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WeldfabNeil

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I am so not like the rest of my generation as Ime more into tools then computers. I went to look at laptops yesterday an no such luck. Actually got somewhat frusterated with all the stupid options an not knowing what's what.

currently I just have a iPad mini, an iPhone. They do more then I need them to do.

With going back to school soon an for home use a laptop would be nice. I don't want a desktop but want something bigger then a mini iPad. Basically its gonna be for school work including a cad class. There's also some papers I have to write.

It practically kills me to spend a lot of money on a piece of plastic that will be outdated in two years. However I guess I just gotta spend the money.

Does anyone have any input on laptops?

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I dropped Windows computers a few years ago and bought a Mac, wasn't cheap but well worth it. The thing loads like an iPad and never freezes up. I have the Mac book air 13 inch, no it doesn't have touch screen and all the hoopla a lot of Windows computers have but I don't need that garbage, it is a functional computer and the battery lasts a long time if your willing to pay the price, I believe I have 5 year warranty on it too.

Jimbo

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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First question I would ask, What will you be using it for?

 

1.Creating Content - Documents, Spread Sheets, Video Editing, Heavy E-mail user

2. Surfer - Facebook, YouTube, Forums, Web surfing 

 

 

Sounds like your a #2. If that's the case, I would just go down the road of a tablet based PC.

 

In general terms, the bigger the number in the specs of the description of the specs, the better the system it will be.

 

Let's break it down to a description that everyone can understand

 

Processor - Think of this as the Carpenter. He is essentially doing all of the thought and direction of the project.

Memory - The more the better. This partners with the processor. Think of it as the Helper that's working out the Carpenter getting him everything he needs to get done quickly.

Storage - This is the tool box. You want something big enough to hold your tools but not so big that your paying for something that you''ll never really need.

 

Not sure what your budget is. But you can get a basic tablet or you can spend a little more money and go along the route of a tablet that can snap into a docking station and then be used a laptop when needed.

 

One of the things I do at my job is too evaluate hardware. For the past 8 years, we have been using Lenovo equipment in our environment. They have been great products.

 

Check out their tablets.

 

http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/tablets/?menu-id=tablets#facet-4=3

 

 

Or if you want to go down the road of a laptop since you will also be using it for school, take a look at the 450s. We just started using this model in our enviroment and we love it.

 

http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/thinkpad/t-series/t450s/

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I have been building and repairing computers for people for many years, and the biggest thing I notice with newer users is fear. most people that don't understand something get scared of it. They feel forced because some people that know it give them un needed direction based on their use. Don't kid yourself, you don't need to learn everything about a computer to own one and you don't have to buy the best. Computers have become throw away items no different than TV sets. there was a time when you invested in a TV that lasted you 20+ years now 3-5 years and you have old technology. Computers are no different; if you haven't needed a computer by now for any good reason then you don't need a computer that will split atoms. You mention you want a laptop for school, you will be using it to write papers and a CAD program well salesmen at the store will try to have you buy a higher end model but the truth of the matter is you don't need it. For everyday computing like social media, emails, general web searching any new computer will do yes even the lower end models. 

A laptop for running a CAD software program you will generally want the following: (there is good news at the end of this)
 CPU: Generally you will want to buy the fastest processor you can afford, but there are exceptions. For example, if you mostly do 2D CAD work, buying a high-end processor will most likely be a waste of money; a solid dual-core machine should suffice. For 3D work, the more cores the better; you will want at least a quad-core processor with a 2.6-GHz processor frequency or greater. Modern CAD software will take full advantage of the extra cores and speed, enabling you to render more designs in a shorter period of time.
 
RAM: Look at the amount of RAM (Random Access Memory). CAD software will utilize a significant amount of RAM, and you'll want a minimum of 3GB in your machine. For the best productivity, you'll want at least 4GB and a 64-bit operating system (32-bit operating systems won't be able to detect more than 3GB of your RAM). More RAM will enable you to work with more applications and projects simultaneously.

 

STORAGE: the size of the Hard drive 500GB is lots average laptop today is 1TB or 1000GB

VIDEO: most laptops have onboard video, some have dedicated video as well again todays laptops most have enough.

 

bottom line is save your money for tools, buy a cheap laptop as long as you go with a quad core CPU 8GB ram 1000GB hard drive these can be purchased for less than $500 if you are buying any more than that you are paying to much.

some will argue but any lower end laptop will do what you need. and because of the specs it should last you longer than a couple of years. 

