[CONSUMER ADVICE] Laptop Buying

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I want a new computer, ideally a laptop. I'd like it to be inexpensive obviously but not cut too many corners w.r.t. specifications. I'll need a pretty big hard drive - processing speed is less important to me. Not fussed re. sound/graphics and all that.

The question is - what should I buy? when should I buy it? (not knowing anything about pc market price cycles) how much should i expect to pay so i can budget for this?

Thanks you helpful people.

Tom (Groke), Wednesday, 30 July 2003 10:35 (sixteen years ago) link

I should add that I don't need this new computer urgently and am thinking of buying towards the end of this year or more likely the start of the next one.

Tom (Groke), Wednesday, 30 July 2003 10:37 (sixteen years ago) link

This info would be good for me too. I would obviously like exactly the same spec as Tom so that never of us will covet the others laptop.

Pete (Pete), Wednesday, 30 July 2003 11:06 (sixteen years ago) link

I have a Compaq Presario, it's got about 22GB's of space, and CD writer and all that. It's a good computer, I think for what I 'm going to do with it (ie not alot). Everyone will tell you to buy a mac. It was about £1200, I probably could have got it cheaper, but I wanted software and stuff, and couldn't be bothered to look around for deals.

jel -- (jel), Wednesday, 30 July 2003 11:16 (sixteen years ago) link

i will be the 1st to tell you to buy a mac - the titanium g4 poerbooks are the nuts, but i have a white g3 ibook and it does the job, plus it's pretty - one of these is abt a grand and i can give you software

Dave Stelfox (Dave Stelfox), Wednesday, 30 July 2003 11:20 (sixteen years ago) link

Macs are OK, but the comparative lack of software is annoying. The titanium powerbooks also get very very hot, have crappy keyboards and *very* flaky cd drives.

RickyT (RickyT), Wednesday, 30 July 2003 11:38 (sixteen years ago) link

I've been quite happy with my Dell Inspiron (1.6 mHz, 256 meg of RAM, 14" screen), which I got for a steal...$600! Take a bit of time every week and cruise the sites that catalog deals and special offers. Do searches for discount/rebate codes...they're out there. (Sorry, I don't know any sites to recommend for the UK.) You'll aquaint yourself with the prices and know a deal when it comes along.

teeny (teeny), Wednesday, 30 July 2003 12:05 (sixteen years ago) link

if you're thinking about a mac, know that soon (september or october) the powerbook line will be updated with a new version of the g4 chip and other goodies. that's what i'm waiting for.

j. pantsman, Wednesday, 30 July 2003 14:59 (sixteen years ago) link

The thread from when I was thinking about buying a laptop:
/ILX/ThreadSelectedControllerServlet?thread.php?msgid=3432711

I ended up getting a Dell Inspiron, after hearing some very positive stories about Dell laptops, and I'm very happy with it. I wish I'd gotten as good a price as teeny!

JuliaA (j_bdules), Wednesday, 30 July 2003 15:00 (sixteen years ago) link

HP and Compaq = not so hot, mass produced, easily damaged. I have an old Dell Latitude that has been through a lot, but hasn't Dell kind of also been sacrificing quality in the service of mass production?

Personally, I would recommend getting yourself an IBM ThinkPad if you can. I couldn't be happier with mine, it's durable, reliable, fast enough for my purposes, though I wish I could have afforded the speediest processor on the market (this one has a Celeron), it does get overwhelmed occasionally when working on large files in Photoshop.

I'm not a Mac user so couldn't say much about those.

daria g (daria g), Wednesday, 30 July 2003 15:29 (sixteen years ago) link

There's some good advice on the subject to be had on Slashdot as well.
And.. one more thing.. don't buy from sketchy refurb companies! or, if you want to take a risk on a hot deal from a relatively unknown online seller, PUT IT ON YR CREDIT CARD. that way, if you get shafted, you can have your credit card company refuse payment; if you've put it on a debit or sent a check, good luck getting a refund there.

