Laptop for my daughter

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My daughter, Jessica, is graduating HS this year and will attend a nearby university to major in math. She asked for a new laptop for a graduation present. It has been years since I bought one, and that was a mid-grade Toshiba on sale that I bought her 5 or six years ago. A lifetime ago for computers.

So my question is who are the more reliable manufacturers of laptops these days?

She is not a gamer. She does her school work and social media for the most part on the one she has now. She wants a balance between portable and workspace, so I figure a 14 or 15 inch screen. It doesn't have to be the latest gaming screamer, but I want it to be fairly capable, with enough ram and memory to last her a few years. I have no idea what a math major may require - but I imagine most machines will handle whatever the college throws at her.

It will be a Windows laptop - so please don't suggest any Apple products. I thought about Chromebooks, but believe they are limited in their capacity, correct?

Anyway - looking at all the choices and terms and acronyms for computer components makes me feel old and out of touch. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 
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I thought about Chromebooks, but believe they are limited in their capacity, correct?
Depends on what capacity you're needing it for. If this is for school where she's have her Google Drive, use Google Docs/Sheets/Slides for documents, browse the internet, check gmail (or other web based email) and so on, they're perfectly fine. If you need local file storage, photoshop, or other stand alone programs that can't be web accessed, then they're limited.

A lot of students these days are switching to chromebooks if they don't need local storage and apps.
 
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Correct - Chromebooks are very limited and they don't run Windows.

Makes - I suggest Acer, Asus, Dell.

CPU - minimum Intel i5.

Memory - 16GB minimum.

Disk - SSD (not a rotating disk), and minimum 256GB.

To give you an idea, here is an HP one that meets that spec:
https://www.amazon.com/2020-HP-Touc...hild=1&keywords=laptops&qid=1588619467&sr=8-2
Thanks Richard, I appreciate the advice. I figured Dell would be ok. I owned an Acer years ago, and had a horrible experience. It kept having hardware issues and Acer absolutely refused to stand by the warranty despite it being one of their better models back then. Perhaps they've improved. I've not had an Asus. That HP you linked was considerably less expensive than I expected.
 
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Depends on what capacity you're needing it for. If this is for school where she's have her Google Drive, use Google Docs/Sheets/Slides for documents, browse the internet, check gmail (or other web based email) and so on, they're perfectly fine. If you need local file storage, photoshop, or other stand alone programs that can't be web accessed, then they're limited.

A lot of students these days are switching to chromebooks if they don't need local storage and apps.
Thanks. I like the idea of a chromebook, but I don't know what I don't know. I'm not sure what her computing requirements will be until she gets into college - so I guess it would be better to buy more capabiltiy then needed, rather than less capability.
 

Growltiger

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Thanks. I like the idea of a chromebook, but I don't know what I don't know. I'm not sure what her computing requirements will be until she gets into college - so I guess it would be better to buy more capabiltiy then needed, rather than less capability.
Given your description of her, I think she would be very disappointed by a Chromebook. The inability to run programs means that she could not download and run any programs.
 
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What’s her major? Before you buy a Chrome book, see what software she might use. I teach photography and Lightroom. Since I am now teaching from home, all of my students had to get Lightroom on their computers. I have several students with chrome books who could not put Lightroom classic on their machines.
 
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Don’t consider a chromebook!
They can only handle basic requirements.
You would be wasting money and make her very unhappy.
Personally I rely on Lenovo because of their superior keyboards and HP, especially the recent ones.
T-series and X-series from Lenovo,
I7 if possible, avoid AMD processor they do not play well with excel, especially with modelling and large lookups.
A chromebook would not be able to manage these. Non starter.

16gb ram minimum.
512 or 1TB SSD minimum.
14 inch screen is a good compromise.

For HP have a look at the Probook or Elitebook. The Zstation are better but may be overkill.
 
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What’s her major? Before you buy a Chrome book, see what software she might use. I teach photography and Lightroom. Since I am now teaching from home, all of my students had to get Lightroom on their computers. I have several students with chrome books who could not put Lightroom classic on their machines.
Thanks. As stated above, her major will be math. I've ruled out the chromebooks for sure. I don't thing she'll need LR or PS unfortunately. I've tried to get her interested in photography, but she is happy with her phone camera. However you are correct in that she may have to install other software, at the least MS Office or equivilent. I'm sure she'll need excel majoring in math.


Don’t consider a chromebook!
They can only handle basic requirements.
You would be wasting money and make her very unhappy.
Personally I rely on Lenovo because of their superior keyboards and HP, especially the recent ones.
T-series and X-series from Lenovo,
I7 if possible, avoid AMD processor they do not play well with excel, especially with modelling and large lookups.
A chromebook would not be able to manage these. Non starter.

16gb ram minimum.
512 or 1TB SSD minimum.
14 inch screen is a good compromise.

For HP have a look at the Probook or Elitebook. The Zstation are better but may be overkill.

thank you Morty. I'm sure she'll need excel eventually, and word or an equivilent - so I'm glad you mentioned AMD not playing well with excel. I'll have a look at the ones you mentioned.
 
Some universities and colleges will send out a list of what would be required for most of their students when it comes to computers, and what would be most compatible with whatever their particular IT setup is at the school. You might want to check with the school before making a purchase. Also, some schools offer a discount if the computer is purchased through their bookstore and it may already have some configuration that is immediately compatible with the school's technology. Definitely go with a real computer rather than a Chromebook!
 
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Some universities and colleges will send out a list of what would be required for most of their students when it comes to computers, and what would be most compatible with whatever their particular IT setup is at the school. You might want to check with the school before making a purchase. Also, some schools offer a discount if the computer is purchased through their bookstore and it may already have some configuration that is immediately compatible with the school's technology. Definitely go with a real computer rather than a Chromebook!

Cool - great advice. Thanks Connie.
 

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