New Laptop Nightmare

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HEPZIBAH
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New Laptop Nightmare

Post by HEPZIBAH »

I'm currently going through the nightmare of choosing a new laptop. As some folks here know, I am not the most technical of people and choosing gadgets for just about anything becomes a complete and utter nightmare for me. I try to do what research I can, so that I can buy the best I can for my limited budget, and weigh up all the pro's and cons, but I end up giving myself such a headache that I often give up. That only delays the inevitable.

My present laptop, my first and only to be exact, has served me well and in fact is still doing so. I am aware though that it is showing signs that it may die on me sooner, rather than later. That being said, it is getting on, especially in technology years. I think I bought it in 2009, and it has been in use almost every day since then.

I have been looking at various makes and models online, but I need to be able to see and touch the actual machines. That has proved difficult for two reasons: a) there are not many places that sell computers in my local area; b) because of Covid, the places that do sell computers have had to be closed to customers for long periods of time.

I'm also finding that may laptops are out of stock at the moment. I imagine that to be because of a) so many more being needed by people and school children having to work from home; b) Christmas presents; c)Knock on effect of Covid-19 affecting production ad distribution. d) Brexit panic.

So, I'm torn between buying one now from the fast declining choice available, or waiting until after Christmas and hope that more choice might become available and perhaps better prices too (yes - I want it all).

Then comes the problem of what packages - word processing etc - it comes with or that have to be bought as extras.... Eeekkk.

So... does anyone have any pearls of wisdom to help me make a decision? Any recommendations? Anything that I should make sure that I take into consideration?

Decisions, decisions.
The only one I've managed to make so far is that I don't want a Mac/Apple (?)


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Re: New Laptop Nightmare

Post by newcastle »

I’m as useless as anyone when it comes to internet gadgetry....can’t even master a smart phone.

A friend bought me an iPad which is simple to use...but then you say you don’t want an Apple.
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Re: New Laptop Nightmare

Post by carrie »

Oh Hepzibah, I am no help I'm afraid but I am sympathetic.
I need a new phone, do I buy a cheap phone and an I pad, or another smart phone.
Checked them out and I want one that is loud, phone that is because I am going a little deaf.
Do they tell you that no, how many rams, battery life, storage capacity all information easily available. What kind of camera they have, not interested I have a camera for taking pictures.
Join the club of confused baffled and given up.
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Re: New Laptop Nightmare

Post by HEPZIBAH »

Carrie, I can also sympathise with you. I go through the same nightmare over phones. I ducked out of the phone dilemma last year by keeping my existing phone, and pushing them to significantly reducing my tariff. I have a Smart phone which is mine, but I have the services on a contract basis. Every couple of years I get the option to upgrade the phone, usually with extra costs involved. I knew last time that, for the type of use I have for my phone, and the fact that it was working well and in good condition, I didn't need to update it.

I have a Samsung smartphone, and find the volume - and visual brightness which is equally important when you're ... ahem... maturing in years - very good.
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Re: New Laptop Nightmare

Post by BBLUX »

Hi Hepzi, you have done well to keep you existing laptop for so long.
We went through 2 each during our time in Luxor. Battery failure and also DVD drive died. The climate and environment did not help though.
We now have HP Envy laptops which are going very well after nearly 4 years.
Can I suggest you have a look at the HP range at PCWorld. That way you can actually see and try them. You can get a free Apache Open Office Suite from the internet so don't pay out a load of money for Microsoft Office which you have to pay for every year!
Any more questions just ask ;)
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Re: New Laptop Nightmare

Post by HEPZIBAH »

BBLUX - I think I've had this laptop since about 2009. It was probably the biggest price item I'd ever bought, apart from a car, and took me forever to get around to buying it. It is a HP Pavilion 11" screen, no DVD drive.
I have been in to Currys PC world a couple of times - at Covid-regulation appropriate times. The first time the guy was no help whatsoever. I popped in last week, armed with a printout of the specs of my existing laptop in the hopes that I could better compare with the newer ones. The young chap that approached me this time was much more help. I say he was young - he looked barely older than my laptop. He looked at the spec of my little HP and, from the chat he and a colleague had, it would seem that I bought a top of the range at the time - I had no idea. Pavilions are now the mid range, having been taken over by the Envy range. I must admit, I have been gravitating towards the HP brand - why wouldn't I when I've had such a good experience with one, but I'm also scared this could be a fluke and dread being let down.
At the moment, I think it's a race between HP and Lenovo.
Problem being that the local shelves were pretty bare. I need to try to find time to go down to Hedge End... assuming PC World are still there.

Thanks for the tip regarding an Word Processing package. It certainly goes against the grain to have to pay yearly for something that is essential to the basic use of a laptop. It occurred to me earlier that I had a free version WORD OFFICE, so was going to do some searches to see what was available.
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Re: New Laptop Nightmare

Post by crewmeal »

It all depends what you want to use a laptop for, plus your budget. Once a guy demonstrated a 'Chromebook' and it seemed a really good idea to break away from Gawd awful Windows 10. They seem to do all the stuff that Windows does but at a cheaper price. Obviously price depends on performance so just weigh up what you need.

https://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/chromeboo ... teria.html
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Re: New Laptop Nightmare

Post by HEPZIBAH »

My main use of a laptop is for:
Word processing facilities - general admin and I do a fair amount of writing with the intent of doing more.
Photo editing and storage.
Some social media.
Downloading/viewing films/tv.
Occasional simple games.

At the moment, having recently had a lengthy, unwanted, Windows 10 update, I would be happy to get rid of Windows 10. However, I have at least three friends who bought Chromebooks and raved about them, yet now do not have a good word to say about them.

Price is obviously important, but I don't believe in allowing the ship to sink for the want of a barrel of tar.
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Re: New Laptop Nightmare

Post by BBLUX »

Well then you have certainly chosen a good brand to consider. We used to buy Toshiba as that is what we were using at the Uni. I found the batteries did not last very long. Next we had Lenovo but they did not last very well and had short run time on the battery. Our present HP's have a battery life around 7-10 hours and SSD's (solid state hard drives) which make boot up very rapid (<30 seconds) Most new HP's have SSD's now and sometimes a second conventional Hard Drive for storage. If not you can always plug in a USB drive. Bearing in mind eyesight as one ages I would suggest a 15.6 inch screen size because web pages are higher resolution these days. Processor type could be an AMD Ryzen 5 which gives best battery life. These are cheaper than Intel processors but just as good these days.
Beware of licenced copies of MS Office. We had 2 copies of MS Office XP which worked fine on Win 10. One day an auto update came along and wiped them both! I complained and was told "no longer supported". I switched to Open Office.
Good hunting.
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