I bought what turned out to be a malfunctioning piece-of-sh!t HP laptop from Refurb Depot, and it was only my credit card co. that saved me from losing $1200 on the deal, 'cause those jerkoffs wanted ME to be responsible for fixing the defective laptop they'd sent me. Yeah, right.

daria g (daria g), Wednesday, 30 July 2003 15:33 (sixteen years ago) link

nellie, please post the laptop picture you have on this thread

minna (minna), Wednesday, 30 July 2003 15:37 (sixteen years ago) link

Tom ...

I use the 12" PowerBook G4, and it is IDEAL.

As a music nut you will surely love iTunes. Imagine if all your music files (provided you're into that sort of thing) were in a big database that you could query based on pretty much any criteria you choose! It's more intelligent than any other software that purports to be a "library" or "jukebox" and it's inobtrusive and smartly designed (like most Apple software). Two clicks and you've burned a CD.

This computer is PLEASURABLE. To look at it when it's switched off you might say "the screen is surely too small" but believe me, I use this thing 8+ hours a day and it's the IDEAL size and more easy on the eyes than a 17" CRT. I no longer go home with raging headaches from eyestrain. If you need to hook it up to a monitor (ie. for a presentation) you can too (the only caveat being that it does not have DVI-out). Take it to a coffee shop and watch the heads turn!

The keyboard is to die for. If you do a lot of writing/typing you would be hard pressed to find a laptop keyboard that gives you a better balance between softness and clickiness. Plus, it looks more elegant than most of the Soviet-era refuse they're passing off these days ...

Also, I cannot stress how easy Mac OS X is to use. I am a massive nerd, but a lazy one, and I spend less time wrestling with with the O/S than I did when I was on Windows (and about 1% of the wrestle time I spent on Linux).

Many people have reported heat/excessive warmth issues from the 12" PowerBook. The computer does get a bit toasty (the hazard of cramming so much goodness into a small metal box, I suspect) but if you run Software Update to bring yourself up to the newest patch level, you'll be fine.

They start at £1299 which ain't so bad. If you've got a mate who goes to University see if he'll use his education discount for you and you can probably knock of a couple hundred pounds.

(fields of salmon in MacPorn shocker!)

fields of salmon (fieldsofsalmon), Wednesday, 30 July 2003 16:22 (sixteen years ago) link

One thing that would very important to me when buying a laptop is the kind of mouse replacement it has. Those touch pad things are fucking awful. Get one with a nipple.

N. (nickdastoor), Wednesday, 30 July 2003 16:46 (sixteen years ago) link

Or just buy a USB mouse.

s1utsky (slutsky), Wednesday, 30 July 2003 16:51 (sixteen years ago) link

yeah, like I don't actually take my laptop anywhere, it's just a great space saver. So I have a USB mouse.

jel -- (jel), Wednesday, 30 July 2003 16:56 (sixteen years ago) link

Oh yeah, real mouse for sure. But I am guessing that Tom will want to take his places sometimes.

N. (nickdastoor), Wednesday, 30 July 2003 17:13 (sixteen years ago) link

The touch pad annoyed me initially, but I've grown to love it. I like it much better than an external mouse, or the nipple thing. (never heard it referred to that way...)

JuliaA (j_bdules), Wednesday, 30 July 2003 17:32 (sixteen years ago) link

I want to attack them with hammers.

N. (nickdastoor), Wednesday, 30 July 2003 17:44 (sixteen years ago) link

tom, if you buy a mac I don't see why you would need a powerbook, unless you think that buying toward the higher end will prolong the usefulness of your computer in five years or so. I think it will only do so much toward that end, though. an ibook, especially reasonably outfitted, should be fine (and cheaper). i have a recently new 900 MHz one, and it's fantastic (especially after moving from my broken 200 MHz powerbook with 16 megs of ram).

it has a trackpad, but i've used a trackpad for like five or six years or more, happily. my old computer was in such a sorry state, too, that the button was broken so I was using the trackpad to tap, too. no problems.

macos x is a fine, stable operating system. it has unix stuff underneath but you don't have to mess with it if you don't want to. from my reformed computer nerd perspective, a lot of the new features (not just the unix stuff) are really slick. I've had no problems with software, but then I don't have any special needs for my computer. I think aside from a downloaded ftp client (using a web browser as an ftp client sucks ass), I basically only use software that came with it. ichat (aim client) is nice, and itunes (mp3 player) is great. you would probably want to buy or steal a copy of microsoft office, but it comes with word processing etc. software that does the job.

