Please suggest a laptop with these attributes

Discussion in 'hardware' started by bellgamin, Jun 4, 2019.

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  1. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    I am looking to buy a laptop to help out a student friend. She wants a pretty good laptop, new or used, that meets all or most of the following specs. I plan to buy from Amazon, Ebay, or some other online dealer. Yes, I know Ebay is a caveat emptor deal, but I have shopped there for several years & know the ropes pretty well. I'm looking for suggestions as to make & model of laptops that's are the ball park of what this girl asked for. My budget limit is ~$600.

    minimum 8GB ram
    Windows 8.1 64bit with Product Key (student does NOT want Win 10)
    CPU minimum 4 cores; minimum 2.5Ghz
    14"-15.6" screen (prefers 14")
    minimum 250GB HD or SSD (I convinced her to accept SSD as well as HD)

    Any suggestions or pointers will be very VERY much appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2019
  2. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    Something like this is a good option in my opinion.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/HP-EliteBo...379489?hash=item1c7f830de1:g:144AAOSwax5YyHhu

    It only has 4GB of RAM, but it would be very cheap and easy to upgrade to 8GB. I've owned a few HP ProBooks and have been very happy with the quality. The EliteBook series are a better quality range than the ProBooks. Not only is it a very good quality laptop, but the whole bottom panel slides off, for easy access to the hard drive RAM and cooling fan. In my ProBook, I remove the fan every few months, so I can clean the build up of dust from cooling vent, to keep the laptop running cool.

    Personally, I would highly recommend a SSD over a hard drive, as not only are the much faster, they should last longer than a hard drive.
     
  3. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    Thanks a million, Roger. I am happily using a nearly 6-year-old laptop & have let myself become almost totally uninformed about laptop models & prices, etc. Thanks again for your help.
     
  4. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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  5. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    I would encourage her to consider W10. Don't let the horror stories dissuade her (or you). Reports of problems are blown way WAY out of proportion by Microsoft haters, irresponsible members of the IT media seeking attention with sensationalized (often totally false) headlines, bloggers and others who simply parrot what they read.

    There's a good reason Windows 10 dominates the marketshare and Windows 8.x's share is abysmal and it is not just because of Microsoft's push to get W10 out there. W10 is simply a superior OS in terms of security (reason enough to go with W10 - especially for students) and performance.

    Another reason to avoid W8.1 is Microsoft's mainstream support for W8.1 ended 1 1/2 years ago!
     
  6. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    @Bill_Bright -- Thanks, Bill, but this girl is ko-tonk (hard head). She uses 8.1 now & says it sings for her. Also says she's too busy learning differential calc (et al) to spend time learning Win10.
     
  7. Marcelo

    Marcelo Registered Member

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    Not really much to learn about Windows 10 if you're coming from 8
     
  8. Alec

    Alec Registered Member

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    I think the problem on your list, as you well know, is the Windows 8.1 requirement. Microsoft does not sell it anymore. I suppose she doesn't have the installation media and activation code for Windows 8.1 from her current PC does she? It probably just came pre-installed? If she had an activation code I think Microsoft would have to still honor it.

    Supposedly you can Download Windows 8.1 Disc Image (ISO File) directly from Microsoft. I haven't tried, but they state: "If you need to install or reinstall Windows 8.1, you can use the tools on this page to create your own installation media using either a USB flash drive or a DVD." Then the problem becomes activation. If the OS was a stand-alone purchase, then I would think you should be able to use the same license to activate 8.1 on any new laptop. But if it was pre-installed on her prior PC, then you may be in a grey area. I have no idea if Microsoft's legalese means that your pre-installed Win 8.1 can only be run on that specific hardware... although that sounds like something the courts might not enforce, and Microsoft might have to honor the pre-installation the same as a stand-alone OS purchase and allow you to transfer the license to new hardware. Maybe you can call Microsoft's customer support / activation hotline and ask them what their exact policy is? Then hopefully you can buy any new laptop you want that meets your hardware / price point criteria.
     
  9. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    @Alec The laptop I linked to at eBay already came with Windows 8.1 installed and it's not hard to find other Windows 8.1 laptops for sale. So there's no need to worry about things like transferring licenses, as the computers already have a license. Of course, it's a different matter if buying a new laptop. But the laptop I linked to, or a similar laptop will have much better quality than a new laptop in the same price range.

    With regards to using an existing OEM license on a new computer, it is not legal to do so. You can do that with a retail version of Windows, but not for the OEM versions that come pre-installed on computers. The only exception to this, is for people who live in Germany, as due to a court ruling there, you can use an OEM license on a different computer.
     
  10. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Exactly.

    And if she's smart enough to take on differential calculus, W10 would be a piece of cake. In fact going from W7 to W8 is a significantly steeper and longer learning curve than going from W8 to W10.
     
  11. Freki123

    Freki123 Registered Member

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    Only thing I want to add: Better find out if the student a glossy or matte screen person? One family member thought it wouldn't matter to her, now she wouldn't buy glossy again...
     
