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Best laptop for basic web surfing and skyping? [Archive] - DVD Talk Forum
 
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View Full Version : Best laptop for basic web surfing and skyping?


mhg83
02-08-12, 09:36 AM
My mother's birthday is coming up and was looking to buy her a laptop. All she would use it for would be basic web surfing, checking e-mail, and using Skype. Would a netbook be the best choice for this? A low end laptop perhaps?

Raul3
02-08-12, 11:49 AM
Yes or even an Android tablet.

Shazam
02-08-12, 12:35 PM
I'd buy a tablet, even one of those Apple ones.

SterlingBen
02-08-12, 12:51 PM
iPad

mhg83
02-08-12, 04:59 PM
How is the learning curve for tablets? My mom knows how to use a desktop pc but other technologies is hard for her to learn new devices.

D.Pham4GLTE (>60GB)
02-08-12, 05:13 PM
It depends on her ability to adopt to technology. I know some people have trouble using tablets or smartphones, if your mom is one of them, i'd advise against a tablet. With regards to skype on tablet though, I bought a 32gb HP Touchpad for $120 and it works for Skype and basic uses, but it's hard to find at that price now. Having used an iPad 2 before as well, I personally cannot justify the added cost of the iPad 2 for my basic uses like e-mail, surfing, netflix, skype.

Assuming it isn't going to be moved a lot, i'd advise against a netbook and go for a low end notebook. Netbooks are in general underpowered and have a small screen. Some people prefer the larger screen of say a 14" or 15" laptop over a 10" netbook. And say about $300-350 can get a pretty decent laptop that would be way more powerful than a netbook. if you do get a netbook, get one with a larger keyboard layout, i know some netbooks have cramped keyboards that can be harder for some to use.

One thing to keep in mind, the onboard webcam can be kinda crappy, my wife was using a netbook with the stock webcam, I then got her a $5 Logitech C600 webcam and the quality was way better using the Logitech.

Tracer Bullet
02-08-12, 10:54 PM
iPad.

fumanstan
02-08-12, 11:18 PM
I vote for low end laptop too.

Michael T Hudson
02-08-12, 11:35 PM
I have an hp laptop that I got Christmas is 2009 and it has seen very little use after my IPad 2 was purchased in March of last year. It works great for surfing the web while I watch TV.

RichC2
02-09-12, 08:47 AM
I'd rather get her something like http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1159305 than waste the money on a tablet, but that's me. That said Tablets are very easy to use (esp. iPad), I just find them a bit limited.

Raul3
02-09-12, 10:08 AM
The problem with laptops is that you need to support them. Virus, etc.

My mom was never able to really learn how to use a PC. I thought it was really funny the way she handled the mouse. Maybe she thought it was really complex or something.

Last year I gave her an iPad 2. She has been using it in a daily basis since then. I taught her the basic support rule, if anything goes wrong, this is the way you turn it off, and then turn it on. She has never updated the iPad, so she's a few versions behind (IOS), but no issues for what she uses it. Her main issues are browsing, Facebook and Facetime.

I'm sure it should be the same for an Android tablet if you really want to go cheaper.

kefrank
02-09-12, 12:12 PM
My vote goes to iPad or Android tablet + Bluetooth keyboard if she'll be writing a lot of e-mail.

kd5
02-09-12, 04:07 PM
I vote for low end laptop too.


:thumbsup:


Learning curve is negligible if she's used to a desktop PC. -kd5

Sdallnct
02-09-12, 05:15 PM
Also consider a netbook. Cheap, light weight, I've been using the same one for nearly 3 years and for my use, can't imagine getting a big, heavy, no battery life laptop.

D.Pham4GLTE (>60GB)
02-09-12, 11:06 PM
Also consider a netbook. Cheap, light weight, I've been using the same one for nearly 3 years and for my use, can't imagine getting a big, heavy, no battery life laptop.

Depends on your needs. Some prefer a larger screen,particularly if it is not going to be moved very ofen. Some netbooks have lower resolution, heck some even lower than my $50 smartphone. That could be a downside for some.

Sdallnct
02-10-12, 08:05 AM
Depends on your needs. Some prefer a larger screen,particularly if it is not going to be moved very ofen. Some netbooks have lower resolution, heck some even lower than my $50 smartphone. That could be a downside for some.

Your larger screen is somewhat a point...but the OP's original "needs".

"My mother's birthday is coming up and was looking to buy her a laptop. All she would use it for would be basic web surfing, checking e-mail, and using Skype. Would a netbook be the best choice for this? A low end laptop perhaps?"

