Need a new computer...recommendations needed

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Catscankim

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I have been hanging on to this "brick" for as long as I could lol. It's definitely taking a dump. Literally the day after the warrantee expired it started over heating...that was like 5 years ago. I had the fan replaced, but it didn't help, so I have been dealing with this issue for forever and it is getting worse.

Good thing that it only really wants to shut down when I am in the middle of creating/printing labels LOL. So I have been making a sheet of labels and putting it into hibernate to let it cool off. At least then it saves what I am doing without just shutting down on its own. And it gives no warning.

Now it is wanting to run a scan disk every time I reboot it, which is every time it overheats lol. I gave in and ran it one night, then it overheated in the middle of the scan.

And last year it started doing a fun thing: the screen wouldn't turn on, but that was fixed by removing the battery. So now it needs to be plugged in all the time.

I am leaning towards a Mac because my other devices are Apple. They are just so darned expensive and I am wondering if its worth the expense compared to another cheaper "brick". I was all set to put one in my shopping cart with Best Buys, but then I noticed that it didn't have the side number key pad lol. Oddly enough that prevented me from purchasing on the spot lol. So I thought...let me think about this first, what else am I not going to like about it.

So I thought I would get some opinions...
 

Misschief

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I'm on my second Lenovo laptop and have been very impressed. The first one still works, after about 8 years, but is slow, slow, slow. My second one is a rebuilt Lenovo and, yes, it lacks the number pad, which drove me crazy at first. I'm used to it now.

I don't buy from the big box stores; we have a great little local computer shop where the guys keep track of your purchases and they know their computers. They build custom gaming systems as well as sell new and refurbished (by them) computers. We use them at work and I've been recommending them to my local friends. As you can tell, I'm a very satisfied customer. Anyway.... Lenovo.

That said, my husband has a Mac. He used to be a diehard PC fan but is pretty happy with his new Mac.
 

Catscankim

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I used to buy from CompUSA when they were a small store where you got great personal service. I used to be techy. I could take apart a desktop computer and put it back together in an hour. Had multiple harddrives, switching up various OS according to my need. Ran a server (until the government told me to stop LOL). I was a beta tester for several windows new releases, gmail, and a few other things I cannot remember. I can't be bothered anymore. It was a waste of time in the end. So I am kind of out of the loop when it comes to buying a new computer, especially a laptop.

It seemed like overnight CompUSA bloomed into a big box company. When I walked in I could practically feel them betting on what I was buying to upgrade my computer. I didn't even keep the cover on it it because I was always moving stuff around in there. I remember drooling over the new terabyte hard drive that was over $1000 back then, just for the drive lol. Now they are like $200. Then all of a sudden they were selling refrigerators too... I went in one day to buy a whole new computer that had "room" for upgrading and multiple hard drives and extra memory. All I wanted was a box that I could build on. All the guy wanted to sell me was a crappy Gateway computer and wouldn't let me buy anything without purchasing a warrantee. Basically I was treated like a girl "look at the cute mouse it comes with". Like why do I need a warrantee when all I am going to do is take it all apart and put it back together the way i like it anyway LOL.

I wish I had a small computer store to buy from now. And all of my knowledge of computers is gone. I can't even find files half the time LOL
 

AliOop

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I switched to a Mac about 15 years ago and have never looked back. I use my laptop constantly for work, and at the time, was traveling constantly, as well, which means that it gets slammed around in my carryon and in the airplane bins, shoved under seats and used as a footrest, etc. With that kind of treatment, I was burning through laptops every two years max.

In fifteen years, only one Mac failed on me, and that was due to someone attempting to plug in the headphone jack into the power connector and shorting out something electrical inside the box. Still not sure how or why they were trying so hard to jam a round pin into a rectangular opening, but I digress... the point is, Macs don't tend to break down. They also don't tend to get viruses as easily as PCs. For me, the extra expense was worth it.

There is definitely an adjustment period, and also some grieving when you find that not all programs work or work as well on Macs. For instance, MS Word for Mac doesn't give you all the features that are available in the PC version - to make you pay for buying a Mac instead of a PC, no doubt.

I did add VMWare Fusion so I can run Windows-only programs when needed, but I rarely use it. However, if you want to use SoapMaker 3, you either need a PC, or you need to install VMWare Fusion, Bootcamp, Parallels, or the like, in order to make the Mac work in PC mode. It's a bit clunky switching between those modes, so if SM3 is a big part of your soaping life, or you think it will be, that might be a reason not to go Mac.
 
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KimW

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I have something like this little dude that solved the overheating issues on my crusty old steed:

As far as laptop suggestions (coming from a retired Network Administrator who also oversaw the Helpdesk and company PC purchases), I'd steer you towards a Dell Latitude for a PC. Dell's support just can't be beat and their prices are reasonable. The Dell Inspirons are a little less expensive, but the displays on the current models stink. Of course, I also know that my friends with Macs do really love them, and most software makers offer Mac versions.
 

