new laptop purchase

adks.Z4.NENYDecember 13, 2011

I'm shopping for a laptop - 14 or 15". It will be used for bookkeeping, ms office programs, storing photos, internet surfing, etc. What amount of RAM and memory will be more than enough? Any brands suggested? I'm concerned about the warranty. Maybe I'd also try download the kindle app and read books. All suggestions greatly appreciated.

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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

you can add the kindle for pc app to any laptop or pc no problem there.

It will have Windows 7 64 bit I would assume, so you should have plenty of Ram I would recommend 8Gb but you could probably do with 6GB, with those kinds of office needs I don't think I would go less than that since Ram is so cheap anyway.

I have 2 Acer laptops/ netbook and have had very good luck with them. I personally prefer AMD processors so that is the only kind I look at. You would probably want to look at dual and quad core processors. I personally am not a Dell fan but have had good luck with HP.

this search from should provide some options to consider.

Here is a link that might be useful: walmart laptops

    Bookmark   December 13, 2011 at 3:43PM
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I'll chime in on Acer durabilty too...manufacturer warranties are good for 1 year unless you buy an extended...if you drop it or drop something on it ie any liquid, it will not be covered under the manufacturers warranty they have one like an "all Hazards"..Do not under any circumstances buy any extended (if you choose to) from Best Buy or places like that..go straight to the manufacturer....

    Bookmark   December 13, 2011 at 3:53PM
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I should also have mentioned, if you look after your laptop well ie: get all the newest Windows updates, keep and up to date and current anti-virus on it...on getting your laptop..immediately uninstall the trial antivirus and put Microsoft Security Essentials on it (free) works great.
If you tend to let things slide, then its the same as a car..things start falling apart

    Bookmark   December 13, 2011 at 3:56PM
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Thank you for all the information. I hadn't thought about Acer.
Has anyone used Acer's extended/accidental warranty?
I hope to use the laptop for a few years - Should I look only for quad core?
Other than size/weight - how is 14" different from 15" - as far as long term usage?

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 8:33AM
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I'm a Toshiba lover - 1st one is still alive.. 2nd one im using is 4yrs old, maybe 5. Unless things have changed you can buy their extended warrantee up to 1yr after purchase. I bought toshiba extended 3yr on sale for first laptop but never used it, sort of feel like I wasted like $89 or so.

Wow they sometimes have super prices online at

Depends on how heavy of user you are.. if lots of the office type progams open and actually doing stuff at same time quad core is better.

Physial size doesnt matter.. depends on what your eyes & you are comfortable with. i gotta admit, light weight is nice for me.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 6:21PM
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I like Toshiba laptops as well but have heard some horror stories with regards to their customer svc on a few laptop help forums I belong to..I actually have not yet had a need to use Acer or Toshiba's customer svc/return for any of mine over the mentioned before, if you look after them they will give you good service

    Bookmark   December 15, 2011 at 7:04AM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

one difference you can sometimes see on the laptops is some have a full size keyboard with the number pad to the right and some do not have a number pad at all you would probably want one with the number pad especially if it will be used for bookkeeping.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2011 at 12:08PM
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I'd like to suggest that you take a look at the reviews on ASUS laptops. I have an ASUS K50IJ-X8 15.6-Inch and am really pleased with it. I've had it for almost a year and it's been absolutely trouble free.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2011 at 9:15PM
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May I suggest a Mac. Far more expensive than the equivalent Windows machine but they do work well. You may have seen the thread about the 14 Windows updates released today. I had two for my Mac - iTunes and Aperture. The last Mac O/S update was about a month ago. Just one update too.

Macs are far less prone to viruses and malware. Not impervious but infections are far less likely to happen.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2011 at 10:51PM
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I've been re-thinking the new laptop uses and size. Will probably be mainly used for general internet use, email, skype, photos, downloading/reading ebooks, and maybe some documents/spreadsheets.

We'll take it when traveling (by car) so 14" is probably best(?).

Thank you Raven for pointing out about the number pad on a 17".

Is an extended warranty available from the manufacturer when a laptop is purchased from a store - Staples, Walmart, etc? Is the SquareTrade warranty something to look at? I don't remember ever seeing it discussed here.

I've also looked at tablets instead of a laptop and followed discussions about them on here. To make a decision on the best one is harder for me than on a laptop!

Again, all input from this forum is invaluable.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2011 at 11:59AM
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Do not get the extended warranty from Staples, Walmart, BB etc..get it from the manufacturer...Most of them will give you a full one year warranty and within that 1 year you may also purchase an extended suggestion would be go to the website of whatever manufacturer you are considering and check out the different warranty options so you are not caught with your pants but under no circumstances, get it from the store...dont let them try to convince you otherwise either

    Bookmark   December 16, 2011 at 12:58PM
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genes - thanks. I wasn't sure from the HP, Dell, etc. websites if an extended warranty could be purchased from them IF a laptop is purchased in a store. I know NOT to purchase an extended from a store!

Any input on which 14" is best? Will look at Walmart and Staples ads today. Would like to have it for trip after Christmas.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2011 at 1:09PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

you do not want a tablet for that type of use. Stick with a laptop, for travel of course the 14-15 inch will be lighter weight, check the weights on any of them because they can vary greatly.
I have only got warranties from the manufacturer.

Once you have one you will want to declutter it, using the pc decrapifier is a good tool to help you with that.
I never activate the "free" antivirus on them either I immediately fully remove it and install either AVAST free or Microsoft Security Essentials free.

We can help you with all of that when you get it just come on back and ask. Here are a couple of links you can save.
PC Decrapifier.

Using AppRemover
to remove the AV that is on it.

a good place to get the things you need free with out any extras added on.

Here is a link that might be useful: ninite

    Bookmark   December 16, 2011 at 1:24PM
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Battery life may be important too ? Don't see a mention of that here. Try to pay attention to that in specs.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2011 at 3:08PM
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pc decrapifier

At the risk of sounding like an Apple fanboy, yet another reason to buy a Mac - no crap.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 8:10AM
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I agree that for someone who has limited computer background and cost is not a big factor Apple is the way to go. But for someone like me who has been retired for over 20 years on the same fixed pension Apple is not a solution. The 'crap' on a new pc helps to keep the price in my range so I'm only too happy to spend a little time (I have lots of that) getting rid of it.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 11:19AM
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As for the 14" vs 15" question: I bought a 14" because of the light weight for use when traveling. But for use as an office computer, I think I'd go with the larger size because the larger screen and print will be easier on your eyes. If travel and weight is not a factor, you might consider an even larger size. All the other questions seem to have been covered quite well by others.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 1:51PM
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