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Thread: OT - Laptop Computers

  1. #1
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    Default OT - Laptop Computers

    I'm thinking about buying a laptop and router so the spouse and I can both compute harmoniously and simultaneously.

    This is just general purpose, household use; no special requirements.

    I've become a dinosaur for the last few years, and not been keeping up with all the techno stuff. Our current desktop unit is at least 5 or 6 years old.

    Anybody have any recommendations of what I should seek/avoid? CPUs/memory/disk space/etc. I guess windows..., what 7, is the only OS choice nowadays, other than of course the apple stuff or unix.

  2. #2
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    While not directly computer related, I would highly recommend getting a good dock and second monitor if you are going to be regularly using it in a common location. Leave the dock on a desk and you can walk up, drop the laptop on the dock, and have monitors, speakers, mics etc instantly all connected instead of fighting with cables. Spare monitors also greatly enhance viewing/comfort/productivity. If you dont want to spend the bucks to buy new, USB monitors are easily sourced via Craigs in most areas pretty cheaply.
    Last edited by justanengineer; 12-06-2011 at 06:04 PM.
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  3. #3
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    I don't have one in my shop, but my primary computer is a laptop. I picked up a nice LCD monitor at GoodWill for about 10 bucks. I had to repair the D connector and it was basically a plug'n'run after that.

    I have used HP, IBM, Dell and Toshiba. I like HP the best, although all the others were satisfactory. I purchased everyone of the laptops and comupters I've used over the past 10 years through refurb, close-out or NOS.

    I'm using a wireless router plugged into the desktop and my laptop and the wife's laptop interface and internet seamlesly.

    I did not look for anything special in the laptops except drive storage, going fot the largest storage available. From there, I attached outboard hard drives via the USB ports. 60Gb for backup and 1 Tb for photos (my other business is photography.)

    In other words, go for it. When Momma ain't happy, nobody's happy.

    Pops

  4. #4
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    For general household use, get a tablet (Kindle, Nook, Ipad, etc.). Unless you have a particular 3rd party application you need to run, laptops are obsolete.
    Gary


    Appearance is Everything...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by goose
    For general household use, get a tablet (Kindle, Nook, Ipad, etc.). Unless you have a particular 3rd party application you need to run, laptops are obsolete.
    I call BS on that.

    I do quite a bit of 3D modeling and rendering on my laptop. I also run photo-editing software, 2D CAD as well as the full range of Office applications.

    Show me a tablet that can do all of that and has a 500 gig hard-drive.
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  6. #6
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    I agree, laptops are far from obsolete. Tablets have taken a big chunk out of the netbook and laptop market for those who were primarily looking for a portable browser/reader solution. They just don't have the HP of a laptop.

    But for this situation, I agree, a tablet. If I ever get one it will be when apple puts a higher res display in the iPad. Android is fine, its just you got to watch out what you get. There are quite a few cheap tablets woefully under powered and running very old versions of android.

  7. #7
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    I now use a Mac,it's easier to use,doesn't keep constantly security updating and it also runs Windows7 from a separate partition for any software that won't run on a Mac.

    Allan

  8. #8
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    Unless you have a particular 3rd party application you need to run, laptops are obsolete.
    Not yet they aren't. There is no reasonable substitute for a real keyboard. Having to haul around extra pieces eliminates any advantages in my book and my wife too.

    For me, even a laptop doesn't fill the bill either. They don't make ones with the capabilities of my desktop and laptops aren't flexible enough. They cannot put 140 watts of CPU power in a laptop. Not now and not soon.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grind Bastard
    I call BS on that.

    I do quite a bit of 3D modeling and rendering on my laptop. I also run photo-editing software, 2D CAD as well as the full range of Office applications.

    Show me a tablet that can do all of that and has a 500 gig hard-drive.


    I said "for general household use"

    Unless the OP and his wife need to run CAD software, etc., there's no compelling reason to get a laptop in this case. My tablet provides email, web browsing, watch TV, etc.,

    As for obsolescence, I think laptops are a compromise product that appeal mostly to a broad base of consumers who want to get basic computing needs along with portability. As tablets become more prevalent and powerful - and less expensive; the big, clunky, power consuming laptops will drop in popularity.
    Gary


    Appearance is Everything...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by goose
    For general household use, get a tablet (Kindle, Nook, Ipad, etc.). Unless you have a particular 3rd party application you need to run, laptops are obsolete.
    I don't agree that laptops are obsolete, but do agree that the tablet can be a good option. I got an I-pad, to be shared by the wife and me, ostensibly to use as a reader. Haven't downloaded a book, yet.

    The plusses:
    Instant boot-up and connectivity. Turn it on, immediately check e-mail, scan the BBS, etc, shut it off or let it go back to sleep on it's own.
    Use it anywhere in the house - shop, couch, throne, bed, breakfast table. (Wi-Fi required)
    Good battery life. A couple of days of moderate intermittent use. I'm using it more than usual right now in my convalescence and get 2-3 days on an overnight charge.

    The minuses:
    Less-than-perfect keyboard/editing. Good enough for casual text entry, but some cut-and-paste operations are beyond it's capability....or mine to understand the procedure.
    Some functions are unsupported, like scrolling within the text editing box for this BBS. I can scroll the page that the box is on, just not in the box.

    Pricey, but most versatile at the time.


    Observation:
    I was surprised at how fast I've become at one and two finger touch typing with the on-screen keyboard. There is built-in auto-capitalization at the beginning of a sentence and the single I,and limited spell checking.
    Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
    ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~

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