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  • Helping a friend to buy a new Windows 11 laptop

    Home » Forums » AskWoody support » Windows » Windows 11 » Questions about Windows 11 » Helping a friend to buy a new Windows 11 laptop

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    #2418069

    A friend has asked me to help him & his wife buy a new Dell Windows 11 laptop.

    I do not use Windows 11 yet, but I’m willing to help them. His wife is a simple user, nothing fancy that I can tell.
    They want to be able to buy one at about $300.00, I’m recommending they consider a range of $300.00 – $500.00.

    I went to Inspiron Laptops & 2-in-1 PCs Dell Inspiron Laptops | Dell USA.
    https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/dell-laptops/sr/laptops/inspiron-laptops

    Many of them are Windows 11 Home (S mode).
    I’ve read some S mode articles, but they overwhelm me on why S mode. I’m not ok with going S mode.
    Is there value in considering S mode? Is it possible to revert to “normal” mode w/o affecting a warranty?

    Is there a Dell link for Windows 11 “normal” mode for home use within a range of $300.00 – $500.00?

    HP EliteBook 8540w laptop Windows 10 Pro (x64)

    Viewing 9 reply threads
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    • #2418075

      Almost everything I’ve seen lately in that price range seemed to have s mode. I bought a couple and it’s quick and painless to switch out of S mode.

      https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/switching-out-of-s-mode-in-windows-4f56d9be-99ec-6983-119f-031bfb28a307

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2418087

      You won’t get a decent laptop on that price.
      Better look for a Windows 10 ~2 years refurbished laptop.
      As an alternative you can look into Chromebooks.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2418095

      You won’t get a decent laptop on that price.
      Better look for a Windows 10 ~2 years refurbished laptop.
      As an alternative you can look into Chromebooks.

      I believe you are correct: “You won’t get a decent laptop on that price.”

      I want my friend to understand that & I’m hoping to encourage them to move up the ladder.

      HP EliteBook 8540w laptop Windows 10 Pro (x64)

    • #2418103

      A friend of mine bought an Acer Aspire 5 about 18 months ago for about $500. It’s running Win 10 Home, 8GB memory and 256GB SSD, backlit keyboard, and a high def screen (I forget the exact numbers but something like 1900 x 1080). It has a nice solid feel to it and the friend says it seems pretty quick for email, browsing, MS Office, Quicken, etc.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2418113

      I’m surprised that nobody has yet asked… what is it that they want to do? Just my opinion but, for me, that’s always the starting point.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2418144

      Regardless of the technical or use requirements, would reliability or support be a decision factor for you or your friend?  There are companies that typically do a better job.

      Mike

    • #2418149

      I’m surprised that nobody has yet asked… what is it that they want to do? Just my opinion but, for me, that’s always the starting point.

      My friends want to buy a modern laptop to replace a Dell Inspiron 1545 that they purchased in Oct 2010.
      It runs like molasses, and I found out they’ve been more than struggling with it for about 3 years.
      Even before that they struggled with using it over the previous years but just kept on going with it.
      About 3 months ago, they had Staples “fix it”. To make a long story short, that didn’t help.
      A week ago, they asked me to fix it.
      To repeat “To make a long story short” they need a modern laptop that suits their needs.
      So, their starting point is to replace their Dell Inspiron 1545 that they purchased in Oct 2010 with a modern laptop.

      They went on-line and saw some Dell Windows 11 laptop for around $300.00.
      They called me up all excited about that.
      I told them they are better off to buy a better than bottom line laptop unless they want to settle for equivalent terrible performance, they settled for on the Dell Inspiron 1545.

      I brought up the $500.00 range as I didn’t want to disappoint them coming out of the gate. I will get to explain some of the specifications to consider, they are fine with that.
      With that said though, I’ve seen some $700.00 to $800.00 units that should suffice for them who are simple users with nothing fancy that I can tell.
      So, my starting point is to get them going with a laptop that meets their needs.
      They will listen to what I have to say but they will make the final decision.

      Another approach I use is to think this way.
      If an appropriate laptop that meets their needs cost $800.00 and they get 10 good years out of it, that’s $80.00 a year. Then they opened up to me that they have a friend who recently purchased a new Windows 11 laptop for $2,800 and that’s what sent them off the rails.
      Well, that’s a big plus as I answered, don’t worry about that: it isn’t necessary to even come close to that cost in your case.

      I’ve seen similar situations where I volunteer quite a few times. It’s taught me how to discuss pertinent information politely & confidently.

      HP EliteBook 8540w laptop Windows 10 Pro (x64)

    • #2418151

      The specs mentioned, 8gb ram and 256gb SSD sound like reasonable minimums.  For better performance and quality at a $500-800 price point, I would still go refurbished.  Around here, getting Windows 10 Pro would be considered a plus instead of Home.

      And all users who have data they care about should have a backup method.  Unless you only have a few files that can be handled by a cloud service, that means another $100 for an external backup drive.

      Pointing out what they are not buying is important as well – if you aren’t buying a gaming laptop, you should not expect it to function as one. -BB

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2418173

      These are the specs I’d look for in a laptop

      My opinion only!

      Intel Core 11th Gen i5 or AMD Ryzen 7 5700U

      16 GB Memory RAM

      512 GB SSD Drive

      15″ Monitor

      Windows 10 Home upgrade to 11 later.

      For example, Dell has 2 models with these specs in the range of $800 USD.  Save some money with 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD, but not worth it in my opinion.  Pay attention to screen size, 15″ is ideal.

      For reliability/ support. Everybody has their cheap line! (in order):

      Apple (not a Windows OS PC)

      Razer (costly)

      Microsoft (Surface)

      Lenovo

      Dell

      And down…….

       

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2418212

      Take a look at the Dell outlet. You can find some pretty good deals there. They need to be able to spend 500 – 700 to get a decent system there.

      --Joe

      2 users thanked author for this post.
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