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Starting to need a new computer, what to get?
Old 03-13-2012, 06:42 AM   #1
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Starting to need a new computer, what to get?

I have a eMachines PC that is 7 years old, a 6-year-old Dell 700m Inspiron laptop, and an 1-year-old Asus eee netbook.

At home, I exclusively use the PC which is getting very long in the tooth. I've maxxed-out the memory capacity and am quickly running out of space. Also, it uses Windows XP which is declining in usage and support.

I like having a PC as my main computer with its large display and keyboard. It also has 2 DVD RW drives, which I often use to burn copies of other cds, photos, etc.

I bought the Asus eee netbook to use when I travel, basically to check emails and for Googling. I used to use the Dell laptop as my travel computer, but the Asus weighs about half as much, so that is why I bought it. The Dell laptop is basically not being used these days. (I also recently got an Android smartphone which is another handy tool when I travel.)

I'm thinking that I will be needing to replace the PC in the near future.

I've read that PCs are rapidly dwindling in popularity, so there may be some good deals out there.

I suppose I could also consider getting a laptop that could be plugged into a docking station, which would give me the same display and keyboard experience that i now have. I assume it's do-able, I'm just not sure how I could have the 2 DVD RW drives as well.

I know that iPads and tablets seem to be the 'latest and greatest', but I don't see their allure (yet).

Any suggestions on what I should consider as replacement for the eMachines PC?

omni
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Old 03-13-2012, 07:38 AM   #2
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When I need a new computer I go to places liek NewEgg and purchase all the parts and pieces and put together a very fast machine for about half the cost of purchasing one that is already built. It took about 30 minutes to build it out once I got all the parts.
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Old 03-13-2012, 07:51 AM   #3
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When I need a new computer I go to places liek NewEgg and purchase all the parts and pieces and put together a very fast machine for about half the cost of purchasing one that is already built. It took about 30 minutes to build it out once I got all the parts.
What do you do for OS software?
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Old 03-13-2012, 07:51 AM   #4
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For just basic use, you can get an off lease desktop really cheap off TigerDirect or similar sites. Or check out Dell outlet for a new computer.
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Old 03-13-2012, 07:56 AM   #5
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What do you do for OS software?
Since I am an IT person I have a Technet subscription with Microsoft for about $150.00 a year; and I get all the Microsoft software they publish wtih it. i go to www.filehippo.com and get freeware anti-virus and anti-spyware.
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:01 AM   #6
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I have installed a few all-in-ones for people in my neighborhood and like them as desktop replacements. Just a big screen with the speakers and CPU built in, coupled with a wireless mouse and keyboard. skipping the tower and the wires makes for a nice, clutter-free installation. Unless you are a gamer or high end number cruncher you don't need super fast. And unless you are a video head you don't need massive storage. A terabyte will do fine
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:18 AM   #7
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I traveled when I was working and got used to using a laptop and will never go back to a desktop. It is so nice to be able to watch a sporting event and pay bills or surf the net at the same time, or bring the laptop to a neighbor's to show them something or whatever. Desktops are so confining, but if I were to get a desktop the all-in-ones seem like a good idea.

If you get a new PC of some sort, the thing I would definitely recommend considering is a solid state hard drive. I got a new laptop about 4 months ago with a SSD and it screams. It is so much faster in booting up and launching programs compared to a conventional hard drive. While the size of the hard drive is smaller (mine is 128 GB), I have everything installed that I had on my old laptop and still have 52GB of free space.
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:45 AM   #8
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I traveled when I was working and got used to using a laptop and will never go back to a desktop. It is so nice to be able to watch a sporting event and pay bills or surf the net at the same time, or bring the laptop to a neighbor's to show them something or whatever. Desktops are so confining, but if I were to get a desktop the all-in-ones seem like a good idea.
I like to have both but prefer the full keyboard and large screen of the desktop. The only think I dislike is the isolation of a home office. My solution years ago was to build a desk into the kitchen when we remodeled. The family PC is right there where we spend a lot of our time. And with the TV next to the desktop I can watch the news while I waste time on ERdotorg. I use the screen saver to display photos that otherwise would go largely un-viewed. My grandson loves to watch them go by.
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Old 03-13-2012, 09:46 AM   #9
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Another laptop convert here.
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Old 03-13-2012, 11:00 AM   #10
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I keep a dedicated HP Pavilion 6670f for my dvd burning. I have 2 burners also, but only use the 2nd on an external connection. Not sure how well a laptop can perform if you tried using both burners at the same time since this is a real resource hog. I got this from Staples Dec 2010 when they ran the $100 trade in offer of an old working pc and got it back then for < $300. They still run this offer once in a while.

