U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Science and Technology > Computers
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 02-03-2012, 10:23 PM
 
3,614 posts, read 3,090,967 times
Reputation: 909

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by smoky_topaz View Post
I started this thread and put it in the "Consumer" category not realizing it should have been in this one.

I'm told that laptops have a short life span (less than 10 years) but I am in the market for one because I enjoy the streamlined portability. I also prefer a NEW not a refurb or used computer. I like the ones that come in different colors, like Sony Vaio and Dell Inspiron. Not a basic black one like everyone has. I like purple and blue and champagne.

The question is who or what company do you know make the best quallity laptops and notebooks? I like to think of a laptop computer as a long term investment.

Brands I am familiar with:

Sony Vaio - nice but pricey
MacBook Air - nice but expensive and not compatible with my at-home job so thats out.
Dell Inspiron
HP

How long do laptops normally last? Does the OS need to be upgraded every 2 years or so? Also where in the world do they make laptops? I would guess CHina but not sure. Thanks for any input.
I think you need to clear up some of the misconceptions you have. 10 years for a laptop, or any computer, is actually pretty long. Technology evolves rapidly. Ten years ago we had Pentium 4's being released, and 2GB of memory was a lot. CRTs were common then.

A laptop by definition is going to be relatively underpowered compared to a desktop, and a lot less upgradeable. As a result, their effective lifespans are shorter--five or six years. You might have a functioning laptop in ten years, but it won't be able to do much anymore by that point.

Most computers these days--I'd actually say every computer--is really just living on borrowed time. Electronics fail rapidly. If you don't need the horsepower (and honestly, you probably don't), buying a cheap $400 laptop and keeping it for three or four years until it dies is a lot better investment than buying a $1200 laptop and having it die in four years too.

Don't be wowed by large hard-drive numbers (640GB, 1TB, 2TB, etc.) You'll be better served by more memory, and faster, higher-end processors. Hard-drives are cheap, and they're easy to upsell because people think they need 1,000GBs. The average client of mine has less than 20GB of data. A laptop with a 250 or 320GB hard-drive is more than enough, and if you need more space, you can always buy a hard-drive down the road--and being a laptop, you'll probably have to do this anyway.

My best advice is don't spend a lot of money on a laptop; they are not investments--not anymore.

Your OS that comes installed is fine. You have the option to upgrade every few years if you want, but by a certain point, the your hardware simply can't keep up with the bloat of new software. I'd recommend sticking with whatever your laptop has on it.

Electronics are manufactured in Shenzhen, Guangdong Provence, China. If its electronic in any way, there is a very very good chance it was manufactured in Shenzhen. Foxconn, the world's largest electronics supplier, is housed there. They have several hundred-thousand people working in a single building. All those solder joints on your electronics are done by hand.

I see four brands of laptop come into my shop quite often. HP, Dell, Gateway, and Toshiba. HP's, especially their DV series of laptops, have suffered from chronic motherboard failures. The Dell's have remarkably cheap plastic construction--including their Alienware lines--where hinges just crack and shatter all day long. Every Toshiba I've seen, and I mean every to about 90% of them, have had failing HDDs. They manufacturer their own HDDs, are apparently do a poor job of it. I've had a slew of Gateway's come in with various motherboard problems as well--notably failed chipsets.

Surprinsingly, I don't see Acer laptops come in to often. I don't see too many Sony's either, but I suspect it is due to their higher cost, so they aren't as popular.

I recently had an MSI laptop come in (They're known a bit more for their motherboards and video cards), and was shocked at its value. It cost the owner $750 for a 15" laptop with an i5 and 8GB of memory, a discreet graphics card, and it even had a numpad, which is rare on a 15" laptop.

I personally own an Asus laptop--and it has been good to me. I bought it second-hand, it's currently three years old, but it's still kicking with no signs of any real hardware problems.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 02-03-2012, 10:37 PM
 
24,503 posts, read 35,965,437 times
Reputation: 12847
Quote:
Originally Posted by Konraden View Post
I think you need to clear up some of the misconceptions you have. 10 years for a laptop, or any computer, is actually pretty long. Technology evolves rapidly. Ten years ago we had Pentium 4's being released, and 2GB of memory was a lot. CRTs were common then.

A laptop by definition is going to be relatively underpowered compared to a desktop, and a lot less upgradeable. As a result, their effective lifespans are shorter--five or six years. You might have a functioning laptop in ten years, but it won't be able to do much anymore by that point.

Most computers these days--I'd actually say every computer--is really just living on borrowed time. Electronics fail rapidly. If you don't need the horsepower (and honestly, you probably don't), buying a cheap $400 laptop and keeping it for three or four years until it dies is a lot better investment than buying a $1200 laptop and having it die in four years too.

Don't be wowed by large hard-drive numbers (640GB, 1TB, 2TB, etc.) You'll be better served by more memory, and faster, higher-end processors. Hard-drives are cheap, and they're easy to upsell because people think they need 1,000GBs. The average client of mine has less than 20GB of data. A laptop with a 250 or 320GB hard-drive is more than enough, and if you need more space, you can always buy a hard-drive down the road--and being a laptop, you'll probably have to do this anyway.

