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Looking for advice on a new laptop for basic tasks

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How much would you allocate for a 14" laptop with a great screen if you were only going to run Excel and Chrome?  

 

I can no longer use my work laptop to access personal files from Dropbox.  I mostly maintain Excel spreadsheets, and Excel on my iPad only has about 85% of the utility I need.  So I've decided to buy a laptop.

 

Here's what I need:

 

- Brilliant/crisp screen.  This is the most important factor.

- 14" or larger.

- Processor and RAM only need to power Excel and Chrome.

- I am not willing to migrate to Numbers or Google Sheets.  This is not negotiable.

- MacOS or Windows 10 are both okay.  I don't want a Chromebook.  Given my limited requirements, it probably isn't worth it to spend the money on a MacBook.

- Weight/size isn't a big factor, since I will never travel with it.  It'll just be locked in a drawer when I'm not here.

- Refurbished is fine if there's a decent warranty.

 

I don't have a particular budget in mind, but I started by looking at the same laptop I have for work (https://www.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/thinkpad/thinkpad-yoga/ThinkPad-X1-Yoga-3rd-Gen/p/22TP2TXX13Y) and I'm absolutely certain that I'm not willing to spend $1,549 on what's basically going to be an Excel terminal.

 

What's a realistic budget?

 

 

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Just get the cheapest macbook air ($1099) for the form factor, build quality, and weight. You;ll save money if you value the time you;ll waste shopping around.

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9 hours ago, hegemony said:

Just get the cheapest macbook air ($1099) for the form factor, build quality, and weight. You;ll save money if you value the time you;ll waste shopping around.

That was my first instinct and I was ready to go, but it fails this test:

11 hours ago, cv91915 said:

- 14" or larger.

The 13.3" screen on the MacBook Air is only marginally larger than my iPad. 

 

14" is the bare minimum.  Stepping up to a 16" MacBook Pro doubles the price.

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I think I have a handle on at least the specs I need to get a decent screen.

 

Looks like a lot of options available around $600-800.

 

I'm going to grab something that I can return locally and hope for the best.

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4 hours ago, cv91915 said:

👍 Price marked at the store was $385.99, so they issued a $59 refund when I picked up the laptop.

 

👎 Laptop doesn't recognize the presence of any wireless network, and the date and time cannot be changed.

 

:lol: TAD told me to stop being so cheap and just buy something new.

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3 hours ago, cv91915 said:

👍 Price marked at the store was $385.99, so they issued a $59 refund when I picked up the laptop.

 

👎 Laptop doesn't recognize the presence of any wireless network, and the date and time cannot be changed.

 

:lol: TAD told me to stop being so cheap and just buy something new.

These sound like Windows 10 issues, not the laptop itself. There are fixes. Just do a quick Google search.

 

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hey when it comes to tech crap, I value my time more than saving a few bucks.

 

Apparently you'd rather allow lax bread eating skills and slum with cheap Dells... more power to you.

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5 hours ago, cv91915 said:

👍 Price marked at the store was $385.99, so they issued a $59 refund when I picked up the laptop.

 

👎 Laptop doesn't recognize the presence of any wireless network, and the date and time cannot be changed.

 

:lol: TAD told me to stop being so cheap and just buy something new.

😡 After doing a second complete factory reset, I went to return the laptop to a Best Buy location that's slightly closer to our house.  When they scanned my receipt it showed $107 due in order to process the return.

 

🥺 The customer service guy spent 20 minutes talking to multiple people at the Best Buy help desk.  

 

Final analysis, when the original store did the price override to adjust for the $59 pricing discrepancy between bestbuy.com and the store price, they did it incorrectly.

 

This resulted in a net transaction cost of -$107.  He suggested that I just keep the laptop and the $107 credit when it posts to my credit card.

 

🤩 When I got home, TAD turned on the laptop and the setup worked normally.  I'm connected to WiFi and everything appears to be working correctly.

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43 minutes ago, hegemony said:

hey when it comes to tech crap, I value my time more than saving a few bucks.

 

Apparently you'd rather allow lax bread eating skills and slum with cheap Dells... more power to you.

You're a lot of fun today.  :lol:

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22 hours ago, cv91915 said:

 

18 hours ago, cv91915 said:

👍 Price marked at the store was $385.99, so they issued a $59 refund when I picked up the laptop.

 

👎 Laptop doesn't recognize the presence of any wireless network, and the date and time cannot be changed.

