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Lap top Computers

Buying one.

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Erfolg30/09/2020 12:32:36
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Like some others, time has moved on, leaving me behind.

I certainly lack understanding what much of the Jargon is referring to, what is now technically the norm. or what is the requirements is for many applications to run.

I am slowly, it is slowly building a better understanding.

Some things still allude me. At present I run a couple of CAD packages on my PC. which is now very old, although pretty adequate for my use. It has a E5300 Pentium processors 3GDDR2 Memory, 1 TB hard drive, a ODD DVD-Super Multi (I am guessing these are increasingly omitted from laptops), a VGA X4500 Intel Integrated GMA.

I suspect that all current Laptops beat this spec by a country mile.

Perhaps one of my concerns is what is needed for CAD (I am guessing not much, other than a maths processor). Perhaps more current, is this different to what is required for my current CAM laser cutter and potentially a 3D printer.

Edited By Erfolg on 30/09/2020 12:33:57

Peter Christy30/09/2020 14:54:30
1908 forum posts

Erf: If you look at the laptops that Robin and I linked to, you'll see that both come with DVD drives built in.

Maths co-processors are a thing of the past - all modern PCs will be able to handle calculations easily, some even offload really complex stuff to the graphics processor!

One problem you *may* find is that Windows is not as backward compatible as it once was. If you are running very old packages, you may struggle getting them to run under Win 10.

Most of the laptops referred to previously referred to will be able to cope with modern CAD packages without problem, and should be more than capable of running laser cutters and 3D printers.

The biggest problem will be deciding between a wealth of choices!

--

Pete

Erfolg30/09/2020 16:11:05
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11831 forum posts
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Peter

I do recognise much of what I knew, or saw as desirable, has been overtaken by the helter skelter pace of both technology, usage and applications.

I run windows 10 on the PC, although i do not envisage running many if any of the current applications on the lap top.

I have decided I prefer a largish screen, as I do not use my notebook at all now, partly down to screen, although its slow speed. On that basis the suggestion of a +14" screen is one want.

I guess all use the Wifi for some communication?

Something else that has become more of an issue, although not a good way of phrasing the connect is means of interfacing with other devices and systems. I note that the PC has more USB ports than you can shake a stick at. I use them for my phone and its photos, my flight simulator, I had an external hard drive attached that way (before it disappeared when we moved. I see that memory sticks are used a bit, even by myself. The back of the PC has loads of connectors for all sort of things from speakers, the monitor, a dongle, plus something which I do not immediacy recognise.

Now the bit where there is again indecision and a total lack of knowledge, how many do I really need on a lap top. Particularly when I think the reason I put my previous lap tops in the bin, that there was a lack of the then current ports on either. Now I read there is something called USB-C and Thunderbolt 3. Are they the immediate future?

Another problem is that my wife wants me to spend what is necessary, not to worry about the price. From experience when working, there is no such thing as future proofing, in a real sense. I may have constructed one business case including the concept, history has shown I was writing rubbish. That what we bought was already being superseded. IT has a shelf life in a few short years at best. I see no point in buying something that I am reluctant to bin, because I bought expensively.

When I think that just with drives, I have seen big floppies. small, floppies, Bernoulli discs, tape back ups, now memory sticks. I get the impression that sold state memories are more current?

I also worry about my lack of knowledge, abilities and interest to fix IT issues when they go wrong. Sometime back, my printer stopped communicating scanned images to the PC, I did not recognised what had happened. I tried and could not sort out the problem. Then I found cabling it up did not work either. I tried reloading the drivers. Then just, and only by chance, I found out it was a Windows 10 upgrade that was the issue. I sorted the problem, but still am less than happy, that I could not, nor did have a clue what the issue really was.

Erfolg30/09/2020 22:42:33
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11831 forum posts
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Robin, I cannot find the slightly more expensive laptop with the Solid State memory. Can you link me to it?

I do appreciate all of the help provided. I am slowly understanding, the terminology and perhaps more importantly, what it is and does and desirability etc. To many so much is obvious, unfortunately, not all, that is me.

paul devereux01/10/2020 06:24:41
48 forum posts

I've always thought PCSpecialist offer good value for money. They also offer excellent customer service, and will advise you in a non-biased way if you give them a ring.

flight101/10/2020 09:22:09
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747 forum posts
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Hi don't know what your budget is but

here are some deals Asus tend to have the right quality zen book are professionals (metal cace etc) and vivobooks are still good

here zen

here cheaper vivo

Peter Christy01/10/2020 09:23:15
1908 forum posts

My current laptop came from PC Specialist  **LINK**

and I'm very happy with it. However, I hesitated to suggest them to Erf because, although they do off-the-shelf systems, their systems tend to be tailor made. Erf has made it clear that he's not up to speed on current terminology and buzzwords, and I thought PCS might be confusing for him.

