I use macbook pros, myself, but one of my fraternity boys is looking for a laptop, preferably Windows 8, that he can use to occasionally skype, watch a movie, and use for office so he can do his senior project. The catch is he only wants to spend 300 bucks.
I haven’t had a windows laptop in at least eight years, so I simply have no idea what to even look for, and would appreciate any help you can provide.
Well, there’s theft…
Paging Betty Cracker. Betty Cracker please come to the white courtesy phone for an important message.
No laptop advice, other than $300 would take either a miracle or a big risk on Ebay.
Ask Soonergrunt he has helped me solve a lot of my laptop woes.
DH is totally ignorant of anything computer, but loves his Lenovo lt. I checked it out on Consumer Reports before we bought it, it is the $700 version, but WalMart (I know, just the first google item) shows
Lenovo Refurbished Black 14.1″ T400 Laptop PC with Intel Core 2 Duo Processor and Windows 7 Professional refurb for under three bills.
I don’t use it much, but it does seem to be immune to his tendency to download any fucking thing when he’s looking for music. Only had to debug it once so far.
Check out the refurbished Dell laptops, sometimes you can snag a good deal.
Hmm. $300 might be a bit of a stretch. Bring it up to about $500 and he’d have a wealth of options. My son just picked one up for about that.
Has he thought about reconditioned? I know some of the big name manufacturers will offer deals. I’ve picked up a couple of Dell machines that way in the past.
You know how to tell who the biggest asshats are at PBO’s pressers? Whoever says “Sir” the most (looking at you Major).
I have a Sony Vaio that is close to gaming quality. $3,000. Love it. Got my mother her first computer last year, a Compact laptop ($459). Didn’t even realize they still made computers. But it works. With all that said I’d look to the Google laptop. I have both their phone and tablet (both really made by Samsung). I’d not normally think they could make hardware, but happy with each.
pseudonymous in nc
The Lenovo outlet store? That’s more like $400, though.
Those places on eBay that sell ex-lease ThinkPads? A T410 is 2010-vintage, but they’re decent enough hardware to cope with Win8, and if you drop them, no biggie, because they’re built to be bashed about by corporate types.
@Tommy: Chromebook starts at $249.
$300? Check the refurbished sales area at Dell. Even then, the odds are less than propitious.
But Black Friday is coming, and a college student will have the wherewithal to show up at some unappealing hour for a chance to snap something up.
I got a Levono for a little over three and also an 11.3″ Asus for a little over three, both a Best Buy. Look for the sales.
My sister recently bought a Windows 8 machine and man do I hate Windows 8. I realize I’m just not used to the GUI but it seems unnecessarily clunky. I will never understand the desire to make something that used to be simple, say getting to my computer, something that takes extra steps. The GUI is pretty I guess, but eliminating basic functionality for looks does not seem very customer oriented to me.
Bill E Pilgrim
The good news is that that’s not a tall order at all these days. Good place to start getting an idea, maybe.
Lots of variables. Screen size is my big one, I just can’t see enough on an 11″ screen anymore, like I could when I first got my Sony Vaio. God I lurved that computer though.
15.5″ screen works perfectly for me, still portable enough but also visible without my glasses. That and the i7 processor jumped mine to 900, but you can definitely get something decent for 300.
Another link just for examples.
I’d watch the refurbs on Woot, and pick something up at the right pricepoint. Shouldn’t take more than a week or two to find something decent.
Don’t know much about Chromebooks, but that’s a possibility.
I can see him finding a laptop in the $300 range, but not one with Office installed.
Tigerdirect: they have for under $300
@Bill E Pilgrim: The falling of computer prices stun me. I keep telling folks, and been saying this for like 15 years, Microsoft is just going to give folks a computer with the hope they will buy their software. I am a Windows guy now, I did the reverse switch. Had a Mac since like 1987. My first PowerBook I paid like $4,000 for it. Now we are talking a $300 laptop. Stunning.
I popped it in last night’s thread, but just in case anyone missed it….
