Community Presents: Recommend A Laptop With Andrew Freedman

Graybush

Estimable
Feb 13, 2017
582
3
2,960
103
Hey there my Laptop Enthusiasts!

Struggling to find the perfect laptop? Get expert advice and guidance in real-time with ‘Recommend A Laptop’, hosted by the Tom’s Guide Community Staff.

Our special guest this week is Andrew Freedman, one of our writers at Tom’s Guide. Andrew joined the Tom's Guide team in 2015, reviewing computers and keeping up with the latest news. He holds an M.S. in Journalism (Digital Media) from Columbia University. His previous work has shown up in Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. It’s also a special event for us over here on the forums, as Andrew used to be part of the Community team before joining Editorial.

‘Recommend A Laptop’ goes live at 10 AM EST on June 15th and will run until 4 PM EST on June 16th.

Recommend A Laptop Rules


  • • All Rules of Conduct apply.
    • Keep questions direct and to the point.
    • Avoid opinion bias, as in, "Why are you suggesting this brand? All their products are horrible."
    • Be respectful of our guests--no insults, no leading questions.
    • Do not post duplicate questions or repost your question multiple times.
    • Not all questions may be answered. Questions may not be answered in the order in which they are received or posted.
To reiterate: No opinion bias, insults, leading questions, or breaking the Rules of Conduct. Breaking these rules may result in a one-day ban.

Only registered users will be able to ask questions, so if you haven’t yet, be sure to register now for your chance to participate!

The official representatives will reply over the time the AMA is active using a recognized and verified account.

Please join us on this date to throw your questions into the mix and ask us what you've always wanted to ask!

What: Recommend Me A Laptop
When: Thursday June 15th – Friday June 16th
Who: Your Community Staff with Special Guest Andrew Freedman
 
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Guest

Guest
If you had to choose between an HP laptop or an Asus laptop, which would it be?
 

naps73r

Prominent
Jun 15, 2017
1
0
510
0


Definitely ASUS! The specs are hardcore and ASUS laptops are much durable than HP. HP ALWAYS has and WILL ALWAYS HAVE heating issues.

Please do not go for HP Laptops, my personal opinion

 
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Guest

Guest


Asus has terrible customer service though. Once upon a moon ago I bought a laptop, I ended up giving it to one of my cousin's kids because the CPU wasn't powerful enough to do what I wanted EVEN THOUGH the reps I spoke to said it could. I've since stuck to desktops, but I was curious now that the big models are out for the year.
 

Below0

Estimable
Jan 8, 2015
53
1
4,590
3
Hey Andrew, glad to see the site is finally getting some younger blood on the beat.

What, in your opinion, is a laptop model that you would never, ever, recommend to anybody? Not even to your worst enemy?
 

snorlax316

Estimable
Feb 11, 2015
12
0
4,560
0
Anyone got good idea on a nice, durable laptop? I have a niece with a birthday coming up. She's 11, and, well, honestly she's pretty rough with her things.
 

AndrewFreedman

Estimable
Oct 3, 2014
596
0
4,940
4


It's not fair to cheaper laptops, but I see buying a notebook as an investment in something you'll use everyday, and there are a fair share of low-cost ones that are low-cost for a reason. But one you can afford is often the best one for many people. I just encourage everyone to do their homework.

Last month I reviewed the 15-inch LG Gram, which got 2 stars, which means we don't recommend it. Sure, it lasted long, but it was flimsy, had a flat keyboard and a dim display. Oh, and it has a webcam that looks straight up your nose -- worse than the one on the XPS 13.

On the gaming side there's the Samsung Notebook Odyssey, which actually offered solid performance! It just was overpriced (you can get a 1050 laptop for less) and looked and felt like a Fisher Price toy. MAybe it could be right for someone on a sale, but I'd never recommend it at full price.

 

AndrewFreedman

Estimable
Oct 3, 2014
596
0
4,940
4


A Chromebook would probably work for an 11 year-old. Check out my review of the Asus Chromebook C202 It's a little heavier than other Chromebooks, but I dropped it onto concrete and only a hinge came loose -- one that popped right back into place. The laptop is meant to be easily repairable.

It also happens to have solid battery life and one of my favorite keyboards in recent memory.
 

AndrewFreedman

Estimable
Oct 3, 2014
596
0
4,940
4


It's not a cut and dry decision based on brand. For a deeper read, consider our Best & Worst Laptop Brands, which includes reviews, design, tech support, innovation, value and warranty.

I do think Asus makes better laptops on the low end of the spectrum. Some of their cheaper ones are solid deals. But I'm curious to get our hands on HP's new Pavilions, as they looked nice when I saw them earlier this year at a press event (Send 'em over, HP!)

I haven't spent as much time with HP's Omen gaming lineup as Asus', but Asus has a more varied one and their ROGs are generally excellent.

