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ganti_x89's avatar

What are some good laptops for every day use?

Asked by ganti_x89 (375points) June 8th, 2010
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

20 Answers

ejoso's avatar

MacBook or MacBook Pro! I LOVE mine!

Seaofclouds's avatar

I agree with @ejoso. I love my MacBook.

wwpil's avatar

Macbook FTW! I must admit, I’m pretty biased.

Though my mom has a pretty sweet Gateway. I heard HP’s are good too.

jerv's avatar

HPs are good if you like unreliable computers in need of warranty repair from rude people.

Macbooks are good if you don’t mind paying tomorrow’s prices for yesterday’s technology and have a thick wallet.

I find that Acer and Toshiba both have quite a few good laptops and, unlike Apple, there is a variety of models to choose from so that you can match the laptop to your needs, desires, and budget.

Buttonstc's avatar

The key words here: everyday use.

Apple. Excellent product. Consistently rated by Consumer Reports as #1 in customer support. Apple care extended warranty really makes good on things.

What more can I say.

Oh yeah. An 800 number that rings here in the US not India or God knows where. And numerous Apple stores with people who actually know the product.

Ever tried to get useful info from the latest new hire in the Electronics area of Office Max or Walmart or Best Buy? Good luck with that.

jerv's avatar

Apple care makes good… unless you (or anybody on your house, or anyone near you) smokes.

Regardless, almost every brand has good support, online and off, even if that support isn’t from the factory, so the only time you ever need to deal with some drooling pizza-face at the store aside from the checkout counter) or a thick Indian accent is if something goes wrong.
Of course, Apple is the only one that can deal with Apple whereas every computer repair place can deal with PCs, so keep in mind how far of a trek it is to the nearest Apple rep. Not a problem if you live in a big city, but it could be an issue if you don’t. OTOH, even small farming villages have PC repair places. Something to bear in mind. I will grant that Apple scores high on reliability, but they are not the only computer maker who does so.

@Buttonstc – BTW, thank you for giving more of an answer than a fan-boi “I love my Apple!!!!1111”. Much appreciated :)

DeanV's avatar

Well, I enjoy my Macbook, but I would be wary of some of the things about it. First off, as stated already, they’re pretty damn pricey. That being said, I got mine for really cheap off of ebay (there are millions there, and most very reputable), and it’s about six years old and still able to run the newest OS’s and some games.

Secondly, if you want to play games with your laptop, don’t get a mac. I’m assuming that by “everyday use” you mostly mean stuff like word processing and schoolwork, but really, macs are pretty awful for gaming. Even when dualbooting Windows (which is actually surprisingly effective and simple), the driver support on Apple computers is pretty bad.

You’re paying for yesterday’s hardware for sure, but you are getting tomorrow’s software and innovation as well, as cliche as that sounds. OSX is developing far faster than Windows, the developer community behind it is ten times as strong as the one for Windows, which is pretty much scattered all around the internet and crapware companies. Most 3rd party on mac is actually preferable to the Apple software, and really makes the OS for me.

But I would certainly be looking into buying a used or refurbished mac. The prices for most of them are ridiculous at best, and even though I’ve found mac hardware lasts longer than PC hardware in most cases, that’s still a bit much to pay, in my opinion.

Buttonstc's avatar

I forgot to mention that I did get mine used so saved myself about 50 percent of the cost of new.

One good resource for me has been to look for a seller who is a graphics pro. These guys usually need/want the absolutely latest and greatest and willing to pay top dollar.

Of course that means that some lucky somebody gets a great machine at a very affordable price. These guys usually take great care of their equipment.

Even tho my laptop was a few years old when I bought it, the battery had been replaced by Applecare and only had a few months of usage on it.

The last two Macs I’ve bought have been from graphics pros and I’ve been very happy.

@Jerv I’m not a diehard fanboi at all. Merely a bit of a technotard so the simpler the better suits me.

I understand your point of view completely tho. I’ve read other posts of yours and for a DIY type of sophisticated computer guy, I can see why Apples lock on their propietary systems can be frustrating and way too limiting for someone with the know how to build their own.

But learning that would take me a lifetime (plus I don’t have the interest or natural techno bent to sustain that effort) so I’m quite happy to just insert the key in the ignition and drive down the metaphorical road.

I did start out on a pc and a frustrating start it was. So I gladly leave it to those more capable than I.

kerplunk226's avatar

If you are using it for surfing the web and portability is important to you, I’d say go for a netbook. I just bought a Gateway 11.6 inch with 2 gigs for only $350. The only issue so far is that it comes with Vista and it’s not the best operating system.

jerv's avatar

@kerplunk226 Vista is an operating system? I thought it was a virus :P

@Buttonstc Truth be told, I consider the Macbook a decent if slightly overpriced machine. I merely am not of the opinion that Macs are better than sex either. And when you consider that there are Linux distros that are geared toward computer n00bs that (i feel) are even more novice-friendly than OS X, that just makes me wonder if the people who do think that Apple products are the best thing since sliced bread are insane.