TheGecko

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We have iPhones and iPads, but no Macs in this house. We have a built-to-order PC, two HP Laptops and a Dell Netbook.

As to what to advise you on...it's going to depend on what you plan on using it for. Unless you are doing a lot of graphic stuff...video editing, design, photo editing, etc...it's a waste of money to buy a Mac. 'Sides, their largest laptop with a 16" display doesn't have an extended keyboard.

So...what exactly do you want to do?
 

AliOop

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@TheGecko the only reason I'd disagree is that I've spent less money having two Mac laptops in 15 years, than buying a new Windows laptop every two years or less. Not to mention the hassle of having the old ones fail at the worst possible times, and then having to migrate all my information to a new machine. I've never had one virus on my Macs - which unfortunately did happen on my old PCs.

As a non-accounting person, I never ever use the extended keyboard, so I don't miss it on the MacBook Air. But if I did, my home office desk has an external Mac keyboard (which is extended) and an external monitor for working on projects that benefit from more screen real estate.

So for me, even as a non-designer person, the Mac laptops have saved me money and do everything that I need them to do. But again, if I were ever planning to sell soap, and wanted to use SM3, I'd probably get a dedicated Windows device just for that purpose. Even on a Mac, it's just too clunky to switch between OS and Windows, at least for me.
 

Catscankim

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We have iPhones and iPads, but no Macs in this house. We have a built-to-order PC, two HP Laptops and a Dell Netbook.

As to what to advise you on...it's going to depend on what you plan on using it for. Unless you are doing a lot of graphic stuff...video editing, design, photo editing, etc...it's a waste of money to buy a Mac. 'Sides, their largest laptop with a 16" display doesn't have an extended keyboard.

So...what exactly do you want to do?
Guess I'm getting back into graphics since my sister has been too bogged down with her own business to help. Making labels, cards, etc. I have Paint Shop Pro, which I am very familiar with. Now she says that you can't beat a Mac for graphics, but personally I don't know what the difference between the two systems for graphics since I've never owned a Mac.

Plus I have been doing my own web (failing miserably btw).

Other than that, it's just my personal computer.

I really want my numerical keyboard on the side lol. I type super fast, but it slows me down to have to type numbers by trying to reach them. I don't know why. And If I am doing spreadsheets, I can use the keypad without even looking. I know, weird that I didn't buy a computer today because I didn't have the keypad LOL.

And...are all the functions the same? like CTRL ALT DEL? for example. I guess I will have to go to the store to actually see one. I dunno. I hate to buy a super expensive computer just to be disappointed. But then again, I went from having every android since the beginning, to buying a iPhone. I hated it at first, now I won't go back. My friend calls me an iPhone snob lol.
 

AliOop

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If the extended keyboard is important to you, and you are getting a MacBook Air (laptop), then you'll have to buy an external bluetooth keyboard. I have the USB version but I don't think they offer that any more.

I believe most of the iMacs (non-laptops) come standard with the non-extended keyboard, but you can upgrade for a small extra fee, of course.

ETA: not all function keys are the same. Shift is the same, but Mac uses Command and Option, although there is a Control button that I never use. The scrolling goes the opposite way, unless you change the default setting so that it scrolls like a PC.

It is really, really nice to have a computer that syncs with your phone: all your music, photos, text messages, etc. - all on both devices. Friends often ask me how I text so fast, well, because I'm texting you from my laptop and typing with all my fingers, haha!

Macs are pricey, so maybe look at prices first before you fall in love with anything.
 
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Catscankim

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I guess I don't HAVE to have an extended keyboard LOL. I am still leaning toward the Mac, but would still like some pros and cons.

Like differences in files and locations etc. If I really wanted to, I could find almost any file on a windows based pc if, whether it was deleted or not. I can't find anything on my iPad lol. Never LOL. Is it the same? I have only converted to Apple phone/tablet within the past two years. I really haven't delved into learning it. I usually hand it to one of the kids at work "fix this for me??"

And we won't get into my frustration over my iPad ringing whenever my phone rings LOL LOL. Will the computer ring too? I mean, if I have three devices ringing at the same time I might lose it. And that's one of my reasons for wanting the Mac...to be able to share files and such. Right now I have to email a picture to myself to be able to use it from my computer.
 

AliOop

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The iPad isn't user-friendly for finding files - I regularly lost stuff when I had one of those. Finally I decided that my phone and laptop did all I needed, and I ditched the iPad. Don't miss it at all.

Finding files on my MacBook Air is no problem. Type in the filename, or some portion of it, and tell it to search my entire Mac.

You can change the settings to tell your iPad and your Mac not to ring with phone calls, FaceTime calls, iMessages, etc. It's not hard to do, but I always have to google the directions since I don't do it often enough. And when you buy a new Mac at a Mac store, you can sign up to take one of their group classes (assuming they still do those now) where they walk you through all the basics of setting up. Or take a private one where they set up your phone and computer to work together the way you want. It isn't that hard to do, but sometimes having someone show you how the first time is worth the $$$.
 
