computer/tablet question

JayJay Senior MemberPosts: 3,327 Senior Member
Seriously trying not to bring up memories of Sam and days of the past, but....

I'm considering getting another laptop or possibly an iPad. I'm really not sure which way would be the best. I'm leaning toward laptop. Possibly a MacBook, although that is a bit out of my price range. I'm trying to keep this as inexpensive as possible.

I don't need anything fancy. I'm not a "gamer" and don't need to store thousands of photos or videos. A few little photo albums and a few documents maybe. But mostly web browsing and such. I do have an iPhone and an older iPod touch, so I know an iPad or MacBook would make sense as far as having my devices sync together and all. Just seems like buying a iPad, little Bluetooth keyboard and a little case to put them together essentially makes a little laptop.... with no ability to plug in external storage devices or play and rip discs if I should want to do that. Same problem with the MacBook. That's what I don't like about Apple. No options for external stuff at all. "You'll take what we give you."

I have an older HP Pavillion laptop that was working just fine until the hard drive died. I looked into getting it fixed or trying to fix it myself, as a learning project. Just seems like getting that fixed gets me fairly close to just buying a new one, and I'd still have an outdated laptop.

So, what are your thoughts? Also, how much of a pain would it be to create, write or prepare documents and print them on an iPad? That is something I need to have the ability to do. Create, print and save documents. I'm fairly decent with Excel and use Word and Publisher for doing stuff like this. If I move away from Microsoft, what should I be looking at? Differences, benefits or down sides between Microsoft, Chrome and iOS? Anything I've overlooked?
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Replies

  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 19,343 Senior Member
    If you're going to actually USE it as you describe, get a laptop.

    If you're just going to consume content, the tablet would probably work.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 3,327 Senior Member
    zorba wrote: »
    If you're going to actually USE it as you describe, get a laptop.

    If you're just going to consume content, the tablet would probably work.

    Here's one example, and one of the reasons I'm looking.

    I have the need to start creating a resume. Also, many jobs these days, especially in government work, require online application. Right now, my options are my iPhone and my computer at my current job. Wouldn't be a good idea to be working on stuff like that at work... And doing that on my phone is not very practical. Things like that that come up on nearly a daily basis is why I'm looking at getting something.

    I also have a monthly personal budget that I created on an Excel spreadsheet. I use that to keep track of my money and bills that need to be paid, etc. There are things I do and would like to do with whatever device I'd buy. Seemed to me like a laptop would make more sense for stuff like this. But I'm not a very tech smart kinda guy..
  • RugerFanRugerFan Senior Member Posts: 1,798 Senior Member
    Have you looked at a Surface?
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 19,343 Senior Member
    RugerFan wrote: »
    Have you looked at a Surface?

    The Surface is actually one of the few tablets that makes any sense whatsoever as it has a keyboard and runs a "real" (or at least "real-enough") operating system. I use Macs at home and at the office, although for laptops, I seem to prefer Windows for some reason. I'm probably going to go back to Linux at some point, both Apple and Microsoft are going full-**** with their respective brands of stupidity.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,120 Senior Member
    Replacing a hard drive is pretty easy. 5 minutes tops. The issue is reloading all the software and drivers that you need. And since your old one is toast you can't replicate it on to the new one. You have to start with a Windows installation disk.
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,112 Senior Member
    If you want Apple, but cringe at the price, I know a few internet resellers that sell used Apple computers. They range in age from almost new to 6-7 years old. They all work, but obviously the newer ones will be faster and have more longevity, but they are cheaper. Also if you can't give up your Windows programs, you can run them on Apple using a simple interface program and a windows install disk.
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,676 Senior Member
    For what it sounds like you need, I'd probably get a smallish windows laptop. Could probably find a decent one in the 4-500 range. Cheaper than even most higher end tablets.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,120 Senior Member
    For what it sounds like you need, I'd probably get a smallish windows laptop.
    This is what I am running with....
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA1ZD3FR1940&nm_mc=KNC-GoogleMKP-PC&cm_mmc=KNC-GoogleMKP-PC-_-pla-_-Notebooks-_-9SIA1ZD3FR1940&gclid=CInXm-H76s8CFRApaQodYyQLFA&gclsrc=aw.ds
    I upgraded the RAM and hard drive. The computer itself was made for business use and is built a bit more durable than the consumer grade laptops. I don't need a whole lot of power-- just word processing, photo processing, and surfing the net. It works just fine for me.
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 3,327 Senior Member
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    If your documents, spreadsheets etc need to be 100% compatible with a lot of Windows Neanderthal type folks :tooth: then a Windows laptop with that rip off software called Office is the way to go, IF you truly do a lot of that type of work. I don't really create a lot of documents but I do get to read a bunch of them created by others and for that a iPad is absolutely awesome! I also do all my mail and surfing on the iPad. BUT, if you have a lot of typing to do then that won;t work as well. I can get by for days and maybe a week at a time traveling with just my iPad. As far as external devices, how much crap do you need to lug around with you wherever you go?

