So: junior has saved up to buy his own computer. Since we're, by habit, a Mac family since forever, but he's opting for a PC, I'm finding the thicket of options a little overwhelming. The main issue is to reconcile requirements for gaming, durability (and potential futureablility) and price. (Also: we're in Europe, so some models/options don't seem as readily available as in the US.) The other main piece of information I'm missing is the reliability - in terms of build quality and service - of PC brands. Is there a good place to find some guidance - or is it really a lot easier than it seems? [more inside]
posted by progosk
on Mar 2, 2014 -
I need a laptop for travel for about 3-4 weeks a year, and up to this point I have always had an old one I can tote around, I recently bought a series of older macbooks through craigslist that did the job for a little while, but both, for various reasons are no longer working and can't be fixed without a lot of cost.
I am hesitant to try for another craiglist computer, because of my recent experiences, but I also don't want to lay out the money for a new macbook because of how infrequently it will be used, it just seems, well, wasteful both monetarily and also letting a new computer collect dust.
It needs to be able to run Adobe CS 5 or 6, it can either be a mac or pc, though ideally a mac. If no other options present themselves, I would most likely look at Apple refurbished.
But are there any other sources that I am overlooking?
posted by nanook
on Feb 26, 2014 -
Right now I'm at the airport, waiting to fly into DC, and just realized I forgot my charger. I'll see what I can pick up at my layover, but I would like to a) not fry my laptop and b) continue to use my laptop. I would like to buy the charger after checking into my hotel. I will not have a car.
1) The X220 is the small Lenovo Thinkpad (not touchscreen.)
2) Staying in Dupont Circle
3) No car
posted by chesty_a_arthur
on Feb 19, 2014 -
I need a new laptop. Replacing my old MacBook Pro. Considering a MacBook Air. Details inside. [more inside]
posted by dbirchum
on Feb 9, 2014 -
I live in an EU country and will be visiting the States soon. I also need a new laptop (I'm a Mac user). Given the favorable exchange rate, does it make sense to buy it while I'm there? What kind of hardware or other issues will I face (charger, keyboard, etc.), and is it worth the hassle?
posted by Paris Elk
on Feb 5, 2014 -
I am in the market for a new laptop but am so far out of the loop that I'd like your tips on what's even possible these days, please! [more inside]
posted by rubbish bin night
on Jan 31, 2014 -
This morning I was working on my computer, and stopped to take a break for lunch. I left my computer on--it generally goes to sleep after 10 minutes of inactivity. When I returned from lunch, my computer had unexpectedly shut down and had to be rebooted. Once it restarted, I noticed that it had updated several programs that have been prompting me for updates, like iTunes and Firefox. (I had purposefully not been updating them.) My computer requires permission from me to update programs like this, and it has never updated programs without that permission. Any thoughts as to what might have happened this time? [more inside]
posted by Bella Sebastian
on Jan 29, 2014 -
I'm a graphics and multimedia artist working for the federal government who's always used Macs. It's again time for me to get a new system (laptop, please) and for the first time in my career I feel the need to explore my PC options (Apple has apparently abandoned its professional users). Unfortunately, I have no idea where to start looking. My new system needs to be commercially available from a vendor that can do business with the federal government. Building my own system is not an option. I perform a full range of creative functions including graphic design, video editing, photography and webcast hosting, so I need plenty of graphics power and fast processing. I don't, however, need a huge local storage capacity since I work off of our LAN.
Where do I start looking? Any recommendations on models and/or features?
