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Thread: cheap laptop for mother-inlaw

  1. #1
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    cheap laptop for mother-inlaw

    I'm looking for a cheap laptop for my non-technical mother-inlaw. I have a cheap Toshiba that I own and use for the few instances when I am away from home. It isn't a bad machine and would be good enough for her.


    Here are the ones I am looking at:

    ASUS
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...f_rd_i=desktop


    Toshiba
    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/toshiba-...&skuId=1296027


    The Toshiba has a dvd drive at least. Both have 4 gig ram which is really the minimum I'd want in any machine I'd buy for anyone.

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  2. #2
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    Re: cheap laptop for mother-inlaw

    As much as I like Asus, I have no recent experience with Celeron processors.
    As a techie, I can't wean myself of the stigma they had back in 2001-2007ish, so my gut instinct is to push you away from that and stick with the Toshiba.

  3. #3
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    Re: cheap laptop for mother-inlaw

    What would she do with it? My "mom tech support" life got so much easier 4 years ago when I bought her an iPad and gifted her some apps for the stuff she couldn't just do in mail or safari.
    Meddle not in the affairs of Wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger. - Gildor Inglorion

  4. #4
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    Re: cheap laptop for mother-inlaw

    This would mainly be email, facebook, and web browsing with a side of Youtube thrown in. Overall the cheap laptop is going to be cheaper than a cheap iPad I think.
    If I wanted to be ignored I'd go to work.

  5. #5
    Kinky Euro
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    Re: cheap laptop for mother-inlaw

    Wouldn't a kindle fire be even cheaper and they have that "halp me" button, reducing family tech support to zero?

    Just saying...

  6. #6
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    Re: cheap laptop for mother-inlaw

    How cheap are you trying to go, here? A 64 GB iPad Air 2 will do all of the above tasks and pretty much take care of itself. And that'll be like $600.
    Meddle not in the affairs of Wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger. - Gildor Inglorion

  7. #7
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    Re: cheap laptop for mother-inlaw

    I went the Chromebook route for my mom, sounds like it would everything you're looking for. Cost about $200 and she loves it.

  8. #8

    Re: cheap laptop for mother-inlaw

    Quote Originally Posted by Filthy View Post
    I went the Chromebook route for my mom, sounds like it would everything you're looking for. Cost about $200 and she loves it.
    2nded.

  9. #9
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    Re: cheap laptop for mother-inlaw

    If you don't need to pull the trigger right away I recommend checking sites like Slickdeals for a couple 2,3 weeks. If you know what you want and know the typical prices you can wait for a good deal to come along.
    Virtually all U.S. senators, and most of the representatives in the House, are members of the top 1 percent when they arrive, are kept in office by money from the top 1 percent, and know that if they serve the top 1 percent well they will be rewarded by the top 1 percent when they leave office

  10. #10
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    Re: cheap laptop for mother-inlaw

    If she's really not technical, I'm on the iPad side.

    My parents are relatively tech-savy for their generation (use online banking, ticket purchases, Excel, mail and so on), so they got a laptop - but my father-in-law got an old iPad which he uses for Skype and browsing.
    Works perfectly, since his last experience with a PC was 20+ years ago.
    "Silver bullet solutions are rare, silver bullet sales commonplace"

  11. #11
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    Re: cheap laptop for mother-inlaw

    The mother-inlaw is in town this week and next, so timing is a bit quick. I was not looking to spend anything close to what even a small iPad would cost and she needs the larger screen. We were thinking about an Amazon tablet, but screen size again made that a bit bad for our situation. My mother-inlaw did graduate from college about 5 years ago so she is at least passingly familiar with Windows (she had an aide assigned to her by the school to actually do the typing due to health issues).

    I think what I am ultimately going to do is give her our existing Toshiba laptop with a 15.6" screen. I upgraded its memory from 4GB to 8GB so it is pretty decent for a $200 (plus cost of 4G memory later) laptop. I'll probably pick up a $300-350 laptop for our own use. They have several in that range with 4GB memory (and even touch screens at that price). Since it is just used for the few times we travel or for minor web/document stuff it will be more than fine.
    If I wanted to be ignored I'd go to work.