 

:lol: TAD told me to stop being so cheap and just buy something new.

 

14 hours ago, cv91915 said:

😡 After doing a second complete factory reset, I went to return the laptop to a Best Buy location that's slightly closer to our house.  When they scanned my receipt it showed $107 due in order to process the return.

 

🥺 The customer service guy spent 20 minutes talking to multiple people at the Best Buy help desk.  

 

Final analysis, when the original store did the price override to adjust for the $59 pricing discrepancy between bestbuy.com and the store price, they did it incorrectly.

 

This resulted in a net transaction cost of -$107.  He suggested that I just keep the laptop and the $107 credit when it posts to my credit card.

 

🤩 When I got home, TAD turned on the laptop and the setup worked normally.  I'm connected to WiFi and everything appears to be working correctly.

🤷‍♂️  This morning out of curiosity I looked at the order on bestbuy.com, and from there it looks like the purchase price was adjusted TO (and not reduced by) $59.00 at the store where I picked up the laptop.

 

qdNXbk0.png

 

So I just looked more carefully at the document I had the pick-up store print to confirm the $59 refund, and it appears that this is exactly what they did.  

 

No idea why their POS system showed a balance of $107 due in order to process the return at the second store, but I will know actual my net cost when the purchase finally posts to my credit card in a day or two.

 

It sure looks like I got this laptop for $59 + tax, though.  

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6 hours ago, cv91915 said:

 

 

🤷‍♂️  This morning out of curiosity I looked at the order on bestbuy.com, and from there it looks like the purchase price was adjusted TO (and not reduced by) $59.00 at the store where I picked up the laptop.

 

qdNXbk0.png

 

So I just looked more carefully at the document I had the pick-up store print to confirm the $59 refund, and it appears that this is exactly what they did.  

 

No idea why their POS system showed a balance of $107 due in order to process the return at the second store, but I will know actual my net cost when the purchase finally posts to my credit card in a day or two.

 

It sure looks like I got this laptop for $59 + tax, though.  

 

That's awesome..reminds me of the time I was looking for a laptop for one of my previous jobs and I went somewhere and the price listed was $35 for what, at the time, was a pretty decent system.  I thought it had to be a typo (turned out it was) but I went ahead and bought it anyway and it went through for the $35.  I think I got a few years out of it and it died.

 

Not a bad deal for you for what you need.  Have fun with it!

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, cv91915 said:

 

 

🤷‍♂️  This morning out of curiosity I looked at the order on bestbuy.com, and from there it looks like the purchase price was adjusted TO (and not reduced by) $59.00 at the store where I picked up the laptop.

 

qdNXbk0.png

 

So I just looked more carefully at the document I had the pick-up store print to confirm the $59 refund, and it appears that this is exactly what they did.  

 

No idea why their POS system showed a balance of $107 due in order to process the return at the second store, but I will know actual my net cost when the purchase finally posts to my credit card in a day or two.

 

It sure looks like I got this laptop for $59 + tax, though.  

 

8dziUAP.png

 

 

Edited by cv91915

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Nope, it's trucked.

 

Multiple issues.  

 

Chrome stopped connecting to the internet.  

 

Changing the default browser to Edge allows some, but not all, common URLs to load in Edge when Edge is selected as the default browser.

 

Multiple components in Device Manager show up as "#2" or "#3," but there are no duplicate devices, even when hidden devices are shown.

 

Dell 1-year warranty expired on 12/24/19.

 

BIOS hasn't been updated for 544 days, and it will not update.  None of the Dell troubleshooting tools will start without first updating the BIOS.

 

Verdict:  Not worth $59.  😛 

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In other news, my new/unmolested work-issued iPhone XR is currently on a UPS truck, and will arrive in a matter of hours.

 

It's beyond time to say goodbye to my 6S Plus.

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5 hours ago, cv91915 said:

In other news, my new/unmolested work-issued iPhone XR is currently on a UPS truck, and will arrive in a matter of hours.

 

It's beyond time to say goodbye to my 6S Plus.

I just upgraded my personal phone from a 7 to an 11 last week and I really would like my home button back.  My work phone is a 6S Plus and going between it and the 11 is taking some getting used to.  

 

The XR and the 11 are pretty much the same except for the camera.  I went with the 11 because I figured it had 3-4 more IOS updates than the XR before going obsolete.

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41 minutes ago, Allkindabroke said:

I just upgraded my personal phone from a 7 to an 11 last week and I really would like my home button back.  My work phone is a 6S Plus and going between it and the 11 is taking some getting used to.  