posted by Jamesonian
on Jan 28, 2014 -
Needing to get a new portable, because the battery in my workhorse laptop is borked, I ordered a refurbished 13" MacBook Pro - which I am typing on at the moment. So far, it seems fine for what I need, but I was wondering whether the hive mind could think of a better solution. Generic snowflake detail inside. [more inside]
posted by running order squabble fest
on Jan 24, 2014 -
I have an HP G42 14" laptop that has been intermittently failing to boot or wake up from sleep. Well, I think that's the problem. It's hard to tell because all I get is a black screen. No error messages or anything. [more inside]
posted by Shohn
on Jan 24, 2014 -
I just bought a Lenovo T440s laptop, and the audio is skipping when streaming it to my bluetooth speakers, no matter what distance I sit away. I had previously been using my iPhone 5s for this, and it was wonderful
. Is this par for laptops, is it fixable, or am I doing something wrong? [more inside]
posted by tintexas
on Jan 18, 2014 -
I'd like a thin and light 1080p laptop. It does not need to be powerful, but it does need to be cheap
. I'd like to spend about $300, but it must be under $500. The perfect machine would be something like a chromebook, but with a higher res screen than the ones I'm aware of. The resolution requirement trumps the thin and light requirements. [more inside]
posted by jsturgill
on Jan 7, 2014 -
Between my wife and I, I'm the "computer guy," while she basically uses her computer to write, engage in social media, and update a couple of blogs with all that this entails (light photo editing, etc.). We have to replace her aging Dell laptop. Would a Chromebook be a good option? [more inside]
posted by Shepherd
on Jan 3, 2014 -
My wife wants to buy a laptop that also converts to a tablet. She needs a good typing laptop for work (15 inch screen, nice keyboard) but she also dreams of using the tablet portion for sketching (like they do on Project Runway). She is not an artist; she just wants to draw a bit. I am concerned that the laptop/tablet combo will be less than ideal. I have heard that these tablets are not as sensitive as an ipad, and I am wondering what software she would use that would be better or as cheap as a $10 app. I think she should get a cheap laptop along with a used iPad. Does anyone have any firsthand experience one way or another? [more inside]
posted by yet.another.boston.question
on Dec 31, 2013 -
I know everyone asks the "which mac?!" question constantly, but it's a bit of a moving target, isn't it?
I am looking to replace my 2008 MacBook (aluminum). I know that the recommendation is to buy either the Retina MBP, or the MBAir. But would I be shooting myself in the foot if I bought a non
Caveat: Can't really wait months and months for the next and newest--this is my work computer and I can't afford to have it crap out without a replacement. [more inside]
posted by like_a_friend
on Dec 30, 2013 -
I have a nephew who is thinking of buying a Toshiba Satellite L50.A01Q: 2.40GHz Intel® Core™ i7-4700U Quad Core Processor 15.6" HD Widescreen with TN LED Backlit Display 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD 2GB nVIDIA GeForce GT 740M Graphics.
He is 18 and heading off to university, and wants it mainly for typical laptop stuff with some light gaming (skyrim, minecraft). It's $NZ 1280 with a 20% discount, so normally $1600 or so. The deal only lasts one day.
My feelings are he could get something as good for cheaper, given that the slick processor isn't gonna be all that useful to him. Is that sensible? Or is it actually an ok deal?
posted by Sebmojo
on Dec 25, 2013 -
I have an old HP Pavillion (I think) laptop. It has two standard USB ports, and then two others that are almost the same size as USB ports, but not quite, and any USB items I plug in do not get recognized by the computer. Anyone have any clue what they might be?
posted by canine epigram
on Dec 20, 2013 -
Please help me decide what kind of computer, and if possible what brand and model we should get. Special snowflake details inside. [more inside]
posted by Hanuman1960
on Dec 16, 2013 -
I've recently started working on a couple of software projects that I hope will generate income in 2014. I'd like to form an LLC, but I'll probably end up doing that closer to completion since it's so expensive. Because my old laptop just wasn't up to snuff for development work anymore, I decided to purchase a new laptop a few weeks ago. Now I'm worried that I may have missed out on a sizable tax deduction. Assuming I can't take the laptop off my taxes in 2013 (no LLC, no revenue), is there any way I'll be able to deduct a purchase made in 2013 as a business expense in 2014?
posted by archagon
on Dec 10, 2013 -
I'm looking to replace my development laptop with a more powerful model. I'm having a hard time finding a model with everything I need. Do you have any recommendations? [more inside]
posted by Vorteks
on Nov 27, 2013 -
I'll be visiting friends in Porto (Portugal) this Friday, but my flight lands early in the morning and I won't be meeting them until lunchtime. What would be a good place downtown to get some work done on my laptop and possibly drink a coffee or two? Internet access is a must. I'd love something with a bit more local flavor than a Starbucks, but I'm open to all suggestions.
