Forum Thread

Laptop vs chromebook vs tablet, etc.

brittnibrooke 3 10 March 4, 2016 at 09:42 PM
I haven't had a laptop since 2007 and haven't used my desktop since 2010. Still running Windows XP I think. I have an iPad 2 that I have gifted to my toddler. I use an iPhone. I want something for basic usage like web browsing (on an actual website, not a mobile website) and maybe email, chat forums like this, etc. maybe a YouTube video here and there.

I mainly want it for things that are annoying to do on a tiny phone screen like look at vacation rental cabins or when you find one of those websites that doesn't quite work on a mobile screen. For example I wanted to use a website to design a shirt for a 5k walk and I couldn't because it just wasn't working on my phone. I see all of these deals for all of these laptops, chrome books, etc and I'm sitting here saying to myself "what's a chromebook/2in1/new stuff"...

I guess I'm just saying I need help knowing how much computer I actually need. All of these deals list the specs and you guys are all saying "that's not enough ram for that price" or "Intel blah blah is old and not good enough"... Or those graphics are just horrible, etc.

I will probably use it sparingly, but I want it to at least be decent and not be obsolete technology in a year. Any help or recommendations? And thank you very much in advance!

18 Comments

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#2
Just about every piece of technology will be obsolete in a couple of months, much less a year.

Start with your budget. Then decide if you'd prefer a tablet or laptop/chromebook platform. They are in different categories and people like different things. Once you have that figured out, you can start to narrow down your options.
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#3
General rule of thumb:

Real work = desktop or laptop

Casual email, web browsing and nonsensical stuff like youtube and facebook...a decent mid-tier android tablet will do or a lower end laptop depending on screen size desired and amount of data\space you need (for ex, if you want to store a lot of pics or videos or music, then a tablet will not do and you are better off with a laptop.

Chromebook = Google spyware POS lol.


For your limited needs, I would suggest either an i3 processor based laptop or a mid-tier android tablet. You could probably get away with spending somewhere in the neighborhood of 250-350 dollars, less if you are patient and look for refurb deals on somewhere like the Dell outlet.
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Last edited by YanksIn2009 March 5, 2016 at 06:30 AM
#4
For the needs you listed, a cheap $100.00 Chromebook would be just fine. I got my Acer C710 CB for $82.00 almost 5 years ago and it's been my primary workhorse ever since I first turned it on. It's been 100% trouble free and is just as fast as the day I got it. I've purchased a few nice tablets recently but they always end up collecting dust because I prefer the Chromebook. Grab a cheap Epson or HP Google Cloud Print printer if you plan on printing anything and you'll be good to go. I recently upgraded my C710 from 2gb of ram to 4gb and really don't notice much of a performance difference with my day to day tasks.
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Last edited by fishyx March 5, 2016 at 11:08 AM
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#5
I would suggest getting a used or refurbished iPad you have an iphone so you will be able to share any files you have and it will work the same way.

The ipads are pretty nice you will pay a little more but you have already investing in the apple universe why not stay with it.
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#6
I think there's something to be said for the traditional laptop form factor with a dedicated keyboard and a touchpad, particularly if the use case is for email and websites that don't work well on the iPhone/iPad 2. The Chromebook pretty much took over for the iPad2 as the couch web surfing device in my house, despite not being nearly as shiny, because it had a full browser and a keyboard.

In terms of specs, it really depends on your price range. The one thing I'd caution is that at the very low end, the Celeron N2840 and other chips whose model number starts with N are noticeably slower than the rest of the Intel processor line, even if the specs wouldn't suggest it.
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#7
Quote from komondor View Post :
I would suggest getting a used or refurbished iPad you have an iphone so you will be able to share any files you have and it will work the same way.

The ipads are pretty nice you will pay a little more but you have already investing in the apple universe why not stay with it.

Pay a little more?...the IPad wrote the book for price gouging. There is no reason to spend 500+ on an IPad when a 200-300 dollar mid-range Android tablet (or low end i3 Windows laptop) will do for this imo.
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Last edited by YanksIn2009 March 5, 2016 at 11:41 AM
#8
Lol guys, OP had an ipad and gave it to his/her kid.

Get a chromebook you will be a happy camper. Alot of the people here are tech nerds obsessing over stuff you probably wont notice or care about. If you are just doing basic web browsing, get a chromebook. If you need quickbooks, word or other programs installed then you may need a PC.

I would stay away from a tablet personally
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#9
Agree with Yanks. Real work is for desktops, casual work or emails is laptops or tablets, Stay away from Chromebook.
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#10
thank you everyone for your advice! this is my first ever post on SD but I've always watched the deals and read comments. I don't want a tablet unless it's one like a surface pro (?) that has the detachable keyboard. I have an iPad 2 that my kid uses because I just use my phone for all my internet usage. I just really want a back up for when I need to say, apply for a job online but their application doesn't work well with mobile devices. Or design a shirt for a 5k (my current reason for wishing I had a laptop) because the website I tried using didn't work on my phone. Basically I just need a back up for things that don't work on my phone. and we also have Amazon Fire tablets that don't seem to work on certain websites either. so I'm really leaning towards chromebook or laptop. I just don't know what bare minimum specs people would recommend. again, thank you all for your help!
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#11
Quote from brittnibrooke View Post :
thank you everyone for your advice! this is my first ever post on SD but I've always watched the deals and read comments. I don't want a tablet unless it's one like a surface pro (?) that has the detachable keyboard. I have an iPad 2 that my kid uses because I just use my phone for all my internet usage. I just really want a back up for when I need to say, apply for a job online but their application doesn't work well with mobile devices. Or design a shirt for a 5k (my current reason for wishing I had a laptop) because the website I tried using didn't work on my phone. Basically I just need a back up for things that don't work on my phone. and we also have Amazon Fire tablets that don't seem to work on certain websites either. so I'm really leaning towards chromebook or laptop. I just don't know what bare minimum specs people would recommend. again, thank you all for your help!