I also have an airport card and airport hub (for wireless). the hub accomodates both ethernet connected to broadband, and a modem line. it broadcasts a standard (mac or pc) wireless signal, up to like 50 meters or something. I haven't had any trouble with it (the one time I thought I did, and spent an hour fucking around with everything I could think of to fix it, it turned out that my ethernet connection to the hub on our internal network was bad - I just suspected the airport first because I figured it would be the sort of thing to get fucked up), moving around the house, down in the basement, etc. the speed is great with a cable internet connection, so if you're still using a modem, wireless would be just as fast for you as using the modem directly. oh, and the ibook's got a built-in ether port and modem, anyway. having an airport hub at home might be extravagant for you, I don't know - but I greatly appreciate the ability to move around my house with no wires. even without the hub, a card is a really good idea if you have anywhere you frequent with wireless service. I've never paid for service (though there was a pay network available in one of my coffeeshops, unbeknownst to me), since my campus, including, happily, my office, is mostly covered with wireless. obviously I think this is the greatest technology ever. I'm a little behind.

regardless of what you buy, buy a lot of extra ram. aside from the eventual upgrades that won't support your processor (the model, not the speed), ram is probably the determining factor in how much useful life you get out of the machine. or you can be a mentalist like me and have no ram for years and run two programs max at once and use no new exciting software once software development leaves you behind.

Josh (Josh), Wednesday, 30 July 2003 21:33 (sixteen years ago) link

does anyone know if laptops are a lot cheaper in the US than britain these days? like, cheap enough to make it worthwhile postponing buying one until one's in america and then smuggling it back through customs?!

toby (tsg20), Thursday, 31 July 2003 06:45 (sixteen years ago) link

Crucial (perhaps) factor in the Mac/PC question - after writing and stealing music from The Man, the main thing I want to do with a computer is play games.

I have grown very weary of the nipple on my work laptop.

Tom (Groke), Thursday, 31 July 2003 09:24 (sixteen years ago) link

I have a Mac now, and I too only write and steal from the Man. I'd buy a secondhand Thinkpad T20/21/22 off eBay. They're about £500, and you can get an 80gig hard drive for about £50 more, so you're sorted. They are nipplebased, but incredibly robust, nice keyboards, and you won't get as good a machine new for less than a grand. They'll also play games OK - anything up to about Max Payne will be fine.

Jim Eaton-Terry (Jim E-T), Thursday, 31 July 2003 09:38 (sixteen years ago) link

Oh, I meant to say - you can get quite good games on a Mac, but they'll cost an arm.

Jim Eaton-Terry (Jim E-T), Thursday, 31 July 2003 09:38 (sixteen years ago) link

Thinkpads are nearly indestructible, aye.

RickyT (RickyT), Thursday, 31 July 2003 09:42 (sixteen years ago) link

If you're going for x86, think about getting a Tosh or a Dell. I've been drooling over the new Tosh Satelitte P25! Hyperthreading processor, 1400x900 screen, *drools*. As far as hard drive space goes, just forget the internal IDE drives and buy yourself an external firewire harddrive. You'll get tons of portable disk space and fantastic transfer speed. Ideally, it's good to know what you're going to be using it for to really make a judgement though.

Dale the Titled (cprek), Thursday, 31 July 2003 12:36 (sixteen years ago) link

- downloading files of around 4-7 Mb each on average (what could they be I wonder)
- writing
- arsing about online
- playing games, generally management/strategy/'god' games.

Tom (Groke), Thursday, 31 July 2003 12:37 (sixteen years ago) link

You're really just going to be restricted on hard drive space for a laptop because of the size factor. If you don't mind an extra component hanging off I'd definitely use an external hard drive with firewire/USB2. You can go second-tier on a graphics card if it's just strategy games, so you don't need whatever the new ATI mobile card is. Built-in 802.11b is fun, and if you're buying at the end of the year you'll probably have to go out of your way to avoid it, so I'd recommend that too.