I still think that one of the two options pointed to by Robin and myself earlier at Curry's would be the best option for him - both well specced and not outrageously priced - provided he can fight off the sales staff! wink

Cheaper options are available (as are MUCH more expensive ones!), but I'm not sure they would meet all of his requirements.

--

Pete

 

Edited By Peter Christy on 01/10/2020 09:23:48

Erfolg01/10/2020 14:55:42
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11831 forum posts
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Has anyone heard or experience of Honour Magicbook 15 or 14? If so, what is your experience.

Another apparently daft couple of questions

I am assuming I want to load Microsoft office onto whatever i do buy. How much does it cost for home, single user installation? I see some adverts at £30-40, is that a one off, or a rental cost, as I have also seen charges at approx. £100

If I purchase a device which has no disc drive, is there an issue if I load the disc i have onto a memory stick, then load it via a USB port?

If I find that I do not have enough storage capacity, can I practically increase it?

I do admit that I am finding the seemingly endless choice of processors, memory, and so on difficult to quantify particularly when cost is considered.

Edited By Erfolg on 01/10/2020 14:56:10

fly boy301/10/2020 16:44:09
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3778 forum posts
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Erfolg, there are very many FREE alternatives to Microsoft Office. I have been using Libre for a few years now. Gives me all I want. Cheers. Also you can buy a stand alone dvd drive for around £20.  Just plug into laptop.

Edited By fly boy3 on 01/10/2020 16:46:34

Erfolg01/10/2020 18:03:41
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11831 forum posts
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I write minutes and accounts for the BMFA, which seems geared to Microsoft products. I will continue doing these on my PC probably.

Peter Christy01/10/2020 18:36:58
1908 forum posts

Libreoffice is free and can read and write micro$oft files. I use it exclusively!

If you must use Office, get it from these guys: **LINK**

Its a legal copy, and far cheaper than you'll find in most other places!

The Honour Magicbook is made by Huawei (?). Spec is considerably lower than the Dell or HP mentioned earlier, but so is the price!

You pays your money....

--

Pete

Robin Colbourne01/10/2020 20:13:52
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698 forum posts
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Posted by Erfolg on 30/09/2020 22:42:33:

Robin, I cannot find the slightly more expensive laptop with the Solid State memory. Can you link me to it?

I do appreciate all of the help provided. I am slowly understanding, the terminology and perhaps more importantly, what it is and does and desirability etc. To many so much is obvious, unfortunately, not all, that is me.

Erfolg, click on down arrow at the right hand end of the middle option box (Hard Drive Storage), and the 480GB SSD is the bottom option.

Martyn K03/10/2020 02:25:28
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5102 forum posts
3701 photos

Hi Erf

Look for a PC with a SSD (Solid State Disk) as the storage device. IMHO, one of the most visibly useful PC devices ever invented.

Regarding a large screen, most modern computers use HDMI as a video output (SVGA 15 pin din is now obsolete) which will plug into most modern Smart TV system . With a suitable lead then Voila! a 60" monitor at no extra cost except perhaps for an ear bashing from SWMBO who wants to watch Corrie..

Martyn

Glenn Stevenson03/10/2020 06:54:38
58 forum posts
3 photos

Hi Erf

Just my twopennorth but as an IT professional and having recommended HP laptops for all my customers I would have to say find a HP with an Intel I3 chip and a good sized SSD as many come with very small ones and you could run out of space quickly. If you have pictures and documents that are important then get an external hard drive and back up regularly as SSD drives whilst being very fast can fail without anyway of recovering data.

You can spend a bit more on a faster I5 chip but probably wouldnt notice the difference. If you buy from the famous pc shop do not let them sell you any of their extras ie, anti-virus software, setup fees, warranties, etc.

The built in windows security is much better than Norton or Mcaffee.

£500 will get a good laptop, spend the change on flying kit.

Regards

Glenn

Erfolg03/10/2020 13:20:58
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11831 forum posts
1356 photos

I have come very close to buying a lap top, indecision has held me back.

At present the decision is between a HP ProBook 655 G1 AMD A10 Quad Core - Radeon HD 7420G Graphics 15.6" Gaming Laptop Windows 10 or HONOR MagicBook 15 - 15.6 Inch Laptop with FullView 1080P Screen.

