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Need a decent cheap laptop

InfusedEMPInfusedEMP Member UncommonPosts: 43
edited January 2020 in Hardware
I've moved into an apartment on a university campus where I'm afraid to take my expensive pc, so I need a laptop.  I'm hoping to find something with a minimum of 8gb ram, a quad core processor, an SSD, Win10 capable, and a decent graphics card for between $200 - $400.  Looking on ebay I see there are a few things that have those specs and price range (such as this) but I think I'm better off asking for suggestions here.  I've got a family friend offering me a free Toshiba C50-B which is better than nothing but is basically a doorstop.  Considering that's the best I can find for free I think I should invest a few hundred in something.  Any suggestions?

Comments

  • SpiiderSpiider Member RarePosts: 1,132
    https://www.asus.com/Laptops/ASUS-ZenBook-14-UM431DA/

    If you can get your hands on a used one I strongly recommend this one. Decent CPU and GPU and very fast SSD for the price. Also very light and super decent speakers.

    Again for the price. I would not pay more than 400$ for it.

    No fate but what we make, so make me a ham sandwich please.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 24,851
    What are you planning on doing with the laptop?  Do you expect to play demanding games on the laptop (meaning, as opposed to stuff like Solitaire), or is it just for web-browsing, e-mail, and word processing?

    Also, why are you scared to take your PC?  Are you afraid that it will be stolen?  Don't have room for it?  What would you do with the PC if you don't take it with you?
  • VrikaVrika Member LegendaryPosts: 7,590
    If you're afraid that it gets stolen, buying a tracker is cheaper than buying a laptop.
     
  • cheebacheeba Member UncommonPosts: 196
    I would just insure it and then pray it gets stolen at some point.  $10/month for 2k coverage from Progressive.
    ultimateduck

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  • InfusedEMPInfusedEMP Member UncommonPosts: 43
    I need it primarily for things like essay writing, research, and email, but I'm hoping to do some gaming on it as well.  I play primarily sandbox survival and fighting games.  Conan Exiles, Minecraft, 7 Days to Die, Empyrion, Mortal Kombat 10, Tekken 7, Soulcalibur VI, etc.

    As for not wanting to take my pc, I have 3 apartment mates and they keep the front door unlocked at all hours of the day and night so the only thing that would be protecting my computer is my locked bedroom door.  A laptop I can take with me in a backpack.

    I don't want to take my pc primarily due to the chance of it being stolen.  I've got around 4 to 5 grand invested in it in total over the years in addition to multiple terabytes of digital things I could not replace.  Too much to risk.  My plan is to leave the pc safely at my parents house and just use it on weekends or holidays until I eventually get a place of my own.  I suppose I could remove its hard drives except for an empty SSD I recently bought, store them away and just put them back in as needed but I'd rather not start disassembling my pc.  Also the pc and all its peripherals are a lot to haul around while moving in and out of places semester after semester.

  • Asm0deusAsm0deus Member EpicPosts: 4,027
    The words "decent laptop" and "cheap" do not really go together tbh.
    dragonlee66

    Brenics ~ Just to point out I do believe Chris Roberts is going down as the man who cheated backers and took down crowdfunding for gaming.





  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 24,851
    First, it's unlikely that a thief who comes into the house and sees a bunch of stuff laying around and easy to steal and a locked bedroom door would put much effort into getting into your room.  It's much easier and safer to just steal something else that is laying around and leave.

    Second, desktops are hard to steal, precisely because they're so hard to move around.  If a thief did get into your room and see your desktop, he'd probably look at the tangle of cables and pass.  He'd surely swipe a laptop if he saw it, though, as those are much easier to steal.

    Third, if you have multiple terabytes of irreplaceable data that you care about, you'd better have a good backup plan.  Whatever hard drive or SSD you have it on could fail.  Copy the data onto an external hard drive and both copies of the data failing simultaneously is far less likely.

    Fourth, if you want a laptop that can handle some gaming for under $400, you're pretty much going to have to get something used.  And whatever you get, someone probably wanted to be rid of it for a reason.  Sometimes people are just quick to upgrade and replace perfectly good hardware, but it's also much more likely to be defective somehow.