Dale the Titled (cprek), Thursday, 31 July 2003 12:46 (sixteen years ago) link

If you do end up deciding on a Thinkpad and want a brand new one - I can get an employee discount thingy for you.

marianna, Thursday, 31 July 2003 12:59 (sixteen years ago) link

Yes, despite my pro-Mac stance I will say that wanting to play games is a big deciding factor. The Mac platform has some good strategy games (like SimCity 3 and whatnot) but the selection is much greater on the PC. If you're not too bothered about always playing the latest hottest game, I'd still say a Mac would be the way to go.

I second the recommendation for whoever have been bigging up Toshiba and IBM Thinkpads. These are the top of the heap when it comes to PC notebooks, truly. Dell is nice, but Toshiba and IBM Thinkpad are a little more reliable.

fields of salmon (fieldsofsalmon), Thursday, 31 July 2003 13:19 (sixteen years ago) link

I've had an IBM Thinkpad for four years. It is pretty heavy, but built like a tank and has given me no troubles at all. My old company went with IBM after having the HP and Compaq laptops just not being able to take wear and tear. It is little things like how the CD-rom/floppy drives are built, the IBM just has more support and can take being swapped around a bunch.

You cannot go wrong with an Apple, as they just make solid pieces of hardware.

Toshiba and some of the Sonys I have heard good things about, but I have no experience with either one.

earlnash, Thursday, 31 July 2003 13:56 (sixteen years ago) link

I dunno about iBooks, but Powerbooks are not that tough. A titanium plastic sandwich is not the best design for durability and the less said about my dvd drive the better.

RickyT (RickyT), Thursday, 31 July 2003 14:02 (sixteen years ago) link

The aluminium models (ie. the 12" and the 17" at present) are much tougher.

fields of salmon (fieldsofsalmon), Thursday, 31 July 2003 14:13 (sixteen years ago) link

Sonys are awful. Toshibas are said to be nice by them as knows. Frankly, if all you want to do is play Civ and download files, then get the best PIII Thinkpad you can afford.

Jim Eaton-Terry (Jim E-T), Thursday, 31 July 2003 14:14 (sixteen years ago) link

I don't think Tom will be getting a Mac. It's a P2P thing.

N. (nickdastoor), Thursday, 31 July 2003 16:22 (sixteen years ago) link

Oh yeah, I forgot about that.

No, no Macs, sorry.

Tom (Groke), Thursday, 31 July 2003 16:24 (sixteen years ago) link

the toshiba that i bought is quite nice indeed. it gives you more bang for your buck than a sony. its quite a reliable machine.

todd swiss (eliti), Thursday, 31 July 2003 16:33 (sixteen years ago) link

i'm taking all this good advice from you as well. i should buy a new laptop in a month or so.
thanks tom for starting this thread!

joan vich (joan vich), Thursday, 31 July 2003 16:39 (sixteen years ago) link

five months pass...
i am in a similiar situain that tom was in. i want to buy and use a laptop for mixing/editing music but i have a question about playing more 3d games? i just started playing games again and want to play "total war". the pc at my house does not support the graphics & this seems to be because it lacks an 8xcd drive (or it lascks the direct 3d video card- its not my pc, so i am not sure)

anyways, i also want to use soulseek so macs are out.

i am trying to decide between a Dell Inspiron 5100 vs an Ibm thinkpad. i have not looked into the thinkpads, are they worth the it?

help!

kephm, Thursday, 22 January 2004 18:49 (fifteen years ago) link

bump/

kephm, Thursday, 22 January 2004 18:51 (fifteen years ago) link

you can use slsk on macs now ya know!

s1ocki (slutsky), Thursday, 22 January 2004 18:53 (fifteen years ago) link

with or without virtual pc?
thing is since i started playing games again & mac doesnt support as many. thing is , i dont imagine i will be playing many games.

kephm, Thursday, 22 January 2004 19:14 (fifteen years ago) link

without!

s1ocki (slutsky), Thursday, 22 January 2004 19:15 (fifteen years ago) link

hmm thanks for the tip, well if can play 'total war' on a mac, then i am off to the apple store.

kephm, Thursday, 22 January 2004 19:17 (fifteen years ago) link

Just bring an extra $500 that you don't need.