@dverhey Yeah, but they don’t last quite as long as they used to. I’ve seen a few dead Macbooks and late-model Powerbooks, but I have a PB 180 that is still running (on AC power only) and will probably outlive me. It’s built like a brick shithouse (and weighs almost as much) but I’ll bet you that if you tried smashing someone’s skull with a Macbook/MB Pro that your laptop would break long before their skull shattered whereas the PB180 would still boot.

ganti_x89's avatar

EDIT: how about with a built in web cam that is relatively cheap?

jerv's avatar

@ganti_x89 Most current laptops and netbooks have webcams. Even my old Acer netbook has one. They are nearly as common as trackpads. I wouldn’t worry too much about that.

jerv's avatar

I probably should’ve started with this, but here goes….

First, let us define “everyday use”. I am willing to wager that your definition is different from mine. For instance, your desire for a feature I never use (webcam) is pretty much a dead giveaway that what works for me may not work for you. So what do you plan to do with it? Surfing the ‘net and emailing are fairly obvious, but do you plan to watch videos a lot? Or edit them? (Both of those activities require a good display, but editing requires more CPU and RAM as well)

How about music? Most laptops have craptastic speakers, so you’ll be using either headphones or external speakers anyways.

How important are size and weigh to you? Personally, I draw the line at 13” screens and 4–½ pounds; I refuse to lug something the size and weight of a sheet of drywall.

How about battery life? It’s hard (translation: “expensive”) to get a powerful computer with long battery life that doesn’t weigh a ton. Fast, light, cheap, long-lived…. pick three. I already had a powerful desktop system and so I could afford a laptop that was merely moderately quick as opposed to blazingly fast. I sacrificed the “fast” part to go light (about 4 pounds), cheap ($500), and long-lived (5–½ hours _minimum; possibly almost 8 if I do it right), but your priorities might be different. Maybe you have a bigger budget, or a higher tolerance for toting heavy objects.

It’s hard to tell you what you want when you haven’t told us what you want.
And no, the Macbook is not a one-size-fits-all computer. There is no such thing!

ganti_x89's avatar

yea pretty much simple stuff which is email,chating,whatching videos and since i work most of the day it would proabably wont go anywhere so i wouldn’t mind a heavy one.
i was thinking of getting a Dell 15.6” Inspiron 1545 what do you thing about that one?

ganti_x89's avatar

and also be able to edit and make videos like record things straight from my tv.

DeanV's avatar

@ganti_x89 Yeah, it really sounds like you’ll want to look for a PC. Especially for recording things from your TV, many Windows laptops come with a TV tuner, but for a mac you’ll need 3rd party hardware for sure, a lot of which isn’t really all that good or developed.

About the Dell Insprion, though, my only issue with the Inspiron in general is that they run really really hot. A friend of mine has that exact laptop, and he needs a cooling pad for it all the time, plus the battery is completely dead, needing an AC adapter all the time, but that’s fairly normal.

If it’s just going to be at home all the time, why not just get a desktop?

ganti_x89's avatar

ooh ok i will see then and i want to get a laptop because i have a choice to actaully carry it around not like a desktop it would take me longer if i ever did need to take the computer.

wwpil's avatar

As for PC’s Toshiba might be a good fit. Dells and Acers do not last at all. Unless Acer has revamped their computers, but I’ve had both brands previously and my Acer didn’t last a year and a half (same story with a friend of mine). They both overheat and the battery life for either isn’t that great.

jerv's avatar

Well, I haven’t had TV for years so the ability to record from TV is not one that I ever cared about or noticed. Of course, if I did, then I would just use my faster, more powerful desktop system with more storage and easier, cheaper ways to add more storage video takes a lot of space. While my laptop can edit videos, my desktop system can do the same tasks 2–5 times faster, Both work fine for watching videos, but sometimes I have better things to do than wait 37 minutes for something to transcode when I have another system that can do the same thing in 8–½, so it depends on how much editing you do.

FYI – Both my desktop and my laptop cost $500. The desktop has twice the RAM, 3 times the storage, and a lot more processing power in addition to the larger screen (21” 1600×900 versus 13.1” 1366×768) with vastly superior graphics. Trust me, you won’t see many laptops that can compete with an GeForce GT240-series with 1GB of dedicated video memory ;)
Of course, it is a bitch to carry around since it won’t fit inside a zipper-binder, weighs more than 40 pounds, and the battery life is under 15 minutes (I have a UPS) so my laptop is far superior in certain regards.

The Dell Inspiron 1545 is so highly configurable that I can’t really say overall how good it is; that depends on what you put in it. I will say that the lower-end ones are woefully inadequate while the higher-end ones are pricier than their competitors, so you have to pick and choose your equipment carefully.

@wwpil Acer has something in common with Hyundai cars; they sucked at first but got better and more reliable over time. I would not even consider then the same company as the Acer of, say, three or four years ago.

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