Author Topic: Recommmend an Inexpensive Laptop for Web Browsing  (Read 6677 times)

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George

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Recommmend an Inexpensive Laptop for Web Browsing
« on: October 03, 2009, 06:53:34 AM »
This is the one that I am considering:

http://www.jr.com/acer-computer/pe/ACE_AO751H1373/

I have never bought a computer before. I have a lot of experience with MACs, but I know they are more expensive than PCs, so I think I will go the PC route. I assume that by using the current version of Firefox I will get sufficient protection from viruses? If not, how much more will I have to spend for spyware?

Another option is this Toshiba, but it costs more and doesn't seem to be offering more for the money:

http://www.jr.com/toshiba/pe/TOS_NB205N210/

Any other suggestions for under $400 are welcome. I should add that I may be open to desktop computers too, but only if they will be cheaper and last longer.

Offline Brian

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Re: Recommmend an Inexpensive Laptop for Web Browsing
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2009, 06:59:27 AM »
If all you're doing is Internetting, a "netbook" is all you need. Can't speak on behalf of any specific brand, though a friend with an Acer seemed to get excellent battery life.

George

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Re: Recommmend an Inexpensive Laptop for Web Browsing
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2009, 07:05:31 AM »
If all you're doing is Internetting, a "netbook" is all you need. Can't speak on behalf of any specific brand, though a friend with an Acer seemed to get excellent battery life.

I plan to rip and burn CDs, but I already own an external CD/DVD burner. I assume that a netbook can run ripping software like EAC, right?

Offline Keemun

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Re: Recommmend an Inexpensive Laptop for Web Browsing
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2009, 07:10:04 AM »
I agree with Brian about going the netbook route if you aren't concerned with the small size and limited capabilities.  As for anti-virus software, there are plenty of free programs that do an adequate job.  Here are three that I've used (I am currently using AVG because I like it the best):

AVG Free
avast! antivirus: Home Edition
Avira AntiVir

Also, Microsoft just released a new free anti-virus program called Microsoft Security Essentials.  I haven't tried it so I can't comment on how well it works.




Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life. ~ Ludwig van Beethoven

George

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Re: Recommmend an Inexpensive Laptop for Web Browsing
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2009, 07:19:04 AM »
I agree with Brian about going the netbook route if you aren't concerned with the small size and limited capabilities.  As for anti-virus software, there are plenty of free programs that do an adequate job.  Here are three that I've used (I am currently using AVG because I like it the best):

AVG Free
avast! antivirus: Home Edition
Avira AntiVir

Also, Microsoft just released a new free anti-virus program called Microsoft Security Essentials.  I haven't tried it so I can't comment on how well it works.

Thanks for all that great information!  :)

Offline Opus106

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Re: Recommmend an Inexpensive Laptop for Web Browsing
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2009, 07:46:04 AM »
I third the netbook option. In fact, that's what came to mind when I read the thread's title. Netbooks are made exactly for that purpose and well, a few others, also.

As a wannabe Linux evangelist :P, I can't help but suggest a netbook with Linux pre-loaded. Now, don't shun that idea... Linux desktops have come a looong way since the days of typing away at the terminal so that you can install a small piece of software. These days, support for technologies like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi is available out-of-the-box.

Pros of having Linux:

You probably wouldn't pay for the software

Native support for FLAC. >:D You might not be able to play MP3 immediately (this depends on the "flavour"), but you can play/rip/burn FLAC. ;D

No wide-spread viruses. (That's just another way of saying no threat of viruses at all. ;))

Fast performance, and no useless, fancy graphics that eats up the memory.


As for which brand to go with, I cannot say since I haven't tried any netbooks (Windows or Linux). There are some recommendations made here and here.


On a separate note, web browsers in general do not and are not built to protect you from viruses. Virus attacks occur when you, for example, run an executable (exe file) on your computer which was sent as an e-mail attachment by some unscrupulous person. For that, you need to protect your computer with a software like those Todd recommends. (Incidentally, there are AV softwares available for Linux also.) However, a good, modern browser must be able to fend off malwares and phishing attempts.
Regards,
Navneeth

Offline Coopmv

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Re: Recommmend an Inexpensive Laptop for Web Browsing
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2009, 04:24:01 PM »
I believe I have seen netbooks made by Acer at BJ, the warehouse club for under $300.  Indeed, computers made by Apple have always been grossly overpriced relative to Windows-based computers, particularly if you do not use one for any Mac specific application. 

