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  1. #1
    Da Dragonball Kid L.J.'s Avatar
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    Cheap Laptop Help

    OK so my HP blew up a while ago and I wanna replace it. My HP died twice in 3 1/2 years and I'm not getting anything expensive this time around (think I paid $1500 for it). I want something dirt cheap so if it breaks I can just throw it in the garbage. Best buy has some laptops listed as low as $399. $499 is the highest I'm willing to go and I don't plan on purchasing any additional warranty unless it's dirt cheap.

    It will mainly be used for basic household use. Nothing special, just a computer for up front since we all spend most of our time up there. Can someone please throw some basic things I should look for or suggest something I should purchase. I'm afraid I'm completely lost when it comes to stuff now.

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....%2Bbrand+skuid

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    I'll make some suggestions after the Apple camp weighs in.


  3. #3
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich-n-Texas
    I'll make some suggestions after the Apple camp weighs in.

    Considering Apple = expensvie, you may have to wait a while.

    LJ, my Dell is 5 years old and is working as new (I do take somewhat care of it and format the HDD every so often).

  4. #4
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich-n-Texas
    I'll make some suggestions after the Apple camp weighs in.

    L.J.'s price point immediately rules out anything Apple. Although I like my Mac, I bought it for a specific use. I am also learning that there are other programs that we use that I can't use on my Mac, so it's good to still have the old PC around also. If I just wanted email and internet access I would have gone the same route as L.J.

    Having said that, my entire laptop search was based on how to avoid Vista, so I can't be much help. Sorry L.J.

    We do have an HP Desktop that's about four or five years old and has been problem free.

  5. #5
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    As far as specs go, avoid intel celeron processors. You're better off with the core 2 duo or better yet the centrino duo cores. The latter should eat less battery. I'm not sure if the quad cores are available on laptops yet, but look into those if it's an option. I don't know much about AMD processors in laptops so I can't help you with that. 1GB+ RAM is the norm with Vista, although I'd avoid vista all together if that is an option. A graphics card is a must if you're going to do gaming. If you're not, an integrated graphics chip is fine. I'm guessing a huge hard drive isn't necessary for your basic needs. 120GB+ should be plenty.
    That covers the basics, feel free to ask more questions

  6. #6
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    Don't buy an Acer under any circumstances.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  7. #7
    Da Dragonball Kid L.J.'s Avatar
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    Hmmm...I'm looking at Dell & they still have XP models. Maybe I should go that route. I kinda don't want to bother with Vista since I've only heard bad things about it. What do you guys think of this deal for $578?

    http://www.dell.com/content/products...=04&l=en&s=bsd

    I think I fixed it. $479 plus $99 for XP.
    Last edited by L.J.; 02-10-2009 at 10:27 AM.

  8. #8
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by L.J.
    Hmmm...I'm looking at Dell & they still have XP models. Maybe I should go that route. I kinda don't want to bother with Vista since I've only heard bad things about it. What do you guys think of this deal for $578?

    http://ecomm.dell.com/dellstore/bask...&details=false
    That link just takes me to an empty shopping cart.

  9. #9
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMichael
    Don't buy an Acer under any circumstances.
    I can understand that. They do tend to have great specs for the price, the drawback is that they aren't immune to problems. My dads Acer wen bezerk at one time, we had to use it in 'safe mode'. Turns out the battery had a problem. My brothers space bar had problems.
    If you do buy an acer make sure you have a good long warranty

  10. #10
    Da Dragonball Kid L.J.'s Avatar
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    I fixed the link. Thanks FA.

  11. #11
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by audio amateur
    I can understand that. They do tend to have great specs for the price, the drawback is that they aren't immune to problems. My dads Acer wen bezerk at one time, we had to use it in 'safe mode'. Turns out the battery had a problem. My brothers space bar had problems.
    If you do buy an acer make sure you have a good long warranty
    I buy and sell parts for laptops everyday. Acer just does not have their chit together. Here is a typical situation:

    Customer calls needing a part. We contact Acer to get P&A. They tell us that it's obsolete and we can't get it anymore. We tell the customer. The next day, the part shows up from Acer. We call the customer back to tell them. They have already made other arrangements. We call Acer to return the part. They won't take it back.

    Nope. Don't buy an Acer.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  12. #12
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMichael
    I buy and sell parts for laptops everyday. Acer just does not have their chit together. Here is a typical situation:

    Customer calls needing a part. We contact Acer to get P&A. They tell us that it's obsolete and we can't get it anymore. We tell the customer. The next day, the part shows up from Acer. We call the customer back to tell them. They have already made other arrangements. We call Acer to return the part. They won't take it back.

