buying a new computer

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That dreadful time has come again when I have to by a new laptop. Or Notebook as they call it here.  My current one is fading fast. A bit like me.

Also , Media Markt in Alexandre Platz have just reopened and there semm to be some good offers around.

But what am I looking for? The salesmen turn their noses up when I look at a 4GB model at around 200 euros. They all recommend at least 8 GBs. At around 400 euros. They say that 4 GBs is not enough. But I only want to play chess online. I do not want to game or anything else. Just a simple notebook to get me e mails , play online chess and download some Netflix stuff. And it should be a small size as I need to take it abroad. Any ideas?

One  salesman recommended a Chromebook, but what the hell is that? Then again , a lot of them have Windows S mode. As I understand it , this means you cannot dowload anything. Who would want that?

The range of models available is confusingly wide. And each has its own specifications. How do I get thru this maze of technology?

    

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If you're interested, I bought a refurbished basic Fujitsu laptop with Windows 10 early in the year from: https://www.afbshop.de/

You can specify your requirements and see what they have available. I'm not a Microshaft fan, but am very happy with the laptop. Can't tell it isn't new.

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Consider a Chromebook if you need something simple. Have a look at this website:  AllesBeste.de: Einfach das Beste!

 

Windows is overkill for a lot of people. It's way too complicated and bloated. Macs are better, but expensive. Chromebooks might be a good middle ground, or even a tablet like an iPad or one with Android (here, too, Android is more complicated than an Apple product). Get a keyboard case if need be, or even just an external bluetooth keyboard.

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Was just gonna say that I find a basic iPad meets a similar set of needs for me.  And mine last for ages. So easy to travel with.

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I'll second what Kaffeemitmilch suggests:  Chromebook. 

 

Here's what I like about Chromebooks:

  • They have excellent battery life, usually around 8-10 hours
  • They are inexpensive
  • They are durable
  • They have a simple operating system with no extra programs or applications
  • You can connect a USB C hub to the Chromebook and then connect an external monitor and keyboard, making it just like a desktop computer.

I travel with an 11.6" Chromebook.  It is small, lightweight and I can power it with a USB C travel charger. 

 

If you need to run special software that only works with Windows, then a Chromebook will not work.  

 

S.

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Good replies. Keep them coming. I especially like the above comment that

`" Windows are overkill for many people ". It certainly is for me. But if all these 4 GB models are so poor , why are so many on display?

Anyway , I will research Chromebook for now. But will they take a mouse?

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Colincostello,

 

Chromebooks usually have at least one USB A and USB C connector along with a micro SD memory card slot and a 3.5 mm headphone jack.  Chromebooks support Bluetooth, so you can connect a wireless mouse, Bluetooth speaker etc.  You can also use a wired mouse.  

 

S

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17 hours ago, colincostello said:

But if all these 4 GB models are so poor , why are so many on display?

They're likely there to bring people into the shop. Some salespeople will then try to upsell.

 

Anyway, to be honest, for what you're saying you want to do, 4 GB will indeed likely be sufficient. They produce a lot of electronics, not just computers, that are for basic tasks. It's just that in a year or two they are deemed too slow for new software, and might have other limitations like a slimmer version of WIndows.

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I can recommend these guys: https://www.laptops-fair.de/

Their service and friendliness is unbeatable. I bought a laptop from them and had it shipped to my son´s German address (I was visiting him at the time). When there was a warranty problem, they sent it to Cyprus at their expense (I´m pretty sure they´re not under an obligation to pay for shipping). However, DHL returned it to them because they don´t shop anything containing lithium batteries. So they sent it again via UPS courier service. The shipping cost must have exceeded their profit margin by far. Plus, their support over the phone was excellent. They are in Berlin.

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On 05/09/2022, 12:27:44, colincostello said:

Then again , a lot of them have Windows S mode. As I understand it , this means you cannot dowload anything. Who would want that?

Windows S mode means that you cannot install any software except the software that is available in the Microsoft store, which is software that has been tested and approved by Microsoft.

You can switch out of Windows S mode at any time, and then you can install software from any source: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/switching-out-of-s-mode-in-windows-4f56d9be-99ec-6983-119f-031bfb28a307

 

A Chromebook is the same thing, but in the Google world (they created the Chrome operating system), i.e. it's a laptop that has as its operating system Chrome OS and you cannot install any software on it except software that is available in the Google Play Store.

Unlike with Microsoft Windows S, you cannot switch out of this, i.e. there is no way in which you can ever install non-Store software on a Chromebook (well, not unless you change the operating system to, e.g. Linux, but you are not the kind of user who knows how to do that).