    All my entertainment, pictures and archived documents reside in a bunch very large drives attached to my MacBook Pro which serves as a server for my house and whatever I need for a trip I just download to my iPad(s), iPhone or to iCloud and call it good. I like to travel LIGHT!!!

    Thanks. I think I do work enough with Word, Excel and Publisher that it would be nice to have. Wasn't sure if they have anything similar on iOS that I could use. I don't think it would have to compatible, necessarily, if I could create the forms I need. Shoot score sheets, budget, documents, resume etc. I can email my Microsoft documents to myself and view them on iOS devices. Just can make any changes to them.
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 3,327 Senior Member
    RugerFan wrote: »
    Have you looked at a Surface?

    I haven't even heard of a Surface. Shows how much I know. I'll search that and take a look at it. Thanks.
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 3,327 Senior Member
    Jermanator wrote: »
    Replacing a hard drive is pretty easy. 5 minutes tops. The issue is reloading all the software and drivers that you need. And since your old one is toast you can't replicate it on to the new one. You have to start with a Windows installation disk.

    That's what I thought. I took the old hard drive out, took a picture of the tag on it and started looking for a replacement. Only problem for me is, I don't know one hard drive from another and don't know enough about them to feel comfortable buying one. They are all over ebay and such, refurbished or otherwise. I just don't want to start buying hard drives that won't work for me. I also don't have an installation disk or any of the software and drivers I need, since mine came already loaded with that and, like you said, since my current hard drive is dead, I don't have that option. Lesson learned. Next time, create a backup. I tried to once, but the disc I had didn't have enough memory for the backup. I should have got a bigger thumb drive or disc and made a backup. If I would have, I guess it would be as simple as finding the right hard drive, put it in and load the backup on it. If that's even correct....
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 3,327 Senior Member
    If you want Apple, but cringe at the price, I know a few internet resellers that sell used Apple computers. They range in age from almost new to 6-7 years old. They all work, but obviously the newer ones will be faster and have more longevity, but they are cheaper. Also if you can't give up your Windows programs, you can run them on Apple using a simple interface program and a windows install disk.

    OK. Cool. I'll check that out. The ones I've been looking at are the "out of box" deals at Best Buy. I have a credit card with them. Interest free for X amount of months, depending on how much I spend. Just want to keep it within reason so I can pay it off quickly. I'll also look at the interface thing you mentioned.
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 3,327 Senior Member
    For what it sounds like you need, I'd probably get a smallish windows laptop. Could probably find a decent one in the 4-500 range. Cheaper than even most higher end tablets.

    That's about what I paid for my HP that's dead now. The iPads I'm looking at are about $300 at Best Buy, but I think that's for a 16gb. Just under $400 for a 32gb iPad Air, I think. But then, like I mentioned, if I got an iPad, I'd need to get the Bluetooth keyboard and a case for it. That can hit another $200 pretty quick, it seems. So with that, it seems like you could be right. A small Windows laptop might be the way to go.

    As a side note, as far as internet connection, I have wifi at the house and can use my cell phone as a personal hotspot away from home. Unlimited data. So that should be covered, iPad or laptop.
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 3,327 Senior Member
    Maybe as a last ditch effort, anyone care to walk me through finding a suitable hard drive for my old one and how to go about that? I can get the old hard drive out and put a new one in. It's just the specifics of what hard drive to buy, where to get it for a decent price, and how to get software and drivers on it. I'm guessing if I had the hard drive, maybe a call to HP tech line could get my a disc with software and drivers on it. I'm not sure. I'll have to try that. But if I could do that, maybe if there's anything else I can upgrade while I'm at it, and get that old one running for a decent price, it might be worth the effort. It is kinda big and needs a new battery, but I'm sure I could deal with that if it makes sense to do this.
  • AntonioAntonio Senior Member Posts: 2,329 Senior Member
    Wife has both, along with an iPhone that as long as I know isn't sync with the iPad.

    When she has to write or design something, out comes the laptop; asked why not the iPad to do it and answer was "only in an emergency". I use her iPad only when traveling for short texts or answering e-mails, and recognize that for something more extensive, it isn't a comfortable writing platform.

    At least in our experience, the iPad is ideal for "informal" or "leisure" use, including web surfing or relatively simple image composing; pretty handy too if you're not in a comfortable, "conventional" place/position.
  • ilove22silove22s Senior Member Posts: 1,110 Senior Member
    somethings to look into your HP....

