• Question on Buying a Windows 11 Laptop

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    #2436429

    I was in the hospital for a month (4th surgery for Crohn’s disease) and discovered that the last laptop I purchased was a Windows XP – so it’s time to update to a Windows 11.

    I was curious what specs work best for Win11.  I don’t need anything high powered since I very seldom use a laptop except in emergencies.

    I was looking at an inexpensive Dell <span class=”page-title”>Inspiron 15 Laptop </span>(I’ve had success with Dell other than all of the bloatware they like to install).  My desktop is my main computer – but I don’t need all of the files that I have stored on it and I don’t all of the memory and hard drive space.  I just need enough to play around a laptop if I am in the hospital again or in an emergency.  I figure I can buy an external HD if I need storage space.  There base model has 8 GB of memory and 128 HD space – which I could upgrade to 512 GB.

    Music is the big resource hog on my desktop and I don’t need any of it a laptop.

    https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/dell-laptops/new-inspiron-15-laptop/spd/inspiron-15-3525-laptop/nn3525fmzps

    Any help or comments would be appreciated.  I haven’t bought a laptop since the turn of the century.  Thanks

    Custom Build
    Windows 10 Home 21H2 OS Build 19044.1706
    Intel i5 9400 5 Core CPU
    ASUS TUF Z390 Plus Motherboard

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    • #2436433

      The biggest requirement in my books is Win11 PRO, not Home.
      With Home you have very few choices. You are almost forced into a Microsoft ID instead of a Local ID, You have no control over Windows Update except Pause and Metered Connections unless you use a third-party WU blocker. And to get any of the other controls it’s an endless Registry edit.

      Hardware wise:
      8GB RAM is minimal, 16GB is better.
      Intel i5 or AMD equivalent.
      256GB SSD minimum, 128GB is too small.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2436444

      You said:

      My desktop is my main computer – but I don’t need all of the files that I have stored on it and I don’t all of the memory and hard drive space. I just need enough to play around a laptop if I am in the hospital again or in an emergency.

      Sounds like a laptop for light computing.  Doing things like surfing the web, email and some media enjoyment.  If that’s the case it should work….. pretty much like a tablet or smart phone.  For a laptop, think about those above limitations, screen size and battery life.

       

    • #2436451

      You said:

      My desktop is my main computer – but I don’t need all of the files that I have stored on it and I don’t all of the memory and hard drive space. I just need enough to play around a laptop if I am in the hospital again or in an emergency.

      Sounds like a laptop for light computing.  Doing things like surfing the web, email and some media enjoyment.  If that’s the case it should work….. pretty much like a tablet or smart phone.  For a laptop, think about those above limitations, screen size and battery life.

       

      Exactly – I had access to the internet through my phone & Kindle.  It would have been nice to have a simple laptop to occupy my time while waiting for surgery and recovering.  Some more powerful than my cell phone & at least have access to Wi-Fi (my Windows XP laptop was still using a modem).

      Custom Build
      Windows 10 Home 21H2 OS Build 19044.1706
      Intel i5 9400 5 Core CPU
      ASUS TUF Z390 Plus Motherboard

    • #2436441

      Agreed.  16gb, Intel i5 and 256GB SSD are reasonable choices if you can use an external drive or a desktop for larger files if ever needed.

    • #2436463

      Have you considered a tablet (iPad or Android) instead of laptop. Takes up less space, good for surfing the web, streaming media, email. You can get one with enough capacity space to store music and documents. Much bigger screen than a cell phone.

    • #2436488

      It would have been nice to have a simple laptop to occupy my time while waiting for surgery and recovering.

      If you don’t need any Windows software a Chromebook will do what you need. If you use Android smartphone Chromebooks will run Android apps too.

    • #2436513

      Thanks everyone.

      Not really a fan of Apple products except for their original iPod Classic & I prefer Windows over Chromebooks or Linux.

      My desktop (Win10) is 16gb, Intel i5 and 1TB SSD or better – but I don’t need that much power on a laptop – esp. considering my last laptop went 10+ years without me using it

       

      Custom Build
      Windows 10 Home 21H2 OS Build 19044.1706
      Intel i5 9400 5 Core CPU
      ASUS TUF Z390 Plus Motherboard

    • #2436515

      What’s your target price range?

      Carpe Diem {with backup and coffee}
      offline▸ Win10Pro 2004.19041.572 x64 i3-3220 RAM8GB HDD Firefox83.0b3 WindowsDefender WuMgr
      offline▸ Acer AspireOne Atom N270 RAM2GB HDD GuineaPig
      online▸ Win11Pro 21H2.22000.739 x64 i5-9400 RAM16GB HDD Firefox103.0b2 MicrosoftDefender WuMgr
    • #2436520

      What’s your target price range?

      No more than $500.  I hate laptops so I don’t use them much … although it would have been nice to have one when in the hospital or even on vacation.

      Custom Build
      Windows 10 Home 21H2 OS Build 19044.1706
      Intel i5 9400 5 Core CPU
      ASUS TUF Z390 Plus Motherboard

    • #2436538

      My first consideration is always screen size. 17″ is too cumbersome to unpack and setup every time you need it, so you’ll use it less often. OTOH, 13″ is small, light, easy to move with one hand, and something you’re much more likely to whip out while sitting in a hospital. They’re also easier to pack or stuff in a shoulder sack if you’re taking a plane trip.

      I think you’ll also find most laptops 15″ or larger come with the obligatory numeric ten-key pad on the right side of the keyboard, which is not only superfluous for most users but also uncomfortably forces your hands over to the left when you’re typing with the laptop centered on your lap. (I think that’s also why the trackpad is so off-center on larger laptops, which can be a nuisance if you’re a right-handed mouse user.) For that reason alone, I always recommend 14″ or smaller unless you really need something to be a desktop equivalent when you’re on the road.

