Advice: buying computer

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lenarenee

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Thought I'd take advantage of the sales this week. Can anyone point me in the right direction as to brands to consider or avoid, processors and what not?

I'm ignorant of computer stuff. I'm not a heavy user; internet, pictures, MS office, non-strenuous gaming. However I don't want a slow computer, so I tend to buy a little more computer than I ever use (better than not buying enough computer), and I keep several tabs open at one time.

Right now I have 4 year old Lenovo ideapad that cost $600 four years ago. intel r core i7 3520m cpu 290 hgz.

I'd appreciate any suggestions you have!
 

Stacy

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What I recommend for people who want no hassles is Dell. Some people have horror stories about customer service, but I never had an issue. I get my laptops from them (I build my own if it's a desktop).

For the most part it's a good deal and the warranties and tech support can be very helpful for someone who isn't tech savvy. I haven't dealt with them in 4 or 5 years though so if someone has more recent experience you should give that more weight.

You probably want to go mid level. Much higher than that and you'll most likely be paying for things that you don't need, much lower and while it may be ok today you will outgrow it quickly.

I never buy expensive warranties unless it's a laptop. When you have a laptop that mobile, things like dropping it or damaging it are much more likely than if you have a desktop that sits in one space.
 

cmzaha

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I agree with Stacy with buying Dell, and I have never had a problem with customer service. Even had a tech step me though taking apart a lap top several years ago to get to the WiFi card. Even thing including the screen had to come apart. My daughter bought me a new computer last year which is a Lenovo and I can say I hate it with a passion. It is an all-in-one so I cannot even get into it to replace parts. I also built all my computers and all family members computers. My preference was always AMD cpu's. Finally lost my patience for building them, did not keep up the the new technology which is why she bought me one. I would have purchased a Dell
 

soapygoat

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Stay away from HP. A lot of people like them, and they're great in the sense that you can get a lot of computer for not a lot of money, but the hardware, the actual laptop itself, is built very poorly.

My first HP stopped taking a charge after 3 years and could only be run while it was plugged in and the battery was out. Even that finally got to where it wasn't working. Laptops 2 and 3 lasted about 2 years each, but they both developed a nasty habit of just randomly shutting themselves off. I got to the point with them of having to run them exclusively while set on a table, because it seemed like bumping them made them shut down. That worked for awhile, but eventually even that didn't help, and I was struggling to keep them on for more than 10 minutes at a time. My 4th and final HP made it to 2 years, but 6 months in I noticed the bottom cover was separating from the rest of the body of the laptop. It continued getting progressively worse. I finally figured out that the mounts for the lid hinges had broken (a known defect in that particular model), so the part of the hinge that goes into the body of the laptop was now pressing against the bottom as it opened, which it isn't designed to do, so plastic was breaking. Basically, the laptop was slowly tearing itself apart.

I got a Dell about 6 months ago and so far have been thrilled with it. My fiance's Dell has been around for nearly 5 years now and is still going strong.
 

Kamahido

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I build my own so as not to have to deal with such problems. For $1,000 dollars I was able to build a machine that Best Buy was selling for $3,000. Reason for learning how to do it myself was that I was just tired of having to pick from what the big box computer companies had to offer. Now I am completely on my own terms. Not what you were looking for I am sure but that is my two cents.
 

earlene

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If you can afford it, go for the solid state hard drive option. They never overheat, and overheating has always been an issue with every laptop I've ever owned since I started using them instead of stationary PC's. My husband's laptop that I gave him for Christmas has a SSHD (Solid State Hard Drive) and he absolutely loves that it NEVER gets warm, let alone overheating.

This one I use now is 7 years old and when I need to replace it (how has it lasted this long I often wonder), it will be one with a an SSHD without a doubt.

For me, it essential that I have certain features, so if there are any you absolutely must have, make sure to shop around until you find one with all those features.
 

snappyllama

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Ditto to Earlene's advice... get a solid state drive. They are sooo much faster. For the money, changing to a solid state drive gives the biggest performance boost of any pc upgrade. I wouldn't buy a new machine without one.
 