Thanks in advance, Hive Mind!
posted by doctorpiorno
on Nov 21, 2013 -
I'm a software developer who is finding himself more and more in need of a very powerful, very portable machine. Here are my requirements:
- Under 5 lbs (key-- I don't want this to be a brick)
- i7 processor
- 8 GB RAM (with 2 slots for upgrade to 16 if desired)
- 512 GB SSD, or smaller SSD with HDD secondary drive
- NO HP. Their repair rate is terrible, their customer service is worse. They're the one brand I will not buy for PCs.
Now, I've checked out the new MacBook Pro and I can spec it out this way, but it'd cost 3k. I'd insist on 16 GB for the MBP as I would be running parallels and doing windows dev with visual studio, and would dedicate at least 8GB for that environment.
What I want to know is, does such a machine exist other than the MBP?
posted by pennstatephil
on Nov 19, 2013 -
I have a Samsung NC20 laptop that I bought 4 or 5 years ago. It runs Windows XP and has some sort of malware, IRP Hook, that AVG has found but cannot remove. In addition, it runs significantly slower than I would like, and cannot play most videos at all--the sound plays fine, but the image just staggers and jumps. [more inside]
posted by Slinga
on Nov 15, 2013 -
Please help me figure out why my Laptop is overheating (I have already cleaned out dust, and re-installed windows..and overheating seems to be a common problem on these XPS 1645 [more inside]
posted by crawltopslow
on Nov 9, 2013 -
What's the best reasonably priced laptop (under $700) for someone who only needs it for basic personal entertainment use (e.g. storing/listening to music, Flash games on the internet, and movie-watching)? [more inside]
posted by lovableiago
on Nov 8, 2013 -
I was using a replacement adapter with my laptop, but the grounding plug came out of the adapter and was stuck in a wall socket tonight. Is it safe to use this adapter for a few days while I wait for a new replacement adapter, or should wait to charge my laptop util the adapter comes? [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Nov 5, 2013 -
The 6th grader has to have a new computer. (We homeschool and half of the kiddo's classes are online.) I was very happy with the Dell that had Windows 7 (stolen out of the car this morning.) Problem: I am the IT department. I fear the windows 8 learning curve. Do I get the windows 7 laptop (super-easy for me) or do I get the 8 and the touchscreen because that's the newest tech? [more inside]
posted by gravitypanda
on Nov 3, 2013 -
Last laptop I bought was from an online boutique shop about 7 years ago and am in the market for a new laptop (in fact I need three for my household right now). Stop! I don't want a recommendation on what to buy...but I do want opinions concerning laptop buying strategy. For the sake of discussion, let's presume I'm buying a Lenovo x230. The options include:
Academic discount through U (I have .edu address and am faculty)
Lenovo Outlet: incl. refurb and scratch-n-dent
Any Dos and Don'ts about the process?
posted by teg4rvn
on Nov 1, 2013 -
I want to buy a new Retina Macbook Pro for live performances with Ableton Live. For all other purposes I'd go with the 13-inch model because it is more portable, but I'm worried that 1) the screen will be too small to see all the tracks, or 2) the dual-core processor won't be fast enough compared to the quad-core in 15-inch models. Can anyone speak from experience? Was a 13" good enough?
posted by scose
on Oct 28, 2013 -
My eight year old laptop is about ready to bite the dust. For the last year and a half it has had permanent residence on my desk as it cannot function if it is not plugged in. The screen must be at the correct angle or it completely cuts out. It struggles to download documents and music. She has been good to me, but it is time to begin thinking about purchasing a new computer. Problem is, I’m fairly out of touch with the market now. Here are my needs with regards to a laptop. You tell me what I should be looking for. [more inside]
posted by Driven
on Oct 28, 2013 -
I've been researching tablets with detachable keyboards (hybrid tablet/laptop) and want to see if I'm missing anything. [more inside]
posted by onecircleaday
on Oct 27, 2013 -
I upgraded my Samsung laptop to Windows 8.1. It is now stuck in a reboot loop. I cannot enter recovery mode.
