Need Advice on New Overall Laptop

Jan 5, 2019
I’ve read enough to make me thoroughly confused!!!

I’m fairly ignorant in computers. I mean I use them everyday, but I’m just not knowledgeable on the hardware.

I need a new laptop. I have a Lenovo that is 6 years old and has started to run VERY slow. I think it’s time to replace it. I was shocked at the prices of new ones. I thought the prices had come down since I last looked.

I currently live in Russia so my choices are not quite the same as say the USA. And the prices are almost always higher.

Anyway, I want the best that I can afford so it will last as long as possible. I don’t care about gaming or battery life. I want a good processor and a reliable hard drive.

I’d prefer 17.3”, but could live with 15.6”.

I’ve noticed a big price difference between various configurations. I have a few questions:

I could get a Dell Inspiron 5700 with i5 8250U (16 gb RAM) and a HDD+SDD (2000/256) for about $1300.
But is it better to just get all SDD?

If just SDD, then the prices are quite high for small storage. However, the upgraded drives are not bad. Could I buy a 256gb and just swap it out to a 512gb or 1TB drive myself? This is more cost effective, but I don’t know the pros/cons and if I could manage to do it myself.

A small 13” with 256 SSD oddly would be the cheapest even after buying a new larger SSD, external monitor, and docking station.

In short, I want the best build quality, easiest, and cost effective way to go.

What should my strategy be???


I think it's best if you could give us a preferred site of purchase, that way we can understand what sort of models and units you have access to instead of seeming like it's a wild goose chase cross-referencing each model with your region. Besides you will most definitely have different SKU's than what's available in USA.

I would also suggest you state what you do with your laptop. Listing the tasks in order of usage will help improve our search.
Jan 5, 2019

Thanks for the reply.

I use my laptop as my primary home computer. It is mostly for email, internet (general use and streaming), and basic MS Office work (mostly Word and Excel). While I do very little photo editing, I tend to store a lot of photos on it too.
I don't need a super powerful computer, but I usually figure since I hold them so long it is best to get more than I need now thinking ahead.

For example, I am currently looking at these computers:
DELL Inspiron 5770-5901
Dell Latitude 5590-2875
Lenovo IdeaPad 330S-15IKB (81F50185RU)
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E580 (20KS0068RT)

But there are others too. I guess my real questions are what are the key elements I should be looking for? For example, what processor do I really need? What hard drive configuration should I go for and can I buy less but then upgrade myself with more affordable after market drives?


If you do no gaming or video editing on the system, a 6 year old laptop with a new SSD and clean Windows setup will be just fine as long as it does not have hardware issues. Most systems just need a cleanup of fans/vents, new thermal paste on the heatsink and a drive swap to make them run just about as good as new systems.
Jan 5, 2019

Interesting. I thought about upgrading my current laptop with an SSD, but the processor is a i7-3520M, which seems to compare very poorly to most chips used today. Also, I have no idea how to do any maintenance internally. Maybe it's worth a shot to try though?



You can use a much worse CPU for basic tasks, just because the CPU is slower than modern ones, unless you are gaming or trying to speed up video rendering, it does not matter. SSD, 8 GB of RAM, clean Windows setup and system is better than new. A Honda Accord from 2010 may be slower than one from 2019 but it will still be a good car if maintained well. You may not have to clean anything up on the inside, but you can always have a tech check it over and do the work, will not even be an hour of work to tear it down and apply new thermal paste. First step, SSD and clean Windows setup. See how things run then. Will cost you $60-70 for a 250 GB drive Heck, 500 GB drives are dropping in price a lot, and even a slower SSD is much better than a platter drive.

Scan your existing drive for errors, if it's all good, get a USB enclosure for it and use it as a backup drive.
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