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advice for buying a new/refurb laptop/tablet


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#1
Jenifer Heath

Jenifer Heath

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I got lucky and purchased a sony vaio 8 yrs ago which has been the best and only laptop purchase ever.  Never had a problem until I upgraded to W10 creating a dll error of which I have tried everything to revert with no success.  Finally the kill shot: dogs ran between sofa and ottoman with power supply attached and bent the port, causing an expensive repair (nearly what the laptop originally cost).  At 8 years old, not common sense to foot the bill for repairing. I am looking for someone to give me insight as to what ghz, gbs and ram I need to look for considering the below programs and usage I have provided.  After playing around with the vaio, I realized I had NEVER used half of it's specs even with all the pics, music, recipe word files and multitasking of the below listed programs.  So I am not looking for a unit set up for an engineer, rather, something I can utilize properly for the programs/usage listed below.  I don't care if it is a larger tablet or full size laptop I just don't want to buy one again that half of it's potential is wasted therefore the question of what specs I should look for is the most important priority.   I was thinking there has to be a refurb touchscreen convertible out there that isn't set up for an engineers requirements but capable of multitasking the below programs.  Problem is, I have no clue what I need to know what to search for or if something like that is even feasible for a 200$ or less preferably budget (refurb or new).  Any help on this would be so welcomed as like I said, I got lucky the first time, I don't forsee getting that lucky without a bit of help a second time.  Thanks so much!! 

 

The only real programs I use are the following:
email
word/excel type program
adobe photoshop elements/editor (do not use for professional purpose, only hobbyist) 
3d home architect/hgtv home and landscape (do not use for professional purpose, only hobbyist)
internet surfing (pinterest/facebook/ebay)
2003 Microsoft money program (I know I will have to upgrade this version to a different banking program as it is now obsolete)


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#2
RolandJS

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My first wild guess is 8-16GB of RAM [16GB would be best]; minimum 1-2 TB HD, a high-end video card & display; I guess you're going to be using Windows 10.  Also, consider adding Macrium Reflect [or anything similar] along with two pancake-sized usb external hard-drives for backing up your OS partition and your data partition.  I assume your doggies have been gently told not to run rough-shod over your computer[s] again   :)


Edited by RolandJS, 03 January 2017 - 12:38 PM.

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#3
RolandJS

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Do you have a Frys Electronics, Altex Electronics, or anything similar in your area?  If so, consider walking around, looking, asking some questions, keeping your money and checkbook at home until a decision has made.  While there are very good online places, I would recommend "hands on" researching before buying online.


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#4
Jenifer Heath

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I have been digging as much as possible online, however, the real wall for me is what gbs,ghz and ram I need for the few programs I am using.  Since I know what I have now and know I haven't used it to it's fullest, I can at least go down from there but was interested in what someone else could help me narrow that to.  Your first suggestion is about double what I have now on my sony vaio and after looking up the full 1tb laptops, a bit costly for me.  We have a smaller community where I live so having an expert within 1 1/2 hours is nearly impossible without it being an online associate.  The dogs have been retrained to jump "over" the footstool now rather than between, lmao.


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#5
Yisroel

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Hi Jenifer Heath, and welcome to GeeksToGo!

 

As RolandJS already pointed out, given the list of software you wanna multitask with it is it is an illusion to talk about a sub-$200 laptop! But...if the Sony Vaio 8 did the job all okay for you I cannot say for sure anything (because that is a low specced tablet as to what I see.)

 

You are referring the whole time that you didn't use the whole space on the hard drive, but that is usually not the thing that costs a lot in a laptop, so there isn't really why to look on that. What you need to look is the CPU/Processor and the RAM. For today's normal workload (and, again, your's is more than that but if you have made it through with the Vaio 8 then everything is possible) I would say to look for a CPU equivalent or higher than an Intel i5, and at least 8GB of RAM. These two specs are the most important to look on, and the rest is more or less features.

 

If you do want to stay close to the $200 range, the only somewhat adequate laptop I found is this refurbished: http://amzn.to/2j1qkaM

 

PS - As a replacement for Microsoft Money 2003 you may try the free online service Mint https://www.mint.com/ which does a pretty nice job.


Edited by Yisroel, 03 January 2017 - 02:24 PM.

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