Best places to get a laptop (I'm a writer who quit my job and am going freelance)

zolly

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Sep 1, 2005
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3,042
Hey folks,

So after being an employee for my entire working career, I've decided to go solo. I'm a copy/technical writer and am looking for an affordable but reasonably speedy laptop. Where should I start looking for good deals?

And are there any entry level machines that I should keep an eye out for? I don't need it to have a lot of graphical oomph, but I would like something with an SSD in it. I have an 2-3 year old i7 Dell with a mechanical drive (pretty sure it's 5400 rpm) and 8 gigs of ram at my current place of work and it takes forever to get going in the mornings.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

MirageF1

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Jun 29, 2018
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5,412
Put a SSD in your current laptop and you'll see a huge difference in speed
+1, WD Blue /and later Green SSD turned my aging T420 into a Ferrari ( well disk access and bootup by comparison)

Of course you also need to clean up/disable superfluous/mem hogging services and do at very least some basic day to day admin (configure paging as single file, display options, etc ) to keep it humming at it's best....
 

bwana

B MyBroadband
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Feb 23, 2005
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As a writer you don’t really need a speedy laptop, do you?
 

MirageF1

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Jun 29, 2018
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Sadly "my" current laptop is a work machine. Going to be handing it in after I leave. But I'll keep this in mind if I get a machine without a SSD.
Get yourself something like a Lenovo T420 or later...relatively cheap if you look around on Gumtree properly for a well maintained, decently spec'd model for under R3-R3.5k.
 

zolly

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Sep 1, 2005
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As a writer you don’t really need a speedy laptop, do you?
By speedy I mean responsive. For example, booting from cold on my current laptop takes 2-3 minutes, and then all the Dell Bloatware has to load, and then Chrome has to open all my tabs... It's a pain.
 

Spontaneous spinach

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Nov 17, 2013
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892
By speedy I mean responsive. For example, booting from cold on my current laptop takes 2-3 minutes, and then all the Dell Bloatware has to load, and then Chrome has to open all my tabs... It's a pain.
Give us a ballpark so we can easily recommend the best bang for your bucks.
 

zolly

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Sep 1, 2005
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Give us a ballpark so we can easily recommend the best bang for your bucks.
I'm happy to spend up to 10k. I've got a gaming desktop that I purchased earlier this year to scratch that itch, so don't need a mobile device for gaming (apart from maybe the odd game of TeamFight Tactics or Hearthstone which should be bearable on a low end GPU/APU).
 

Daruk

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Joined
Jul 18, 2008
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44,928
Hey folks,

So after being an employee for my entire working career, I've decided to go solo. I'm a copy/technical writer and am looking for an affordable but reasonably speedy laptop. Where should I start looking for good deals?

And are there any entry level machines that I should keep an eye out for? I don't need it to have a lot of graphical oomph, but I would like something with an SSD in it. I have an 2-3 year old i7 Dell with a mechanical drive (pretty sure it's 5400 rpm) and 8 gigs of ram at my current place of work and it takes forever to get going in the mornings.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Consider that you might need to get a machine with regular HDD but add an SSD after, which may require technical assistance. Given that so many entry level machines don't have SSDs. No need for i7, but I would consider i5 minimum... and 8Gb RAM.
 

HeftyCrab

Expert Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2009
Messages
2,284
Hey folks,

So after being an employee for my entire working career, I've decided to go solo. I'm a copy/technical writer and am looking for an affordable but reasonably speedy laptop. Where should I start looking for good deals?

And are there any entry level machines that I should keep an eye out for? I don't need it to have a lot of graphical oomph, but I would like something with an SSD in it. I have an 2-3 year old i7 Dell with a mechanical drive (pretty sure it's 5400 rpm) and 8 gigs of ram at my current place of work and it takes forever to get going in the mornings.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
If you can stretch your R10k budget a tiny bit to add an ssd, this looks like a good deal:


Otherwise get an i5 with intel 8th gen or newer, reason being that they basically doubled the core count from the 8th gen onwards.
 

Urist

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Mar 20, 2015
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3,355
Most important for you would be the keyboard.
Go to the shops and try typing on different laptops.
 

wobbie

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Joined
Jan 10, 2013
Messages
125
Have a look at Makro, I just got myself an Asus i5 8250u, 8GB RAM, 1T Hard drive at R7500.00
 
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