View Full Version : Looking for a good cheap laptop
03-03-2011, 01:51 PM
After years of being a hardcore Mac user I've finally decided to relent and actually buy a PC laptop because having one would really help me out in terms of using a program I need for a class (The SUM Program for Medical Transcription Training), as I wouldn't be restricted to using it just at school. I don't need it for much, just very basic programs, probably won't even use it for the Internet. So I'm hoping to find one that's as cheap as possible, and will run basic applications, including the one in question. For the record, the problem in question has the following requirements:
Computer: Pentium-class PC with 100+ Mhz processor speed, 100+ MB of hard drive space, 64+ MB RAM
Operating System: Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7.
CD-ROM Drive: 4X or higher.
Monitor: SVGA with minimum screen resolution of 800 x 600 with 16-bit high color; 1024 x 768 preferred.
Sound: SoundBlaster-compatible, 16-bit or higher, sound card.
So yeah, really basic stuff that I'm pretty sure any modern laptop will fulfill, but figured I should mention it just in case. So, anyone know of any that fit the bill? Like I said, cheapness is really important here. Full-size keyboard is preferred.
EDIT: 2 USB ports would be preferred but not required (though at least 1 is necessary).
Don Julio Anejo
03-03-2011, 02:28 PM
You can get a netbook these days for $200 if a 1024x600 resolution is fine with you.
03-03-2011, 03:01 PM
You can get a netbook these days for $200 if a 1024x600 resolution is fine with you.$200 is a nice price, but all the netbooks I've looked at so far don't have optical (CD) drives, which are necessary.
EDIT: Whoops, forgot about external CD drives, heh, which look pretty cheap, though a built-in one would probably be nicer. Could you possibly direct me to some of the $200 ones, though? The lowest I've seen so far is maybe $259.
03-03-2011, 04:29 PM
While I am of the firm opinion that Apple products should all be burned in a fire for the sake of humanity, I feel forced to point out that you can install Windows stuff on Macs these days using Parallels Desktop and a copy of Windows--no idea what that solution costs, but it might work better for you than having an entirely separate machine for running a single application!
03-03-2011, 06:06 PM
I think more or less what factotum is saying:
Have a windows emulator for mac. Bam. This is definitely a more complicated solution, but it's also a free one.
I am not a fan of netbooks, personally, but that's mostly 'cause I use my laptop for everything.
For you- netbook would be perfect. My friend is a Mac lover and only picked up a netbook because of some stuff that wasn't working on her MacBook. An external CD drive shouldn't be more than 60$- and that is at Best Buy. You can certainly find it cheaper online.
Bonus- very portable and should have an excellent battery life. Shouldn't cost more than 300-400 USD. That is if you go to a big box store and don't go basic.
03-03-2011, 10:32 PM
While I am of the firm opinion that Apple products should all be burned in a fire for the sake of humanity,Uh...why? I can understand not liking them, but "should all be burned in a fire for the sake of humanity" sounds extremely extreme. Sure, Macs have their problems, but so do PCs.
I feel forced to point out that you can install Windows stuff on Macs these days using Parallels Desktop and a copy of Windows--no idea what that solution costs, but it might work better for you than having an entirely separate machine for running a single application!Not just a single application, but for any other fairly simple stuff that's Windows only. I don't think there's anything particularly CPU heavy that I need that's Windows only.
I know you can put Windows on a computer and use Parallels but those also use a lot of memory space. I figured it might be easier to just have another computer.I think more or less what factotum is saying:
Have a windows emulator for mac. Bam. This is definitely a more complicated solution, but it's also a free one.I actually did try using my Windows emulator (CrossOver) and it worked fine at first, it would open the application, you could do some stuff in it...but as soon as you got the actual important part it gave me an error about not being able to load sound right or something and quit.
I'll give Bochs a try though.
EDIT: Yeah, gave it a go, and Bochs seems to be quite a bit over my head.
03-04-2011, 02:32 AM
Uh...why? I can understand not liking them, but "should all be burned in a fire for the sake of humanity" sounds extremely extreme.
It's called "exaggerating for comic effect" :smallbiggrin:. Don't like Macs, don't like Apple generally...I think they get away with business practices that would make Microsoft blush.
03-04-2011, 04:50 AM
Mmm, too bad. Yeah sometimes emulators are super complex (I didn't try it, I just found it as a recommended choice). You could buy a used computer, just to get an even more inexpensive machine?
My thoughts on Mac vs. Windows: they're basically exactly the same. They do the same things. They do the same things, pretty much identically, and definitely equally well. Macs, more or less, are not easier, people with macs are not used to Windows and as a result perpetuate that, as they can use them better, macs must be easier. (Although I think there may be a slight difference of complexity weighted towards Windows, but it comes with slightly increased functionality: you can interact with slightly more basic parts of the OS more easily). Honestly, the way I see it, there are two real differences: Macs have almost no commercial support for gaming. Macs cost two to five times as much for an equally powerful Windows computer, whenever Windows releases a new OS, keep a close eye on it for a year or so to see whether or not they totally screwed up and you need to wait for them to patch it up (which they do fine, after a year or two's work).
I mean, if you aren't a gamer, and you're willing to pay the difference for your preference, sure, I see no reason why not to buy a mac. It's not like spending money on convenience is shunned by society: it's kind of most of what we do. Personally, I find the price advantage far to my preference, and I like the option of gaming.
Oh, and here are the cheapest netbooks I could find on NewEgg:
03-04-2011, 10:18 AM
Go for a netbook + external disc drive, or a cheap laptop. I like netbooks.
But if you do go for a netbook, dump Windows 7 Starter. Ain't worth it. Various linux packages will serve you much better and you should *hopefully* be able to run stuff you'd need from windows.
03-04-2011, 11:07 AM
Forgive my lack of Mac-ish-ness, but won't Bootcamp let you dual-boot Windows & Mac?
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