    > if all else is fine in the HP look if you can get a SSD for it. You can get a small one really cheap now and they will give your HP a second life and it will be faster.

    > as far as tablets/note pads....i would rather have a laptop or desktop. Tablets and laptops are nice for being on the go, but if all youre going to do is to sit at home and do what you do why go there?

    good luck
    The ears never lie.

    - Don Burt
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 19,343 Senior Member
    Jay wrote: »
    Maybe as a last ditch effort, anyone care to walk me through finding a suitable hard drive for my old one and how to go about that? I can get the old hard drive out and put a new one in. It's just the specifics of what hard drive to buy, where to get it for a decent price, and how to get software and drivers on it. I'm guessing if I had the hard drive, maybe a call to HP tech line could get my a disc with software and drivers on it. I'm not sure. I'll have to try that. But if I could do that, maybe if there's anything else I can upgrade while I'm at it, and get that old one running for a decent price, it might be worth the effort. It is kinda big and needs a new battery, but I'm sure I could deal with that if it makes sense to do this.

    A picture of the hard drive label AND a picture of the connector end of the drive would answer all questions...
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,676 Senior Member
    zorba wrote: »
    A picture of the hard drive label AND a picture of the connector end of the drive would answer all questions...
    This. Almost all laptops use 2.5" drives. Only question is if you need a SATA or IDE connector. Once we know that (photo would do) I'd highly recommend a solid state HD. A bit more expensive, but will really speed up your laptop.

    As for software, yes checking with HP would be my first step. If not the HDD plus a copy of Windows would be a lot cheaper than a new laptop as long as it was working well enough for you before.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 3,327 Senior Member
    Thanks guys. I had a picture of the label that I took when I had the hard drive out before. I'll see if I can find it. I don't think I took a pic of the connector. I'll take it back out this evening and take pics of it and post it up here. Once we've established that and I locate a hard drive for it, I'll contact HP and see about the software and drivers for it.

    One more thing. I'm unsure of exactly what killed that hard drive. I suspect it might have got a virus at some point. It was working fine until one time it started going bonkers. I had it on and running and I was in the kitchen, laptop in the living room, and I saw the screen start doing all kinds of crazy things. I was able to get it shut down and ran some virus software on it. It found a few and said it quarantined them, but from then on, the laptop never worked right. It would freeze up, ran very slow, took a long time to boot up, etc. If it was a virus that killed it, will replacing the HD solve the issue or should I still be concerned with the virus still being in there somewhere and getting my new HD? Probably sounds like a dumb question to those who know better, but I have no clue where those bugs live in there... :uhm:

    ETA - Ok, just tried to log into Photobucket to see if I happened to have a pic of the HD label I took last time. Photobucket is complete crap these days. Pop ups, spam. Last time I logged in it automatically opened like 20-something new tabs full of pop ups and crap and locked my computer up for a while. Done with that place. Time to try to get in, delete all my pics and shut down that account and find somewhere else to upload pics....
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 19,343 Senior Member
    Not a dumb question at all. Hard drives die. When they do, all kinds of strange and wonderful things can happen.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 19,343 Senior Member
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    And unlike a Windows machine a 6-7 year old Apple still operates with the latest OS and firmware because Apples are meant to last a LOOOOOOONG time...

    Not necessarily. Apple doesn't like to talk to you if your hardware is much older than about 5 years - and every single update Apple does - and they insist on updating OS X every darn year whether it needs to be or not - breaks LOTS of things.

    I've been using Apple since Jaguar, and dealing with things they break with every release since then. The sad fact is that I really don't see much difference between Jaguar all the way up to Sierra, other than the latter is lower contrast, harder to see, and you have to check a box in preferences to get your mouse to scroll correctly. Otherwise, its a GUI on top of UNIX (which is why I run it), what's up with all these updates and breakages? I'm still on Yosemite at work - El Capitan and Sierra both have an LDAP bug that Apple knows about, but refuses to fix. Said bug wreaks havoc in an enterprise environment.

    Like I say, I have the exact same agreement with both Apple and Microsoft: They keep doing stupid stuff, and I keep cussing at them. The only difference between the two is that when Apple does something dumb (and they do a fair amount of it), its a "Good Thing (tm)" because Apple is a religion. When Microsoft does something right (Which happens on occasion), there is still nobody happy! As I outgrew computer religion back in the very early 1980s, I just don't care anymore.

