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Thread: Dell PC prices

  1. #16
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    We haven't had a desktop in the house for probably at least 8 or 9 years. I did have desktops in my shop when I had a shop because I got one or two hand-me-downs from work dirt cheap. For the last one I got a Black Friday deal. Those were just basic machines always, mostly used for browsing, music, and very light Sketchup work. All were acquired for a price point, not their specs.

    In all my years of computing I've only ever had one machine up and die, an HP laptop that had known motherboard issues. Replacing the motherboard wasn't worth the cost especially since it would likely happen again. Most failures in general have been hard drives (and I'd estimate the failure rate to be similar to desktops) with other random part failures occurring much more rarely. Of the few laptop issues that weren't, I can think of one that got a noisy fan about 4 years in, one that got juice spilled on the keyboard causing sticky keys and one that was a consumer grade machine used for work that developed stress cracks in the housing. The first two were both east at-home fixes. The one with the cracked housing, I bought off work used it a few more years before upgrading, and sold it on Craigslist. In fact the HP is the only laptop that's been in my household that I haven't wiped the drive, reinstalled the OS and sold it on Craigslist for $100-150. For 3 users in my household, we are typically buying a laptop every 1-2 years and rotating who has what. At this point my wife's needs are the most basic so she has the oldest. We just did a rotation and she got one that's 2 years old to replace one that was about 5. She had me buy a new ultrabook and pass my ~1yo ultrabook to our daughter.

    The batteries will go bad after a few years and sometimes that can be an issue even if docked full time. Typically you can get a decent aftermarket battery for $50-75. We even get aftermarket at work. That's going to be more of a problem with these ultrabooks which don't have removable batteries but I'd guess there's already a YouTube showing how.

    Not having a desktop for us eliminated the need for a dedicated "computer desk" in the core of the house. We have a monitor/keyboard/mouse on a desk in the basement my daughter or I will occasionally use. My wife and I just leave our laptops on the end tables.


  2. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Meiser View Post
    We haven't had a desktop in the house for probably at least 8 or 9 years. I did have desktops in my shop when I had a shop because I got one or two hand-me-downs from work dirt cheap. For the last one I got a Black Friday deal. Those were just basic machines always, mostly used for browsing, music, and very light Sketchup work. All were acquired for a price point, not their specs.

    In all my years of computing I've only ever had one machine up and die, an HP laptop that had known motherboard issues. Replacing the motherboard wasn't worth the cost especially since it would likely happen again. Most failures in general have been hard drives (and I'd estimate the failure rate to be similar to desktops) with other random part failures occurring much more rarely. Of the few laptop issues that weren't, I can think of one that got a noisy fan about 4 years in, one that got juice spilled on the keyboard causing sticky keys and one that was a consumer grade machine used for work that developed stress cracks in the housing. The first two were both east at-home fixes. The one with the cracked housing, I bought off work used it a few more years before upgrading, and sold it on Craigslist. In fact the HP is the only laptop that's been in my household that I haven't wiped the drive, reinstalled the OS and sold it on Craigslist for $100-150. For 3 users in my household, we are typically buying a laptop every 1-2 years and rotating who has what. At this point my wife's needs are the most basic so she has the oldest. We just did a rotation and she got one that's 2 years old to replace one that was about 5. She had me buy a new ultrabook and pass my ~1yo ultrabook to our daughter.

    The batteries will go bad after a few years and sometimes that can be an issue even if docked full time. Typically you can get a decent aftermarket battery for $50-75. We even get aftermarket at work. That's going to be more of a problem with these ultrabooks which don't have removable batteries but I'd guess there's already a YouTube showing how.

    Not having a desktop for us eliminated the need for a dedicated "computer desk" in the core of the house. We have a monitor/keyboard/mouse on a desk in the basement my daughter or I will occasionally use. My wife and I just leave our laptops on the end tables.

    So in your opinion for someone like myself that does not do gaming and does not use a computer to run equipment, what is a good basic unit that will be powerful and fast enough with upgraded system to run on dsl and use a mouse and 27" monitor. ??? Buying at Best Buy or on QVC or some other place??? Thanks. I also would need to be able to transfer my stored photos to it. Not being able to speak Geek talk what are some pitfalls do I need to avoid and stay clear of when someone wants me to buy what they are selling?? Also need to be able to attach copier and input photos from camera. Forgot to mention that

    Anyone else want to weigh in here please do. Thanks.
    Last edited by John Terefenko; 11-15-2017 at 1:11 PM.
    John T.

  3. #18
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    My wife's machine is a i5 processor, 8GB RAM, 1TB hard drive and would do everything you mention handily for at least a few years to come, probably longer. Photos you might want to store on a USB hard drive, backed up somewhere else too because they'll eat up space. I've bought 2 HPs from Best Buy in the past ~1.5 years. Best price and the sales service has been good.

    Keyboard will just plug into a USB port. The monitor, there are multiple interfaces that may be supported by the computer and monitor, a mediocre salesperson should be able to sell you a monitor that works with the laptop, possibly with any adapter that's needed. For example, my new ultrabook doesn't have a video port, I needed a little port replicator that plugs into the USB-C port and adds an HDMI port.


  4. #19
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    You could pick up a refurbished desktop I 5 or I 7 that would last many years from Walmart or Microcenter for much less then Best Buy or one of the shopping channels.

  5. #20
    I cannot imagine spending a long time working on anything other than a tower type pc with a good sized screen and full size keyboard. That said I know a lot of people who do all their computing with smartphones. I have an older friend, she's in her 70's and will use her phone to do everything from surf the web, and get directions, to writing multi-page letters. Not me, I don't even like to use a laptop unless I have to. The only exception is if I'm just surfing sites on the web. For that I use a Chromebook. Best $100 I ever spent.

