Computer Corner

Jun 16, 2009
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Just thought I would create a thread about Computers because I am looking to buy a laptop and was wondering if anybody new much about the good brands and what would be good for my needs. I am a uni student (still!), I just need the basic programs (i.e. Word, PowerPoint, etc.), I need a decent amount of storage but not too large and nothing above the $1100 mark. I don't really want to buy something from Apple because their laptops don't seem to suit my needs and I don't want to shop online (mock me all you like :p).

Thoughts?
 
Mar 18, 2009
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I am not a computer geek and I own mostly Macs. Having said that, you don't necessarily need to worry about brands for PCs because most companies who were well known for their branding (IBM, etc) no longer make computers but rather just supply the bits that make computers. If your intended use does not need high processing power (gaming, video editing, photo editing) and does not need high storage capacity (photos and videos), then you should be able to pick up a PC laptop for less than $300. I forget the specifics, but I bought a PC laptop for $200 with MS Office and a few other things a couple of years ago. The other option for you is second hand - lots of good deals to be had there as well.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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Thanks Elapid. I must confess that I am not actually purchasing the laptop. I did see some quite good Asus laptops and I have been told by a mate that they are quite good. I am just seeking some alternate opinions on here.
 
Take a trip to your local Officeworks and check out the multitude they have on display. You should have plenty of change left from $1000. Acer, Asus are both good brands. HP I avoid like the plague (used to work for them...have a problem and you are talking to a HD in India).


Don't go near Hardly Normal - too much hard sell from people with little knowledge.
 
What I've heard right now Asus and Samsung tend to have the more reliable products - but then again, aside from the super cheap stuff those things aren't that different from each other.

For you it's most important to figure out what you really need. You say you mostly need it for univerity using mainly office and internet - You'd want something that's fairly light and compact and has a good keyboard. I'd go for a 13" or smaller 15" so it's easily transportable - you won't need one of those with a seperate num block etc.
If you don't need an optical drive you might look into buying an ultrabook type. I don't know about prices in Austrialia, but here decent Ultrabooks start at EURO 600.
Got to a store and try typing on some of these. You'll hate your computer if it has a crappy keyboard and you'll have to finish some midterm paper fast.
An Intel I3 processor should be enough. Don't buy anything with less than 4GB RAM. Don't let them fool you with big hard drives, rather a better processor and more RAM, you can always get an external hard drive for you data. The new SSD are very fast and reliable, but come at a price.
 
Arnout said:
Don't buy a Sony Vaio. That's all I will say :(
Never tried them, but they seem to be way overpriced compared to others.

I wouldn't bother with Samsung either, Laptops are a sideline to them behind Mobile phones, TV's. I had my old trusty Acer One netbook (the original 2008 one) refuse to boot when in Krakow Poland in 2011, so rushed out and bought the cheapest replacement from a Saturn store - a Samsung. Its been unused since I got back, slow, full of junkware. Sits in a drawer in case of emergency need, which hopefully won't happen.

My current laptop is a 12 month old Acer AO722. At 11.6 inches its very good for travelling, or for when otherwise on the move.
 
I've always preferred Asus, don't think it matters too much though. Only real differences between them are things like the chassis, how much bloatware it comes installed with and support.

As an aside - I don't see myself buying another laptop. As tablets and hybrids improve they will be able to provide most of the features of a conventional laptop. Though I've always owned a desktop and probably always will.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Macs are regularly configured as PC primary machines and are usually chosen by people that run PC software but are tired of broken laptops. No doubt they are not cheap but over 10 years I bet they are not more expensive.
 
Master50 said:
Macs are regularly configured as PC primary machines and are usually chosen by people that run PC software but are tired of broken laptops. No doubt they are not cheap but over 10 years I bet they are not more expensive.
Most laptops at Officeworks and Harvey's dont have enough memory imho and some cant be upgraded. The come with minimum amount to keep cost down.

Id look at local PC shop and add extra memory well above minimum. All Pc's are fast these days, so no longer an issue.


Hugh
 
Mar 18, 2009
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hughmoore said:
Most laptops at Officeworks and Harvey's dont have enough memory imho and some cant be upgraded. The come with minimum amount to keep cost down.

Id look at local PC shop and add extra memory well above minimum. All Pc's are fast these days, so no longer an issue.
External memory is much cheaper than internal. I can get 4TB external hard drive for $250, and a portable 1TB external hard drive for less than $100.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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Master50 said:
Macs are regularly configured as PC primary machines and are usually chosen by people that run PC software but are tired of broken laptops. No doubt they are not cheap but over 10 years I bet they are not more expensive.
Yeah, but the Macs don't really fit my needs. Something I do know is that Macs are a lot more for music, video and image altering programs. My limited use of macs has also made me think that the main programs on them are not as good or user friendly, or at least that is my opinion.
hughmoore said:
Most laptops at Officeworks and Harvey's dont have enough memory imho and some cant be upgraded. The come with minimum amount to keep cost down.

Id look at local PC shop and add extra memory well above minimum. All Pc's are fast these days, so no longer an issue.


Hugh
I have looked at some of the laptops at both of those retailers and they seem to have enough memory for what I would need according to some Laptop review sites in them but thanks for the advice on the PC shop purchase idea. I am in contact with a local PC repair man who does also buy laptops for people based on their recommendations so I may consider asking him for some advice.

Overall, I am enjoying everyone's input.:)
 
Mar 16, 2009
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I just purchased this. HP ENVY dv7-7212nr I use my laptop for entertainment quite a bit so the HD screen and dedicated video card were important. It does a good job on the cycling race streams. It boots up and is on the internet in about 15 secs, runs cool. all in all it performs very, very well.
However my HP experience was not satisfactory. I had a sound problem and had to replace the original unit. And the replacement is a $200 cheaper model and I feel cheated even though this new one has some hardware that is up graded.
 
Oct 20, 2012
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auscyclefan94 said:
Just thought I would create a thread about Computers because I am looking to buy a laptop and was wondering if anybody new much about the good brands and what would be good for my needs. I am a uni student (still!), I just need the basic programs (i.e. Word, PowerPoint, etc.), I need a decent amount of storage but not too large and nothing above the $1100 mark. I don't really want to buy something from Apple because their laptops don't seem to suit my needs and I don't want to shop online (mock me all you like :p).

Thoughts?
You don't have to buy a new laptop for the study work you want to do, neither some kind of advice about which brand is good or not that good.

Find any used 15" laptop with dual core or any other decent processor and install on it a Linux OS. You'll have all the applications you need installed with the OS for your study work in the one third of the price that you'll pay for a new laptop. Try Linux Mint if you are a beginner.:)
 
Acer/Asus are both excellent as is Lenovo. I'm partial to matte screen finish. They are getting harder to find. The glossy finish on the LCD is a distraction for me.

Stay away from the low-end units if possible. While they promise CPU XYZ seen on higher-end machines, the user's actual sense of speed is they are slow.

If price is a huge issue, buy an off-lease with no operating system, or probably Ubuntu's Linux distro already installed. As Alitogata mentioned, a dual core with 2-6GB of RAM will run everything. Linux is different, but everyone that's taken the leap based on my recommendation has been happy.

Also, even if you are comfortable with Microsoft's OS, there is no need at all to buy their Office Suite. http://www.libreoffice.org is all most people need. My wife wrote her dissertation on it with all the special formatting requirements, references and such handled well.

Image editing The GIMP is excellent. They have mac and Windows packages.
 

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