Forum Thread

Laptop or tablet?

samantha7v 262 83 September 9, 2015 at 03:41 PM
We will be getting $200 gc from Best Buy and I'm not sure what to use it on. I thought about maybe a tablet for browsing but it would be great to have Microsoft Word for my husband to apply for jobs on and use the excel for budgeting. We have a barely working 8yo macbook now. It's too much of a pita to do that on my mac. I looked at the HP stream ($179) and the HP envy ($550). The envy would cost more and I'm not sure if I want to spend additional money going into christmas season.

We would use it for browsing and emails. Writing Microsoft Office documents. YouTube videos or pandora. No gaming. Some photo management but I might just upload photos to google cloud.

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#2
Quote from samantha7v View Post :
We will be getting $200 gc from Best Buy and I'm not sure what to use it on. I thought about maybe a tablet for browsing but it would be great to have Microsoft Word for my husband to apply for jobs on and use the excel for budgeting. We have a barely working 8yo macbook now. It's too much of a pita to do that on my mac. I looked at the HP stream ($179) and the HP envy ($550). The envy would cost more and I'm not sure if I want to spend additional money going into christmas season.

We would use it for browsing and emails. Writing Microsoft Office documents. YouTube videos or pandora. No gaming. Some photo management but I might just upload photos to google cloud.
Get the stream. Dont buy office. Use libreoffice, its free and great! https://www.libreoffice.org/downl...ice-fresh/
After installation, go into tools>options>load and save>general>default file format.
For each document type, set the always save as to the microsoft equivalent.
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#3
For what you want to do and given the current state of your current machine (Is it the only computer?) I would say go for a laptop for sure. Tablets are nice for browsing and reading but real work you will want a laptop and a mouse. Without links its hard to make a recommendation but I know those steam machines were extremely low end with something like 2gb of ram and a celeron if I remember right. I would look to spend a bit more. Personally not a fan of the super cheap HP machines, they build quality is just terrible. Best buy should have other options than HP too. No harm in waiting either as you should get some sales closer to the holidays. Set a deal alert here on SD.
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#4
Yup. Tablets are toys good for casual browsing, email, etc. Real work is done on real pcs\laptops. Sounds like you can get by with an i3 based laptop (though I usually recommend getting at least an i5, given your budget and need, an i3 will be fine I should think). The Stream's processor and config is way too low end imo as was noted already. You can use LibreOffice to avoid the MS gouge charge on Office assuming you do not have an existing Office license to transfer.

Try the Dell Outlet, esp. when they have a sale\coupon code deal. If you do not mind buying used, a decent deal can be found on Ebay quite often as well.
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#5
I would check if the best buy gift cards work on cowboom (I think it does). It's best buys used site, I recent got a nice laptop or $400, so its worth looking in to.
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#6
Thank you all for your help!

Sorry I didn't include the link. This is what the guy at best buy recommended for the envy. http://www.bestbuy.com/site/hp-envy-15-6-touch-screen-laptop-amd-fx-series-6gb-memory-1tb-hard-drive-natural-silver/4227800.p?id=1219710236167&skuId=4227800

It sounds like a tablet is not what we need. I do have an 8 year old macbook that still kind of works. The battery is busted because it needs to be plugged in to work and has become slow. I only use it once every 1-2 weeks. Though I love the them. I just can't justify spending that kind of money now. If I had a laptop that was faster I would use it more.

I never thought of a used computer. I will look into that. I honestly don't have a preference for brand. Just one that works fast. So if you recommend others I would appreciate it.

Oh and would Libre office transfer files well for my husband's resumes? So if he writes it in Libre office but sends it to a company that uses word how do they open and read it? Would the formatting of his document change? The guy said word is $50 a year. What?!
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Last edited by samantha7v September 10, 2015 at 05:59 AM
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#7
Libre office formatting may not be the same when sent to someone else using word, even if the document type is the same (file extension). I've had this happen to me plenty.

I recommend possibly using google docs which should keep the same formatting and is free if you have a gmail account. It's also cloud based so your hubby can get on any computer, login to his gmail, then edit the document on the fly.

Google Docs is much better about keeping the consistency of formatting then Libre or Open Office.

