Oct 23, 2014
My secondhand laptop is so old the PC repair shop won't even accept it as a trade-in anymore. It is also slowly failing. DVD drive doesn't read or write, can't detect wifi signal, zero battery life, won't charge, dead pixel spots on monitor...And yet it still basically WORKS. Because here I am, yeah?

Nevertheless, am starting to look for a replacement but have been out of the market for ages so would sincerely appreciate any advice and help.

Based on my past experiences with computers, I'm thinking that these are some of the features that I would like:
-No less than 142 GB MEMORY/Hard Drive.
-No less than dual processor.
-No less than 2 USB ports.
-Awesome battery life when unplugged.
-Gives you some visible or audible warning when battery is running low.
-Can be plugged in and used for long periods without permanently destroying mobile battery life.
-Excellent built-in cooling system.
-NEVER auto-lockout on sleep mode.
-No built-in web camera, please.
-Weighs less than five pounds please.
-Comfortable keyboard.
-Available in USA.

-My laptop came to me secondhand and, way back then, cost me just under $200 to purchase. That price range is still the best fit for me.
-However, over the years, the laptop has also had a couple of huge repair bills. So... Am even poorer than college students but have learned the lesson of get what you pay for. Am willing to try and save up and invest in a better machine if it comes with good warranty, good responsive customer service and basically can last at least eight years.
-So new vs. used/refurbished?

Other concerns and considerations:
-Will be most heavily used for art programs(Paint.net, SAI, GIMP, Inkscape, ArtRage, etc), writing and web.
-So decent graphic and sound quality would be nice.
-DVD/CD drive not required.
-Notepad or a program like it IS required, because I muck about with HTML sometimes.
-Have and use a Wacom tablet. Would like for the new device to either be compatible with this or replace the need for it.
-Not sure if a tablet or laptop is the way to go anymore. Does one have better security than the other? Better battery life? More likely to still be around next year?
-Also... Forgive me but yeah, really. PC or Mac? Or something else? Current computer is PC but have used and liked Macs and others in the past. Just am not sure about how well the Macs and others work for the long run. Plus most of my data and projects are already saved in pc file formats. Would it be possible to keep those files or would I have to lose all my data and start over if I switched?

Final question for this thread:

-Please forgive me if this is a stupid question but have they made solar powered personal computers yet? In my own computer-shopping-research, I keep reading about how eco-conscious people can get solar power chargers for their phones these days. So I just wondered if it's a feature that's out for computers as well. Cause that would work great here.

Your recommendations, please.

Thank you for your time in reading this. Look forward to your support.

Paul NZ

Well you wont get 142 GB.Most come with a cam, so you may not have a choice. You can only get so many USB ports on a laptop

You can copy documents etc off the old one, but you'll have to reinstall or buy the programs again on the new one



Oct 23, 2014
Excuse me, that was a typing mistake on my part. I meant to say:

-No less than 142 GB MEMORY/Hard Drive.

I will correct this in the above post.

Would just prefer to avoid built-in webcam if possible due to creepiness of experiences some friends have told me about. (i.e: webcam gets hacked, risk of someone else using it even when you're not.)

And don't mind computer with only 2 USB ports, just no less than that. Because tend to have two things plugged in at once. Mouse + Flash drive, Mouse + Printer or Wacom tablet + additional cooling fans are common examples.

Thank you.
What is your budget for this laptop? Keep in mind that if you want a laptop with a dedicated graphic chip, then that will basically mean you are looking for a new laptop starting at around $700. A refurbished laptop with a dedicated graphics chip may start at around $500 for laptop that is about 1 year old.

As for the webcam... I simply cover it with black electrical tape with a little bit of tissue that covers the lens itself so that it will not get any sticky residue. You can use a small band-aid if you wish.

You can also uninstall the webcam driver if you wish. I simply cover the camera lens because I sometimes use Skype to talk with relatives in Canada.


Oct 23, 2014
Thank you very much for the advice about the web camera! I had heard of people covering the lenses but hadn't thought of uninstalling the driver. Will do that in future, if necessary. Is a relief to have that worry taken care of.

My preferred budget is $250 or under.
That's price before additional warranty, of course.

So I keep ending up over at Amazon, looking at their inventory of refurbished laptops and tablets. There are just so many. It's kind of overwhelming.

Dell Inspiron sounds good. Acer Aspire looks nice. Sony Vaio is supposed to be durable. I read all these descriptions and technical details but don't know how much of it is true. If I go into a store and start asking a tech... Sometimes it feels like their reply was all in binary code. *sighs*

If I end up with something a year or two old, that's okay - as long as it still works for me. And... Just writing all of this is helping me to think about what I have and narrow down what I want. Because the new laptop... It would be nice if it was mobile but my old laptop - it can't travel anymore. So I don't NEED a computer that can travel, really. I'm getting by without.

And yeah, I'd like to do more drawing with my computer. A lot more. But I don't animate or do 3D modeling or anything super intensive like that on my old laptop because it can't. So yeah, I might like to learn how to do some of these things some day but right now I am getting by without. So I don't immediately NEED those qualities from a new computer either. I need good enough for comic style art, up to maybe twenty layers of coloring and photo editing.

And yes, I do sometimes play games on my computer but... I prefer puzzle games and usually play offline. So Mahjong Towers Eternity is probably not going to require a special dedicated graphic processor or anything, right?

And the keyboard would be just for writing. My current laptop has the 10-key calculator part as well but I don't think I've actually ever used it.

Does any of this help match me with a recommendation?