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Melysg25

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I have been hanging on to this "brick" for as long as I could lol. It's definitely taking a dump. Literally the day after the warrantee expired it started over heating...that was like 5 years ago. I had the fan replaced, but it didn't help, so I have been dealing with this issue for forever and it is getting worse.

Good thing that it only really wants to shut down when I am in the middle of creating/printing labels LOL. So I have been making a sheet of labels and putting it into hibernate to let it cool off. At least then it saves what I am doing without just shutting down on its own. And it gives no warning.

Now it is wanting to run a scan disk every time I reboot it, which is every time it overheats lol. I gave in and ran it one night, then it overheated in the middle of the scan.

And last year it started doing a fun thing: the screen wouldn't turn on, but that was fixed by removing the battery. So now it needs to be plugged in all the time.

I am leaning towards a Mac because my other devices are Apple. They are just so darned expensive and I am wondering if its worth the expense compared to another cheaper "brick". I was all set to put one in my shopping cart with Best Buys, but then I noticed that it didn't have the side number key pad lol. Oddly enough that prevented me from purchasing on the spot lol. So I thought...let me think about this first, what else am I not going to like about it.

So I thought I would get some opinions...
I bought me and hubby a chromebook this year and WE LOVE IT!!! they do so much. Only gripe really is printer compatabilies.
 

TheGecko

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Guess I'm getting back into graphics since my sister has been too bogged down with her own business to help. Making labels, cards, etc. I have Paint Shop Pro, which I am very familiar with. Now she says that you can't beat a Mac for graphics, but personally I don't know what the difference between the two systems for graphics since I've never owned a Mac.
I had a feeling that 'graphics' would be too broad a term which is why I added in video and photo editing. You don't need to spend maybe more than $500 on what you are wanting to do. My recommendation at this point would be to go visit a store that carries multiple brands and see what keyboards feel most comfortable as I know that HP has 15" screens with extended keyboards, I have owned both the Pavilion and Envy. Looks like Dell Inspirion comes with extended keyboard with their 15" screens too. Lenovo and Acer have come a long way, though I have no personal experience with them.

Again...go to a store where you can physically touch a keyboard and then note which one or ones you liked the best and then go online and find the best price
 

Arimara

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I play the sims 4 so that was a huge factor in the laptop I wanted. My HP Pavillion died last year July and wasn't even 5 yrs old. I still have it but I honestly don't know if I'm ever going to replace the hard drive at this point. Depending on your needs, You'd be better off with a customized Dell, though I can't say I care for their Customer service. My laptop is an ASUS VivoBook and while it's serviceable, I miss having an optical drive and it was not that cheap. But I can play my sims so I'm good.
 

KimW

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One word for your thought, @Catscankim, make sure the maker of your labeling software, and any of your other important software, makes a version for whatever operating system you decide to purchase. Whether it be PC Windows 10, or Mac. There's little more frustrating when it comes to computers than to find your shiny new machine won't run your most important piece of software. :)
 

Becky1024

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I bought my first Mac in 2016 after being frustrated with other laptops breaking down. I bought a refurbished model off a licensed Apple reseller which saved me about half the cost. It was the latest model and came with the same Apple warranty as new. I love it! It’s a workhorse. It’s true some programs like Word and PowerPoint may not have all the options you are used to, but I have found workarounds for everything I have needed.
 

Quilter99755

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Several years ago I bought a PC laptop and 2 days after the warranty was off the hard drive failed. I think that was an Acer. Since my computer always stays in the same place the sales man convinced me to buy a tower computer since I could get a better/bigger one for the same money. It was a Lenovo. I thought I was still savvy enough to download all my programs, info and after a week of arguing with various techs I took it back. Since a friend was coming to visit that designs computers/programs I waited to talk with him about it. He compared computers to a car. If you want a car that you can tweak here and there to get more horsepower or mileage, buy a PC; if you want a car that you can buy and just drive, buy a Mac.

So I bought a Mac and have never regretted it. It is now about 6-8 years old, have never had a virus, never needed to go in for repairs. Yes, there are things that I do not like about it, but have adapted to it for the ease of not having to constantly fiddle with it. I was in the budget department when I worked and "had to have" a numeric keyboard...but now wonder why. The longer I am retired the less I want to fiddle with my computer. I want to get on it and read my email, surf for things and play a few games. I don't want to figure out what is wrong with it now.

I used to have to upgrade my computer about every 2-3 years depending on who the heck knows what. Which would mean a new Microsoft version every time I had to upgrade. I will never go back to a PC. When I was in the Mac store, I cringed at the price. The saleslady said go on the Mac store for open box Macs. They are usually Macs that people buy who just cannot make the change from PC's to Macs. I saved about a third of the price, it was delivered to the store and they set it up and I was able to take the classes, etc. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
 
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