But in premium laptops, both make some excellent devices. HP's Spectre lineup is gorgeous and powerful, especially in the black and copper. High-end EliteBooks are beautiful business devices, too, and some have built-in privacy screens. Asus pushed their premium lineup, like their ZenBook 3 Deluxe and ZenBook Flip S at Computex, so I hope we get those in to review soon.

 

rightsaidFREDDD

Commendable
Apr 27, 2016
3
0
1,510
0
I’ll be heading off to college soon and am looking to upgrade to a small versatile ultrabook. I already have a Dell Inspiron 7000 that I do some gaming on, but it’s waaaay too big. I have a pretty tight budget and can only spend between $500 and $800. I’m a computer science major and will be using it mostly to take notes and some light coding. I have been eyeing the Asus Chromebook Flip C302. I need a laptop with at least 4 GB RAM and a 64GB SSD, and this seemed like a great choice since Ubuntu runs on it and I’ll also be able to run some coding applications and Android applications as well.

I am also looking into the Surface. I really want one, but can't afford it at full price. I think I need the Pro version to run coding apps for my classes. I would love having a computer that I can just write on using the pen. The specs can also run everything just fine. I’ve been looking on eBay for old Surface Pro 2s and found some that were "seller refurbished". But there is no warranty! There are also a Surface Pro 3 that I found for about $320. These are used and only have the 4GB RAM version only. I see some certified refurbished ones on Amazon, but they seem to have bad reviews or are all scratched up. Other similarly priced Windows laptops seem to have similar specs as the Chromebook. Since Windows is a more robust system I scared it will run slower than a Chromebook. I don't want to spend more money upgrading the SSD.

What do you think is my best choice is here? Should I risk it and spend more to get a Surface? Are Surface 2-in-1s more reliable? The Chromebook seems like a cheap alternative, and having Android is a huge plus? Do you think I would be fine with Chrome OS and Ubuntu? Can you recommend any other Chromebooks or Windows laptops that would fit my budget? (A little more is fine if you suggest a Windows laptop). I would primarily want a refurbished laptop to save money. Thank you.
 

AndrewFreedman

Estimable
Oct 3, 2014
596
0
4,940
4


Before anything else, read this piece about what it means to get a used vs. refurbished laptop: https://www.laptopmag.com/articles/refurbished-laptop-tips

Apple has a well-regarded refurbishment program, but that won't help you here.

Our general rule of thumb is that someone should look for, at minimum, an Intel Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 1080p display and 256GB of storage.

If you're coding I imagine you'd prefer Windows over Chrome OS.

If you don't mind uninstalling some bloatware, we liked the $700 Asus ZenBook UX3300UA, which offers all of that.

I love Surface laptops, but those might be underspecced for the long run, and buying used (especially from an individual without a warranty) can leave you in a rut if something goes wrong.



 
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Guest

Guest


Since this already got asked, I'll ask the opposite. What's a laptop that you would recommend to anybody, regardless of computer literacy?
 

AndrewFreedman

Estimable
Oct 3, 2014
596
0
4,940
4


Chromebooks, at their core, are basically just browsers, so they're good for the technophobes in your life.
 

marisagb

Prominent
Jun 16, 2017
1
0
510
0
I am technologically frustrating. Computers hate me. I am wondering what an easy to use, inexpensive laptop that doesn't have sound glitches like my hp. I also want a long battery life. Suggestions?
 

Thebcook

Prominent
Jun 16, 2017
2
0
510
0
Hope I'm submitting this correctly.

Looking for a laptop for basic web use / word processing and excel
I'm leaning towards a chrome book but not sure if it will suit my needs. Any suggestions?
 

AndrewFreedman

Estimable
Oct 3, 2014
596
0
4,940
4


This depends on your operating system preference. If you want Windows, most laptops will behave similarly because they're using the same OS.

If you don't do a ton with files and only need a browser, spring for a Chromebook. We like the Asus Chromebok Flip C302CA.

They're almost entire browser focused (but will soon get Android apps), so if you know how to use Chrome you know how to use Android apps. They also tend to get great battery life.

 

AndrewFreedman

Estimable
Oct 3, 2014
596
0
4,940
4


If you're looking for Word and Excel, you can use online versions on a Chromebook:

Word: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/word-online/fiombgjlkfpdpkbhfioofeeinbehmajg?hl=en-US

Excel: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/excel-online/iljnkagajgfdmfnnidjijobijlfjfgnb?hl=en-US

They may not be as 100% fleshed out as their Windows counterparts, but they should get the job done for most tasks.

If you want to store your files ON your laptop, you might want to consider a good, cheap Windows notebook, as Chromebooks have limited storage. You'll likely be saving your files in Microsoft's OneDrive.
 

Thebcook

Prominent
Jun 16, 2017
2
0
510
0


Appreciate the input, I will give it a go!
 
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