Every year we run a list of cool things people can give/get/contribute to for the holidays. I know there are a lot of talented folks here, so this is an open invitation to send me info, links etc if you are an artist, writer, musician etc whose work would make someone happy as a gift. I usually spend the next week putting it together and then run it every day for a month. You can get the gist here, one of the lists from last year here. Worthy charities are great too! You can email me at paddy at the political carnival dot net with any questions.
I am currently looking for a laptop for my daughter and came across some Toshiba laptops running Windows 8 for under 250 at Best Buy.
@MattR: I come from a family of anal folks. I know tech and could easily BitTorrent any software I wanted. I don’t. With that said Microsoft has a student version of their Office suite. My father is even more “old school” then I am and he got the student version at Best Buy. I think it was $199. I don’t think you can get it cheaper then that, unless you run something like Open Office (which is free).
Bill E Pilgrim
@Tommy: I’m almost the same. Mac first in the 90s, then I had to switch to PC for work in 2000. Now I like both, have used both a lot since then. One of my string of “PC”s was actually a Macbook that I ran Windows on, worked fine. Until it fell apart. I’m hard on them, too much traveling for one thing.
With a student discount MicroSoft Office will set him back $90. Be better to spend that on the hardware and download OpenOffice.
Bill E Pilgrim
@MattR: Oh I took one that he can “use for Office” not to imply that it had to be installed at purchase. On the other hand here are a bunch that even have that:
J R in WV
Why o Why are people putting autorun videos on the front page?
I can’t see them, they stop and start randomly, and I can’t keep them from running. It’s awful.
John, please ask the fron pagers not to do that!
Re the computer: just Google shopping. Tiger Direct, Woot, Best Buy, Dell refurbished, any refurbished, really… Get Office Libre, not MS Office…
Getting one with Office is gonna be tough, but if he can use Open Office or LibreOffice, I’m using an Acer Aspire right now, and it works pretty well and is $350 or so.
I got a very good 17″ Core i5 refurbished Dell on Overstock.com for around $450 and she’s been a tough customer that runs well. At $300, I’d say he’s aiming for a Chromebook. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?gclid=CPHD39Pu5boCFRFxQgodeT4AJw&Item=N82E16834314021&nm_mc=KNC-GoogleAdwords&cm_mmc=KNC-GoogleAdwords-_-pla-_-Chromebooks-_-N82E16834314021&ef_id=Un2GDAAABUgWbPUy:20131115033721:s
A fairly nice one, but I can’t speak to whether it will give him all he’s asking for.
Win 8 is atrocious. Go with Win 7.
Forgive the intrusion, but has anyone blurgged about this today?
Why Dylan Davies Disappeared
In short, he claims that if he talks, his family gets it. Why anyone would want to harm his family, he doesn’t say, (maybe Bamz?), but this “threat” sure turned up just in the nick of time. (Whew!)
Query – anybody know of a decent SD card reader that’ll work with an ipad 2 or iPhone 5s?
@JWR: I just lurve how his co-author is insistent that Davies’ version of events is still the gospel truth here, even though McClatchy pretty much rips the version in the books to shred with evidence. I don’t think he should feel threatened, but hey, wingnuts need their heroes after all!
Ask and you shall at least receive a suggestion. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA1GK0F35874&nm_mc=KNC-GoogleMKP&cm_mmc=KNC-GoogleMKP-_-pla-_-E-Book+Accessories-_-9SIA1GK0F35874/ Plus they also carry the Apple connection kit.
@JWR: “In short, he claims that if he talks, his family gets it”
best way to hide is always to write a book about your story. Didn’t Whitey B do that while he was on the lam?
@JWR: I believe Davies about as much as I believe US Airways story of why they kicked a man and his service dog off their plane
@Tommy: He may be able to get a discounted version of Office from the school bookstore.
@Yatsuno: No kidding:
I suppose that claim can’t be entirely ruled out. Yet. (Or has it? I’m so confused.)
Healthcare roll out is Obama’s Katrina, not a joke, it is a headline in the NYT. Kill me now.
Windows 8 in a kludge.
If he must use Windows, a reconditioned Windows 7 laptop from TigerDirect would be worth looking at.
