Need help picking a cheap simple laptop


Jul 8, 2012
I need to replace my old gateway laptop, its still usable but just very slow. I only use it to view/upload pictures (facebook/ebay), view online videos, browse online, write/edit documents, just some basic things like that. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

1. What is your budget?
Lower is better, less than $300 preferably

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
I'd like to replace a 14'' with a 14'', if possible.

3. What screen resolution do you want?
Around 1280x800

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?

5. How much battery life do you need?
Not an issue, its probably going to stay plugged in constantly

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)?

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
Photo/video viewing, internet browsing, some document processing (ms word)

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
Around 100GB, I don't need too much storage just enough to keep some files, photos, videos.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
I'd prefer ones I'm familiar with, amazon/newegg/ebay but I'm open to recommendations

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
The longer the better

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
Not really important,

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.
I don't really have a preference

13. What country do you live in?
United States<California<Stockton



Dec 15, 2013
No worries. If you do end up picking that one up, I suggest like all modern retail computers, removing the bloatware that comes on it under control panel/programs as well as disabling unnecessary startup programs in the task manager. The BIOS should be updated to version 2.04 as well. There is a Lenovo utility program that comes installed on it that you can update your hardware drivers for optimal performance, or you can get them from Lenovo's website directly if you deleted it with other bloatware. Update AMD's Catalyst Control Center as well. These changes will drastically improve system performance. If you find yourself wanting more performance after that, I suggest getting 8GB of 204 pin 1.35v 1866MHz ram ($35-50) with the lowest CAS latency number (10 or 11). It doesn't matter if you get 1x8GB or 2x4GB as the APU/CPU has a single channel memory controller. I recommend Crucial ballistix sport or g.skill as these both are read by the motherboard and will switch automatically to 1866MHz as there is no BIOS setting to do so, and I cannot confirm other brands will do the same. It will likely ask you if you want windows 10 during first time boot. If you get it, I suggest custom installation options instead of recommended and turn off ALL features that windows uses to "keep tabs" on you. This is pretty straight forward to do. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact me, or just post here, and someone will help you out. Good luck to you!


Dec 15, 2013
Edit: Since you're not gaming, or doing more intensive visual tasks, simply adding a second 4GB 1600MHz ($20-30) stick will improve system performance instead of going the 8GB/1866MHz route if you wanted an upgrade in the future. I know that Kingston is compatible with the stock memory. It's really easy, as there are only three screws holding the back plate on, and then you have to slide the cover to remove it. 5 minute job tops, just remember to turn off the laptop, remove your battery, and then hold down the power button for around 20 seconds to help discharge extra static beforehand.
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