New Laptop

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New Laptop
« on: June 22, 2013, 06:16:55 AM »
Hi all,

looking to update the ol' laptop. The one I have is running ok but is very old and I wouldn't be suprised if she didn't make it through another year.

So, any recommendations?

I'm looking for cheapish, reliable, light and fast enough for my meager requirements (I don't play games)

I've fantasised about doing a big Apple swapover (tablet phone and laptop) and then living happily with my devices in the walled garden, but that seems like it would take a serious chunk o' burning change, so, maybe that will have to wait a while.

I was looking at those Asus hybrid tablet/laptops which are sooper cool, but very expensive and not available, it seems, everywhere.

Any ideas?

两只老外, 两只老外,跑得快,跑得快,
一个是老酒鬼,一个是老色鬼,真奇怪, 真奇怪

Re: New Laptop
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2013, 07:34:13 AM »
I have ASUS right now... and have had one before. I am happy with it, especially in terms of what it gave me for the money I paid.  I am not a game player so was not looking for extremely powerful... top of the range machines, though they are there. I like the battery life on the ASUS machines.
Sometimes it seems things go by too quickly. We are so busy watching out for what's just ahead of us that we don't take the time to enjoy where we are. (Calvin and Hobbs)

Re: New Laptop
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2013, 08:07:54 AM »
@teacheraus: which ASUS do you have?

There seem to 1. standard laptops 2. touch screen laptops (not sure I wan't to go over to win8 yet) 3. hybrids (too expensive)
两只老外, 两只老外,跑得快,跑得快,
一个是老酒鬼,一个是老色鬼,真奇怪, 真奇怪

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Foscolo

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Re: New Laptop
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2013, 12:37:50 PM »
Sony Vaio E Series - affordable, robust and looks nice, especially if you get a white one like I did. Runs Linux well too, if that's your bag.

But... if your laptop dies, it will most likely because the hard drive has failed. Put in another one (almost certainly at SATA 2.5 inch unless it's very old) and reinstall Windows (or get a techie to do it for you) and hey presto - get another two or three years out of it, maybe for less than a hundred of your American Buck-dollars
« Last Edit: June 22, 2013, 12:45:31 PM by Foscolo »
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Re: New Laptop
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2013, 12:41:13 PM »
Sony Vaio E Series - affordable, robust and looks nice, especially if you get a white one like I did. Runs Linux well too, if that's your bag.

 bjbjbjbjbj
两只老外, 两只老外,跑得快,跑得快,
一个是老酒鬼,一个是老色鬼,真奇怪, 真奇怪

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Guangzhou Writer

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Re: New Laptop
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2013, 01:50:59 PM »
In the normal, retail venues here in Guangzhou there is a significant difference between the computers that are sold in China compared to an equivalent machine from North America.

1) For the same performance and features, same manufacturer (both made in China) and perhaps same model, the machine sold in the USA will cost 10-20% less.

2) As above, and the quality of the USA sold machine will be, IMO, 20% higher.

3) For Microsoft Windows, the USA sold machine will come with either Windows 7 flavor or Windows 8, but in China it will not, unless you want to pay full retail price for Chinese Windows or English Windows if they actually have a legit copy, which I don't think is normally available in China.

Perhaps others (Calach?) can comment on mail order machines here. FYI, there are geographic designations for electronic availability, and from my experience that includes quality. China is at the bottom of the list with other developing nations.
The more expensive laptops, such as touch screens, will either come with Chinese Windows 8 and the normal models or some variant of Linux. When I went shopping recently, the sales people were all very up front with the operating system choices: real Chinese Windows or pirate Chinese Windows converted to English Windows installed for you for free. Or Linux that came installed.

I did not check this info. exhaustively and did not check for Sony Vaio, but for the Acers, HP's, Compaqs, and Toshibas, this is what it looked like to me.

I bought an Acer for 2400 RMB ($400 USD), it came installed with some Linux, they put a pirate Windows 7 that appears to have started as Chinese and was converted to English as the login screen is Chinese and a few other things. It was the least expensive, smallest machine I could find that I just wanted for school to run PPT's, play basic movies at projector resolution (800 x 600), etc.

It is so slow! Is this because of pirate Windows? I have not connected it to the internet a single time so if it's infected, it came that way. When working on a PPT and I save, it takes about 30 seconds. I can swap out the hard drive with others I have to see if that affects the speed, but honestly I just want it for the classroom and be easy to carry back and forth to home - low weight, and I don't want to tinker around with it. It has 4 GB RAM, 1.5 GHz Intel CPU, 350 GB hard drive.

Re: New Laptop
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2013, 06:35:16 PM »
I find the same general retail situation as Guangzhou Writer, and even moreso, it seems rare to find comparable specs with what is currently advertised in the States; those in the U.S. generally being more advanced.  I nearly replaced my six-pound HP laptop last summer when I went back, but the non-gaming ultrabook I had my eye on didn't stay available or at least not for the price range I wanted, long enough.  So I slogged through another year and this summer I plan to get a replacement. I also don't think I want Win8 but have read they will at least regress and add a more obvious 'start' button.  I don't really want touch screen, but it might be useful on the road.  I generally use my notebook as a desktop anyway. 

