I am buying a new laptop for a friend that needs enough capacity to run the full office suite (powerpoints, excel, word, access, ect.) and able to switch between applications rather quickly. She does not want it to be a dinosaur soon after she buys it. HDMI port would be nice as well as an HD graphics card.
Her price limit is 500. She may be able to go over a little if necessary.
Have you run a really through virus scan?
That "She has so many issues with it. It also has tons of Dell software loaded on it that can sometimes slow the machine to a crawl" symptom could just be a bad case of malware. Have you thought about just un-installing those 'tons of Dell software'?
Check out the AVG Rescue CD. It's a bootable CD with an AV scanner. A really bad case of malware can sometimes escape detection unless you do scans from Safe Mode or with a bootable CD. http://www.avg.com/us-en/226386
Thanks WR2. I have run Malwarebytes and SuperAnti Spyware on the old system becuase I was concerned about that too. There is intermitent issues that include the sound driver going in an out (appears in device manager and dissapears in same session), there is no listing for drivers under device manager, all of the start up items listed in msconfig got unchecked recently causing nothing to be loaded. I have recommended that she use the recovery disks and start over at this point.
She wants to get a laptop to use as a main computer now to get away from the headaches of the desktop.
Ok, quite frankly, laptops are like people, under the skin they're all the same. People who say Dell are the most reliable have no clue. These days laptops are made by one or two companies in China (Quanta comes to mind) and the cases/brands are tacked on at the end. I don't care if a laptop is an Acer, Dell, HP, Gateway, Lenovo, eMachines, ASUS, Packard-Bell, Alienware, MSI, Fujitsu, Compaq, etc. The brand means nothing because in all cases, the working products are made by Intel, AMD, nVidia, VIA or ATi. I worked at Tiger Direct and I saw literally thousands of laptops come and go. They're all the bloody same except for their looks along with some bells and whistles. Intel graphics are already dinosaurs but for office suites, Intel graphics are fine. BTW, even a 160GB hard drive is more than enough for what she wants so I'll focus on the CPU, RAM and price. You say she wants it for $500 or less? Well then this is probably what she should be getting: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I don't know what is meant by her not wanting it to be a dinosaur already because office programs like MS-Office have been used since the days of Windows 95. That laptop is $450, has free shipping to the Continental USA, and has more bells and whistles than she'll ever need. For office applications she won't notice a difference between the Core i3 and the Pentium Dual-Core. Office suites are weak programs and could even be used just fine on a single-core CPU like my own laptop. Tell her to just get the cheapest laptop that has an HDMI port and use the difference to take you to dinner!
Good points Avro Arrow! I will take what you said into consideration.
What I meant by he not wanting it to be a dinosaur a month of the shelf is that she did not want it to be completely outdated soon after the purchase.
Thank you for the best answer selection, I'm glad I could be of some help.
As for it being outdated, she has little to worry about. Office applications do not really increase in hardware requirements. Their hardware requirements tend to be "Does the computer turn on?" and "Do I work with the operating system?". Since that laptop has Win7 x64, it will be a very long time before office apps won't work anymore. By a long time, I mean at least 10 years. Consider how old XP is and yet all modern office suites continue to work just fine with it. I'm sure the laptop will fall apart long before it becomes incapable of office apps. As an example, I recently tried installing MS-Office 2007 on my old P3 laptop that was made in 2001. No problem at all using XP Pro.