George

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Re: Recommmend an Inexpensive Laptop for Web Browsing
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2009, 04:31:19 PM »
I believe I have seen netbooks made by Acer at BJ, the warehouse club for under $300.  Indeed, computers made by Apple have always been grossly overpriced relative to Windows-based computers, particularly if you do not use one for any Mac specific application. 

Indeed. What do you think of Acer in general? Good stuff?

DavidW

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Re: Recommmend an Inexpensive Laptop for Web Browsing
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2009, 05:22:45 PM »
Indeed. What do you think of Acer in general? Good stuff?

I have an acer laptop and when I bought it, it had double the ram of any other laptop in it's price range, and a much better processor.  After I tweaked it runs lightning fast and still does.  And that's running vista. :)

Not alot of junk loaded on it, and their special programs are actually useful.  I've used their little program to encrypt sensitive files (i.e. tests) and it did actually work. ;D

I've had other brand computers and my experience with them has not been as great as Acer, I now have acer for my desktop as well.  So I say thumbs up. :)

George

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Re: Recommmend an Inexpensive Laptop for Web Browsing
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2009, 05:25:05 PM »
Good news, David! Thanks!  :)

Offline Keemun

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Re: Recommmend an Inexpensive Laptop for Web Browsing
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2009, 05:26:25 PM »
Thanks for all that great information!  :)

You're welcome.  :)
Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life. ~ Ludwig van Beethoven

Offline Coopmv

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Re: Recommmend an Inexpensive Laptop for Web Browsing
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2009, 10:38:12 AM »
Indeed. What do you think of Acer in general? Good stuff?

I am glad David has provided an excellent reference as an owner of an Acer laptop and an Acer desktop.  I have never owned the brand, though I have heard good things about its computers ...

Scarpia

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Re: Recommmend an Inexpensive Laptop for Web Browsing
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2009, 11:10:41 AM »
As a wannabe Linux evangelist :P, I can't help but suggest a netbook with Linux pre-loaded. Now, don't shun that idea... Linux desktops have come a looong way since the days of typing away at the terminal so that you can install a small piece of software. These days, support for technologies like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi is available out-of-the-box.

Linux is the software of the future.  Always has been, always will be.   ;D

How many stories I have I read saying Linux market share is increasing?  Actually I wish Linux was viable.  I used use it until I got a nice photo-printer, unusable except with the Windows driver.  Once I had a windows partition installed I found myself using Linux less and less and less.  I agree it is a better designed OS, but there is so much out there to be compatible with which just assumes you are using Windows, or maybe Mac.

Offline Coopmv

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Re: Recommmend an Inexpensive Laptop for Web Browsing
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2009, 11:25:04 AM »
Linux is the software of the future.  Always has been, always will be.   ;D

How many stories I have I read saying Linux market share is increasing?  Actually I wish Linux was viable.  I used use it until I got a nice photo-printer, unusable except with the Windows driver.  Once I had a windows partition installed I found myself using Linux less and less and less.  I agree it is a better designed OS, but there is so much out there to be compatible with which just assumes you are using Windows, or maybe Mac.


What kind of typical GUI applications does a netbook preloaded with Linux have? 
Do you run Netscape on Linux?

Offline Keemun

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Re: Recommmend an Inexpensive Laptop for Web Browsing
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2009, 11:49:45 AM »
What kind of typical GUI applications does a netbook preloaded with Linux have? 
Do you run Netscape on Linux?

