Help me decide which ancient laptop to keep as a kitchen companion
February 23, 2020 11:15 AM   Subscribe

I like to keep an older computer in the kitchen to read news or stream tv while I'm in there. I'm trying to decide between two, both elderly but good enough.

Each is recently wiped, up to date and running well on Windows 10.

Laptop A is slim, has a great keyboard, battery and portability, which does occasionally come into play. It is somewhat sluggish but not frustratingly so.

Laptop B is a thick beast, has better performance, a larger screen and really excellent sound, but is heavy and stationary with no battery. It runs really hot (I keep it on a baking rack and call it my space heater) and it made one noise a few weeks ago that may or may not have been the hard drive.

I was leaning toward A, but, dang, the sound and display on B are making me rethink. They're each 10 years old, and I do realize either could fail tomorrow, c'est la vie. I don't see spending money to replace or upgrade. I do have a newish main machine that is not in this race to retirement.

I am so lucky that this is my biggest problem today, but I'm really struggling with making this choice! Yet, I do need to pare down our aging tech. Which would you keep?
posted by sageleaf to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
I’d keep A. The hot running and no battery of B would be a dealbreaker.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:21 AM on February 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

Can you get a small pair of speakers to use with A, to boost sound quality?
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:22 AM on February 23, 2020 [3 favorites]

I'm with hurdy gurdy girl. Consider bluetooth speakers and keep A.
posted by ivanthenotsoterrible at 11:42 AM on February 23, 2020 [2 favorites]

Laptop A... is somewhat sluggish but not frustratingly so.

Consider an SSD. Prices have dropped pretty dramatically.
posted by jon1270 at 12:08 PM on February 23, 2020 [3 favorites]

Grab a quarter. Heads is A, Tails is B. Flip it really high in the air...

Quick, which one are you rooting for? There's your answer. These are 10 year old laptops here. Go with your gut as there's no real standout obvious choice and you might as well use the one that you really want. (As I was answering this myself I couldn't even decide which was best, and the only skin this internet stranger has in the game is a potentially stupid sounding ask-me answer).
posted by cgg at 12:33 PM on February 23, 2020

I'd probably go ahead and run laptop B onto the ground and keep A around (since it's small and theoretically easy to store) because it sounds like B is not long for this world and you'll have a ready replacement when that comes to pass.
posted by General Malaise at 1:04 PM on February 23, 2020 [3 favorites]

Put Linux on them both and see which one works best.
posted by dustpuppy at 5:00 PM on February 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone! Keeping laptop A, because summer is coming, so the space heater will be retired.

And yet I feel I could still be talked out of this.
posted by sageleaf at 12:01 PM on February 24, 2020

Laptop A will run joust about any version of Linux as snappily as you could want.
Great use for Linux.
posted by dustpuppy at 7:06 PM on February 24, 2020

« Older Remote Software where No Security Code or Clicking...   |   Advice on dealing with apparent leak from shower... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.