    That laptop that a family friend offered you is going to be really slow.  It has a dual core Atom CPU with a max turbo of 2.41 GHz.  The cores are Silvermont Atom, which was the first generation of Atom CPUs to not be complete garbage in a desktop or laptop, but still, they're slow.  If you could get a modern dual-core CPU (say, Sky Lake or third gen Ryzen) with a max turbo of 1 GHz, that would probably be a significantly faster CPU than the laptop you're being offered for free.  Tack on a 5400 RPM hard drive and only 4 GB of memory, and it would probably handle word processing and e-mail all right.  I'd be less confident about web browsing, but the sort of games you want to play would not run well.  You're likely aware of that, or maybe you've just tried using the laptop, but either way, that's why you called it a doorstop.

    I'm not saying that you should definitely take your PC with you.  I am saying that you should definitely get a good data backup plan if you don't have one already.
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 24,851
    What's in your desktop that is so expensive, anyway?  $5k is a lot for a desktop.
  • GladDogGladDog Member RarePosts: 1,097
    https://www.newegg.com/black-msi-gf-series-gf63-thin-9rcx-659-gaming-entertainment/p/N82E16834155306?Item=N82E16834155306

    This one is a good, not great entry level gaming machine that will play everything out there, although some settings will have to be turned down, some a lot.  an upgrade to 16GB of RAM would do wonders.  Listed at $699.00


    The world is going to the dogs, which is just how I planned it!


  • VrikaVrika Member LegendaryPosts: 7,590
    As for not wanting to take my pc, I have 3 apartment mates and they keep the front door unlocked at all hours of the day and night so the only thing that would be protecting my computer is my locked bedroom door.  A laptop I can take with me in a backpack.
    Could you add something like alarm to that bedroom door?

    For example: 
      https://www.amazon.com/Wsdcam-Wireless-Anti-Theft-Control-Security/dp/B00PYG7LH0

    Something like that isn't a perfect protection, but it's cheap and it would sound 105 db alarm until the burglar removes its batteries. Most burglars aren't going to start detaching computer cables and carrying something the size of computer case out through the corridors after triggering that kind of alarm.
     
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 24,851
    GladDog said:
    https://www.newegg.com/black-msi-gf-series-gf63-thin-9rcx-659-gaming-entertainment/p/N82E16834155306?Item=N82E16834155306

    This one is a good, not great entry level gaming machine that will play everything out there, although some settings will have to be turned down, some a lot.  an upgrade to 16GB of RAM would do wonders.  Listed at $699.00
    The problem is that, like any other new laptop that can handle some gaming, that doesn't fit a sub-$400 budget.
  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,375
    https://smile.amazon.com/Kensington-Combination-Laptops-Devices-K64673AM/dp/B005J7Y99W/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?keywords=kensington+lock+cable&qid=1579496761&sprefix=kensington+lock&sr=8-3


    Take your desktop. One cable secures your PC and monitor to the wall or desk.

    If you still want a laptop to use outside the apartment, feel free (you can still use Steam
    In Home Streaming or nVidia Remote Play), but either drop gaming entirely off the requirements for it, or just break down and get a iPad.
  • GladDogGladDog Member RarePosts: 1,097
    edited January 2020
    Deleted comment, the laptop below is a better choice than the one I listed here


    The world is going to the dogs, which is just how I planned it!


  • GladDogGladDog Member RarePosts: 1,097
    edited January 2020
    I would get this one.  It has an SSD, along with a Ryzen 7 - 3700U CPU and uses Vega 10 graphics, which are much better than Intel on-board graphics

    https://www.amazon.com/HP-15-15-6-inch-Touchscreen-Quad-Core/dp/B082FYKCSQ/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Ryzen+7+3700U&qid=1579532975&sr=8-1


    The world is going to the dogs, which is just how I planned it!


  • centkincentkin Member RarePosts: 1,527
    I would watch slickdeals until something that matches your needs pops up.  It agglomerates the onsale items on the net and (assuming you have time to look for something you want) you can do well.  I know I tend to find inspiration on where to buy items like keyboards, mice, etc when they go on deep sale somewhere and buy a couple ahead.
  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,375
    centkin said:
    agglomerates 
    Completely off topic, but I just wanted to mention I initially thought this was a typo or a made up word (like "strategery"), but I looked it up and you are indeed spot on for spelling and usage. You have expanded my vocabulary, and I thank you.
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