I would note that one should be applying for jobs or doing design on something on a real computer (i.e. a desktop or laptop) first and foremost. Phones are not meant to do real work on. They are fine to browse something real quick when on the go or do some menial task, but that is as far as one should take it. Applying for a job is serious business and should be done in a serious way on a real PC with real tools (MS Word, etc) on a decent screen with a real keyboard. Same for any design work where one's business is in play. Tablets are basically just larger and to an extent more powerful phones and also are not for serious work imo though they might be OK for some things like creating resumes if they have a big enough screen and an attached keyboard. If one is doing heavy duty design via Visio or something like that, then a laptop is in order at a min. The right tool for the right job. One should not be writing one's resume using a virtual keypad on a 5 inch phone screen while sipping coffee at Starbucks though. My 2 cents.

As for a Surface Pro, which is sort of a cross between a tablet and laptop, that is fine I suppose but they are enormously expensive for what you get. If you have the money then by all means, but anyone on a budget should not even be considering a Surface Pro imo when the equivalent laptop from a capability point of view can be had for about half the price.

As for a Chromebook, they are nothing but cheap junk full of Google spyware (the OS itself is made by Google and they will spy on everything you do lol). You get what you pay for at a certain point. A low end laptop still sounds like the best option for the type of work you do. A decent i3 based laptop should get the job done so long as you do not have any "heavy" requirements like database or Cad work for your business imo.
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Last edited by YanksIn2009 March 5, 2016 at 11:42 PM
#12
Quote from brittnibrooke View Post :
thank you everyone for your advice! this is my first ever post on SD but I've always watched the deals and read comments. I don't want a tablet unless it's one like a surface pro (?) that has the detachable keyboard. I have an iPad 2 that my kid uses because I just use my phone for all my internet usage. I just really want a back up for when I need to say, apply for a job online but their application doesn't work well with mobile devices. Or design a shirt for a 5k (my current reason for wishing I had a laptop) because the website I tried using didn't work on my phone. Basically I just need a back up for things that don't work on my phone. and we also have Amazon Fire tablets that don't seem to work on certain websites either. so I'm really leaning towards chromebook or laptop. I just don't know what bare minimum specs people would recommend. again, thank you all for your help!
You got it, get a chromebook or windows laptop. I dont know what you use to design shirts but if it is a web application and doesn't require java it should work fine on a chromebook, otherwise get a laptop. You just want to make sure the device is going to do everything you need!

Chromebooks are pretty much just browsers... everything gets stored in Google Drive. Windows 10 is now incorporated with OneDrive and you can set it to automatically upload all your files for backup(15gb free).

Chromebook will also be half the price.
Good luck!
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Last edited by bcotran March 6, 2016 at 06:09 AM
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#13
Get a Dell Laptop this one is 257.00 with code tags WOSave27%
everything you need
http://www.dell.com/us/dfh/p/


Processor: Intel Core 4th Generation i3-4005U (1.70GHz, 3M cache, 15W)
Operating System Windows 8.1 (Free Upgrade to Windows 10 Home)
Hard Disk Drive 500 GB SATA Hard Drive (5400 RPM)
Memory 4GB DDR3L at 1600MHz
Laptop Screen 15.6 inch LED Backlit Display with Truelife and HD resolution (1366 x 768)
Media Bay 8X DVD +/- RW Drive

Base Dell Outlet Inspiron-15 - 3542
Software Upgrade 64BIT Operating System

Web Camera Integrated Webcam

Dell Wireless 1704 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth v4.0+LE
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#14
Quote from komondor View Post :
Get a Dell Laptop this one is 257.00 with code tags WOSave27%
everything you need
http://www.dell.com/us/dfh/p/


Processor: Intel Core 4th Generation i3-4005U (1.70GHz, 3M cache, 15W)
Operating System Windows 8.1 (Free Upgrade to Windows 10 Home)
Hard Disk Drive 500 GB SATA Hard Drive (5400 RPM)
Memory 4GB DDR3L at 1600MHz
Laptop Screen 15.6 inch LED Backlit Display with Truelife and HD resolution (1366 x 768)
Media Bay 8X DVD +/- RW Drive

Base Dell Outlet Inspiron-15 - 3542
Software Upgrade 64BIT Operating System

Web Camera Integrated Webcam

Dell Wireless 1704 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth v4.0+LE
Iagree

Approximately this, or perhaps exactly this. It sounds like you're looking for essentially a backup computer do to light work with. You don't need much power, but you'll appreciate not buying something in the $150-$200 range with a Celeron N processor, as everything will drag. The Celeron U is powerful enough for the things you're doing and for occasional use I wouldn't recommend spending much more money.

OS ecosystems are something of a religious debate. You can safely ignore the unsubstantiated "spyware" comments up thread about Chrome OS, but given that you're using this computer as a backup for things you can't do on your phone/tablet it makes sense to run windows. If you ever need to run windows software for something, you can. Otherwise, you can just run Chrome and pretend you have a Chromebook (if you want).
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#15
If you're a good little Slickdealer, you can probably get both a Chromebook and Windows Lappy for under $250.00 total. My guess would be that you would reach for the Chromer 99.9% of the time.
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