I am not concerned with the Chinese spying on me, it will either bore them to death, or if i knew any secrets, put them back at least 5 or more years (more probably + 20).

I know I threw one of my laptops out as it was lacking in the then ports. The HP does not have a USB-c port.If it does something more than being smaller USB, is this something that makes the machine already really obsolete?

Glasshopper04/10/2020 10:16:11
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111 forum posts

Hi, born 1932, read your postings and bought Huawei d15.

Shaun Walsh04/10/2020 10:41:30
443 forum posts
50 photos
Posted by Erfolg on 03/10/2020 13:20:58:

I have come very close to buying a lap top, indecision has held me back.

At present the decision is between a HP ProBook 655 G1 AMD A10 Quad Core - Radeon HD 7420G Graphics 15.6" Gaming Laptop Windows 10 or HONOR MagicBook 15 - 15.6 Inch Laptop with FullView 1080P Screen.

I am not concerned with the Chinese spying on me, it will either bore them to death, or if i knew any secrets, put them back at least 5 or more years (more probably + 20).

I know I threw one of my laptops out as it was lacking in the then ports. The HP does not have a USB-c port.If it does something more than being smaller USB, is this something that makes the machine already really obsolete?

AMD's A series processors are getting a bit old now and, if I remember correctly, only support up to DDR3 memory, not the latest DDR4 memory. Personally I would go wiith something with an AMD Ryzen processor, preferably the Ryzen 5., for example HP255 the performance should be a lot better. I believe the Ryzen series use less power too so longer battery life.

Edited By Shaun Walsh on 04/10/2020 10:41:55

Edited By Shaun Walsh on 04/10/2020 10:44:07

Edited By Shaun Walsh on 04/10/2020 10:44:37

Peter Christy04/10/2020 10:49:23
1908 forum posts

Erf: None of my machines have USB-C, and from what I've read, its a mess of incompatibilities!

Normally, I would advise going for the HP, as they are generally well supported. However, all the places I've checked are showing that model "out of stock". This suggests its an obsolete machine to me.

My concern with Huawei (Honor) would not be so much spying (for the reasons you describe! wink ), but more worries about future support. With his Trumpness (and our own government) threatening all sorts of sanctions, they may decide to withdraw from western markets, leaving anyone owning their kit high and dry.

Perhaps I'm being paranoid, but if it were my money, I'd rather stick to a well known brand like HP or Dell - even if it is made in China! At least they would have to provide future support.

--

Pete

Gary Murphy 104/10/2020 11:27:20
477 forum posts
22 photos
Posted by Martyn K on 03/10/2020 02:25:28:

Hi Erf

Look for a PC with a SSD (Solid State Disk) as the storage device. IMHO, one of the most visibly useful PC devices ever invented.

Regarding a large screen, most modern computers use HDMI as a video output (SVGA 15 pin din is now obsolete) which will plug into most modern Smart TV system . With a suitable lead then Voila! a 60" monitor at no extra cost except perhaps for an ear bashing from SWMBO who wants to watch Corrie..

Martyn

As mentioned prior I am limited in tech knowledge. So the above mention of having a smaller screen with the capability of plugging into a much bigger screen with a HDMI is a new one to me BUT I thought that the bigger the screen/monitor got the graphics card needs to get better or the definition suffers. Would a £500-600 laptop look ok with a low/mid end rc flight sim OR blur ray dvd etc?

Erfolg06/10/2020 19:54:31
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I am still undecided, particularly in that I thought both would be OK.

Given that my wants are rather limited and that I am not working against the clock, as commercial users probably are, a few seconds more in a calc is not to much of an issue.

What I do find annoying is that my PC takes an age, to start functioning after I left it a few minutes and need to log in to continue.

My issues of obsolescence seem to arise in manners that i never envisaged. From software that no longer operates on the latest version of Windows etc. Te other thing that seems to have arisen, memory requirements increase, although the cost of memory reduce, the machine I have, cannot have it inserted. Then there is the interface issues, from connectors that are no longer defacto, from land lines to the Wifi.

It seems that change is so frequent, that getting 5 years out of a laptop before issues overtake it is possibly all i could expect.

On that basis the £400 HP does not seem a bad deal. On the other hand I have never had a laptop die on me, although the batteries seem to age quickly.

Still undecided. I will be looking again tomorrow after I finished a granddaughters practical project on her behalf.

Edited By Erfolg on 06/10/2020 19:55:05

Edited By Erfolg on 06/10/2020 19:55:40

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