I could go on and on about what is better and what is blah blah blah.....yes there are some brands better than others and some models better than others ect ect but truthfully you don't need to get confused by this. the reason I say this is because you are not going to want to learn all the things about a computer you just want something for school and don't want to spend a fortune. just to give you an Idea, last computer I built the parts list came in at just under $4,700 (wasn't for me) 

I'm saying this as you already don't want to buy into this computer stuff no need for you to spend more than you need. you can easily walk into a computer store and have the salesman talk you into a $1200 laptop because you mentioned school and CAD buy the cheap $450-$500 laptop and in 2 years from now you can buy another one and you still saved money......

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Reality is a computer is obsolete only when you think it is. I'm sure there are people happily plugging away on windows xp systems. Unless your doing really intensive work a basic laptop should be find like comp56 mentioned in the 500 dollar or less area.

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you got that right jason computers are over rated, granted there is a place for high end stuff but the little ol lady that wants to figure out how to skype her great grandchildren don't need a $1500 laptop........as far as salesmen go they have a licence to steal plain and simple especially with people that how no clue about computers......just the other day a lady called me from Best buy asking me what I thought about a laptop she was going to buy....she told me it will come to $1437.00 with a free wireless mouse???? I knew she goes on facebook twice a day and that is about it..........I told her to get a tablet...she left with one for under $300 and is quite happy......

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I think comp nailed the specs for you. I use CAD programs most every day and personally I like having a larger monitor. Some of the guys I work with just use their laptop screens and it works for them though. Just a thought.

Sent from my SM-N900V using Tapatalk

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Unless your doing work with your computer or gaming there is really no need for a crazy computer anymore. The one option that is worth looking into is an SSD they really do make using a computer more enjoyable. for 95% of people a tablet or cheap laptop will do everything they need now.

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yes I was going to mention getting an SSD for a laptop but, in order to get one from a dealer/factory installed is 3 times the money it is worth doing it yourself can be one of the cheapest upgrades however I didn't think fletcher94 would know enough to do this and it is not worth paying to get one when he buys a laptop....

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So I'm not going bull-shit you or try to teach you the technology, unless that's what you're looking for. Instead tell me your budget and I'll provide options.

I'm an electrical engineering student with military (advanced computer & electronics) training, CAD background. I know what you need depending on what you can afford.

Don't get a Mac. They make great phones and tablets but the Mac computer is nothing more then clever marketing for 2x the price and 1/2 the capability.

Also, which CAD and how involved? Solidworks, AutoCAD, etc...

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yes I was going to mention getting an SSD for a laptop but, in order to get one from a dealer/factory installed is 3 times the money it is worth doing it yourself can be one of the cheapest upgrades however I didn't think fletcher94 would know enough to do this and it is not worth paying to get one when he buys a laptop....

Yea they really screw you on getting a SSD version of the laptop.

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Man 99_xc600 an comp56 know computers. Thanks for breaking it down in clueless person terms.

My uses are internet(forums, email, news, tool buying of course), writing documents, learning an doing cad.

My budget is as little as I can possibly spend. I can spend more if I need to but I prefer not to. I don't want to be cheap an get something that won't work but don't need top of the line.

Installing some ssd card seems over my head. I can weld pipe an bend plate but computers are my weak spot. I mean I know enough to google stuff an get on tools in action, write a paper an that's about it.

Once again thanks guys. I will report back with more questions or whatever I get.

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I totally agree with Comp and JasonC. I know all sorts of stuff about computers,but it really doesnt take a $1000+ pc or laptop to get what you need(unless you are doing video editing or something). My wife is very similar to you in what she uses her laptop for. I got her a nice Dell,Its a 20 inch if I remember right. It has a i3 processor and 4 gigs of ram and intel video if I remember. I got it with Windohs 7 PRO.  I think i paid around $500 a couple years ago for it,still works like a champ today. Even my desktop is about 3 years old and does everything I could want it to.

 

Software generally takes a very long time to catchup to hardware.

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I been in the computer field since 1983, with the TI99/4a - I would love to help, but from past experiences it always turns into a heated debate. Just remember to factor in the cost of your time, stress levels, and the amount of your private information you are willing to compromise when making your choice.

 

-Steven

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like I said before I'm not going to mention brand names in this topic, reason being is everyone has their favorites or brand loyalty but the truth of the matter is since 2007 or so (in around the time Microsoft forced Vista on everyone) the specs of PC's had to make the step up on specs due to the ever growing OS based on Kernel design most all of the shelf bought laptops are going to be manufactured very similar. They are mass produced and are made only so good........for everyday computing these laptops will do the job, any brand any model remember when you are only buying in on an entry level the brand differences are minimal. Many people computer techs as well think bigger is better, better is faster and faster is best....but the truth is 80% of the computer's performance is not based on the computer specs it is what the user does with it after they first turn it on......

example: ever have a computer run nice and smooth when you first get it and then time goes by and it's like "this piece of crap is so slow" then you take it to the shop (if you can't do it yourself) and they wipe it or clean it out and it runs like it did when new?

