Low Budget notebooks and their life span

PhantomUser

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Jan 21, 2015
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As a computer salesman, I generally recommend entry-level notebooks that come equipped with AMD e1-#### or Intel Celeron CPUs to customers whom are in a budget and need it for high school or college. I get arguments from my peers that these PCs will not last over a year. These PCs generally cost around $230, and are manufactured by HP and Toshiba.

Do these notebooks generally come with components that are significantly more likely to fail? And am I doing customers a disservice?
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
Cheap systems = cheap cases and a lot less sturdiness and bracing of the case and keyboard. People treat laptops like they are rocks, they grab them when they are running and run across a school campus with them, toss them on the bed, lift them by the lid when opened, etc...

Plus they are just slow and many people think just because it's a computer it will do anything that any other computer will do and just be cheaper. If this laptop is $300 and the other is $1,000 I'll just buy the 300 and save 700. Oh, hm.. why won't this open 10 things at once and play my games??? I need to buy a faster CPU and video card to make it faster. Oh, what, I can't? Next step is selling the thing for 1/2 of what you bought it for a month ago and looking for a faster one anyway.

What I tell people to do is buy a used $1,000 laptop that's 2-3-4 years old for the same price as a new one. Lenovo ThinkPads are my go to systems. You can find a used T410, T400, T420 for the price or a new low end system and will have 3 times the laptop quality and speed or the same price. And with how solid they are built, no-one will miss on not having a one year warranty on a new laptop.

I've sold probably a dozen T410 and T420 systems past year and everyone that got one has been thanking me for steering them to those. One of them actually ended up in the hands of a city mayor through someone else that bought one from me and I was told he loves the thing.
 

13thmonkey

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Jan 10, 2006
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Personally, I agree with you, you'll get low end components on all ranges. But for that purpose, and on that budget there is no much option, and with the usage mode, and the way it'll be treated it'll be a wreck in 18 months anyway. To cover 3 years buying 2 cheap ones is probably better than one good one. I've gotten my son an Asus T100 for uni (alongside a desktop), the T100 has an all day battery so is great for in-lecture use, the desktop then lets him do more (and game).
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
Cheap systems = cheap cases and a lot less sturdiness and bracing of the case and keyboard. People treat laptops like they are rocks, they grab them when they are running and run across a school campus with them, toss them on the bed, lift them by the lid when opened, etc...

Plus they are just slow and many people think just because it's a computer it will do anything that any other computer will do and just be cheaper. If this laptop is $300 and the other is $1,000 I'll just buy the 300 and save 700. Oh, hm.. why won't this open 10 things at once and play my games??? I need to buy a faster CPU and video card to make it faster. Oh, what, I can't? Next step is selling the thing for 1/2 of what you bought it for a month ago and looking for a faster one anyway.

What I tell people to do is buy a used $1,000 laptop that's 2-3-4 years old for the same price as a new one. Lenovo ThinkPads are my go to systems. You can find a used T410, T400, T420 for the price or a new low end system and will have 3 times the laptop quality and speed or the same price. And with how solid they are built, no-one will miss on not having a one year warranty on a new laptop.

I've sold probably a dozen T410 and T420 systems past year and everyone that got one has been thanking me for steering them to those. One of them actually ended up in the hands of a city mayor through someone else that bought one from me and I was told he loves the thing.
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator


Old mid to high end PC will be faster than a new low end one. The E1 will likely be beat by a fast Core 2 Duo CPU.

A new Toyota Corolla may have new parts, and may beat an older Corolla in handling, but it won't beat a 20 yr old Corvette.
 

PhantomUser

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Jan 21, 2015
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That is a satisfying answer, but here goes more discussion:

The technological gains of today have increased the efficiency the CPU and indirectly affecting every component in computers to make them more reliable and less prone to failure, when comparing them to computers of the past.
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator


Not really. The biggest failing points in systems are still the same. LCD screens in laptops, power supplies, video cards, capacitors (although those are better now especially in high end system). Quality of components is more important than just a general "it's newer so better" comment. In fact many of the new systems are just pushed out based on price and will not last as good as the better built stuff from before. Look at the failure rate and quality for all those generic cheap phones an tablets coming out of China and other low cost and low quality control areas. Just because the CPU itself can run more instructions per watt and is smaller does not make anything more reliable. What you do have is the same speed of a system that can utilize less power and heat thus stressing the components less, which in theory will make them last longer. But many vendors offset that benefit by using cheap parts and build quality to meet a certain price so they end up being no more reliable.
 
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