    Nope. Don't buy an Acer.
    Fair 'nuff. I thought you did some kind of work with computers. Perhaps you're the best placed to give LJ recommendations?

  13. #13
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by audio amateur
    Fair 'nuff. I thought you did some kind of work with computers. Perhaps you're the best placed to give LJ recommendations?
    Nah. I just buy the parts. Couldn't tell you which ones work best. But when I asked our IT guy for advice, he suggested that I go to HP's website and buy one direct. They did seem to have some deals before Christmas. Not sure about now though.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by audio amateur
    Considering Apple = expensvie, you may have to wait a while.
    I have nothing but time.

    Quote Originally Posted by AA
    LJ, my Dell is 5 years old and is working as new (I do take somewhat care of it and format the HDD every so often).
    FWIW, a Dell would be my choice, hands down. Especially if you can get one with XP installed. Windows 7 is going to be MS's next big fias...err... OS so I'd stick with an XP machine for the time being. When will Win7 be released? Who knows. Don't even bother to ask.

  15. #15
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    They better make that 7 good...

  16. #16
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by L.J.
    OK so my HP blew up a while ago and I wanna replace it. My HP died twice in 3 1/2 years and I'm not getting anything expensive this time around (think I paid $1500 for it). I want something dirt cheap so if it breaks I can just throw it in the garbage. Best buy has some laptops listed as low as $399. $499 is the highest I'm willing to go and I don't plan on purchasing any additional warranty unless it's dirt cheap.

    It will mainly be used for basic household use. Nothing special, just a computer for up front since we all spend most of our time up there. Can someone please throw some basic things I should look for or suggest something I should purchase. I'm afraid I'm completely lost when it comes to stuff now.

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....%2Bbrand+skuid
    We're not in 1994... so you're perfectly right in thinking that a cheap laptop will do just fine... I bought a cheapo HP laptop (I'm sure it retailed for less than $500) last year... and I use it as my sole machine for home use... it handles all my internet needs and I use it as my Music Server for my stereo... As long as you buy a decent brand, like HP, Dell etc... I'm sure you'll be fine....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajani
    We're not in 1994... so you're perfectly right in thinking that a cheap laptop will do just fine... I bought a cheapo HP laptop (I'm sure it retailed for less than $500) last year... and I use it as my sole machine for home use... it handles all my internet needs and I use it as my Music Server for my stereo... As long as you buy a decent brand, like HP, Dell etc... I'm sure you'll be fine....
    What's its IP address?

  18. #18
    Forum Regular Kevio's Avatar
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    Since you are looking for something inexpensive, XP, high performance is not necessary and reliability is important, I suggest you get on e-bay and look for a used Lenovo/IBM.

  19. #19
    Da Dragonball Kid L.J.'s Avatar
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    Well I took a little bit of everyones advice and went with Dell. Intel core 2 duo process., XP, 3g mem., 250gHD. Only $40 to extend the warranty to 2 years. I'll be happy if this thing gives me 5 years with no trouble.

  20. #20
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    Nice one. Should be super-quick running on XP. May I enquire what model/price?
    Most of the time, slow computers simply need their HDD wiped clean. Keep this in mind when it happens in a few years.

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    You'll be able to run some decent PC games on it as well L.J. Sweet huh?

  22. #22
    Da Dragonball Kid L.J.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by audio amateur
    Nice one. Should be super-quick running on XP. May I enquire what model/price?
    Most of the time, slow computers simply need their HDD wiped clean. Keep this in mind when it happens in a few years.
    Yeah I think it's time to give my Dell PC a tune up.

    It's the Vostro 1510 from the small business division. The price was $579 w/XP and no other upgrades. Extended warranty plus wireless mouse brought the total to $700. The laptop was on sale plus free shipping.

    Now I gotta figure out what to do with my 6lb HP paper weight.

  23. #23
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    Is the HP still working?

  24. #24
    nightflier
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    If the HP is still working, hardware-wise, you might want to install Linux on it. If you select one of the lean distributions (Xubuntu, DSL, Zenwalk), you could easily squeeze another 3-4 years of use out of that laptop.

    Not to muddy the waters, but at the office I've been running Fedora on an Acer for several years now. Never had a problem with it. It's a secondary system, but it's just humming along.

  25. #25
    Da Dragonball Kid L.J.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by audio amateur
    Is the HP still working?
    No it's dead. Motherboard needs to be replaced for a second time in 3 1/2 years. First time was under warranty and less than 2 years of use. I've lost all faith in HP and probably won't go with them again. Same goes for Gateway. I hope Dell come through for me.

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