    As for hardware quality - on the surface of it, Apple is better. They refuse to sell consumer grade crap computers. However, equally reliable hardware is available on the PC side from most major manufacturers - buy their "Business-Class" hardware. You'll pay almost as much for it as you will an Apple, but you'll have something that will last. A $400 laptop is junk, I don't care who makes it - but Apple isn't in that business and they've gained a halo from that factoid as a result.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,112 Senior Member
    Jay wrote: »
    OK. Cool. I'll check that out. The ones I've been looking at are the "out of box" deals at Best Buy. I have a credit card with them. Interest free for X amount of months, depending on how much I spend. Just want to keep it within reason so I can pay it off quickly. I'll also look at the interface thing you mentioned.

    Would you like to have the links?
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,112 Senior Member
    zorba wrote: »
    Not necessarily. Apple doesn't like to talk to you if your hardware is much older than about 5 years - and every single update Apple does - and they insist on updating OS X every darn year whether it needs to be or not - breaks LOTS of things..................

    The resellers I deal with will help guide you on buying upgrades on whatever used machine you get. I would forget about dealing with Apple directly unless it's a warranty issue with a new product.

    I have been buying used Apple computers for about 10 years now, and I'm perfectly happy with a 5 or 6 year old computer that's a little bit slower than the new ones but work just as well.
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,112 Senior Member
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    And unlike a Windows machine a 6-7 year old Apple still operates with the latest OS and firmware because Apples are meant to last a LOOOOOOONG time...

    Yes they do. On average, I get about 10 years total use out of an Apple computer, and they are fairly easy to upgrade, with any mechanical ability at all. Things like RAM or Hard Drives etc. and if it's anything more complicated than that there are usually installation videos for any part(s) replacement needed.
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 3,327 Senior Member
    Would you like to have the links?

    Absolutely. That would be appreciated. If I don't end up fixing my laptop or if I decide to get an Apple later, that would come in handy and I could search back to this thread later to refresh my memory if needed. Thanks..
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,112 Senior Member
    Jay wrote: »
    Absolutely. That would be appreciated. If I don't end up fixing my laptop or if I decide to get an Apple later, that would come in handy and I could search back to this thread later to refresh my memory if needed. Thanks..

    These guys have used refurbed units and parts and accessories. Usually has the best prices on used Macs too, but I would caompare prices if you intend to buy..
    http://www.macofalltrades.com/

    This one has used Macs, upgrades and all kinds of accessories.
    https://www.macsales.com/

    Also has used, new and accessories.
    https://www.powermax.com/

    I have purchased from all three and I think they do a good job with delivery and customer service, so I wouldn't hesitate to recommend any one of them.

    I hope this helps.
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • BAMAAKBAMAAK Senior Member Posts: 4,267 Senior Member
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    If your documents, spreadsheets etc need to be 100% compatible with a lot of Windows Neanderthal type folks :tooth: then a Windows laptop with that rip off software called Office is the way to go, IF you truly do a lot of that type of work. I don't really create a lot of documents but I do get to read a bunch of them created by others and for that a iPad is absolutely awesome! I also do all my mail and surfing on the iPad. BUT, if you have a lot of typing to do then that won;t work as well. I can get by for days and maybe a week at a time traveling with just my iPad. As far as external devices, how much crap do you need to lug around with you wherever you go?

    All my entertainment, pictures and archived documents reside in a bunch very large drives attached to my MacBook Pro which serves as a server for my house and whatever I need for a trip I just download to my iPad(s), iPhone or to iCloud and call it good. I like to travel LIGHT!!!

    Hey Wambli, do you know what is used to design apple and every other electronic device? You guessed, windows based computers. Thank bill gates for that iphone next time you see him.
    "He only earns his freedom and his life Who takes them every day by storm."

    -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and politician
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,120 Senior Member
    I am running with a refurbished Lenovo T410 Thinkpad. It does everything I need which is email, surf the net, word processing, and photo processing. They are going for $150 on Newegg right now with Windows 7 installed. I am not saying it is an awesome machine but it does everything I need to do for cheap. All I have done is upgrade the RAM and hard drive.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834331859
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,084 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    I'm calling BS without proof.
    I have a very hard time believing Apple would use a PC....

    http://www.geek.com/apple/apple-uses-windows-on-mac-pro-production-line-1596141/

    https://www.quora.com/Do-Apple-engineers-designers-of-Apple-products-exclusively-use-iMacs-and-Mac-Pros

    Info may be out of date by now. There might be or might have been one or two pieces of production equipment that are only available with a Windows-based OS.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • BAMAAKBAMAAK Senior Member Posts: 4,267 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    I'm calling BS without proof.
    I have a very hard time believing Apple would use a PC....

    They don't make quality ECAD or schematic capture software for apples. There is probably some cheap software out there but not what you need to design highspeed,
    high density electronics. To expensive to develop for multiple platforms. Were talking 100K/yr per seat software.
    "He only earns his freedom and his life Who takes them every day by storm."

    -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and politician
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