricey but I may be wrong. jncs.com Actually would prefer to just get the computer and install all the software including OS myself to avoid bloatware but don't know if this is advsable with a loptop. If you know of a good "how to buy a laptop" page, I'd appreciate it.
March 7, 2006 4:29:08 PM

Best Buy has some pretty reasonable deals and you can go look at them to boot. Once you find one you like of course I would search the internet for a better deal.
March 7, 2006 4:37:55 PM

Thanks, I take it you get pretty much the same quality regardless of the manufacturer
March 7, 2006 8:08:56 PM

Besy Buy has had good prices on Compaq. I bought my V2000 from them last July. Which has a Turion CPU. Make sure you buy widescreen Plus buy the brightscreen. Which I have on my. Mine is 14' You can buy them for under $1,000.
March 7, 2006 8:26:52 PM

I'll check it out.
March 8, 2006 1:43:32 AM

Try HP Shopping also, the HP v5000.
March 22, 2006 9:29:33 PM

I don't know if you are still looking for a laptop, but at Buy.com they have an Acer 14.1" Celeron 1.5, 256 RAM and 40 gig hard drive for $560 with $60 off (if still available).

My friend got one of these because he is a cheap b@st@rd and it is pretty decent. I mean let's face it... wives and girlfriends use a notebook as the worlds most expensive deck of cards anyway.
March 22, 2006 10:39:12 PM

LOL! I have to agree on that one...my g/f uses her laptop "A Dell from Hell," as she quoted, only for hw and looking up movie times. And even when she's doing so she misspelled "Regal" of "Regal Cinemas"....XD
Her Dell.....I can't remember what series it is, but it's HUGE, has 2 fans, and a Pentium III... :!: :!:
Haven't seen that kinda "old's mobile" around for a while... :wink:
March 24, 2006 12:17:14 AM

Here is that link:
Acer $499
I upgraded this thing to 512 MB of memory with some RAm I had laying around and it's fine for the average wife.
March 25, 2006 7:46:00 AM

I second the recommendation to buy the cheapest new laptop you can find. Everything you listed can easily be achieved by any new laptop. I own a Dell inspiron 1200 for this very reason; I don't need a powerful laptop to type papers and surf the net.
!