Spencer Chow (spencermfi), Thursday, 22 January 2004 19:24 (fifteen years ago) link

i think this is going to come down to a coin toss

kephm, Thursday, 22 January 2004 20:54 (fifteen years ago) link

two months pass...
I am going out today to buy a new laptop!

Tico Tico (Tico Tico), Saturday, 3 April 2004 08:31 (fifteen years ago) link

Which one did you decide on, Tom? (I have persuaded my work to buy me one - THE FOOLS)

Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Saturday, 3 April 2004 08:48 (fifteen years ago) link

Well, whatever you do, don't buy one from a guy who is driving by you and randomly stops his car to ask you if he wants the one sitting in his lap. That happened to me yesterday, but given that the thing was probably stolen, I said no thanks. Besides, I'm quite happy with my Powerbook, so why would I want a crappy Sony Vaio?

Girolamo Savonarola, Saturday, 3 April 2004 08:49 (fifteen years ago) link

did you decide on anything? i'll be in the market in about four months and have a similar set of requirements, so i'm curious what you're going to pick

Dave M. (rotten03), Saturday, 3 April 2004 08:50 (fifteen years ago) link

don't ever buy an eee pc

i've had two eee pc's and been pretty happy with them! the screen on my one is broken now i'm looking to replace it with something ideally just as portable but more powerful (i guess i'm looking for an 'ultrabook'). the asus zenbooks look pretty cool but they are almost as expensive as macs!

tpp, Friday, 13 January 2012 13:56 (seven years ago) link

yeah that was written in a fit of blind rage, it really wasn't all that bad.

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Friday, 13 January 2012 17:08 (seven years ago) link

i just bought the zenbook UX31E

tpp, Friday, 13 January 2012 18:35 (seven years ago) link

my eee pc has been pretty great. i can type on it and my battery life is 8+, it's just what i need given that i carry it by bike. biggest problem is video can choke it pretty easily ime.

dead precedents politics as usual (Hunt3r), Friday, 13 January 2012 18:44 (seven years ago) link

damn this thing is fast

tpp, Saturday, 14 January 2012 10:31 (seven years ago) link

this thing == ilx obv

Aimless, Saturday, 14 January 2012 17:18 (seven years ago) link

six years pass...

i need a new one to replace my '09 Compaq Presario

so, roughly equivalent

low to mid $, will stream video (mostly live baseball)

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 2 August 2018 20:37 (one year ago) link

i got a couple of these for the office recently after doing some scouring and i've been impressed
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BJLGJ9H

Roberto Spiralli, Thursday, 2 August 2018 20:49 (one year ago) link

is that low to mid $$$, wouldve thought that a v decent spec

dele alli my bookmarks (darraghmac), Thursday, 2 August 2018 21:38 (one year ago) link

$700 which I guess is mid given that you can buy a MacBook or a Dell for 1500 easily. I have the i5 version of the above and it was nearly £600 with a big anniversary discount about 1.5 years ago.

You should be able to go quite a lot cheaper than that though, you don't need an i7 and ssd to watch YouTube.

koogs, Friday, 3 August 2018 00:26 (one year ago) link

two weeks pass...

ya think it's OK to buy something "certified refurbished"?

https://www.amazon.com/Elitebook-840-LED-backlit-Professional-Refurbished/dp/B07FSRST8M/

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 20 August 2018 16:19 (one year ago) link

I do it at work all the time, but only if the seller is Amazon themselves or Amazon Warehouse. They will accept returns without much fuss. Third-party sellers on Amazon Marketplace you have no idea if they will honor a returns policy or (more frequently) they'll be too incompetent/indifferent to do it correctly.

com rad erry red flag (f. hazel), Monday, 20 August 2018 16:39 (one year ago) link

Wellll, in the last 90 days, the distributor above has 40/40 positive ratings.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 20 August 2018 16:42 (one year ago) link

(I don't even know how to search for similar products sold by Amazon.)

