I'm looking to buy a backup laptop and want to pick TT'ers brains on a good brand. I know Mac's are considered among the best, but too costly for me right now. I'm looking at a mid priced laptop. I currently have a Gateway and it has worked well, for the most part, over the years, though lately it's overheating and shutting down. I'm tentatively looking at either a Dell or Acer. Does anyone have experiences with either of those? Thanks in advance.
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Why not get a table instead? What do you need it for?
Maybe you'll have better luck than me, but the Acer laptop I got (cheap) lasted about 7 months of daily use before the hard drive completely crapped out. Crapped out so spectacularly that very little of my data could be recovered.
Better computer geeks than I on this board, but perhaps a good place to look are the laptop reviews on cnet.com. They split down by category (desktops, laptops tablets, budget-priced, performance, business use, etc.
I've killed 3 laptops in last 2 years. Got them too hot. I love them, but can't keep them cool enough everywhere I go.
I have two Dell laptops and they work great. Used my older one in over 100 resource-intensive dj gigs and it didn't crash one single time.
I hate the "Delhi" service, (if you ever have a question you will call a nice person in New Delhi with a thick Indian accent named "Bob" or "Joe" but have to admit that I am three for three with good luck with Dells. Bought a nicer one with a few upgrades like a bigger battery and the fastest processor for my daughter about 4 years ago, and she hasn't killed it yet. Software wise, I avoided Vista, buying the very last copy of XP Pro and then getting Seven.
Consider an ipad- especially if you have a wireless network at home. The wifi version is not much more expensive than a low-mid range laptop. Android OS tablets are not bad either, but a little less polished. The kindle fire is a great value. Another good android tablet brand is asus.for a laptop, take a look at toshiba and hp models in the 400 dollar range. Gateways are manufactured by acer, which I don't really recommend.
In the end, I stll strongly recommend a tablet, unless you really need a strong built in keyboard, mouse, ms office installed or need more processing power for high end gaming.
We've had Dells well, pretty much that's all we've had, and had no problems with them. You can get pretty basic models with key programs that just meet your needs.
Instead of getting a new phone, I got a Droid tablet. My thought was that I would use it instead of carrying my old, heavy laptop for certain meetings and conferences.
There are a few differences in how various programs work, but they're easy to get used to and most of the things you can do on a laptop you can do on a tablet. I also got the case with keyboard and it's only a bit smaller than my laptop one.
It's all what you need and how you intend to use it. Considering our years of good experiences with various Dell models, I don't think you'll be disappointed.
I have a one year old Acer with W7 from Computer Discount and it's been great.
You might try a laptop cooling pad. I use one with my laptop and it works very nicely.
If you don't want to buy new check out the Reconditioned computers at Computer Renaissance on Monroe a couple doors down from Nick and Jimmys. Over the years i have bought about 10 laptops and desktops there and have never had a problem. They also sell a few new laptops.
We use Lenovo at work and typically get 3-4 years out of them in commercial use...so they hold up well. If your not in a hurry there will be a flurry of new ultrabook class laptops coming out with the release of Windows 8 in/near October. This emerging class of ultra thin laptops will have a longer battery life and touch screens in many models.
What do you use the laptop for? Basic computing (MS Office, e-mail, surfing the web) or heavy duty gaming?
That can make a difference as to the brand you should consider.
I recently (several months ago) replaced my trust old HP laptop with another new HP laptop. It had issues. Returned it for an identical one - also had issues. Said the heck with HP and purchased a Toshiba Satellite. My only wish is that it had a backlit keyboard - but I would have had to step up to a $1,200 Toshiba to get that. I use it for basic computing. Very pleased with it so far.
go the used route but buy from a reputable dealer that's been around a while and provides full service
However.. I use my ipad for mostly everything I do. LOL
Just use the lap top to put music on my phone
I like my new Lenovo V570: fast as heck and no issues after 7 months or so of regular use. Much of my work is online, and when I teach in a face-to-face I drag along my laptop, plus I take it with me on trips. Yes, I am a Net-head, but at least I am getting paid for sitting in front of a monitor 8-10 hours a day.