  12. #12

    Re: cheap laptop for mother-inlaw

    Quote Originally Posted by Dale View Post
    The mother-inlaw is in town this week and next, so timing is a bit quick. I was not looking to spend anything close to what even a small iPad would cost and she needs the larger screen. We were thinking about an Amazon tablet, but screen size again made that a bit bad for our situation. My mother-inlaw did graduate from college about 5 years ago so she is at least passingly familiar with Windows (she had an aide assigned to her by the school to actually do the typing due to health issues).

    I think what I am ultimately going to do is give her our existing Toshiba laptop with a 15.6" screen. I upgraded its memory from 4GB to 8GB so it is pretty decent for a $200 (plus cost of 4G memory later) laptop. I'll probably pick up a $300-350 laptop for our own use. They have several in that range with 4GB memory (and even touch screens at that price). Since it is just used for the few times we travel or for minor web/document stuff it will be more than fine.
    About 4 years ago, I had an opportunity to mess around with a couple different laptops. At their price points, I found that the Toshiba laptops were the best in the $250 to $450 range. I purchased one right in the middle for around $300.

    Immediately after, I had a conference to attend alongside a couple of music producers. One of them kept looking at my laptop saying, "i can't believe you bought that. I know more people who've had problems with those than any other laptop." Every other line, that is all I heard from him.

    Mind you, this is a dude who is not at all tech-savvy. He is extremely intelligent and charistmatic, but in no way is he tech savvy.

    I don't have any problem with my Toshiba laptop. I don't use it like a child looking for every downloadable whistle might, and I've had to "repair" a handful that had belonged to children, which always involved just the removal of bloatware, so it leads me to one logical conclusion:

    Toshiba laptops are inexpensive, decent quality devices lacking any unnecessary bells and whistles that one might find in another more expensive device that make them very easy to customize and repair as necessary for a basic end user.

  13. #13

    Re: cheap laptop for mother-inlaw

    I would imagine most music producers have never seen outside anything that is not a Mac Book, I still see those in heavy use in the creative industries even though it makes no sense... Adobe Audition which is industry standard audio software runs just fine on Windows. And it has GPU acceleration on windows along with the whole Adobe suite. Apple anything is not the required go to anymore as video is going more to Premier instead of Final Cut.
    "When you name your baby Jeeves...you've pretty much set up his career for life. You don't see many Hit Men, for example, named Jeeves. "Pardon me sir, but I must wack you now."
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  14. #14
    Ellsworth M. Toohey
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    Re: cheap laptop for mother-inlaw


  15. #15

    Re: cheap laptop for mother-inlaw

    Quote Originally Posted by FilanFyretracker View Post
    I would imagine most music producers have never seen outside anything that is not a Mac Book, I still see those in heavy use in the creative industries even though it makes no sense... Adobe Audition which is industry standard audio software runs just fine on Windows. And it has GPU acceleration on windows along with the whole Adobe suite. Apple anything is not the required go to anymore as video is going more to Premier instead of Final Cut.
    The dude making the stink was actually on a Sony VAIO, as I recall. It might have been a samsung, but I remember thinking to myself, "your laptop doesn't update."

  16. #16

    Re: cheap laptop for mother-inlaw

    I've not purchased myself, but had 2 acer products purchased for me.

    They lasted about 2 years each, and components started to fall apart.

    Personally, I'd never spend my own money on one.

  17. #17
    Ellsworth M. Toohey
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    Re: cheap laptop for mother-inlaw


  18. #18
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    Re: cheap laptop for mother-inlaw

    I really hope they make that jide thing available outside the U.S.


    Shut up and take my money!

  19. #19
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    Re: cheap laptop for mother-inlaw

    Quote Originally Posted by Filthy View Post
    I went the Chromebook route for my mom, sounds like it would everything you're looking for. Cost about $200 and she loves it.
    Chromebook is absolutely the way I would have gone. They are very nice for this sort of use case; basically unless you need a workstation or a program only offered for x86 or x64 platform, the chromebook is sufficient, especially when coupled with a Linux installation. I wish I could get all of the programs I need running on ARM 64. It would simplify my life more. Proprietary software and drivers just have to be difficult though.
    Last edited by MI Redeux; March 29th, 2015 at 02:45 AM.

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