       

    • #2436578

      I use one iPad Air with a separate bluetooth keyboard, and my wife has an iPad Air that is in a protective case with a built-in bluetooth keyboard.  They do just about everything a laptop can do and they are generally less expensive, certainly more lightweight, and have excellent battery life as well as a very nice screen.

      Also, the Chromebook (mine is ASUS) works just fine and is similar enough to a Windows machine that I think it might work well for you.  It updates automatically, so it is much less of a hassle than a Windows PC.

      I also have an Dell Inspiron with a 15 inch screen that is slightly over 2 years old, so now out of warranty.  The N key, and the B key and the space bar stopped working.  When I complained while it was still in warranty, I was told that I could not return it for service unless it was restored to factory state.  Of course that could not be done with a broken keyboard, but they would not budge,  and I was so annoyed that I gave up, especially after I found that many other Inspiron users had the same exact problem, and they were furious that Dell would not issue a recall.    By the time I was willing to engage with the problem again, the warranty had expired.  Presumably something overheats underneath the N key on the motherboard.  So now, a separate bluetooth or USB keyboard is required to use it.  In other words, it is now a desktop and not a laptop.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2436613

      I very seldom use a laptop except in emergencies

      Get a Chromebook. It will do everything you need.

      cheers, Paul

      • #2436619

        Or stick with the XP machine and save the cash for something else.

        cheers, Paul

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2437289

          Exactly.
          Okay, so you’re running XP on your laptop. But I do not hear you saying you need anything from 11. Many of us could probably run fine on XP (if it were dependable) I have 2 spares, 10 and Mint. either will do just about anything. People are suggesting Chrome.

          So I feel you have a ton of choices that will fit in your $500 limit, though 11 is probably not one of them. i5 is a fine cpu. Avoid an i3. Get one with an SSD in it or put one in yourself – makes a mammoth difference in response time.

          Were I in your shoes I would look for a win10 PRO laptop with SSD and i5 or i7 cpu.

          Since I feel comfortable taking these things apart, I buy used because that gives me much more product at much lower price.

          - ThinkPad T570-20HA, i7-7600U, 2.8GHz, UEFI/GPT, 16GB, Sammy 256GB M.2 NVMe PM961. HP laserjets (M254dw, P1606dn), Epson 2480 scanner -

    • #2436812

      I called Dell sales a couple times today to find out information about Inspirion laptops and kept getting connected to people with such thick accents that I had to hang up.  I asked to speak to someone with an American English accent and was told that home sales does not have anyone working in the United States anymore… they have outsourced at all to India.  Just like most of the US companies

      I am not going to buy a Dell laptop unless I can get my questions answered.  A bit of a disappointment that they have outsourced everything overseas.

      Custom Build
      Windows 10 Home 21H2 OS Build 19044.1706
      Intel i5 9400 5 Core CPU
      ASUS TUF Z390 Plus Motherboard

      • #2436821

        For my latest laptop acquisition several months past, I researched wonderful web fairly carefully for the specifications wanted, then went to a local reputable down-home computer shop with my wish list.

        I purchased my laptop from the local shop. If I have any difficulties with this laptop, I will contact the local computer shop from which I purchased it. (It’s not listed in my signature.)

        P.S. The purchased laptop, an off-the-shelf Acer, had Windows 10 operating system and I immediately updated to Windows 11 operating system.

        Carpe Diem {with backup and coffee}
        offline▸ Win10Pro 2004.19041.572 x64 i3-3220 RAM8GB HDD Firefox83.0b3 WindowsDefender WuMgr
        offline▸ Acer AspireOne Atom N270 RAM2GB HDD GuineaPig
        online▸ Win11Pro 21H2.22000.739 x64 i5-9400 RAM16GB HDD Firefox103.0b2 MicrosoftDefender WuMgr
    • #2436849

      I did the same thing with my desktop but I am looking for an inexpensive laptop which most local stores don’t tend to carry or customize.

      Custom Build
      Windows 10 Home 21H2 OS Build 19044.1706
      Intel i5 9400 5 Core CPU
      ASUS TUF Z390 Plus Motherboard

    • #2436873

      I don’t think this is a very difficult decision. I would just look for last year’s models being closed out at either Dell, Lenovo, or HP, or consider looking at Amazon for a variety of models and manufacturers.  You can narrow down the specifications right on the websites. The biggest problem with buying it from a retail store, is is that you will have to buy what they have in stock. However the advantage of buying locally, is that many times you can return it locally.

      • Really the only considerations you have are:  screen size, the reliability the company, the warranty, and the price.
    • #2445876

      Skip by Windows 11 laptop. Go with a Linux laptop.  Windows has lost their marbles and made Windows 11 for little kids. Many features are removed or disabled. Recommendation is to stay with Windows Xp. Xp is the last great OS made. Everything after that has gotten down the rabbit hole.

       

      Other option would be Chromebook like others mentioned. They are cheap one and will work for your basic needs.

       

      At all cost, AVOID WINDOWS 11…

    • #2445931

      You should wait for a Windows 12 compatible PCs like those with the new Microsoft Pluton + PAC.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2445983

        I think you may have an extremely good point there. if I were, say, to get a new (to me) laptop with an 8th gen Intel cpu, for 11, It would just as likely NOT be suitable for windows 12, and this starts getting very expensive very quickly!

        - ThinkPad T570-20HA, i7-7600U, 2.8GHz, UEFI/GPT, 16GB, Sammy 256GB M.2 NVMe PM961. HP laserjets (M254dw, P1606dn), Epson 2480 scanner -

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