Soapmaker145

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If you have a costco membership, look at the Acer laptops (if you are looking for a laptop). You get a lot for the money plus you have costco's warranty. I just bought a low end 13" Acer for a gift with an i5, 256 GB SSD, and a beautiful screen. It is amazing. I'll be replacing my laptop with an Acer instead of a Dell.
 

shunt2011

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I'm with the others recommending Dell. I have one and am not disappointed at all.
 

Misschief

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Interesting insights.. I have a Lenovo and I love it. I got a free laptop (HP) when we signed up with our internet service when we moved into this place (our previous provider wasn't servicing our building) and it lasted until the day after the warranty expired (two years). My Lenovo laptop has lasted me three years so far and hasn't given me a single issue. I did not buy from a big box store but from a small, local shop that actually knows what service is.
 

Arimara

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What I recommend for people who want no hassles is Dell. Some people have horror stories about customer service, but I never had an issue. I get my laptops from them (I build my own if it's a desktop).

For the most part it's a good deal and the warranties and tech support can be very helpful for someone who isn't tech savvy. I haven't dealt with them in 4 or 5 years though so if someone has more recent experience you should give that more weight.

You probably want to go mid level. Much higher than that and you'll most likely be paying for things that you don't need, much lower and while it may be ok today you will outgrow it quickly.

I never buy expensive warranties unless it's a laptop. When you have a laptop that mobile, things like dropping it or damaging it are much more likely than if you have a desktop that sits in one space.
I agree with Stacy with buying Dell, and I have never had a problem with customer service. Even had a tech step me though taking apart a lap top several years ago to get to the WiFi card. Even thing including the screen had to come apart. My daughter bought me a new computer last year which is a Lenovo and I can say I hate it with a passion. It is an all-in-one so I cannot even get into it to replace parts. I also built all my computers and all family members computers. My preference was always AMD cpu's. Finally lost my patience for building them, did not keep up the the new technology which is why she bought me one. I would have purchased a Dell

I'm with the others recommending Dell. I have one and am not disappointed at all.
I guess Dell must have stepped up their game. I'm one of whose who had a Dell but had a bad experience with their customer service. I bought an HP and I have to say, it is the second most fragile thing I've owned in a while. The Sturdiest laptop I've owned was a toshiba and while it's slow as sin (I bought it straight from Best Buy at a bargain price), I still like how overall comfortable it is to use.

I build my own so as not to have to deal with such problems. For $1,000 dollars I was able to build a machine that Best Buy was selling for $3,000. Reason for learning how to do it myself was that I was just tired of having to pick from what the big box computer companies had to offer. Now I am completely on my own terms. Not what you were looking for I am sure but that is my two cents.
I wanted to do this myself but my patience can wane pretty quickly if I stumble across a problem. I also have to learn what I need and don't need since I'm not a hardcore gamer who needs a powerhouse pc (I'll play The Sims at best) but I need a rather energy efficient pc for what it's worth.
 

lenarenee

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Thank you for you input everyone. I wholeheartedly agree with the SSD, I got to use one a few years ago and it's a whole different experience from my schizophrenic machine.

I've been reading reviews and pc magazine for a year now since my Lenovo's been driving me crazy for well over a year.
Apple is out of my price range. I've never found a real-life person who liked their Lenovo and reviews on their customer service were quite bad.
Most people have suggested Dell to me, if I can't afford Apple. (Samsung too, but it's gone the way of Apple's prices)

Dell's been upping their game lately and still have room to improve, but they won my vote today.

I'm typing this on my new Dell Inspiron 2 in 1 with SSD, and i7 core. It's a more than I wanted to spend, but the choices at Best Buy in my preferred price range were really bad. I've settled for a bad computer for the past 4 years so didn't want to do that again.