Quaker in a Basement
@JWR: I bet the guy Davies smacked with the rifle butt is behind it.
@JWR: It can’t be reconciled with the report that he gave his bosses and the FBI, which is that he didn’t arrive until the next day. I’m not certain that qualifies under any definition of an eyewitness account, plus it completely inpugns his credibility. He’s either lying in the book or he lied to the US government. Both versions cannot be true.
John, MARC needs our help with some dogs. I wondered if you could publicize their appeal a bit, see if any Balloon Juicers can help out.
@Yatsuno: And he wrote a book and went on TV. My dad is a bad ass mother fucker. I got no clue what exactly he did for the DoD in this 35+ years of service, but I think “bad” and “ass” might have been in his job title. I am sure he could write a book a lot of folks would want to read. Yet I don’t know what he did. His wife doesn’t know what he did. It isn’t something he talks about. Never ever. So I kind of think like he thinks, that to talk about your service isn’t right. Oh and to be a hired gun, never something you do.
Does it have to be Windows 8? How about running a LInux distribution with GNOME?
@Frank: A few folks here have mentioned Tigerdirect. I buy a lot of stuff from them and never not had a wonderful experience. So I second all those comments.
@Tommy: My dad has been out of the Navy for over 20 years. There are still details of things he did as a submariner he still cannot talk about because they are still classified. If anything this should have been locked up tighter than a drum.
Well, here’s the HP Business Refurbished store. I only see one under $300, but there are several just a little bit more expensive. Business laptops may not have the high-powered graphics card, but are usually more rugged than home laptops.
@Yatsuno: I think it was Vanity Fair. Some longformat magazine did a story on Benghazi. Stevens bodyguard that day lived. Was on site. His story is out there and it is horrifying. He isn’t running around blaming Clinton or Obama. He blames those that attacked the complex. He openly says they called asking for help, but knew no help was coming. So they fought as they could, and it wasn’t enough.
Oh I should note there are three other people alive that were there when the attack happened. Again we have folks that where there, but folks seem to talk about it like that isn’t the case.
@schrodinger’s cat: My local CBS affiliate just reported on Obama’s presser today, by finding a “person on the street” who claims Obama lied to her!
I love my Asus laptops, netbooks and pads. They are rugged as heck for value priced tech. They manage to provide a spread of price points.
I tend to buy at the lower end, since these things move around with me and end up in inhospitable environments.
They have been dropped from unzipped backpacks, splashed with single malt and my previous laptop still has some functionality after taking a full cup of coffee to the keyboard.
My current laptop was an Asus display model that I bought at Best Buy almost two years ago for 300. It’s been a joy, though it’s now got a few creaks. I probably will get a replacement Asus after Christmas.
BTW. my Asus Nexus 7 is a dream.
I’d go with any of the Asus laptops in this search. I set the parameters for Windows 8 a top price of $325 with free shipping.
He can get under $300 if he’s willing to live with 2GB of system memory, but I’d slit my wrists if I had to do that. He can get 4GB at $319 with free shipping.
My sister set my mum up with a Chromebook, not realizing that it’s quite different from your standard laptop. It’s great if you’re comfortable with Chrome and spend a lot of time online (and have consistent access). It’s not so great if you have a lot of large files to store and/or specialized programs you want to run. You also have to have a cloud-ready printer, since you cannot plug a printer directly into it, so that’s another expense, plus an external hard drive so you don’t have to depend solely on the cloud for storage. It seems to serve more like an iPad than a laptop. I would recommend it as a supplement for a desktop set up, but not as a substitute for a laptop for many people.
@JCR: Very interesting.
@trollhattan: I got an HP laptop on w00t a couple months ago for $337 including shipping. Windows 8 (turns your laptop into a tablet effectively) w lots of bells and whistles. I can frighten future generations who stumble across photos of myself taken from too close w the camera app.
In sum, yes, it is possible to buy a serviceable laptop for around three bills.
$300 is too cheap for a decent laptop. $400 maybe.
There’s a huge problem though with Windows 8. It’s REALLY NOT designed for laptop or desktop use. It’s better for tablets and touchscreen systems.