And your $50 smartphone isn't really a comparison. 1st, assuming it is a decent smart phone, your $50 phone was because of a subside by your carrier. For example, buy a iPhone or med-high end Android with no subside and it will be in the $350-$500+ range which is considerably more than most netbooks. 2nd, it is easy (and cheap) to make a smaller screen higher quality.

IMO, the real issue with netbooks, is their prices have not continued to drop like laptops. Meaning you can now get an "ok" AMD 15" laptop in the $350 range. Where as the netbooks seem to be in the $250-$300 range. Now I did pick up a Gateway netbook for my daughter for xmas for $175, but only a 3 cell battery (but that is still 5+ hours of use). But those deals are harder to find.

And I agree. If your not going to be mobile much, not much point of a net book. The main advantages of a netbook besides cost, is weight, battery life and size. Me? I travel a lot, and don't do a lot of power intensive things. So I went to a poor old Atom processor laptop running XP nearly 3 years ago and would never go back. The thing is fantastic for what I do including HD video, simple photo editing and yea, the keyboard is fine for working on Word, Excel (I have full Office on it), etc.

D.Pham4GLTE (>60GB)
02-10-12, 11:36 AM
Your larger screen is somewhat a point...but the OP's original "needs".

"My mother's birthday is coming up and was looking to buy her a laptop. All she would use it for would be basic web surfing, checking e-mail, and using Skype. Would a netbook be the best choice for this? A low end laptop perhaps?"

And your $50 smartphone isn't really a comparison. 1st, assuming it is a decent smart phone, your $50 phone was because of a subside by your carrier. For example, buy a iPhone or med-high end Android with no subside and it will be in the $350-$500+ range which is considerably more than most netbooks. 2nd, it is easy (and cheap) to make a smaller screen higher quality.

IMO, the real issue with netbooks, is their prices have not continued to drop like laptops. Meaning you can now get an "ok" AMD 15" laptop in the $350 range. Where as the netbooks seem to be in the $250-$300 range. Now I did pick up a Gateway netbook for my daughter for xmas for $175, but only a 3 cell battery (but that is still 5+ hours of use). But those deals are harder to find.

And I agree. If your not going to be mobile much, not much point of a net book. The main advantages of a netbook besides cost, is weight, battery life and size. Me? I travel a lot, and don't do a lot of power intensive things. So I went to a poor old Atom processor laptop running XP nearly 3 years ago and would never go back. The thing is fantastic for what I do including HD video, simple photo editing and yea, the keyboard is fine for working on Word, Excel (I have full Office on it), etc.

My point is that netbooks tend to have lower resolution, which may be an issue for some. When I go to my netbook, I made sure to get one with a decent resolution for me. But some people will prefer the larger screen even if it isn't as sharp. I know some people who don't run lcd monitors at optimum resolution. It looks so blurry to me, but they don't seem to mind and prefer the lower resolution.

Speaking from personal experience with my mom, she prefers the larger screen, since her vision is not that great. I gave my mom a 20" monitor and she still had trouble seeing. I had to make the text size massive for her. But this may or may not be an issue with the ops mom.

True, my phone was at a subsidized price, it is still a valid option if he wanted something very portable as a lot of people buy at the subsidized price. Although, I bought the same high end model for under $300 unsubsidized as well, admittedly, msrp was around $650.

orangecrush
02-15-12, 01:47 PM
I ran across this deal today:

http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msstore/en_US/pd/productID.234205000

Comes w/ a 7200 RPM HDD and good battery life. A pretty decent deal @ $299 + tax.

D.Pham4GLTE (>60GB)
02-15-12, 05:11 PM
$330 ar/ac for a low end laptop.


PROCESSOR VISION A4 Technology from AMD with AMD Dual-Core A4-3305M Accelerated Processor2
OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium (64-bit)3
DISPLAY 15.6-inch diagonal HD4 BrightView LED-backlit display (1366 x 768)
MEMORY (RAM) 4GB DDR3
HARD DRIVE 640GB 5400RPM5
WEIGHT & DIMENSIONS
(w x d x h) 5.22 lbs6; 14.72" x 9.65" x 1.20"–1.43"
BATTERY LIFE Up to 7.25 hours7
BATTERY 6-cell 47WHr lithium-ion battery
FINISH HP Imprint finish in charcoal gray

http://slickdeals.net/f/3952324-HP-g6-1d60us-15-6-Laptop-Dual-Core-A4-3305M-1-9GHz-15-6-LED-Backlit-1366x768-4GB-DDR3-640GB-HDD-Radeon-HD-6480G-WiFi-N-DVDRW-Bluetooth-HDMI-6-Cell-Win-7-Prem-330-AR