 

The XR and the 11 are pretty much the same except for the camera.  I went with the 11 because I figured it had 3-4 more IOS updates than the XR before going obsolete.

XR was the most recent iPhone available.  Last time I checked, maybe 60 days ago, the catalog topped out at 8 Plus.  😐
 

I've had an iPad without the home button for a long time.  I prefer the fingerprint ID to facial recognition, since about half the time I'm reading my iPad I'm on my stomach in bed with my chin sunk into two pillows (TMI?), and the bottom 25% of my face is obscured by a pillow unless I pretend I'm a turtle that's gasping for air.

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1 hour ago, cv91915 said:

XR was the most recent iPhone available.  Last time I checked, maybe 60 days ago, the catalog topped out at 8 Plus.  😐
 

I've had an iPad without the home button for a long time.  I prefer the fingerprint ID to facial recognition, since about half the time I'm reading my iPad I'm on my stomach in bed with my chin sunk into two pillows (TMI?), and the bottom 25% of my face is obscured by a pillow unless I pretend I'm a turtle that's gasping for air.

It's not TMI unless those are human pillows.

 

I don't like the Big Brother aspect of it but I grudgingly grew to like the thumbprint too.  Facial recognition in the morning is nonexistent between the Roman shades and the blackout blinds in my bedroom but it's kind of cool when it does work. 

 

 

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18 hours ago, cv91915 said:

I may rethink the laptop idea altogether, and I'm now sort of leaning toward this:

 

https://www.apple.com/shop/product/FMQA2LL/A/Refurbished-215-inch-iMac-23GHz-dual-core-Intel-Core-i5? 

 

I have the 27" version in my home office in California, and it makes a lot more sense.  

TAD squeezed off a warm one on this idea.  

 

When we bought this house I suggested setting up two home offices, but he resisted so we only have one.  Now apparently this room is mission-critical when I'm not here...  Whatev.

 

Since I really like my work-issued Lenovo Yoga, I decided to get another one (albeit a lower-end one).

 

I found a new, well-optioned (15.6" UHD, 256 GB SSD, 16 GB RAM, Intel i7 2.8 GHz) previous generation model at Lenovo.com for:

 

  688.19

 ( 68.82) 10% coupon from TopCashBack (vs 5% code on Lenovo.com)

  619.37

   46.45 tax 

 665.82

 (   5.57) 3% of 619.37 back from TopCashBack

  (34.96) 5.25% of 665.82 back from Bank of America

 625.29 net cost

 

There's probably something out there with better specs at a lower cost, but I've reached the end of my patience with laptop shopping.

 

Problem solved.

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21 hours ago, cv91915 said:

I may rethink the laptop idea altogether, and I'm now sort of leaning toward this:

 

 

https://www.apple.com/shop/product/FMQA2LL/A/Refurbished-215-inch-iMac-23GHz-dual-core-Intel-Core-i5? 

 

I have the 27" version in my home office in California, and it makes a lot more sense.  

The thing to do is forego the notion of 'open box' as that is often a return item...and little testing is actually done by the big box stores on their returned crap.  You bought someone else's POS.  The sites that sell direct (ie. Dell) at least do some modicum of actual testing on their returns before trying to pawn them off on the next schmuck clicking the purchase button...

 

Through the years, I tended to acquire my laptops as an off-lease purchase since, like you seem to describe, I needed something for a basic purpose (Word as opposed to Excel).  I don't need all the heavy graphics crap or the latest and greatest in chip speed. 

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48 minutes ago, centex said:

The thing to do is forego the notion of 'open box' as that is often a return item...and little testing is actually done by the big box stores on their returned crap.  You bought someone else's POS.  The sites that sell direct (ie. Dell) at least do some modicum of actual testing on their returns before trying to pawn them off on the next schmuck clicking the purchase button...

 

Through the years, I tended to acquire my laptops as an off-lease purchase since, like you seem to describe, I needed something for a basic purpose (Word as opposed to Excel).  I don't need all the heavy graphics crap or the latest and greatest in chip speed. 

Oh, I knew the risks going in. 

 

I didn't think that "open box" meant that one day some toddler was crawling through the aisle and peeled some tape off the outside of the packaging when his parents weren't looking.  😛 

 

For something I'll only use a few hours a week, a couple of weeks a month, I was fine with taking a chance.  Once.

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