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 20 August 2018 16:50 (one year ago) link

They're probably fine, the order is fulfilled by Amazon so that means Amazon will process the returns. Looks like back in May they shipped out a bunch of defective systems, but Amazon took the returns.

com rad erry red flag (f. hazel), Monday, 20 August 2018 17:51 (one year ago) link

thanks

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 20 August 2018 17:55 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

Is it better to wait till Black Friday/Cyber Monday/Holiday as opposed to getting a new laptop right now? QOL for my 8-year-old laptop is awful.

Catherine Power (Leee), Tuesday, 16 October 2018 22:46 (ten months ago) link

how are the prices on what you're looking for? i bought my current laptop after nearly ten years of using the previous one and prices had dropped so much in that time for what i wanted (nothing special or high-end).

visiting, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 22:55 (ten months ago) link

I'm eying something higher end, lord knows why since I'm probably going to just stream on it.

Catherine Power (Leee), Tuesday, 16 October 2018 23:04 (ten months ago) link

What's a good laptop just for web browsing/video streaming/ms office? I've got a mac, but my wife's laptop is dying and she's not terribly picky. I don't know anything about non-mac laptops though, and there appear to be a billion options.

wmlynch, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 23:23 (ten months ago) link

I'd probably just get a Microsoft Surface with a keyboard stand for anyone who just wanted typing and web in 2018.

I have measured out my life in coffee shop loyalty cards (silby), Tuesday, 16 October 2018 23:30 (ten months ago) link

no idea if it's good but it's a choice you won't have to spend that much time thinking about!

I have measured out my life in coffee shop loyalty cards (silby), Tuesday, 16 October 2018 23:31 (ten months ago) link

that said there's apparently six different ones of them now so even that's a drag

I have measured out my life in coffee shop loyalty cards (silby), Tuesday, 16 October 2018 23:31 (ten months ago) link

The surface keyboard is the worst and completely unusable without enough table space. If you career about using it on a plane or on you lap, don't buy one.

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Wednesday, 17 October 2018 00:05 (ten months ago) link

gonna choose to believe career was not an autocorrect there

Dmac TT (darraghmac), Wednesday, 17 October 2018 00:11 (ten months ago) link

didn't even occur to me that it was not the word intended

I have measured out my life in coffee shop loyalty cards (silby), Wednesday, 17 October 2018 00:15 (ten months ago) link

double unintendre

Dmac TT (darraghmac), Wednesday, 17 October 2018 00:15 (ten months ago) link

probably will mostly be used to work from home occasionally but yeah probably actually for lap use apart from that.

wmlynch, Wednesday, 17 October 2018 04:03 (ten months ago) link

What's a good laptop just for web browsing/video streaming/ms office? I've got a mac, but my wife's laptop is dying and she's not terribly picky. I don't know anything about non-mac laptops though, and there appear to be a billion options.

I recently bought a used Chromebook for about 60 euros and use it for surfing/streaming/writing

it's lightweight, has good battery time, basically great value for money (I use Google Docs for writing, if you have Office 365 or whatever the cloud Office is called, it should work fine too)

niels, Wednesday, 17 October 2018 08:48 (ten months ago) link

one month passes...

If one has a laptop with a keyboard that's fucked up -- ie, some keys don't produce the characters they're supposed to! -- can one download a fix, or have to box up the thing and ship it back to the fuckups? Asking for a friend. :/

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 19 November 2018 18:47 (nine months ago) link

nb: what I have in REALITY (ie what shows up on the screen) is a QWERTZ keyboard like this, mislabeled as a standard US keyboard:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QWERTZ#/media/File:KB_Germany.svg

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 19 November 2018 18:55 (nine months ago) link

try rebooting and moving to austria

j., Monday, 19 November 2018 19:02 (nine months ago) link

Is it new enough to be on warranty? If so, get it replaced! It is unlikely that yours was the only fuck-up, so they are already fielding complaints and replacing yours would be just S.O.P.

If it is approaching its expiration date but money is too tight to buy a replacement, it might be worth looking for a keyboard remapping utility program. I know such programs used to exist, ages ago. There are fans of non-standard keyboard layouts, like the Dvorak keyboard, so such programs may still be floating around out there. This might provide a relatively cheap workaround, but only if all the required characters can be produced by pressing a key somewhere on the keyboard; it could not magically produce characters all on its own.