Also consider how much hard drive space you need. I haven't checked lately, but I believe it's cheaper buying bigger desktop hard drives (or dedicated externals) vs. laptop drives.
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Old 03-13-2012, 11:15 AM   #11
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I use my iPad more and more, and my Dell XPS PC less and less. I can see the digital hub idea taking over in the years to come, but we'll see.

I really like the 27" Mac from Apple, but I am way too cheap to buy one and I've been a Win user since the early to mid-80's.

Sorry I didn't help, best of luck...
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Old 03-13-2012, 11:46 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by omni550 View Post
I have a eMachines PC that is 7 years old, a 6-year-old Dell 700m Inspiron laptop, and an 1-year-old Asus eee netbook.

At home, I exclusively use the PC which is getting very long in the tooth. I've maxxed-out the memory capacity and am quickly running out of space. Also, it uses Windows XP which is declining in usage and support.

I like having a PC as my main computer with its large display and keyboard. It also has 2 DVD RW drives, which I often use to burn copies of other cds, photos, etc.

I bought the Asus eee netbook to use when I travel, basically to check emails and for Googling. I used to use the Dell laptop as my travel computer, but the Asus weighs about half as much, so that is why I bought it. The Dell laptop is basically not being used these days. (I also recently got an Android smartphone which is another handy tool when I travel.)

I'm thinking that I will be needing to replace the PC in the near future.

I've read that PCs are rapidly dwindling in popularity, so there may be some good deals out there.

I suppose I could also consider getting a laptop that could be plugged into a docking station, which would give me the same display and keyboard experience that i now have. I assume it's do-able, I'm just not sure how I could have the 2 DVD RW drives as well.

I know that iPads and tablets seem to be the 'latest and greatest', but I don't see their allure (yet).

Any suggestions on what I should consider as replacement for the eMachines PC?

omni
I think in the end it comes down to personal preference.

There are so many combinations you can do. For example, a laptop with a built-in DVD RW drive, then get an external DVD-Writer?

Or if you like building, remember a computer is just made up of it's parts so you if you decide with a new desktop, you can always reuse some parts like the DVD-RWs, hard drive of the emachine if cost is an issue.


That said, I think at minimum at least two PCs. One as a major one and one as backup in case the major one doesn't work and you have use the backup to troubleshoot, get connected to the internet, test, in case the number one crashes.

I had a Dell mini Netbook with a 10" display not long ago. But it was just too underpowered and the screen was too small, so I decided to get rid of it and just stick with my old laptop when I travel.

Right now I have my old laptop, a desktop (which I built) as my main computer. Also, I have an off-lease HP/Compaq that I'm thinking of putting in my living room as a guest computer and watch Amazon movies on. Plus, I've also got another computer (Gateway) that either is unused or I might play around with Linux with (I don't know as too much computering may seem like w*rk ).

Oh..on my desktop that I have, I only have one DVD-RW. Sometimes I copy stuff but don't really mind having one connected DVD burner. I just use Nero to burn the disc to an image, then burn the image back to a DVD. I do also have an external DVD writer (portable, operates via USB only, no power supply needed) which I use for my laptop as that only has a CD-RW/DVD-reader built-in.

I'm on the fence also about the iPads. I just helped my niece recover a document for her term paper in college. When done, I asked her, could she use her iPad to upload the document and print that out? She said, no. I don't know if she really can't or just didn't want to pursue it. She instead said, she'll just go to the library and print it out from there.
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Old 03-13-2012, 01:14 PM   #13
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Former geek here, who used to build his own PCs - we're down to two iPads and a mobile hotspot. I'm not an Apple lover, but the tablets do everything I want from writing to photo editing. They're smaller, load faster, and you don't need a light at night to see the ketboard. Unless you're a gamer or have windows specific program you're required to use...

