Laptop/netbook Suggestions?

SkeletorSkeletor The Conqueror Worm ✭✭✭
edited November 2014 in Biohacker Banter

I need some help, guys. My ~2009 Macbook Pro is finally shitting out on me. The battery's going and the thing runs suuuuper slow. I've been meaning to replace it for a while now, but the funds always get shunted into other necessities. Well, today it appears to be on its last legs. I'm in need of a new computer.


 


Now, I'd love to get another Macbook, but it's not in the cards right now financially. The only thing I really need my computer for is surfing the web, running some simple software for formatting ebooks and stuff like that. Nothing too intensive. I don't play games, so it doesn't have to run Crysis or anything! Just a decent little workhorse that'll get me through till I can invest in something nicer. Oh, and it has to be pretty damn cheap. We're talkin' like $200, max.


 


What is the best cheap laptop or netbook I might invest in? Bonus points if I can find it at a common retailer, like Wal-Mart or Best Buy.


 


Any suggestions, y'all?


"I know how to despise mere cool intelligence. What I want is intelligence matched by pure, physical existence, like a statue." --Yukio Mishima

 

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Comments

  • I doubt that a Chromebook will move much faster than your Macbook.  Here is one with an i3 processor:


     


    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/asus-15-6-laptop-intel-core-i3-4gb-memory-500gb-hard-drive-black/8769024.p?id=1219365672826&skuId=8769024


     


    Its major downside is Windows 8.


     


    The cheaper option may be to just fix your Macbook.  How much free space is on your hard drive?

  • I've had pretty good success with my Dell laptop. You can find a lot of deals online at Dell's website.


  • katolotuskatolotus ✭✭✭
    edited November 2014

    I moved from a 2009 13" Macbook Pro to a 2011 11" Macbook Air to a 2013 13" Macbook Air, I still have all three and use the old ones from time to time. Haven't noticed the Pro being particularly slow, but don't use it too often. Battery is shot and just got a quote on getting a new one fitted for £160, so thinking about getting new batteries or both as the 11" air only last 2 hours on a full battery charge if I'm lucky. Just had the 13" Air have some warranty work done, so been using the 11" spare for a couple of weeks and that's been fine other than the short battery life.


     


    I would stick with apple if you can, maybe look on eBay for an older model that's cheaper if financial restraints are an issue. I work with people who used pc laptops and they suck and I'd hate to have to use them.


     


    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Apple-MacBook-Air-11in-1-6GHz-i5-4GB-128GB-M2011-MC969LL-A-/171548863367?pt=Apple_Laptops&hash=item27f11beb87


     


    So either get an new Apple Macbook Air, a 2nd hand one, or get a new battery and do a wipe and reinstall, which might speed it up.


     


    Stay away from windows, it's not Bulletproof :smile:


    reading-on-computer_zps16e6fa12.jpg


     


    Signed


    Apple FanBoy


    Katolotus

    MMA Fighter

     

    SUCCESS: A lot of little things done well

  • Greg CarletGreg Carlet ✭✭
    edited November 2014

    I'm sure this bad joke has been made before, BUT...


     


    "Apples" are in the yellow zone, so they are not really Bp either. :wink:


  • ACH85ACH85 ✭✭
    edited November 2014

    Seconding Mac. 


     


    Seconding repairing. 


     


    On Thursday my 2009 Macbook Pro died. I was at the Apple Store on Friday to confirm it was a hard drive failure, had the thing opened up this morning, and just fully recovered everything from backup um... 2 minutes ago. Sigh of relief. 


     


    - $12 for a set of tiny screw drivers and torx wrenches at Radioshack.


    - $109 for a hard drive at Best Buy, which is 1TB and is a HDD / SSD hybrid drive (part of it is solid-state flash memory) so it runs fast as hell when it's accessing commonly-accessed data. There were ~150GB SSD drives for less than $60 if I recall. 


     


    Plus, the Apple store genius wiped the whole thing down with some industrial non-BP cleaner, and I vacuumed out the inside while I had it open (yes, with a household vacuum and very carefully) so the thing looks and runs like new. At least so far. I'll update if everything fails. 


