Laptop suggestions

Fenway16

Well-Known Member
#1
I would like to spend no more than $400. My main interests are using Adobe photoshop elements for photo editing - no video stuff. Also no gaming. Internet browsing, email - the usual. Can someone recommend a decent, laptop with the above needs in mind. Thanks very much.
 


Neemobeer

Windows Forum Team
Staff member
#2
Well in the $400 range I'd say you could just pick one for that amount. The build quality will be about the same in that price range. The only differentiating factor will be the amount of bloatware software pre-loaded on the system.
 


Axel PC

Well-Known Member
#3
After my recent experience with an HP Stream for $200 plus, I would try and wait longer and save up more to hit up in the $500 plus range. I think with laptops you get what you pay for in build quality and hardware parts. I'm sure the license for Windows alone takes up a significant percentage of the cost and then you're left with hardware and build. So if you can wait longer and save some more pennies to get something that will last you and that's dependable.
 


Fenway16

Well-Known Member
#4
Well, I hear the 500 bit but don't want to spend that much. Actually, if I could get something for around 350 I'd be happy. Nomobeer says I can pick any up at 400 -- we are all over the place. Axel, was your experience with HP stream bad? Kinda sounds like maybe yes? Is that Stream a new product for HP? Thanks to both for input.
 


Josephur

Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
#5
HP Streams are horrible! The processor sucks, the system hard drive is a 32GB soldered in flash chip. As soon as you install something like Photoshop or Office and do updates you are out of space. Do NOT buy one. The $400 range is really hard to recommend for an avid Photoshop user, if you can save up a hundred or two more and go for an i5/i7 quad core with 16GB RAM and an SSD you'd be golden.

There are some good laptops in the $550 range for Photoshop use, such as the Lenovo 330 Series which has pretty great specs for the price.

Of course you can also go certified refurbished, I just looked on Amazon and found an i5, 16GB RAM with 256GB SSD for $312 which is not bad at all.
 


Fenway16

Well-Known Member
#6
Josephur--thanks for that great information. Looks like I will be avoiding the Stream as I have now seen others with similar input as yours. I would not call myself an avid PS user. I do a lot of hobby photo stuff but find it works fine for me with my current system - It is a 7 year old Dell 2305 all in one. It runs PS fine on an AMD Athlon II x2 250U, 1.60. GHz, with 4 GB ram. I looked at the spec for the refurbished laptop that you mention and it sounds like a good fit but if I could find a comparable system as the 2305 spec (ram etc), I would go with new. Also, it doesn't have a dvd/cd drive so I would have to buy an external drive. I don't know how I would load all of my software without such a drive. I see them for about $20. Since I would only be using it to load software, guess I don't have to spend a lot. True? From what I have read, most people seem to have pretty good experiences with refurbished but ya never know, unfortunately. Thanks again for your thoughts.
 


Fenway16

Well-Known Member
#7
Found a Lenovo 330 (15, AMD) for $300. Sounds like a good fit. Has a better spec than I am currently using on my 2305 .. and a dvd drive. Does Lenovo have a decent reputation? Quality? Support? I know this site isn't strictly a hardware site but I sure would appreciate any thoughts you may have. Thanks again.
 


nmsuk

Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
#8
I've always found Lenovo kick to be of good quality. Have one from 2013 still going strong.
 


Fenway16

Well-Known Member
#9
Good to hear that! HP has a nice one (8gb ram-$319) but no dvd drive. I am sort of over HP products and wouldn't mind trying another brand. I'll keep looking. Thanks very much.
 


Axel PC

Well-Known Member
#10
@Fenway16 you know I don't want to sound like a hater or some sore user but the fact that it died like that after a short while is pretty bad. While it was working it was a great laptop for her school work. She was even able to use a Wacom tablet and ScketchPad I think it was called and do some Photoshop type stuff on it for fun and play a couple Microsoft store games. But all that goes out the window when a crucial component like the HD dying on you. Now the majority of the reviews on Amazon were good for it. But there's plenty of people that had the same experience that I did.

Plus since there was no way to take the bottom off to upgrade, fix or for maintenance how long would it really last. And since she was using it for school I'd hate to be in a situation where she is working on a paper and a couple days later the laptop is dead and it's after 9pm at night and it's due the next day SMH. So yeah I'd avoid this model at all costs. Just my 2 cents.
 


#11
I hear your frustration. The fact that you can't take the bottom off to deal with all you mention is really strange. Thanks for your 2 cents.
 


Neemobeer

Windows Forum Team
Staff member
#12
I'm sure it could be disassembled. Some devices are just more difficult and require special tools.
 


Axel PC

Well-Known Member
#13
It can but you will bend and dent the edges of the bottom panel taking it off. And some people have cracked it. So it's not conducive to coming off by the consumer or even built for being repaired or maintained.
 


Neemobeer

Windows Forum Team
Staff member
#14
I've had to use special heating pads and suction cups to remove parts on newer smartphones and surface tablets. It's loads of fun.
 


Axel PC

Well-Known Member
#15
Yeah, I'm not doing that for a $200 laptop lol. I'm sure that was frustratingly fun!
 


#16
I found this HP at Walmart. It has that optane memory thing which sounds interesting. I am not too technical but read a blurb about it and it seems to boost everything along. Don't really want another HP but this has what I need and not over $400.
HP 15 Silver Fusion Laptop 15.6" , Intel Core i3-8130U, Intel UHD Graphics 620, 1TB HDD + 16GB Intel Optane memory, 4GB SDRAM, DVD, 15-da0032wm.
Thanks to all for any thoughts.
 


Axel PC

Well-Known Member
#17
Optane is a very fast memory, so that's a plus!

I'm curious why you want an optical drive? I haven't needed one to use one since like the early 2000's.

I think i3s are perfectly fine for web surfing, Microsoft Office and Netflix stuff.

Maybe check reviews for that model on Amazon, CNET usually has nice reviews and even search it on YouTube. You can find lots of personal user reviews on tech stuff on the YouTubes.
 


#18
Seems like a good fit for me. I would like an optical drive to install my software. I don't know how people do it otherwise. I guess if you have the license # you can download from the cloud but don't know how that works with older software. Also, if I decide at some point to add a backlit keyboard, that can be done, right? Appreciate your thoughts on all of this stuff. Will check reviews and Utube. Thanks again.
 


#19
You couldn't install a backlit keyboard on a laptop once it's built. And the price to mod something like on a $400 laptop wouldn't be worth it either I would guess.

What software are you trying to install? There might be download versions for it now. Unless it's some obscure software were the company isn't around anymore?

I'd say skip the optical drive if you can because that's extra weight, a possible spot to add another HD down the road, one less thing to worry about breaking down (moving part), and you won't use anymore once you've installed that software, and save some $ in not paying for one.
 


#20
Oh boy - pls excuse my stupid keyboard statement. I guess I had my desktop in the back of my mind. Obviously, a laptop has a built in keyboard and is not interchangeable like desktops. With regard to weight, that isn't a problem since I don't travel with the device. I take my very light-weight chrome book with me if needed. My software, while not obscure is old. It still works and Adobe is very high $$ so I stick with it. Adobe Elements 9 I believe is the version. I guess I could buy an external OD if I needed it - thanks again -
 


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