If you have a Chromebook, you have to live with this fact.

 

A laptop running Windows S and its alternative, a Chromebook running Chrome OS, is useful for school children, since they cannot install, for example, games from dubious sources which often is bundled with malware.

It is also useful for people who have a record of opening all e-mail attachments without thinking first, since these people often caught viruses on their unrestricted Windows PC.

 

In summary: 

If you recognise yourself in the above description, get a Windows S laptop and do not switch out of that mode.

If you know you don't have "dangerous" habits like clicking on e-mail attachments before thinking, you can buy it and then switch it out of Windows S mode.

I wouldn't get a Chromebook. Who knows, you may at some point need to install software that is not available in the Store.

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2 hours ago, PandaMunich said:

 

A laptop running Windows S and its alternative, a Chromebook running Chrome OS is useful for school children, since they cannot install, for example, games from dubious sources which often is bundled with malware.

It is also useful for people who have a record of opening all e-mail attachments without thinking first, since these people often caught viruses on their unrestricted Windows PC.

 

 

 

Found this summary on the internet

 

https://www.tech21century.com/chromebook-computers-pros-cons/

 

it says part of it

 

The excellent security of Chromebooks is possible thanks to sandboxing. Each app and web page runs in a separate, restricted environment called a sandbox. Each sandbox is isolated from the others and cannot interact with them.

Even if you do visit an infected page, it will not be able to affect data in any other sandbox or on computer’s local storage. Once you close the tab, the threat will be gone.

So it should be secure even if you do get a bad app installed.

 

Just 2 things

 

Chromebooks, are mainly intended to be online, all the time you use them, thats so you have access to cloud storage and therefore you do not need huge storage on the machine maybe they have cloud computing as well.

 

I had the same thought about a year ago, I decided on Windows again, because I like some of my older software, and do not, not to be able to run these programs again, maybe you like your current chess program alot and cannot find anything  you like in the apps store, or you do not mind

 

 

 

 

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It is not just about the 4 GB RAM, a 200 EUR will have a crappy screen, probably only 720p and not very bright.  Probably some very small 64GB - 128GB storage, probably soldered directly to the mainboard and not very fast.   It might have a crappy keyboard, speakers, mic and webcam.  And most important, most probably it has a Celeron 4000-something processor, which is not very powerful.    So the whole experience might be not the best.  But it can still be useful for plenty of people.   And if you are not going to install much software it can be all you need.

 

If it was up to me I would buy a 350 - 400 EUR Lenovo.  That would be the sweat spot for a non-crappy budget notebook.

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On 9/5/2022, 12:27:44, colincostello said:

play online chess and download some Netflix stuff

 

Downloading and watching Netflix on a crappy monitor might be a problem.

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I agree for Netflix you'll need something better than a chromebook.

I think you should buy something that will last a good 5-6 years. A cheap lenovo laptop or similar with 8gb will be worth it.

 

Keeping a look out on mydealz.de you can find some good deals every couple of days:

https://www.mydealz.de/search?q=laptop

 

Right now there is an Acer Aspire 3 with 8gb RAM 15.6 inch display and 128gb ssd (enough storage space for your needs). Only 299 (was 279 just a moment ago) and there is a 75 cash back offer as well so 299-75 = 224. Not bad if you ask me!

 

https://www.mydealz.de/deals/acer-aspire-3-a315-23-r19k-laptop-156-fhd-display-amd-athlon-silver-3050u-8-gb-ram-128-gb-ssd-windows-11-75eur-cashback-2039859

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Sorry, 4GB is nonsense. This was bad 10 years ago already. Your disk will be constantly used for memory allocation, which will drag down the speed considerably.

Memory is not expensive (at least the memory modules) although some OEMs charge you a lot for it. Some laptops allow you to put more memory in, which comes cheap.

 

I have 16GB and my next PC (desktop) will definitely have 32GB, I'm already too close to the limit.

 

Remember new webpages are getting more and more memory hungry. Now developers don't care how much memory they use.

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Another good site is idealo.de , there you can search for laptops and also find deals. You can also put a price alarm on things when the price drops so you don't have to keep searching all the time.

 

btw Using this website, I bought a 70 inch Sharp 4K LED tv w/ android tv for 484 euros from Amazon with free shipping (the price has been fluctuating between 1100 and 484 euros). Yes it's not OLED or whatever is the latest tech, but I'm like you, I buy things usually several years behind the latest specs because I don't need the latest. I'm color blind and have bad hearing so I'm not sensitive to features as some tech fanatics (looking at you Linus Tech tips!). And let's not forget I'm a cheap bastard.

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