     


    Point being, if you:


     


    a. wipe the HD and reinstall the system software


    b. replace and/or upgrade the HD, RAM, battery, or whatever the thing is that is causing the problem


     


    You can really keep these things alive for a while. While I am handy, and opening up the laptop was intimidating, all told it was surprisingly easy and I think any reasonably intelligent person could do it. I was probably only dealing with 15 screws. Just go slowly, pay attention to the layout, and keep a little tray or bowl for the screws. 


     


     


    During this time I had a friend over, and she's been on a Chromebook for almost a year. She was telling me she wants to get a full-fledged laptop, and I took care of some important work on it briefly, and found it annoying. Fun fact: I never learned to use the shift key, and instead caps-lock-on, caps-lock-off for every capitalization. And this Chromebook didn't have a caps-lock. It was a personal hell. (I can still touch-type quite fast, the caps-lock thing is just a strange quirk of mine.) 


  • StevoStevo Upgrade in Progress

    I agree that opening up a laptop can be daunting. I had a reasonably decent laptop that my wife basically destroyed and it sat in a cupboard for about a year before we packed up to move country. With a little online searching and a $100 SSD disk drive (it was the drive that crapped out) I managed to get it up and running like new.


  • RekaReka ✭✭✭


    I had a reasonably decent laptop that my wife basically destroyed 




     


    How did she do that?

    It doesn't get easier... It's you who gets better.

     

    Is your social worker in that horse?

     

    Success has a price, not a secret.

  • StevoStevo Upgrade in Progress

    Physical abuse :-D


  • SkeletorSkeletor The Conqueror Worm ✭✭✭

    Thanks for the input, guys! Perhaps I can salvage it. It's the battery, mainly, that's giving me trouble. The disc drive also doesn't work on it anymore, and the OS is so old I can't seem to update it any longer (Version 10.5.8). Perhaps I can breathe a little life into her yet...


    "I know how to despise mere cool intelligence. What I want is intelligence matched by pure, physical existence, like a statue." --Yukio Mishima

     

    Let's be friends on MyFitnessPal!

  • ACH85ACH85 ✭✭
    edited November 2014


    Thanks for the input, guys! Perhaps I can salvage it. It's the battery, mainly, that's giving me trouble. The disc drive also doesn't work on it anymore, and the OS is so old I can't seem to update it any longer (Version 10.5.8). Perhaps I can breathe a little life into her yet...




     


    Mac battery replacement page (click "battery service" on the left.) It will be $129 (or more if you have a 17") and they have to do it at the Apple store. But I bet you can get a much better price online and then follow these instructions. It's not like you have any warranty left to void. 


     


    For the disc drive, you may be screwed, but it's not like most of the computer options you're considering even come with a disc drive. You can buy the Apple USB external drive for $79, or much cheaper from other companies, not sure on compatibility though. 


     


    During my HD crash and repair process, I learned all about the OS and updating... your issue is that it was only 10.6.x (.3 I think?) that gave you access to the mac app store, and that's how all the newer OS's were distributed. Your macbook pro must be just a tad older than mine, because mine shipped with 10.6.0. I've been running 10.8, so I had to reinstall the 10.6.0 from the disc, that allowed me to use the "check for updates" to get to 10.6.x (whatever had the app store,) then that gave me access to my previous purchase of 10.8. It was a long process. Apple's two newest operating systems (10.9 Mavericks and 10.10 Yosemite) were both free. So, you could "find" free access to 10.6, then get the app store, then update all the way... or I bet you could just schedule a genius bar session at mac store and ask for Yosemite. They'll have it on a flash drive or something for restoring computers that have crapped out, and I don't see why they wouldn't give it to you. I guess call first and ask. However, 10.6.x is quite stable and I don't know that I want to upgrade past that on an older computer. If you update, your computer will probably run better if you wipe your drive and do a clean install, just make sure you have redundant backups before you start. 


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