Your friend might consider a tablet instead. But they’re pretty expensive as well.
Can get a refurb Thinkpad 410 or Dell Latitude E6510 for ~350, win7 professional, no 8. I’ll send an email.
For $300? Get yourself a chromebook or a tablet. Other than that, your best bet might be just to go in person to an electronics store and see what they have on clearance–a lot of times a store will sell the unit that was the demo unit for really cheap when the rest of the units are gone. I got an otherwise $800+ desktop for ~$500 this way.
This is entirely off-topic, but I was finally able to watch last night’s Colbert. He really is brilliant!
Culture of Truth
I was considering a chromebook but you can get a Win 8 HP or Dell for not much more.
@Yatsuno: Thanks for that. At this point, I really wasn’t sure.
James E. Powell
Reminds me of Oliver North telling congress that he had to do the whole Iran-Contra thing to protect his family from Abu Nidal.
go to bensbargainst.net
from the site:
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11 Tegra 3 11.6″ Convertible Laptop $299 at Lenovo
Asus Transformer Book T100 10.1″ Convertible Laptop $330 at PC Richard with student ms office
HP Pavilion 17 AMD Quad Core 17.3″ LED Laptop $400 at Best Buy
also staples regularly has 75 or 100$ off coupons over the weekend only, instore only. stack that on whatever 17 incher is being closed out but still has a real i3 or A-6 or better processor. I have done this 3 different times, and gotten awesome deals.
also black friday is coming up!
Fuck Winbloze. Run Linux Mint or Ubuntu. Get any cheap laptop off of Craigslist. Grab the Linux USB, boot it, and install it.
Another option is you can get a new Netbook, like the ASUS ones, for under $300, no problem. They ship with Winbloze 7 IIRC, but you can install Linux on them very easily and everything just works.
I bought 3 cheap lenovos on Woot 3 years ago. They were $300/ea refurbs with decent specs. All three were duds. They were dual core.
I’ve bought a couple of computers from the Lenovo outlet which were both good deals – I honestly thought they made an error in pricing on one of them. Even the tech guy I use thought it was a steal. I’ve used Think Pads and other Lenovo stuff that I’ve had good luck with. I’ve also had Gateways which have gone down the tubes qualitywise in the past few years. Anyhow, I highly recommend the Lenovo Outlet – I had a quick look there – they have an I-3 scratch and dent for $250 and another for $300. They also had a refurb I-5 for $335. They also had some AMD dual cores for under $250.
I guarantee if a competent reporter asked her to elaborate, her circumstances would have nothing to do with Obama nor Obamacare.
This country is overflowing with stupid people.
I forgot to mention tablets. ASUS has a slider tablet. I believe I saw it on Woot for $250 sometime this year.
John, try ecost dot com refurbs – they have three really good deals, two HPs that are really nicely equipped and one Dell with an intel Core i5, at $310-$330 with free shipping. I’d link but I’m apparently too stupid.
@fuckwit: Some people just want something they can plug in and use. I, for one, don’t care to fuck around with computer bits nor do I want to mess about with the internals of my car. I want it to work. With the car, I can make it move fast; I know how to hit the apex of a corner; I know when to brake and when to hit the gas. I read Paul Frere’s book. I absorbed it. I want the machine to perform. I don’t want to tinker with the machine.
This reporter was actually guilty of leading the witness, since he brought up the “do you feel that the president lied to you” question. Also, what makes reporters think that such “interviews” are relevant w/out showing us some numbers, anyway? (I know the answer. It was a rhetorical question.)
Black Friday. A number of retailers, such as Staples and Best Buy, have already posted their Black Friday sale pages, and a number of $300 or less Windows 8 laptops will be available. Other retailers will no doubt have similar items. I can’t vouch for how good these machines are, but there are brand names (Toshiba, etc.) among them.
No. The media are featuring the stupid people. I wonder why?
@Omnes Omnibus: The most infuriating thing about the “keep your policy” nonsense is the Village knows Obama was talking about people who had insurance when the law passed, not individuals who bought insurance after the ACA became law. But they keep pretending anyone who has had to abide by ACA’s regulations was lied to.