I can't speak specifically to netbooks, but I'm running a dual-boot system on my laptop with two operating systems: Ubuntu Linux and Windows Vista.  On both operating systems I use Firefox for web browsing and OpenOffice for word processing, spreadsheets, etc.  iTunes doesn't run on Linux, but there are some capable media players for Linux (right now I'm using Banshee).  But I only sync my iPhone and iPod with iTunes (on Windows), so I don't know how well Linux media players work with those devices (reportedly some do).  Most, if not all, Mozilla applications run on Linux, so you can use Thunderbird for email if you don't want to use the version that comes with your Linux installation.  Adobe Reader and Audacity both have Linux versions.  But as Scarpia said, there are compatibility issues with Linux.  I haven't figured out how to print to my printer from Linux yet, so I need to be on Windows to print.  Honestly, if Windows 7 fixes the things that don't work right in Vista (losing wifi connectivity, crashing, etc.) and I can justify spending the money to upgrade, I would probably use Windows 7 and abandon Linux.  But until then, I'll continue primarily using Linux except when I need to print or use iTunes.
Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life. ~ Ludwig van Beethoven

Offline Opus106

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Re: Recommmend an Inexpensive Laptop for Web Browsing
« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2009, 11:52:03 AM »
What kind of typical GUI applications does a netbook preloaded with Linux have? 

Pretty much what a usual Desktop edition has. You'll have a web-browser, most likely to be Firefox. An Office suite supplied by Open Office. An IM client. Media players. Disc burners. Games -- beyond card games, it may also include SuDoKu and Chess. Of course, which program is being used (by default) depends upon which desktop environment is used and the what the developers have decided to include. Although a netbook would probably use a light-weight environment/window manager rather than the 'biggies' I linked to.

Here is an example of a Linux-based OS for netbooks -- Ubuntu Netbook Remix. My computer runs on the desktop version of this 'distro'.


And, BTW, does Netscape even exist? ;D There are ways in which you can run programs meant for Windows in Linux. But some people find it the buggy way out of this problem (of having no Linux counterpart for a popular Windows program).
Regards,
Navneeth

Offline Opus106

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Re: Recommmend an Inexpensive Laptop for Web Browsing
« Reply #16 on: October 04, 2009, 11:59:59 AM »
But I only sync my iPhone and iPod with iTunes (on Windows), so I don't know how well Linux media players work with those devices (reportedly some do). 

Syncing my iPod using Banshee as I type. :) The first time I connected it to my computer, which was booted to Linux at the time(I too use a dual-boot), Rhythmbox opened up and indicated to me that I had connected an iPod Classic (black)!, which indeed is the colour of my iPod. ;D But since I haven't yet found a way to rip CDs to ALAC in Linux (and since the stupid 'Pod won't play FLAC >:(), I use iTunes to rip my CDs.


Quote
I haven't figured out how to print to my printer from Linux yet, so I need to be on Windows to print.


My HP is easily detected. Of course, I don't get all the options available in the HP software, but I rarely need them, anyway.
Regards,
Navneeth

Offline Coopmv

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Re: Recommmend an Inexpensive Laptop for Web Browsing
« Reply #17 on: October 04, 2009, 12:02:41 PM »
Pretty much what a usual Desktop edition has. You'll have a web-browser, most likely to be Firefox. An Office suite supplied by Open Office. An IM client. Media players. Disc burners. Games -- beyond card games, it may also include SuDoKu and Chess. Of course, which program is being used (by default) depends upon which desktop environment is used and the what the developers have decided to include. Although a netbook would probably use a light-weight environment/window manager rather than the 'biggies' I linked to.

Here is an example of a Linux-based OS for netbooks -- Ubuntu Netbook Remix. My computer runs on the desktop version of this 'distro'.


And, BTW, does Netscape even exist? ;D There are ways in which you can run programs meant for Windows in Linux. But some people find it the buggy way out of this problem (of having no Linux counterpart for a popular Windows program).


I am already using FireFox (interchangeably with IE) on XP, which I am going to stick with at least for a few more years since my Core 2 Quad desktop is only a year old.

DavidW

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Re: Recommmend an Inexpensive Laptop for Web Browsing
« Reply #18 on: October 04, 2009, 12:22:27 PM »
Op. 106 you'll be happy to know that I got someone to start using Open Office. 8)

Offline Opus106

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Re: Recommmend an Inexpensive Laptop for Web Browsing
« Reply #19 on: October 05, 2009, 01:08:07 AM »
Op. 106 you'll be happy to know that I got someone to start using Open Office. 8)

Super! In the interim, I got one person hooked on to Ubuntu for a while. He even starting exploring other distros, even unheard-of ones. It didn't last long, though. :(
Regards,
Navneeth