My best advice is don't spend a lot of money on a laptop; they are not investments--not anymore.

Your OS that comes installed is fine. You have the option to upgrade every few years if you want, but by a certain point, the your hardware simply can't keep up with the bloat of new software. I'd recommend sticking with whatever your laptop has on it.

Electronics are manufactured in Shenzhen, Guangdong Provence, China. If its electronic in any way, there is a very very good chance it was manufactured in Shenzhen. Foxconn, the world's largest electronics supplier, is housed there. They have several hundred-thousand people working in a single building. All those solder joints on your electronics are done by hand.

I see four brands of laptop come into my shop quite often. HP, Dell, Gateway, and Toshiba. HP's, especially their DV series of laptops, have suffered from chronic motherboard failures. The Dell's have remarkably cheap plastic construction--including their Alienware lines--where hinges just crack and shatter all day long. Every Toshiba I've seen, and I mean every to about 90% of them, have had failing HDDs. They manufacturer their own HDDs, are apparently do a poor job of it. I've had a slew of Gateway's come in with various motherboard problems as well--notably failed chipsets.

Surprinsingly, I don't see Acer laptops come in to often. I don't see too many Sony's either, but I suspect it is due to their higher cost, so they aren't as popular.

I recently had an MSI laptop come in (They're known a bit more for their motherboards and video cards), and was shocked at its value. It cost the owner $750 for a 15" laptop with an i5 and 8GB of memory, a discreet graphics card, and it even had a numpad, which is rare on a 15" laptop.

I personally own an Asus laptop--and it has been good to me. I bought it second-hand, it's currently three years old, but it's still kicking with no signs of any real hardware problems.
How many ThinkPads do you see come through? I'm asking because that's all I use. We own several and have no issues personally... but that's just us.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-04-2012, 11:54 AM
 
28,611 posts, read 40,594,929 times
Reputation: 37281
Quote:
Originally Posted by Konraden View Post
I see four brands of laptop come into my shop quite often. HP, Dell, Gateway, and Toshiba. HP's, especially their DV series of laptops, have suffered from chronic motherboard failures.
I have two HP DV series laptops. A 15" and a 17". The 15" is 7 years old, while the 17" is 2 years old and neither has had any problems at all. My wife has a Compaq (HP) That is 4 years old and I can report the same about it.

Take all opinions with a grain of salt, including mine.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-04-2012, 11:59 AM
 
7,249 posts, read 5,705,958 times
Reputation: 7963
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tek_Freek View Post
So my 17.3" "cheap-ass" HP laptop that has been hauled all over the country, tossed in overheads, shoved under airliner seats, thrown in the back of my SUV, etc should be dead by now?

You know less than you think you do.
Maybe, maybe not. It's certainly not going to last as long as one that isn't built as cheaply and poorly as possible.

I don't even understand why this is controversial. Manufacturers are in a perpetual race to the bottom with consumer gear. Corners get cut. The easiest place to cut corners is on things that aren't immediately obvious - rip out the internal support, solder the power connectors directly to the motherboard, make the plastic as thin and flimsy as possible, and hope it lasts long enough to make it past the warranty period.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-04-2012, 12:04 PM
 
3,614 posts, read 3,090,967 times
Reputation: 909
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tek_Freek View Post
I have two HP DV series laptops. A 15" and a 17". The 15" is 7 years old, while the 17" is 2 years old and neither has had any problems at all. My wife has a Compaq (HP) That is 4 years old and I can report the same about it.

Take all opinions with a grain of salt, including mine.
The stack of HP DV2,6,7, and 9 (and x000) series laptops say otherwise. Great, you have one that works. I've got a few dozen that don't--all for the same reason.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-04-2012, 04:20 PM
 
Location: Griffin, Georgia
747 posts, read 1,837,381 times
Reputation: 706
I saw some nice looking laptops at Wally World recently...all about $500 adn below. Would consider.

But I am wondereing now if desktop computers are becoming more and more streamlined...like without the separate CPU unit? Anybody seen those yet? In such a case would consider too.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-04-2012, 05:11 PM
 
3,614 posts, read 3,090,967 times
Reputation: 909
Quote:
Originally Posted by smoky_topaz View Post
I saw some nice looking laptops at Wally World recently...all about $500 adn below. Would consider.

But I am wondereing now if desktop computers are becoming more and more streamlined...like without the separate CPU unit? Anybody seen those yet? In such a case would consider too.
It depends on what you're doing with the computer. If you need mobility, get the laptop. If you are only using it as a workstation, a desktop is feasible.

The "All-in-one" style desktops you are referring to are often laptop components squeezed behind an LCD. If you're tight on space, they can be a good option, or if you are trying to avoid the "unsightly" desktop.

Desktops offer more power and better reliability, but they are significantly larger. If something fails on a desktop, it's usually easier to replace, and cheaper, than a laptop. That, and desktops are easier to upgrade than a laptop as well.

If you want something to take with you, you aren't going to beat a laptop in terms of productivity.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Science and Technology > Computers
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:02 AM.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top