I also have an Asus netbook EEE series that bluescreened for good finally.  I was able to resuscitate it myself a few times, and it had issues with an unresponsive keyboard/touchpad during chat sessions and while writing long passages that weren't savable because the save button didn't work.  Sometimes the mouse did and saved me, sometimes not.  It may have started when I had some whiz-kid partition a Linux drive on it.  Don't know if that had any effect though. I removed the hard drive and saved any files that I needed.  That one ran on XP, so perfect for China and easy to carry at less than 3 pounds, but I found it wasn't as good for wifi as the big clunker HP with Vista.  It was better for skype for some reason, fewer cut outs.

I was thinking all about light weight and portability before, but now I'm more concerned with speed (my Mom's office supply store model HP seems to scream compared to mine, and she could care less, at 80 something...) and durability.  I don't game, but would like one that deals with photos and videos well and good for watching video, and multitasking.  I'm not that impressed with tablets so far, but they seem like a good holiday option, just as long as I could connect occasionally through wifi.

Writer: which 1.5hz Intel do you have? That may make a difference I think. Core i-3? Pentium, Centrino?  Big difference in those I think.  Also, yes, I would think, as a non-techie, that the operating system could be running slow and that you could have a pre-installed virus. Those aren't unheard of.  Or the hardware may be old and incapable of upgrade, especially if the processor is not the core series.  If the ppts are heavily graphic laden, that might be a normal time too.  You certainly have plenty of RAM for everyday tasks.  I hate slow machines!  (Funny how that works~ I remember turning on the computer and making coffee while it warmed up.  Then loading the wordperfect floppy(ies?) and getting a second cup while it loaded.  Progress.)

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Guangzhou Writer

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Re: New Laptop
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2013, 06:42:37 PM »
My school machine at school and I can't remember it too well. Think it was the Intel Atom? My PPT's are as simple as can be. 80% text only slides with a few low res jpegs mixed in.

During the summer break I'll put my known-good copy of XP Pro on it since it's only 32 bit.

Re: New Laptop
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2013, 08:34:57 PM »
Laptops, pffft. TOO MANY CHOICES!

ETA: OMG!

http://www.techradar.com/news/mobile-computing/laptops/what-s-the-best-acer-laptop-902474

(at the bottom of that list they also have "best of"s for the other brands too.)


That damn list was from 2010. I don't even


Last time I bought a laptop, I went for a workhorse Lenovo, a y470p. Cheap, ugly, well-enough spec'd to run games on an external monitor and I never have to look at the thing itself. Step 1 is always "Change the operating system". The numbnuts in the Lenovo shop would have done it for me but they had to download the English version first--I was supposed to sit around in their workshop for two hours! AS IF HOMIES!

I think I might one day buy a Thinkpad Carbon X1. Don't know. Too many choices.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2013, 08:42:20 PM by Calach Pfeffer »

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Re: New Laptop
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2013, 08:56:11 PM »
My school machine at school and I can't remember it too well. Think it was the Intel Atom? My PPT's are as simple as can be. 80% text only slides with a few low res jpegs mixed in.

During the summer break I'll put my known-good copy of XP Pro on it since it's only 32 bit.

Intel Atom is less powerful than some cheap smart phones, not surprising it is slow. I have a netbook with an atom and I am planning to retire it in favour of a tablet.

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Guangzhou Writer

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Re: New Laptop
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2013, 09:44:13 PM »
A techie friend of mine was in China with his Samsung 900x series. He loved it because it's super light (2.5 lbs / 1.2 kg), super thin (0.5 inches / 13 mm), extremely strong, and has a good battery life. He also really loved the display, but not all 900x machines have a great display. I think his was a 13 inch display model, not the larger 15 inch machines.

http://reviews.cnet.co.uk/laptops/samsung-series-9-review-50006624/

Re: New Laptop
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2013, 07:33:57 AM »
I have some kind of Asus supercomputer with a touchscreen. It runs windows 8, which at first was great, but is getting more and more annoying as time goes on. Also my cat pulled off my ; key

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BrandeX

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Re: New Laptop
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2013, 06:18:17 PM »
Also, if you are interested in Windows 8, and don't mind it not being in English, you can buy legit China (cn language only) editions of Windows 8 for 100rmb which Microsoft markets here now.

Re: New Laptop
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2013, 06:52:43 PM »
Yeah mine is in Chinese, but all of the search functions are in English. so if I want to get to add/remove programs I just have to type 'add' which makes it pretty simple to navigate around.

Re: New Laptop
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2013, 12:29:45 AM »
Legit Windows 8 for RMB100?
How is this possible when an upgrade from Windows 7 is RMB988? Must be as legit as the Nike and Columbia trainers (sneakers) on sale on the street corner out of the van.