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09-14-2020, 10:16 AM   #1
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Decisions- New computer- what to get ?

Well it is that time again, it seems. Our old computer a Samsung laptop bought new around 2012 is crying uncle.

Looking for advice.

We use our laptop for:

-Keeping household records, spreadsheets, etc.
-emails
-browsing the web
-watching youtube
-storing, processing photos from K1, K5 GRll, etc.
-a whole host of things that I can't think of right now.

We use the computer a lot.

Suggestions regarding brand, model, specs for our type of use.

But we're seniors and only one of us (wife) likes to learn new things. User friendly is really important for me.

Suggestions.

09-14-2020, 12:00 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Are you looking for a laptop again, or would you be comfortable getting a desktop tower and monitor?

What's your budget?
09-14-2020, 12:24 PM   #3
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Not sure. We were talking about that this morning. Haven’t had a tower for years but when we travel we take the apple tablet, so a tower or laptop would be ok. Budget about $1500 plus CAD.
09-14-2020, 12:53 PM - 1 Like   #4
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Anything but a tower, no need for it nowadays.

Today's tech is smaller, look at Intel NUC or any mini computer if you want today's desktop.

A budget smart phone does everything you listed with the exception of powerful post pricessing.

I have a mini-itx PC, Ryzen 5 CPU, nVidia 1060 graphics card, NVME SDD drive all inside a small HTPC case but it rarely gets switched on as I can lie here on the sofa and do everything on a modern £80 smart phone...

Or the latest tablets with a 12" screen (if you are older and need to see easier) are immensely powerful, have no moving parts meaning no nasty Jurassic fans. 1500 Can dollars would buy you a Samsung 12.4" Galaxy Tab S7+ tablet which is a rocketship compared to your 2012 laptop. Google the specification to see what I mean.

Similarly, 1500 Canadian dollars will buy a laptop with UFO performance.

Absolutely no point spending more! And you could spend less and still get an amazing device?

This will be overkill for 16MP K5 RAW processing.

09-15-2020, 06:49 AM - 2 Likes   #5
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Since you're using an Apple tablet (iPad I assume), consider a Mac Mini. The newer ones have plenty of power and take less desk space than a laptop although you will need a monitor. I'm a senior also and I like a large screen. I'm using a 24 inch LG IPS monitor. It will sync easily with your iPad. You can also get a NUC if you if you want to stay with a PC. Regardless, make sure you go with SSD's and not hard drives and use an external for extra storage and/or backups

Or, you can stay with a laptop. They do have some some advantages but since you're using a tablet for trips, you're ignoring the biggest advantage a laptop has over a small footprint desktop.
09-15-2020, 07:04 AM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
Since you're using an Apple tablet (iPad I assume), consider a Mac Mini. The newer ones have plenty of power and take less desk space than a laptop although you will need a monitor. I'm a senior also and I like a large screen. I'm using a 24 inch LG IPS monitor. It will sync easily with your iPad. You can also get a NUC if you if you want to stay with a PC. Regardless, make sure you go with SSD's and not hard drives and use an external for extra storage and/or backups

Or, you can stay with a laptop. They do have some some advantages but since you're using a tablet for trips, you're ignoring the biggest advantage a laptop has over a small footprint desktop.

I love my Mac mini....
09-15-2020, 03:02 PM - 1 Like   #7
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Avoid anything with Dell written on it. If it works, you'll be fine, but if it doesn't and you need help from them............they'll leave you swinging in the breeze.

09-15-2020, 06:28 PM - 2 Likes   #8
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Look at laptops that use new Ryzen series chips (if you want a laptop that is). They're super fast compared to the Intel of this generation. Something with a Ryzen 4800U would be ideal (almost desktop like performance, would help with editing and work).

Good review of a reasonably priced model

For desktop - I built a Ryzen 3800x/2070 super machine and it destroys anything I throw at it.

Make sure to get a good ssd for the OS

Windows 10 is rather user friendly these days too)

Last edited by awscreo; 09-15-2020 at 06:54 PM.
09-15-2020, 06:32 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
Well it is that time again, it seems. Our old computer a Samsung laptop bought new around 2012 is crying uncle.

Looking for advice.

We use our laptop for:

-Keeping household records, spreadsheets, etc.
-emails
-browsing the web
-watching youtube
-storing, processing photos from K1, K5 GRll, etc.
-a whole host of things that I can't think of right now.

We use the computer a lot.

Suggestions regarding brand, model, specs for our type of use.

But we're seniors and only one of us (wife) likes to learn new things. User friendly is really important for me.

Suggestions.
What operating system?
09-15-2020, 06:42 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by MarkJerling Quote
What operating system?
8.1 and our current processor is Intel Core i3. We use Firefox as our browser, windows is our operating system.