I don’t know why Obama doesn’t point this out, instead of taking all the blame.
Wotta sense of humor you got, Cole. Windows 8.
Because if Obama were to point out the obvious, the “liberal media” would accuse him of pandering to his base. ~sigh~ It’s a no-win situation for a Democratic president these days.
@Hill Dweller: because that would imply that the media and insurance companies mislead consumers and voters. You think the media is going to report that?
I can see what he’s doing, he’s attempting to draw fire personally and get the legislation left alone. Why? because there isn’t a convenient media chew toy available at the moment. The R’s in Congress have no intention of doing anything, hence they can’t be blamed for doing nothing because it’s been well established that they gots nothing. Immigration reform, nope, working with Dems to make the ACA better, not gonna happen, they’re gonna lay low and come out with newly sharpened knives for the next economic hostage negotiations… The media will blissfully not take into account any of the GOP’s former positions and freshly blooded from having something to pick at the President about. Anything else that’s going on? Syria… crickets, economy…. job numbers are improving, can’t go with that… any actual reporting of what has been fixed and what needs to be improved from the standpoint of implementing the law… fuck that’s real work, can’t have that. Just turn off the MSM, do your holiday shopping because it’s damned unlikely you, me or anyone else for that matter will see any actual reporting being done on anything of note.
Goddamn right. Now someone with a brain is finally talking.
Oh, and clueless no-necks like Omne Omnibus who claim “I don’t want to mess with my computer, I just want it to work”? Surf the net for a week with Windows and your computer will not work. Do you have any conception of just how many zero-day exploits and viruses and trojans there are out there for Windows?
If you want the computer to “just work,” buy a Mac or (better choice) linux. Me, I prefer Fedore Core 17 or Linux Mint. Ubuntu jumped the shark when they bundled that Unity crap instead of sticking with Gnome. And yeah, you can strip out Unity and susbstitute Chrome 3 but it’s buggy.
@mclaren: To expand on my car comparison, virus protection and scans are analogs of oil changes and 15,000 mile check-ups. Try not to be an ass. People want a product that works. They don’t want to become experts in it. Blacksmiths developed for a reason, but one never needed to be a blacksmith to ride a horse.
That’s like asking the rain not to fall.
Though it’s in a area where, for once, she has a few nuggets of understanding (though not much understanding). Either you put up with the viruses and deal with them or invest the time or money in a better platform.
The Raven on the Hill
At that price, if he wants Windows, he’s going to have to pick up a used system. That’s not too hard. On the other hand, if he doesn’t need Windows and he has a good internet connection, a new Chromebook meets his price.
@gwangung: Us poor n00bz are just soiling up her Interwebs after all.
@karen marie: I’ve had a couple of HP laptops that just blew up one day (okay 2 different days). Will never get another. Working now on an unsexy Toshiba…far cry from a Macbook, but they are tough and cheap. Often used as low end corporate laptops because they can take a lot of abuse. That said, I spend more time in my day than I would like troubleshooting my internet adapter, so that is a salient feature, but this is four years down the road with this one, so way better than an HP, which is all shiny and nice until it goes “boop!” and gone.
@mclaren: That’s bullshit. I surf the web all day long, every day with a Windows machine, and I last had a virus about 8 years ago.
@gwangung: I wasn’t talking about platforms… All I was saying is that most people just use the net. We take what seem to be reasonable protections, but that is it. We don’t go nuts over specific threats or fixes.
@The Raven on the Hill: You forgot to say, “Thanks, Obama” It is your schtick, isn’t it?
I can definitely vouch for the tough and cheap — I’m coming off two cheapie Toshiba Satellites that I fairly well stretched to the limits for four years each. In fact, I’m posting from my third Toshiba — it arrived yesterday, in fact — and I decided not to scrimp on it this time (though I’m still trying to not have a panic attack over the insane-for-me amount that I spent on it LOL).
That’s good. Easily funnier than Windows 8.