Even then, I won't guarantee success.

A is for (Aimless), Monday, 19 November 2018 19:05 (nine months ago) link

I am on a 90-day warranty, so i should be able to get it replaced.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 19 November 2018 19:21 (nine months ago) link

Is it definitely the keyboard? I've definitely been on Windows machines before where the language got switched somewhere in Control Panel (or, obnoxiously, through obscure keyboard combinations which can be hit accidentally) so that it was interpreting input as German, or Chinese.

|Restore| |Restart| |Quit| (Doctor Casino), Monday, 19 November 2018 19:24 (nine months ago) link

well, i hit the keys and different characters come up. i don't know how to begin to determine what causes it. how would i unfuck the control panel?

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 19 November 2018 20:00 (nine months ago) link

this is what i hate about this century. i never wanted to own a car because you have to be an amateur mechanic! now i have to be an amateur geek.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 19 November 2018 20:01 (nine months ago) link

give this kind of thing a try

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/258824/how-to-change-your-keyboard-layout

j., Monday, 19 November 2018 20:16 (nine months ago) link

will do

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 19 November 2018 20:18 (nine months ago) link

this thing has Windows 10

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 19 November 2018 20:24 (nine months ago) link

thx

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 19 November 2018 20:30 (nine months ago) link

yeah, def sounds like settings

niels, Monday, 19 November 2018 21:24 (nine months ago) link

wishin & hopin

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 19 November 2018 21:24 (nine months ago) link

so it's kinda funny, right next to date/time at the bottom it sais "ENG LB", which stood for English/Luxembourgish keyboard. I have clicked and changed it to "ENG US".

Thanks for everyone who pointed out the obvious, lob 'senile uncle' jokes at me.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 20 November 2018 01:11 (nine months ago) link

five months pass...

I'm thinking of buying a new laptop this year and, for the first time a non-macbook

I had the 2014 Air which was great, but has gradually ground down over the last few months and now no longer turns on. I have a 2017 Pro from work, and Ive never liked it. Bad keyboard, and would hang sometimes, has never felt particularly solid. That had an incident and is now also dead, anyway

With both being dead I've had to buy an emergency laptop so i could actually work. Got the cheapest one in the shop, a €250 Lenovo Ideapad. 4gb RAM and runs like a dog (on windows), awful. I put Linux on it, and its actually kind of not that bad. I still have to reboot it as it does hang, so not a good longer term solution. its bulky and heavy but usable for right now

Going to need a proper replacement though, and looking at macbook prices idk I can justify it! Was looking at the Asus Zenbook as a possibility. 800ish doesnt seem so bad, but can i go cheaper and still have something good to use?

criteria:
1) light/small-ish
2) good battery

zenbook looks good, maybe the dell xps? the vivobook is cheaper so maybe theres a trade off. is there any reason in 2019 to got back to macbooks?

cherry blossom, Wednesday, 15 May 2019 07:13 (three months ago) link

its a decade since i bought a laptop but im always peeking

id have said an xps with min i5 to futureproof a little but a decent spec thinkpad or similar should be zippy enough too

im presuming that you know enough to get an ssd in and max the ram for whatever model it is you currently have. makes a huge difference in a windows.

deemsthelarker (darraghmac), Wednesday, 15 May 2019 07:33 (three months ago) link

I won't have windows on it, will be a linux distro!

the zenbook is 8gb ram and 256gb SSD for €849. I don't think i need to spec it up any more than that. I'd like to be able to run vagrant and docker, but above a certain level of performance, size, weight and price are more important

cherry blossom, Wednesday, 15 May 2019 07:55 (three months ago) link

Just make sure you're comfortable with the keyboard, mousepad and screen before you buy. My laptop (Acer, 8mb, SSD) is perfectly functional but the screen isn't great and I find not having separate mouse buttons really awkward.

thomasintrouble, Wednesday, 15 May 2019 08:14 (three months ago) link

this is definitely a worry, never thought about it with the Air, but the keyboard and feel of the last macbook just wasnt right

cherry blossom, Wednesday, 15 May 2019 08:51 (three months ago) link


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