I know people that know much about computers don't think about this because when it starts they fix it but the people that don't know much see it more......

anyway my point is software generally is the culprit including spyware/malware/viruses programs that don't play nice together some take priority over others and then if you were lucky enough to notice so you delete it the system still is ill effected because the damage was done when you installed it.

 

Yes from time to time there are hardware failures hard drives fail all the time, ram sticks fail all the time displays you name it. 

you ever see someone smashing a mouse on the desk because a computer isn't doing what they want? it's not the mouse usually it's the user I can not tell you how many times I had to replace a laptop keyboard because someone put their fist into it or replaced a display because they slammed it shut in frustration.....

 

anyway without using all the keystrokes I can go on and on but if you want a computer and don't know much about them just remember when you do buy one:

1 you own it

2 you control it

3 don't be fooled into installing something that tells you it needs fixing

4 nothing on the internet is free, software programming ect ect if you install something because it is free chances are the install program is installing other things you don't know about don't need or don't want.

 

other things to remember you only need one of things example: video players are great but you don't need 14 of them, one of the biggest computer cripplers are video codec, now I know I'm getting a little technical here but here me out.

most laptop computers will come from factory with some kind of video player but your buddy says use this one it's way better, so you install it or have someone else do it......that is when the problem starts each player comes with built in codecs and some are more aggressive than others and they way the OS operates it will use the more dominate and when it does you end up with conflicts.... conflicts you don't see and conflicts you don't realize but even after you have enjoyed you move or video clip the conflict continues then because of that conflict while you are checking your email you are wondering why you are staring at a little circle timer while you computer is doing something....well it is still in a conflicting state you get what I'm saying now times that by hundreds of little conflicts  over time then 1000's of conflicts and before you know it you are waiting 4 minutes for goggle to pop up....

 

sorry for the long post I could practically write a book about this stuff ....

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like I said before I'm not going to mention brand names in this topic, reason being is everyone has their favorites or brand loyalty but the truth of the matter is since 2007 or so (in around the time Microsoft forced Vista on everyone) the specs of PC's had to make the step up on specs due to the ever growing OS based on Kernel design most all of the shelf bought laptops are going to be manufactured very similar. They are mass produced and are made only so good........for everyday computing these laptops will do the job, any brand any model remember when you are only buying in on an entry level the brand differences are minimal. Many people computer techs as well think bigger is better, better is faster and faster is best....but the truth is 80% of the computer's performance is not based on the computer specs it is what the user does with it after they first turn it on......

example: ever have a computer run nice and smooth when you first get it and then time goes by and it's like "this piece of crap is so slow" then you take it to the shop (if you can't do it yourself) and they wipe it or clean it out and it runs like it did when new?

I know people that know much about computers don't think about this because when it starts they fix it but the people that don't know much see it more......

anyway my point is software generally is the culprit including spyware/malware/viruses programs that don't play nice together some take priority over others and then if you were lucky enough to notice so you delete it the system still is ill effected because the damage was done when you installed it.

 

Yes from time to time there are hardware failures hard drives fail all the time, ram sticks fail all the time displays you name it. 

you ever see someone smashing a mouse on the desk because a computer isn't doing what they want? it's not the mouse usually it's the user I can not tell you how many times I had to replace a laptop keyboard because someone put their fist into it or replaced a display because they slammed it shut in frustration.....

 

anyway without using all the keystrokes I can go on and on but if you want a computer and don't know much about them just remember when you do buy one:

1 you own it

2 you control it

3 don't be fooled into installing something that tells you it needs fixing

4 nothing on the internet is free, software programming ect ect if you install something because it is free chances are the install program is installing other things you don't know about don't need or don't want.

 

other things to remember you only need one of things example: video players are great but you don't need 14 of them, one of the biggest computer cripplers are video codec, now I know I'm getting a little technical here but here me out.

most laptop computers will come from factory with some kind of video player but your buddy says use this one it's way better, so you install it or have someone else do it......that is when the problem starts each player comes with built in codecs and some are more aggressive than others and they way the OS operates it will use the more dominate and when it does you end up with conflicts.... conflicts you don't see and conflicts you don't realize but even after you have enjoyed you move or video clip the conflict continues then because of that conflict while you are checking your email you are wondering why you are staring at a little circle timer while you computer is doing something....well it is still in a conflicting state you get what I'm saying now times that by hundreds of little conflicts  over time then 1000's of conflicts and before you know it you are waiting 4 minutes for goggle to pop up....