Back to the point: I like my Lenovo. I used Toshibas for the last two laptops, and they were okay, but it seemed like they slowed down faster than they should, especially for someone like me who is not a gamer or a significant downloader of media.
http://www.groupon.com/deals/gg-hp-pavilion-laptop-manufacturer-refurbished?utm_medium=email&utm_source=channel_goods-deals&sid=11221213&user=9dd1040755a9fe13b1f3650b1604947dc90f310675bdc03f85f0791e97bafdf6&utm_campaign=11221213&s=body&d=gg-hp-pavilion-laptop-manufacturer-refurbished&p=9&c=deal_button This just showed up in my inbox. If you like HP.
I love my Lenovo ThinkPad (formerly IBM) but I am a diehard ThinkPad fan. I am an IT guy and support Dells, which are reliable, but come from the more expensive "professional" Latutude line. You could not pay me to use an HP. How they have the market share they do astounds me. I have worked on a few, and they are junk. FWIW, for every one of me, you will find one that loves HP--at least in theory. I haven't found one.
Here are the laptop reliability numbers (at least one source's...) for 2012:
Thanks to everyone for your input!
"What do you use the laptop for?"
Foodie, mostly basic computing, word processing, and surfing the web. Have loads of photos, and larger files, too.
"If your not in a hurry there will be a flurry of new ultrabook class laptops coming out with the release of Windows 8 in/near October."
Breeman, I had a feeling Windows 8 was coming out soon. The Gateway model I bought four years ago for $800 is now on sale for $320 at Bestbuy.
I've been a big fan of Toshiba laptops for a while, Dell are also nice. The model A665 has been a good one up until recently where there is a screw defect in the hinge that's bad enough to go all out Dell.
Mostly pick up from Computer Discount or Best Buy. BB often has stuff cheaper than I can get from the manufacturer since they tend to clean out month-old models for the next big thing.
Agree with JoeyGee Lenovo are really nice and would recommend for business class or a power user but they tend to be a bit pricier than similar machines made by Dell/Toshiba/Acer.
My laptops are...
*My main daily computer that get hours of use each day
*Travel with me
*Have to be built tough
*Have to be built well and have processing power to handle photos and gaming
*Have to be affordable...
I have 2 Toshiba Satellites...and HIGHLY recommend them. They are priced great and have done an amazing job and survived lots of crazy stuff.
If you buy a win7 pc now, you will get a free or cheap upgrade to Win8 when it comes out.
My family has had a variety of laptops over the years - IBM, Dell, HP, Campaq ... I think that's it. I don't think brand matters that much - any one that you buy could be a great unit or could be glitchy. As long as it has the power you need. What I would recommend is buying a warranty - not just the manufacturers warranty against bad parts, but an extra warranty against spills, drops and wear/tear. Walmart, Best Buy, OfficeMax all offer them, and at squaretrade.com you can buy one for computers purchased anywhere. I think these are worth the money to protect against accidents. We made our son buy one when he bought a laptop when he was going into middle school and he used it when he dropped the laptop. Well worth it for any laptop/tablet purchase.
bd: "Have loads of photos, and larger files, too"
Just a suggestion: I have a 750MB USB connected hard drive hanging off my Windows desktop pc which is accessible from my laptop and other computers over my home network. That's where I store all photos and large files. Keeps them from chewing up disk space on my laptop. It gets backed up regularly.
yeah. no need to store the pics on your computer
i use www.picturelife.com
Bikerdude, just tonight my sister asked me to help her find a laptop. I'll let you know what I find.
My favorite kind of shopping--where I don't have to spend any money...
"I have a 750MB USB"
Sorry, meant to type 750GB.
As for data storage, I much prefer to control that myself and maintain as much of it as makes sense for me. Dropbox has had enough security issues to cause me concern about it's use.