Just my .02.

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When done, I asked her, could she use her iPad to upload the document and print that out? She said, no.
Yes. we print documents wirelessly directly from the iPad. Cloud capabilities permit shared access, and the Pages word processing app handles Word docs as well.

I have enough parts downstairs to build three desktops and Linux distros to keep then running lol. I never throw anything away. Anyone want an Amiga 1000?
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Old 03-13-2012, 01:43 PM   #14
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I use my iPad more and more, and my Dell XPS PC less and less. I can see the digital hub idea taking over in the years to come, but we'll see.

I really like the 27" Mac from Apple, but I am way too cheap to buy one and I've been a Win user since the early to mid-80's.

Sorry I didn't help, best of luck...
The Mac mini is great if one is interested in a Mac but wants to keep costs down . I'm really happy with mine . You buy your own monitor kb and mouse or use ones you have already
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Old 03-13-2012, 01:45 PM   #15
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I use my iPad more and more, and my Dell XPS PC less and less. I can see the digital hub idea taking over in the years to come, but we'll see.
Yep, my wife got an iPad a few weeks ago, and she uses it more and more and her full-blown laptop less and less. Whether or not that's feasible for others depends on what they tend to do on their machines. She does web surfing on it, a little light gaming with numerous apps, and writes sermons on it, and it does all of those things capably -- anywhere in the house, not tethered to her desk.
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Old 03-13-2012, 01:47 PM   #16
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Former geek here, who used to build his own PCs - we're down to two iPads and a mobile hotspot. I'm not an Apple lover, but the tablets do everything I want from writing to photo editing. They're smaller, load faster, and you don't need a light at night to see the ketboard. Unless you're a gamer or have windows specific program you're required to use...

Just my .02.
seraphim,

Do you do a fair amount of typing on the iPad?

What about things like spreadsheets and working on Powerpoint slides?

(Full disclosure: I tried 'straight' typing on an iPad at the Apple store and at Best Buy, and both times, it felt very awkward. I think I'm used to the positive location and mechanical feedback of a keyboard.)

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Old 03-13-2012, 01:52 PM   #17
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I have a Gateway which I have been very happy with. My partner has an HP which she likes. If I have to replace my PC in the future I will look into a laptop or iPad type because of it's mobiility (or get another PC and put a TV into our computer room).
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Old 03-13-2012, 02:55 PM   #18
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I replaced my old dell tower last year as it was running Windows 98 and new software just wouldn't run of it. I went with an iMac and love it. Nice screen and easy to use, particularly was it obviously integrates with the iPhone
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Old 03-13-2012, 02:57 PM   #19
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Do you do a fair amount of typing on the iPad?

What about things like spreadsheets and working on Powerpoint slides?

(Full disclosure: I tried 'straight' typing on an iPad at the Apple store and at Best Buy, and both times, it felt very awkward. I think I'm used to the positive location and mechanical feedback of a keyboard.)
For what it's worth, my wife says there's a learning curve to it, but once you get used to it, it's not much worse than using a regular keyboard and you stop even noticing you're not on a "real" physical keyboard.
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Old 03-13-2012, 03:11 PM   #20
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omni, I'm with you on the need to replace the desktop. I have an iPad, DH has a laptop, but I like having the desktop in the office, out of the way, where I can keep Quicken, my ridiculous library of music and photos, and various other junk out of the prime living space. The desktop I have is an ancient Dell, and I'll probably go back to them for a cheapie when the time finally comes that DH can't keep it running.

It is interesting that my usage of the old desktop has dropped dramatically with the iPad in the house. Just having it at my fingertips to answer questions, browse while waiting for water to boil, etc has been fantastic. I suspect my use of the desktop will continue to be limited to downloading and simple editing of my pictures, storing music, and rudimentary financial tasks.

Will be interested to see which direction you go.
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