 

sorry for the long post I could practically write a book about this stuff ....

This is why my extended family has tablets now. So much easier tech support wise.

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Here are some options, assuming you require something that can do some CAD. Don't be afraid of software/hardware stuff. I can post a walk-through that's easy to understand. If your local to Southern California I can even install CAD and other software for you for free. No charge computer work for forum members. 

 

MSI WS60

One of the best CAD laptops for portability. I owned this one and it rocks, however it's definitely more computer then you need. MSI WS60 is a true 'Workstation Laptop' but with a $2,500 price tag.... only for pro cad user

 

ACER Aspire Nitro Black Edition

$899 from newegg will get you the same laptop I use as my daily PC. It has a large 1tb hard drive to store all your data and 128gb SSD for fast computing. IPS screen <-- you want that. The graphics card is amazing, not 'workstation' but definitely enough to design/learn CAD with. If you have the money I highly recommend this one.  ACER Aspire Nitro Black Edition *the SSD is an m.2 sata .. that means its really fast.

 

Dell Inspiron 15 Signature Edition

$468.99 from Amazon. This is my budget recommendation. It's not as powerful as the Acer but this Dell is pretty and it will do basic CAD and all the school stuff you can throw at it. Dell Inspiron 15 Signature Edition

 

 

I do component level repairs and modifications. I have a full rework lap at home. 

post-28428-0-06050600-1450129518_thumb.j

post-28428-0-95798300-1450129565_thumb.j

 

I even turn old computers into robots. :)

post-28428-0-51497900-1450129590_thumb.jpost-28428-0-93295600-1450129600_thumb.jpost-28428-0-85295800-1450129609_thumb.j

 

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 IPS screen <-- you want that. 

 

 

Dell Inspiron 15 Signature Edition

$468.99 from Amazon. This is my budget recommendation. It's not as powerful as the Acer but this Dell is pretty and it will do basic CAD and all the school stuff you can throw at it. Dell Inspiron 15 Signature Edition

 

 

just for the record in-plane switching (IPS) screen is only going to be beneficial if you have a few people looking at the monitor at once as these type panels boasts great viewing angles,  a bit better color performance but a typical CAD user generally sits square to the screen and will not notice much so need spending way more money. A Twisted Nematic (TN) display will be great for a beginner....as for your recommendations yes I agree with the pick of the Dell notice the price range sub $500...... 

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I'm a typical CAD user and I can speak from experience when I say IPS is must have. Working on models, even in the academic world, someone will be looking over your shoulder. Besides angle color is much better on IPS. Sure the average with shitty eyesight might not notice but in the CAD world where color represents meaningful data... It's vastly more important.

But like I said. I'm not here to debate... Only advise based on budget and use. I'm a CAD guy who has built a computer from TTL chips. I even speak binary.

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Thanks once again guys. It deffintly helps understand everything.

I found out last night that work would provide me with laptop for school cause there sending me. I would not own it an it would be for school an work only. No personal emails, or tools in action an nothing not for school/work. I would have to give it back when done with school as well.

I still probably want to buy one of my own so I can do everything on it, as well as I wouldn't mind having my own.

As far as what I can spend I have a decent amount saved up for a tool box. Whatever I spend for a laptop would just set me back longer from buying a toolbox. I am not afraid to spend money if I need to. I do not want to waste money an go overboard on what I need.

Someone said wait till after Christmas an see if any goes on sale. Not sure if that's true.

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Yeah, I wouldn't go crazy on buying for specs. You can find some good deals on Amazon Warehouse. I'd recommend a 2.6HGz dual core(or better), 4GB Ram, with a screen resolution of 1600 X 900(or higher, I'd stay away from 768) with Windows 7(remember, it's a free upgrade). I'd bet you can find a decent one for uner $400 if you take your time. Woot had some good laptops a few months ago, now it seems all of them are high Ram(8GB) with low screen resolution and cheaper cores. I recall seeing reconditioned i5 quad core, 4GB, 1600X900 laptops on woot for $400ish. Honestly, the minimum specs that Comp posted will be more than enough and is really a pretty quick computer. Even the 1.9GHz "core-duos" are pretty darn quick if you have 4GB of RAM, with 2GB of RAM they're noticeably slower...we recently bought some of those for the shop. I recommend higher than those 1.9GHz because it will be useable for longer and home computers typicall have more potentially-OS-slowing software installed than work computers.

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