  6. #21
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    All the laptops (at least six) I have bought in the last decade have been Dell and in that time I have had three problems over all the machines. The last one was as slow as ditch water when booted so I put an SSD in it and that woke it up. The one I type this on has sporadic wireless connection issues where it just loses connection, a Google search will reveal that this problem is very wide spread. The connection has become an issue in the last six months so it is going to get a USB wireless dongle thingy when I get time to find the one I have. The third issue was a screen failure but it was so long ago I can't recall the details. My desk top is a mongrel built out of parts and runs two 27" screens, I would never go back to a single screen and can't recall how I got on before having them and sometimes wish I had a third.
    Chris

    Everything I like is either illegal, immoral or fattening

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Terefenko View Post
    So in your opinion for someone like myself that does not do gaming and does not use a computer to run equipment, what is a good basic unit that will be powerful and fast enough with upgraded system to run on dsl and use a mouse and 27" monitor. ??? Buying at Best Buy or on QVC or some other place??? Thanks. I also would need to be able to transfer my stored photos to it. Not being able to speak Geek talk what are some pitfalls do I need to avoid and stay clear of when someone wants me to buy what they are selling?? Also need to be able to attach copier and input photos from camera. Forgot to mention that

    Anyone else want to weigh in here please do. Thanks.
    I don't know if you have a neighborhood PC shop but if you do, don't overlook it. Their machines might cost a little more but they're likely to be better quality as well. The days of having to buy a new PC every three years because the current one will no longer run the latest bloatware are past. I'm typing this on a 9 year old desktop that was not bleeding edge when I built it, does everything I need. Buy a 'business class' machine and you should be good for a long time. I regard the low end WalMart type machines as Harbor Freight equivalents. Yeah they work but I wouldn't expect a long and functional life. Kinda like any other tool or machine.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt Harms View Post
    I don't know if you have a neighborhood PC shop but if you do, don't overlook it. Their machines might cost a little more but they're likely to be better quality as well. The days of having to buy a new PC every three years because the current one will no longer run the latest bloatware are past. I'm typing this on a 9 year old desktop that was not bleeding edge when I built it, does everything I need. Buy a 'business class' machine and you should be good for a long time. I regard the low end WalMart type machines as Harbor Freight equivalents. Yeah they work but I wouldn't expect a long and functional life. Kinda like any other tool or machine.
    You can't discount all Walmart computers as I have had good luck with some of their Black Friday units. Bought them as gifts 6 years ago and 3 out of 4 are still going strong

  9. #24
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    My daughters first laptop was a $400 Acer from Walmart. IIRC an i3, 6GB ram, not terrible build quality. That's the one that got juice spilled on the keyboard. Not her juice, not her fault. Grandmothers... Replacement keyboard was $24. She used it from sometime in 4th grade until almost high school when we found a good BF deal at Staples and decided to replace it as a Christmas gift. Wiped the drive on the Acer and sold it on Craigslist too. She really wasn't allowed to move it around much but did occasionally take it to grandmas when spending the weekend.

    PS, Never tell a determined 4th grader they can get a laptop when they can pay for half. You know how much $$$ they can get these days between birthdays and holidays?


  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerome Stanek View Post
    You could pick up a refurbished desktop I 5 or I 7 that would last many years from Walmart or Microcenter for much less then Best Buy or one of the shopping channels.
    Another alternative is Dell lease returns. Thse are the business level machines that are being replaced. Google Dell lease return or Dell refurbished. The will often have 40% 50% sales as they get a big batch in from a corporation

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Stankus View Post
    Another alternative is Dell lease returns. Thse are the business level machines that are being replaced. Google Dell lease return or Dell refurbished. The will often have 40% 50% sales as they get a big batch in from a corporation
    I think that's where a lot of notebooks on Ebay come from. I'm pretty sure the X201 Thinkpad belonged to American Family Insurance, I can still see a faint logo on the lid It retailed for about $1800, I paid a little over $100. It didn't come with a hard drive (common) but that was okay, a 256 GB. SSD slid right in. I keep any content that matters synced to a flash drive - good idea on any machine - but it just keeps tickin' along.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Ken, my primary personal machine has been a 27" iMac since 2010. I also have a Macbook Pro 13" Retina that I purchased in 2012 to use as a BYOD work computer ... which is equipped with a high-quality 27" Dell screen and external keyboard for desktop use. If the iMac "goes" at some point, which most likely would be the screen backlight, etc., the laptop will replace it since it's a great "desktop" in it's own right, outside of being limited to 8GB of RAM. And it's no longer a dedicated work machine. Desktop and portable has really "blurred" a lot in recent times, especially for folks who need both functions and don't want multiple computers. And while that 13" screen is fine when traveling, I wouldn't want to do "real work" on it without the large monitor.
    I work on an iMac vintage ~10 as well. My hard drive had a headcrash in May. I replaced the HD and we run today. I lost about 30,000 photos, though not my best or favorite. It emphasized my need for better backup and organization. I use an Macbook, iPad and iPhone for work. Right tool for the various tasks.
    Shawn

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  13. #28
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    Shawn, I put an SSD in my Mid-2010 iMac about a year and a half ago after enjoying the one that came in my MBPr13. It was "life altering" for the machine. despite having "only" an i3 processor, it pretty much kicks butt for my photo work. It's pretty kewel that a 7 year old computer is still running like a teenager and on the most current OS version, too. (Although I suspect that you and I will reach the upgrade limit in a version or two if the historical cycle holds true)
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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