I’ve had great luck with refurbished Dells. Between me and the Missus we’ve bought 4 laptops and one desktop. They used to come with a lot more outstanding already-loaded-for-corporate-client software, but I see less of that now (my first Dell refurb. ~9 yrs ago had, if I remember right, Enterprise MS Office, Photoshop and Autodesk Autocad.)
A Chrome Book running Android will run the Android Skype app and they usually sell for 300 bux or so.
Also, too…I shop at the Dell Outlet store as well, they do have some deals for around 300 bux. Windows is pre-installed and they have 1yr warranties
here’s a link:
@Omnes Omnibus: Yeah, that’s precisely it. That’s how most people use a tool–in out, no muss, no fuss…just take some reasonable precautions.
But some people want to lord it over others and feel superior to them. It’s just that in this case, there was a small kernel of basis…which was unusual.
Actually, Ubuntu is pretty good for that. The project I’m involved with, GNOME is all about doing that as well. Everything should just ‘work’. Try it with Fedora (which I prefer) Linux Mint is okay, but that bum Clem decided to go his own way after forking our project.
I use arch linux myself. Hell I even got Netflix going on it now. Steam is also on Linux and so I can play a bunch of games now as well. So you pretty much got most of the working bits.
It’s good to see a GNOME 3 lover here. :-) I spend a lot of time as a community outreach guy for GNOME. We got good shit.. and it works great and it’s refreshing different from Mac and Windows.
We have those. You can go to:
GNOME has a built in backup software that you can use with a USB hard drive.
The great thing is that there isn’t like a ton of options and what not, you can work with just how it is installed without having wade through a bunch of stuff.
Throw in a usb livecd and try it out yourself, you don’t even have to install it. Try before you buy!
I have never had a virus on windows. But then I don’t do anything dodgy with it. I don’t go to weird websites, I don’t pirate software or anything. I’ve had some kind of windows install since 1995.
My parents and everyone else seem to always find some virus or something.
That said, I use Linux + GNOME since well I wrok on it in my free time and so of course I’m going to push it.
Some folks do use Linux as part of being superior, but usually those folks are like these technical guys who like to fuck around their computer. Which is also why they hate GNOME because they feel threatened that we’re bringing simplicity into computing and bringing in the ‘the rubes’ and spoiling the neighborhood. :-)
Computer repair places. Start calling around. There’s usually a policy that if you don’t pick up a computer by a certain time, it goes for sale. You may get lucky there-most of these folks want them off their hands, and the prices get pretty reasonable.
$300 unrealistic. $500 will get a decent laptop. I am about to buy a new one, and will spend $700 – $800, powerful enough to use as a portable development platform. I have always sworn by Dell, but am disturbed by negative support reviews I am seeing on Amazon. I would definitely consider an HP, in fact, I may buy that brand this time.
As soon as the laptop is in place, connect to the Internet (unless you somehow end up with media for it), and upgrade to Win 8.1. Do this first thing. Then ask the Google how to defang the useless and awful metro interface. Lots of good articles out ther on how to config the beast. I just finished installing Win 8.1 on my newly constructed development PC, and I have it booting to the desktop and working in a useful fashion, and not expecting me to have to reach out and caress my 24″monitors to work, but instead obeying my keyboard and mouse, as #DEITY intended. What a laughable idea. You will also have to ask the Google how to work with the metro interface and close windows and not leave them open and running in the background. It is not particularly intuitive.
I have a Microsoft Developers Network subscription, so I just download ISOs of operating systems and servers and burn DVDs, so sometimes it is hard for me to related to consumers situation regarding media and doing OS upgrades, sorry. It is a lot simpler and faster for me.
Oh, and if you live in area of a major college or university, check and see if they have a surplus goods outlet. Our university does, and you can get used computers at good prices very often.
If you do a search at Best Buy or Walmart you’ll see there definitely are sub$300 laptops like Toshiba Satellites. New ones. Last year I bought a cheap Toshiba from Best Buy to leave in the RV. I had to spend $399 cause I wanted a 17″ screen. It’s been fine. Feels a bit plasticy compared to, say, my Samsung netbook, but it works, was cheap, has decent storage and ram. I wouldn’t want to bang it about.