Thank you again for your help; I'm so relieved to have this purchase done!
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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I had a dell that lasted me very well, but my wife's one had a screen issue just out of warranty. I fitted a new one, but that should never be needed. I replaced my dell with a hp because I could get more machine for the same money and I am happy with it. While the build quality might be a touch lower than dell, the difference is not so great that I consider dell to be better value for money
 

chela1261

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I've heard that Acers are one of the best you can buy. We have and always had Dell though without any issues
 

snappyllama

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I recently got a Lenova Yoga since I work from home off a gaming rig. My ancient Toshiba laptop died the morning after my lovely, gigantic PC was packed off onto a moving truck. I had a 10am remote presentation with my boss's boss's boss and had to get something right then. I picked the Yoga since it can double as a tablet so maybe it would do more than sit in a closet hoping I'd have more travel. Mainly though, the store had one.

The Lenova is a beautiful and very responsive machine, but I don't think I could recommend one. It's only a month old and has already given me blue screen of death and then absolutely refused to turn back on. Only by doing a weird maneuver involving plugging it back into the charger and holding down the power button for 20 seconds, then releasing, then unplugging it, then quickly pressing the power could I get it to turn on.

I'd send it in but I'm (A) Lazy (B) bought it from a place in Colorado and I'm in North Carolina now (C) lost all original packaging and proof of purchase because I was losing my mind at the time - I'd even paid cash for it because the store's credit card system was down.
 

earlene

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I'm typing this on my new Dell Inspiron 2 in 1 with SSD, and i7 core. It's a more than I wanted to spend, but the choices at Best Buy in my preferred price range were really bad. I've settled for a bad computer for the past 4 years so didn't want to do that again.

Thank you again for your help; I'm so relieved to have this purchase done!
Sounds nice. I may look into their gaming series laptops. I need that extra oomph for gaming. Yeah, I'm one a those old ladies who plays memory & graphics intensive games. Plus I do a lot of digital photography and watching videos, so I like lots of RAM and lots of storage space and yada yada yada.
 

Obsidian

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I have a toshiba laptop that I've had for 5 years, its just as fast and reliable as the day I got it. It was top of the line at the time and a bit pricey but I was playing MMO's at the time.
Only problem is the battery stopped holding a charge but thats to be expected when a LT is on 24/7. I don't use it away from home so keeping it plugged in isn't a problem.
 

cmzaha

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I build my own so as not to have to deal with such problems. For $1,000 dollars I was able to build a machine that Best Buy was selling for $3,000. Reason for learning how to do it myself was that I was just tired of having to pick from what the big box computer companies had to offer. Now I am completely on my own terms. Not what you were looking for I am sure but that is my two cents.
I can't it saved me oodles of money to build my own because I could never that would be to my specs. I just always wanted to be able to control what went in my computer. Plus I would upgrade it every few months. Unfortunetlly can't afford that anymore so stuck with the crappy Lenovowith a sucky video card. :shh: don't tell my daughter who was sweet enough to buy it for me
 

fuzz-juzz

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We upgraded last year from the HP PC we had for almost 8 years.
It was sluggish and running on Windows 7 so we had to upgrade as many programs including Antivirus renewal wouldn't work on it at all.
We were very happy with it, it never broke or anything. We did pick up few viruses and malware along the way, but clean up is easy.

So, last year, we got top of the range HP, as in top amount of RAM, processor speed, graphics card etc. It's excellent, no problems with it at all. Bit more expensive than to build it from scratch but I just couldn't be bothered.
 

Susie

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Sounds nice. I may look into their gaming series laptops. I need that extra oomph for gaming. Yeah, I'm one a those old ladies who plays memory & graphics intensive games. Plus I do a lot of digital photography and watching videos, so I like lots of RAM and lots of storage space and yada yada yada.
Yeah, me, too on the gaming. I bought an ASUS ROG i7(Republic of Gamers) a couple of years back, and I LOVE it. It has twin turbo cooling fans that exhaust out the back of the laptop, and therefore never, ever gets hot. I can run 3 different games with no slow down, whatsoever. The only thing I would do differently is to get the SSD the next time.
 

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