  12. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    Actually she plans to practice criminal law. She's taking calculus as a "fun" thing.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    @roger_m & @Bill_Bright -- I ordered a computer that was advertised as Win 8.1 Pro. The seller replied, saying he made a mistake -- the computer has Win 10. I let him know that I insist on 8.1. He replied: "We thought these had Windows 8 COA's in the BIOS, but they have Windows 10. Our tech is going to try and downgrade the operating system now."

    He used the words "TRY and downgrade" -- QUESTION: is that hard to do? Will it cost him any money?
     
  13. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    My concern would be if you have a legal copy of W8.1 when done.
     
  14. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    You can download Windows 8.1 ISOs for free and if the computer does have an embedded Windows 8.x product key, then when Windows is installed it will see the product key and it will be automatically activated.

    While I have seem some sources saying that EliteBook 8470p came pre-installed with Windows 7, the following link says it did come with Windows 8.
    https://www.cnet.com/products/hp-elitebook-8470p-14-core-i5-3210m-4-gb-ram-500-gb-hdd-c6z87utabl/
     
  15. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    The girl went on her own & bought:
    Dell Latitude E5450 Core i5-5200U 2.2ghz 8GB 256GB SSD 14" Laptop

    She selected. I paid. Females! You gotta love 'em. :isay:

    @Bill_Bright -- He wouldn't be able to activate anything but a legal copy of 8.1, right? (I hope)
     
  16. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    @bellgamin Dell Latitudes are generally are very good computers. There are loaders and other activation cracks/patches that will activate Windows without a genuine product key. In System Properties, Windows will show that its activated.
     
  17. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    EBAY just notified me -- the computer has been shipped & is on its way. I suppose the seller was able to quickly revert it to 8.1. If he fluffed it, I'll simply return the computer & get a refund. That sounds easy, & usually is. If not (in the words of Sherlock Holmes), "The game's a-foot." :isay:
     
  18. EASTER

    EASTER Registered Member

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    Looks so much like me.

    Bought ALL my current units from AMAZON with Windows 8.1-reasonable CPU stats-Low Memory 4GB etc.
    I am absolutely happy to report not a single one is failed or been zapped. And as some of you know I have tested them with the absolute worse of Ransomwares-file infector viruses-and everything but the kitchen sink pushed through them. With proper security installed the malware was like a scalded cat that couldn't escape it's cage and no damage to hardware and really not much pinching of the 8.1 O/S itself that couldn't be REFRESHED (CustomRefresh) without resorting to that or a backup image.

    Add that crap to the fact that to this very day continue my extreme heavy use of video editings which raises the temperature so hot you can't even hold your hand to the vent grill when it's at full load. No burps, no crashes, just some mercy reboots to cool down the HOT runs while editing and such.

    Windows 10 would puke if run through the demands I put it through for what? 5 years running now? maybe longer, I dunno. You just can't kill the thing.

    That being said the brand is Gateway straight from Amazon previous users who either had a key that didn't work or some other minor thing easily resolved with wiping and reinstall anew.

    I gave no more than 300 USD for mine USED and I do mean lightly used if much at all and by golly they are a workhorse bar none with Windows 8.1 on them.

    Windows 10 just gummed things up when trying to switch over so that's the end of 10 for me. Now when Windows 11 comes out that might be a different story but I also wouldn't touch Windows 10 as a production machine with a ten foot pole.
     
  19. Hadron

    Hadron Registered Member

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    Very silly.
     
  20. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    That's a very insulting thing to say about her. She is 14 & already has graduated HS & been accepted to Law School. She has *reasons* for her aversion to Win10 which have little to do with the OS & much to do with the marketing practices of the M$ company. This is a public forum but, if you can't be civil or find out what you're talking about before mouthing off, I pity you.
     
  21. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    While I prefer Windows 10, there's nothing wrong with using Windows 8.1. Unlike Windows 7 which will stop receiving security updates next year, it will receive security updates until January of 2023. For this reason, after 2023, Windows 10 will be a better option. But for the next few years, it is still a very good OS.
     
  22. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    It is not uncommon for some technicians to install and activate Windows in the shop, then hand the system off to the customer. That's fine, as long as the customer does not have to replace the drive 2 or 3 years down the road. Then problems might arise.
     
  23. guest

    guest Guest

    It is good that people use obsolete OS, it will simplify the life for threat actors.
     
  24. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    It is human nature to resist change. But at some point, change must come and in the case of W10, it is not like waiting will make it easier.

    I can completely understand resisting upgrading a current computer that running fine with an old OS. But buying new hardware then downgrading to a 5 year old OS really makes no sense.

    Of course, if all this wise advice is not getting to the eventual user, we are just wasting our breath.
     
  25. reasonablePrivacy

    reasonablePrivacy Registered Member

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    Choose internal SSD. It's night and day difference in some workflows.
     
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