I don’t like the Windows 8 that it came with. Would much prefer Windows 7 and feel, like many, that Windows 8 is a bad misstep, at least on a non-tablet. But with a utility to boot to desktop and have a start button menu it’s okay.
@Tommy: I second the Chromebook… as described, it will actually fit the bill better than some netbook which is underpowered for the operating system, or some older machine that is likewise.
I just bought a Thinkpad T410 refurb from newegg for a little over $300. The price has gone up since, but it might go down again. Only downside from your brother’s perspective is that it doesn’t have a webcam or Win8 (but, I’d stay away from that unless you *absolutely* need it for some reason).
Windows 8 is OK but if he gets Windows 7 on a laptop there’s not much difference. Ignore the idiots who rant on at great length about the Metro interface; on a laptop or desktop it takes one click (on the desktop tile) to make it go away. I hibernate my Win8 box and I never see the metro interface unless I’m doing something like fitting new hard drives etc. and have to actually reboot it. Been running Win8 for about two years now from the original Release Candidate version, a couple of things I don’t like about it but generally it Just Works.
Linux is a decent OS but unless you’re willing to spend time hacking on it you will run into problems. Printing is one minefield, a lot of modern printers don’t work on Linux — I’ve been helping a friend out with his new printer, it works under Windows but there are no drivers for it for Linux. There may be a workaround (like I said, hacking on it because Linux doesn’t work out of the box). There’s other hardware like scanners etc. which Linux may or may not asupport. Either you buy something on the approved list (the Linux Tax) or you go without that functionality or you run Windows which it Just Works.
Used iPad with a case that has a keyboard.
@MattR: AFAIK Microsoft has special deals for students who want to buy Office.
If he buys a $400 gift card at Dell he can get an extra $75 gift card.
Then google delloutlet coupons. He can get an $800 list computer.
Here you go, everything he needs and well under budget
300 bucks. Not a princely sum but doable. Just hope he doesn’t want much.
This is quite late, but for a college student check with the computer store at the University for MS Office. A lot of schools have licensing deals that allow them to give Office to the students for free or just the cost of the media. There may or may not be a worthwhile discount buying the actual computer through the school, though there may be an agreement with Dell or other manufacturers that may get you a few extra goodies along with the computer.
This one. Toshiba satellites are well made, look good, last forever, and have really well designed keyboards and trackpads.
@Paddy:Yes, Lenovo had some good stuff the last time I went shopping (three years ago.) Got windows 7, google chrome (which I have never tried) full-size keyboard and 14 inch screen.
I’ve got an old Dell Inspirion he can have if he wants to pay the shipping. It lasted me for years and is still in good shape except for a very sticky “H” key ( the result of lending it to my 11 year old nephew…don’t even want to think about it).
Anyhoo like I said he can have it for shipping. I live in Colorado so I don’t know how much that would be.
I recently heard a lot of bitching from a customer about the quality of both Dell and HP laptops recently. I’d bet on Lenovo, possibly Toshiba.
There is anti-virus software within Windows 8 and 8.1 (called Microsoft Security Essentials), so you don’t need anything separate. And while I agree that Win 8 (now 8.1) is a bit clunky on a laptop*, on a tablet it positively shines. I just bought a Dell Venue Pro 8 for $299.00 and am amazed at how wonderful Windows works. No more iTunes, no more converting video files to what Apple accepts, no more not being able to watch CBC News Network and RDI over the internet because they use Flash and Silverlight. So I’m planning on giving my iPad mini away.
Also, I’ve used Windows for a couple decades and often surf Torrent sites. I haven’t had a virus since the late 1990s. I certainly don’t spend time worrying about it.
*If you download Classic Shell for Win 8 and 8.1 you can get the old start button and menu back on your desktop. You end up with the performance of 8 over 7 without the tile hassle.
this is probably too late, and maybe duplicative, but MicroCenter has refurbs in the 300 range; i’m in year 5 on one, with no problems.
This is the deal to beat:
$229.99 Toshiba Satellite 15.6″ – 4GB RAM & 500GB HD
Model: C55-A5300 SKU: 1689021
Customer Rating: 4.1 (45 customer reviews)