How can I fix this? [more inside]
posted by Tevin
on Oct 18, 2013 -
I'm thinking of getting a Lenovo Thinkpad x230 to replace my aging laptop and noticed that Ebay had sellers with seemingly good ratings offering machines with higher specs than you can get in the Lenovo store for much cheaper. Is this too good to be true? [more inside]
posted by col_pogo
on Oct 18, 2013 -
I want the benefits of a backpacking backpack with the benefits of a laptop backpack. Shoulder and waist straps, tall and able to fit lots of stuff, but with a laptop sleeve or something that would make it easy to take my laptop out and put it back in. Does this exist? [more inside]
posted by melissam
on Oct 10, 2013 -
That is, when did the vast majority of US college students/their families start seeing laptop computers as a necessary purchase before going to school? [more inside]
posted by andrewesque
on Oct 9, 2013 -
My laptop connects to every wireless WiFi signal I ask it to, except for one in a single particular office, where I do some volunteer work. The signal is strong, everyone else's laptops connect, but mine doesn't. Or sometimes it does, and then gets kicked off after just a few minutes.
Is there a way to troubleshoot this? Why might this be happening in only this one location, with only this one signal? It's a mystery to me.
posted by franklen
on Oct 3, 2013 -
I have two laptops, both Dells. I'm going on a trip and would like to take only one power brick. Can I do it? Specs inside. [more inside]
posted by Dilligas
on Sep 28, 2013 -
My Steam-addicted 13 year old son is about to turn 14 and I'd like to surprise him with a new gaming PC. He's currently using a generic Dell from a few years ago that he says works fine but he'll need new hardware to keep up with the technology (and the competition). My goal is to find the best gaming PC as close to $1,500 as possible, preferably a laptop but I'll go with a tower if it makes sense.
posted by Jamesonian
on Sep 22, 2013 -
I'm buying a new laptop and the one I want isn't available in Canada, as far as I can tell and I won't be going back to the US until December. If I have it shipped to a friend in the US, what's the easiest and cheapest way to get it to me?
posted by raeka
on Sep 4, 2013 -
I've been lugging my laptop around in a red backpack for the last twelve years. Its been on nearly every continent, survived several career 180s and a divorce. But all things must come to an end- My everyday carry is much different than it was twelve years ago- My PC laptop, an iPad, a yellow legal notepad and maybe a paperback. [more inside]
posted by GilloD
on Aug 27, 2013 -
I have two electronic devices with loose jacks or poor connections, one laptop where the power cord no longer has a solid connection, and a portable music player with a headphone jack that needs jiggling to get left-channel audio. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Aug 23, 2013 -
I would like to somehow attach my external USB harddrive to my laptop in a way that is practical and feasible. Any Ideas? [more inside]
posted by cacofonie
on Aug 11, 2013 -
I will need a new laptop soon, and the one thing I can't stand is lagging programs. So I know what to look for, explain processors to me like I'm a small child. I know enough to know that I don't know what I'm doing. For example, I know that the ability to not jitter, lag, and occasionally freeze isn't down to one factor, but is (I think?) a combination of RAM, processor speed, and some other things. Cores, maybe? Info on my current problems and what I need inside... [more inside]
posted by sarahkeebs
on Aug 9, 2013 -
PhillyPhilter: I need the services of folks in Philadelphia who might be able to fix or at least diagnose a busted laptop on short notice. Seemingly randomly, my high-end Clevo-style PC laptop started to show random visual artifacts when in Windows... and then even when booting up the BIOS... and then freezing horribly. I have no idea what is going on, and I have two academic manuscripts that are coming up to being due. However onerous, I could go to the university library to work on this, as I have all of my work backed up. Unfortunately, I have the misfortune that I am going to be traveling out of my area starting this weekend, for almost a full week. So I need help fast if at all possible, and I would prefer not to mail this damn thing to Michigan where it came from if I can avoid it. Where can I turn to in Philadelphia for this kind of PC laptop fixing service?
posted by Keter
on Aug 7, 2013 -
What I want to do is get a Macbook Air, partition one of my externals for Windows and at least 1 Linux distro so that I can play with all three systems. However, my only concern is that I'm not forseeing some possible issues with getting a mostly basic level 13 in Air. Before you ask, I don't want a Pro since my current laptop is a beast, portability really is
a concern for me for several months out of the year, and I want to experience the opposite end of the weight and ready-to-go spectrum. [more inside]
posted by DisreputableDog
on Aug 7, 2013 -
When I open my laptop I almost always see these
horizontal yellow lines on the screen. What are they? Is this a serious problem? Can I remove them or is the screen reaching its end? [more inside]
posted by crazy with stars
on Aug 3, 2013 -