Question Laptop Purchase Advice

Dec 22, 2021
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1. What is your budget?
$500

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
Not worried, as I'll be hooking it up to a tv.

3. What screen resolution do you want?
Don't know enough about it to specify. Certainly don't need professional level.

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
Not required to be portable.

5. How much battery life do you need?
Will be plugged in at all times.

6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?
Only buying it as a laptop to play Rocksmith (guitar tuition 'game'), which is from 2014, so shouldn't be overly demanding.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
As above, Rocksmith plus possibly stream sports and hook up to TV.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
Not a lot.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
Ideally for 3 or 4 years.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
Don't need a physical disc drive.

12. Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.
No preference. Have been looking at HP as their site is easy to work, but not set on them or closed to any other brands.

13. What country do you live in?
This will be bought in USA.

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.

Just looking to see what people think I should be payng for a laptop to achieve the above.
I travel between US & UK regularly but it seems US is always cheaper.

Just not sure whether it's advisable to spend 300 dollars and get an AMD athlon level cpu, or spend the 500-600 and get a Ryzen with slightly better GPU. I'm not sure I need that, but I also don't want a new machine that performs like an old one, if that makes sense.

If anyone knew of something that was really good value for money in the 300-500 range, I'd appreciate that input.

Apologies if there are other threads that are very similar. I read a few and none of them seemed to have my exact query but feel free to point me to any that do.

Thanks.
 
Not to be plugging a particular store, but I've purchased several computers from Staples the last few years. Watch for a sale and you can find a good price. I'm not recommending a particular model as there are many in your price range that will do what you want. However, these lower priced machines tend to come with 4GB of RAM and you need 8. Buying more RAM is inexpensive. Go to Crucial .com and they will tell you what you need. Don't try to buy it in a store. Staples has a good return policy so you can try a machine out. It is most important you get a SSD not a HDD. HDD are rare any more but watch out.
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
A system with a Ryzen 3 CPU should be all you need, I like Lenovo as a first pick usually but the rest are not too far behind in quality for basic systems. Even a used $150 laptop with an earlier Intel i5 should be OK to use but not all may have HDMI outputs.
 
Dec 22, 2021
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Thanks guys, I hadn't thought of staples. I'll have a look tomorrow and hope the sales have started.

Just a quick question, when a laptop's ram is listed and the specs state "8 GB DDR4 (provided memory is soldered)", for example, does this mean that I can't add any extra? Or just that the existing ram cannot be removed? Ie, if the existing one is 8gb, I couldn't remove it and change it to a 16gb? Or, does it mean I could add a 2nd ram but it would have to be the same size, eg 8gb +8gb? Can you mix & match, say, an 8gb with a 16gb?
I would also need to research whether a 2nd ram port was even fitted, I presume? Or is it standard to leave space for upgrades?

Sorry for the schoolboy questions. Tech left me behind a few years ago.
 

USAFRet

Illustrious
Moderator
Thanks guys, I hadn't thought of staples. I'll have a look tomorrow and hope the sales have started.

Just a quick question, when a laptop's ram is listed and the specs state "8 GB DDR4 (provided memory is soldered)", for example, does this mean that I can't add any extra? Or just that the existing ram cannot be removed? Ie, if the existing one is 8gb, I couldn't remove it and change it to a 16gb? Or, does it mean I could add a 2nd ram but it would have to be the same size, eg 8gb +8gb? Can you mix & match, say, an 8gb with a 16gb?
I would also need to research whether a 2nd ram port was even fitted, I presume? Or is it standard to leave space for upgrades?

Sorry for the schoolboy questions. Tech left me behind a few years ago.
Some laptops have 1 RAM soldered on, and a second free slot to add.
Whatever is soldered to the motherboard is non changeable.

Mix and match..maybe.
Always a good way forward is to buy a second one from whatever the manufacturer suggests.
And for a budget system, more than 16GB is probably not needed.

And Staples falls under the same corporate umbrella as OfficeMax.
 

scarlettm59

Great
Aug 25, 2021
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I would Suggest Intel 11th Gen i5, since it has good integrated GPU Iris XE ......
You can customize the laptop according to your budget like, reduce HD and SSD or improve ram. I suggest Minimum 8GB.
In Brand I personally use Asus
 
Dec 22, 2021
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If I could ask a further question -

Is it worth spending the $40 more than this laptop - https://www.bestbuy.com/site/lenovo-ideapad-3-15-6-fhd-touch-screen-laptop-intel-core-i5-11th-gen-12gb-memory-256gb-ssd-arctic-grey/6461977.p?skuId=6461977

to get this one, that has 4gb less ram, but a dedicated mx450 graphics card - https://www.bestbuy.com/site/asus-zenbook-14-laptop-amd-ryzen-5-8gb-memory-nvidia-geforce-mx450-256gb-ssd-light-grey/6460365.p?skuId=6460365

The 2nd one is also a smaller screen, but I'm not worried about that.

I don't really game, but might do if the graphics card allowed seamless gameplay on strategy games (sim City type games, nothing too demanding).

Any input is appreciated, thanks.
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
If I could ask a further question -

Is it worth spending the $40 more than this laptop - https://www.bestbuy.com/site/lenovo-ideapad-3-15-6-fhd-touch-screen-laptop-intel-core-i5-11th-gen-12gb-memory-256gb-ssd-arctic-grey/6461977.p?skuId=6461977

to get this one, that has 4gb less ram, but a dedicated mx450 graphics card - https://www.bestbuy.com/site/asus-zenbook-14-laptop-amd-ryzen-5-8gb-memory-nvidia-geforce-mx450-256gb-ssd-light-grey/6460365.p?skuId=6460365

The 2nd one is also a smaller screen, but I'm not worried about that.

I don't really game, but might do if the graphics card allowed seamless gameplay on strategy games (sim City type games, nothing too demanding).

Any input is appreciated, thanks.
8 GB is fine, 12 won't really offer any noticeable improvement
 
Jan 23, 2022
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Look at your local online classifieds.

You will find someone who sells old school laptops super cheap, they usually install a clean windows and easily 1/3 the price.
 
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