creatinganalt wrote:Please help. I'm not a computer person AT ALL. I already have a laptop and will be buying a monitor as per the advice on this thread. I want to buy another laptop which I can take to class with me and keep 100% 'clean' for school. I want to be able to take it to class (so like 13 - 14 inches not a netbook) and work on it. On this laptop I literally won't do anything outside of Office/internet - no gaming or anything serious. But not even music as my itouch and itunes would be kept to my other laptop. Would want to keep this virus/drama free. Just needs to be relatively light but also large enough to work on.
I don't want to spend too much money on it - like fairly cheap. (Loans are serious business!) I hate working on Macs and they are too expensive anyway. Really want to keep this to under $850.
People keep pointing me to either a Lenovo Ideapad or an Acer Inspire. I'm finding it really difficult to get a read on which would be best because even reading online reviews are all evaluating computers against things I don't need/understand.
Can someone just point me to the correct machine (please!)?
First, not to be disparaging or anything, but the words "Can someone just point me to the correct machine!?" are more often than not a recipe for disaster. A laptop is a big purchase, especially if you're going to be relying on this machine for Law School Success™. Sometimes when people ask to just be "pointed" in the right direction, they'll click Add to Shopping Cart on the first thing someone recommends, and end up absolutely hating it. Don't be that guy! Read on!
Second, and this is my
nitpicky personal opinion being forced down your throat: You already have
a laptop. I can understand the desire to have a "clean" one to keep "virus/drama free," but I just don't think it's necessary. What type of laptop do you currently have? If it's a big honking 17" Alienware monster, yeah, I wouldn't take that to class. The guy behind you will get pissed when he can't see anything past your gigantic overpriced screen. But if it's something you feel that could work for you in class, but you're worried about viruses, well... clean your computer. It's not worth dropping $850 on a second computer unless all you had was a desktop and you were looking to buy a laptop. A clean computer is a happy computer. Run a few free anti-malware programs (Spybot S&D, Avast!, AVG), make sure their definitions are all up to date first. This should clean off most of what's on there unless you've got something really nasty. If you do
have something really nasty, back up your important files to something like Dropbox, or if you have a lot more than 2GB, to an external harddrive. Then put in your Windows CD and reformat your computer. Then
, install a reputable autoupdating, autoscanning antivirus. Microsoft's own Microsoft Security Essentials is actually really
nice. Finally, don't use Limewire or Kazaa to download music, never download a .exe or a .bat file if you don't know what it is, same goes for email attachments... in general, the best way to avoid viruses is responsible internet use. 'Nuff said.But
, if you still want a second laptop, I'll second a Lenovo. My Thinkpad is a phenomenal laptop. But my favorite way to get awesome opinions is to go here
, to Notebookreview.com's "What Notebook Should I Buy?" forum. In this case, the "What Notebook Should I Buy For School?" subforum. At the top of the forum you'll see a sticky by Nickspohn called "--> What Should I Buy FORM (Please Read Before Posting) <--". Make a new account, copy/paste that form into a new thread and fill it out. The people on NBR know their stuff when it comes to laptops... they're very knowledgeable and very, very up-to-date. Also, try to get hands-on time with any laptop you want to purchase. Go to your local Best Buy, put your hands on the keyboard, try some typing, use the trackpad, check out the cool multitouch gestures or Thinklight or whatever little selling points it has. Ask the Best Buy blueshirt to sell you on the laptop. Then say "No thanks" and walk away, because you can get it substantially cheaper online.
Sorry. That dragged on.
1) Clean your old laptop up and use it.
2) Failing that, go to http://www.notebookreview.com
and ask their opinion.
3) Buy online. Get discounts. Prosper.
And a subpoint,
4) Buy with a credit card. If your factory warranty on the laptop runs out and it later breaks, a lot of credit cards offer automatic extended warranty protection plans for electronics and stuff. To find out the specifics, call your card provider. That way when your Ideapad's two days out of warranty and goes kaput, you call Mastercard and say, "Help! I want to activate my protection plan on this laptop I totally did not break!" and they'll refund the purchase price. Maybe. It all depends.