The laptop is not bad but if you're trying to save money, you can go cheaper, with a better processor. That laptop is a tad bit designed for entry level gaming.

EDIT:

Here's a few I'd check out that are similar to the one you listed, are cheaper, but have a better processor, and are less inclined for gaming. Are you looking for a Touchscreen specifically?

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/hp-15...Id=3464115
Would run you $179+Tax after your GC.\

Here's one with a smaller screen 13" but it Flips to dual as a laptop and/or tablet.
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/hp-pa...Id=3463056

For whichever you get I recommend going to the store to physically see and feel before you buy if the option is available. For work machines and guys (not all guys), we're not so much about the cosmetic value, rugged is fine.
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Last edited by Aitrus September 10, 2015 at 07:53 AM
#8
Quote from samantha7v View Post :
Oh and would Libre office transfer files well for my husband's resumes? So if he writes it in Libre office but sends it to a company that uses word how do they open and read it? Would the formatting of his document change? The guy said word is $50 a year. What?!
Libre Office can export Word formatted files, but for something that really should be pixel perfect like a resume I don't know that I'd trust that. For tech jobs, PDF resumes are common, but I don't know if hiring managers for other industries are used to getting PDF resumes. Both libre office and Google docs do PDF well.

To send a resume in Word format, I'd take a look at Office Online. It's the free online version of Word (office.com).
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#9
Quote from Aitrus View Post :
Libre office formatting may not be the same when sent to someone else using word, even if the document type is the same (file extension). I've had this happen to me plenty.

I recommend possibly using google docs which should keep the same formatting and is free if you have a gmail account. It's also cloud based so your hubby can get on any computer, login to his gmail, then edit the document on the fly.

Google Docs is much better about keeping the consistency of formatting then Libre or Open Office.

The laptop is not bad but if you're trying to save money, you can go cheaper, with a better processor. That laptop is a tad bit designed for entry level gaming.

EDIT:

Here's a few I'd check out that are similar to the one you listed, are cheaper, but have a better processor, and are less inclined for gaming. Are you looking for a Touchscreen specifically?

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/hp-15...Id=3464115
Would run you $179+Tax after your GC.\

Here's one with a smaller screen 13" but it Flips to dual as a laptop and/or tablet.
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/hp-pa...Id=3463056

For whichever you get I recommend going to the store to physically see and feel before you buy if the option is available. For work machines and guys (not all guys), we're not so much about the cosmetic value, rugged is fine.
No I honestly don't need a touch screen. If the computer had one I don't know that I would use it. That's just the one the guy said was good.

Would it be better to look at other retailers for a laptop and go through Costco for my phones which is where I regularly shop? They have the same deal. I originally thought it would be nice to put the money towards a new computer or tablet. Now I'm definitely leaning towards laptop.
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#10
Quote from quotidian View Post :
Libre Office can export Word formatted files, but for something that really should be pixel perfect like a resume I don't know that I'd trust that. For tech jobs, PDF resumes are common, but I don't know if hiring managers for other industries are used to getting PDF resumes. Both libre office and Google docs do PDF well.

To send a resume in Word format, I'd take a look at Office Online. It's the free online version of Word (office.com).
I actually thought about converting the file to pdf but I'm not sure if that's acceptable for his field. He's not tech savvy at all and doesn't need to be. He is in food manufacturing management. I guess worse case scenario he can browse for the jobs on one and create it on the old mac. Or maybe just invest in office for a year.
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#11
PDF is fine if he's handing out hard copies of his resume. Sending the document through email or uploading to a jobs site may turn out sloppy looking if the formatting is not consistent.

Touchscreen is cool but not necessary. It's all about the budget for me, that may differ for you.

Just a basic non gaming machine that performs work tasks and occasional netflix or web browsing. Just pick up a laptop with any i series processor (i3, i5, i7). There is nothing wrong with AMD processors (like the original you posted) they are usually just a little slower, not as low on power consumption, hotter, and always less price wise. You can easily find an i series laptop for much lower costs than the original AMD machine you posted. The first one I posted was almost identical with the exception of a few differences which really wouldn't effect your needs.