AWSREO says :

"Look at laptops that use new Ryzen series chips (if you want a laptop that is). They're super fast compared to the Intel of this generation. Something with a Ryzen 4800U would be ideal (almost desktop like performance, would help with editing and work). "

Les says:

A laptop were looking at is the ASUS X512DA-CS71-CB Laptop, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
Model X512DA-CS71-CB


Features:

Radeon™ RX Vega 10 graphics
FHD (1920 × 1080)
Fingerprint reader

How does this sound to you guys ?

Last edited by lesmore49; 09-15-2020 at 06:55 PM.
09-15-2020, 07:09 PM - 2 Likes   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
8.1 and our current processor is Intel Core i3. We use Firefox as our browser, windows is our operating system.


AWSREO says :

"Look at laptops that use new Ryzen series chips (if you want a laptop that is). They're super fast compared to the Intel of this generation. Something with a Ryzen 4800U would be ideal (almost desktop like performance, would help with editing and work). "

Les says:

A laptop were looking at is the ASUS X512DA-CS71-CB Laptop, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
Model X512DA-CS71-CB


Features:

Radeon™ RX Vega 10 graphics
FHD (1920 × 1080)
Fingerprint reader

How does this sound to you guys ?
Searching that online I see:

AMD Ryzen 7 3700U processor
16 GB DDR4

Drives:
1 TB HDD
512 GB SSD
No optical drive
microSD card reader

It ticks the boxes for me with 16GB DDR4 RAM and two harddrives, one of them SSD. It would be nice to have the SSD as a 1 TB drive too, but I suppose that would add cost.
09-15-2020, 07:39 PM - 1 Like   #12
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I went and shopped around, even though I'm not really in the market for a new computer right now. Have they stopped building full-size SD card readers into laptops already? I didn't see any in the Asus units at Amazon in different price ranges.
09-16-2020, 05:20 AM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
How does this sound to you guys ?
The specs look good, if you can live with the 15.6 inch screen; it also doesn't say what kind of display panel was used everywhere I looked, I guess if they had used IPS they would've said so (and that's what I'd be looking for).

Do you value the flexibility and portability this device offers more than the "real estate" a bigger (and perhaps higher resolution) display would offer? If you'd go for an external screen at home you could get a 27, 30, 34 inch screen with WQHD or 4K resolution that would be much better suited to editing photos than a comparably small laptop display. That said, you could also combine the two: get an extra screen for at home, where you can just plug in your laptop for editing, and you'd still have the laptop to take with you on travel or for more comfortable browsing on the sofa.
That said, I'd still go for at least a 17 inch IPS display if you want to edit pictures with it now and then (and more so if you do not plan to get an extra screen for at home).
09-16-2020, 06:51 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by ehrwien Quote
The specs look good, if you can live with the 15.6 inch screen; it also doesn't say what kind of display panel was used everywhere I looked, I guess if they had used IPS they would've said so (and that's what I'd be looking for).

Do you value the flexibility and portability this device offers more than the "real estate" a bigger (and perhaps higher resolution) display would offer? If you'd go for an external screen at home you could get a 27, 30, 34 inch screen with WQHD or 4K resolution that would be much better suited to editing photos than a comparably small laptop display. That said, you could also combine the two: get an extra screen for at home, where you can just plug in your laptop for editing, and you'd still have the laptop to take with you on travel or for more comfortable browsing on the sofa.
That said, I'd still go for at least a 17 inch IPS display if you want to edit pictures with it now and then (and more so if you do not plan to get an extra screen for at home).
We are used to a screen about that size (15.6") so it should be good.

However I like that option you present, of having a larger screen when portability is not an issue..

The specs do seem good for our needs. Appreciate your input, regarding specs as I'm not that tech savvy.

Thx.

Les

---------- Post added 09-16-20 at 08:56 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by MarkJerling Quote
Searching that online I see:

AMD Ryzen 7 3700U processor
16 GB DDR4

Drives:
1 TB HDD
512 GB SSD
No optical drive
microSD card reader

It ticks the boxes for me with 16GB DDR4 RAM and two harddrives, one of them SSD. It would be nice to have the SSD as a 1 TB drive too, but I suppose that would add cost.
Thx, Mark for your view.

As you know, I;m no expert and although the specs did seem good, we weren't sure. I'm starting to think that maybe a computer needs replacing for a higher spec unit, every 5 years or so minimum, even if it is still working ok. The ongoing evolution of new programming and updates seems to demand that. Again, just my layman's view.

Les
09-16-2020, 06:56 AM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by jcdoss Quote
Have they stopped building full-size SD card readers into laptops already? I didn't see any in the Asus units at Amazon in different price ranges.
You probably didn't see many with a 'standard USB' also. Laptops have become quite thin. I bought the last few full-sized SD cards at our local Target store - the salesman told me that henceforth they will sell only the minis; they figure that mini + adapter is as good as a full-sized SD, so why sell both??
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