That flip laptop that converts to tablet would be nice if you both want a laptop and tablet. However it does have a smaller screen. For work, bigger screens, are almost always a more pleasurable experience.

If it's about the budget then drop that $200 BB card and get one at best buy. If it really doesn't matter, there's all kinds of places you can look. If you could wait, I'd say Black Friday is not to far away. Wait for that.
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#12
Quote from Aitrus View Post :
PDF is fine if he's handing out hard copies of his resume. Sending the document through email or uploading to a jobs site may turn out sloppy looking if the formatting is not consistent.

Touchscreen is cool but not necessary. It's all about the budget for me, that may differ for you.

Just a basic non gaming machine that performs work tasks and occasional netflix or web browsing. Just pick up a laptop with any i series processor (i3, i5, i7). There is nothing wrong with AMD processors (like the original you posted) they are usually just a little slower, not as low on power consumption, hotter, and always less price wise. You can easily find an i series laptop for much lower costs than the original AMD machine you posted. The first one I posted was almost identical with the exception of a few differences which really wouldn't effect your needs.

That flip laptop that converts to tablet would be nice if you both want a laptop and tablet. However it does have a smaller screen. For work, bigger screens, are almost always a more pleasurable experience.

If it's about the budget then drop that $200 BB card and get one at best buy. If it really doesn't matter, there's all kinds of places you can look. If you could wait, I'd say Black Friday is not to far away. Wait for that.
Thank you! Do you know what kind of budget we should set for that? So what would a slick deal on an iseries be? I heard but don't know if it's true that tvs on black Friday are cheaper and made just for that day. They usually aren't as good as what's for sale during the rest of the year. Do you know if that would be the same for computers if it's true at all?

I'm definitely all about budget too.
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#13
By budget I mean your personal budget. How much can you afford. For what you need that shouldn't be much anyways. On a BF slick deal a good price on an i series is not very predictable.

I don't think they make TV's just for that day, although it's possible. I believe that stores mostly sell the junk that doesn't normally sell on BF to get rid of it before taxes of next year with the exception of a few good items. Many of the laptops that are sweet deals on BF have celeron processors which are like the White Westinghouse or RCA of processors Wink. I stay away from that. It's to early to tell. If you have a gift card I'd walk into your local BB and see what they have on clearance (Like the links I showed you) or even open box/display if you don't mind that. Sometimes in store you will find deals they have not listed online. In fact BB is good about selling boxed laptops that come with a USB drive, laptop bag, etc.. ready to go for school or work.

Check out BB and if you get a sense of buyers remorse or unsureness then simply wait till BF if you don't need it now. Not sure what your timeline is.
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#14
From what you are describing, you don't really need much in terms of processing power. I would shy away from a cheap tablet simply because even with a mouse and keyboard it is a terrible experience to write on one. Your neck and posture will thank you if you get something larger. I have written far more than I should have on 11.6" laptops and smaller tablets, it is not a welcome experience unless you love hunching and squinting.

One of the Atom processors or low end AMD A6 ones would likely give you everything you need. An i3 is a decent laptop, but if all you need is light browsing and some document work any atom or lower end computer would do it fine.

A quick glance at best buy gives me these 2 options simply by sorting by price and picking the first 2 that are larger than 11.6".
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/hp-15...Id=8166023
and
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/acer-...Id=9463183

Both of these guys will be somewhere near an i3 in power (likely a bit lower) but would do simple tasks just fine. They would also be rather inexpensive after your gift card. The size and weight is quite manageable even though they come in with a 15" screen. Much better to type with honestly.

My wife and inlaws use machines far weaker than this and it hasn't stopped them. They have made it though college with lots of papers and constant browser usage as well as videos.

If you are willing to scratch around a bit and possibly gamble on condition, I know that equivalent spec machines can be found on cowboom. Your best buy cards may work on there since it is basically a Best Buy storefront, but I am not certain.
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#15
Since you're looking at the HP Stream, I would also throw the Asus X205 in the mix. These little low powered Windows laptops will probably suit your needs just fine. I use my Chromebook 99% of the time but I do like the little Asus when I use it. I think there's a huge difference in battery life between the X205 and the Stream.
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