Author Topic: Convince me to replace my 2012 laptop - or not!  (Read 2054 times)

Offline Non Nobis

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Convince me to replace my 2012 laptop - or not!
« on: February 28, 2019, 09:20:20 PM »
I have a 2012 laptop and it is working OK for what I use it for - internet (including SD and youtube and general website viewing and aps started there (e.g. acrobat reader), ms word, excel, occasional movies, a little web development (in the past).  It has only Windows 7.  The C drive is down to 21 GB out of 120 (of course that's not so bad) and the D drive has 111 GB left (plenty out of 153GB).  It's booting and firefox is loading slow and has to be restarted too often, and files are opened slower than I like  - it is a little annoying but it's not THAT bad. (It is slower than when I bought it). Of course I could update to Windows 10 and things can be sped up without replacing the laptop, but....

So I don't absolutely need a new laptop.  I can afford it "right now" but I am definitely not made of money.  But (as you can probably tell) I am tempted...

What are the improvements in laptops since 2012 (in your personal experience)? I certainly would enjoy a little more speed and better display and video and sound and still more storage and also a little less weight (although not that much, my current one weighs 5.7lb). Getting up to date with Windows 10 is also a good idea, I imagine.

The new one I'm looking at:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077XFNXX1/?coliid=I284G6F16NDJM0&colid=308HTL5SNANO3&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

My old one (if you even care): https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007X0ASZM/ref=oh_aui_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1  I found this via my orders, and                   couldn't find it via search, so maybe you won't be able to see it.

OK, I'm looking both for words of wisdom and a little enthusiasm here!

I suppose I'm showing my materialism and attachment to "the world"!

[Matthew 8:26]  And Jesus saith to them: Why are you fearful, O ye of little faith? Then rising up he commanded the winds, and the sea, and there came a great calm.

[Job  38:1-5]  Then the Lord answered Job out of a whirlwind, and said: [2] Who is this that wrappeth up sentences in unskillful words? [3] Gird up thy loins like a man: I will ask thee, and answer thou me. [4] Where wast thou when I laid up the foundations of the earth? tell me if thou hast understanding. [5] Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
 

Offline Bernadette

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Re: Convince me to replace my 2012 laptop - or not!
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2019, 07:31:34 AM »
I just replaced my 10 year old desktop with a laptop. I’ve always had Dells, but I went with HP this time because of the metal body.  It’s coming on Monday and I can’t wait to see all of the bells and whistles it has. So naturally I would vote yes.  :P
"Make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is come to life again; he was lost, and is found."
 
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Offline Maximilian

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Re: Convince me to replace my 2012 laptop - or not!
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2019, 10:18:00 AM »
I have a 2012 laptop and it is working OK for what I use it for - internet (including SD and youtube and general website viewing and aps started there (e.g. acrobat reader), ms word, excel, occasional movies, a little web development (in the past).  It has only Windows 7.  The C drive is down to 21 GB out of 120 (of course that's not so bad) and the D drive has 111 GB left (plenty out of 153GB).  It's booting and firefox is loading slow and has to be restarted too often, and files are opened slower than I like  - it is a little annoying but it's not THAT bad. (It is slower than when I bought it). Of course I could update to Windows 10 and things can be sped up without replacing the laptop, but....

So I don't absolutely need a new laptop.  I can afford it "right now" but I am definitely not made of money.  But (as you can probably tell) I am tempted...

What are the improvements in laptops since 2012 (in your personal experience)? I certainly would enjoy a little more speed and better display and video and sound and still more storage and also a little less weight (although not that much, my current one weighs 5.7lb). Getting up to date with Windows 10 is also a good idea, I imagine.

The new one I'm looking at:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077XFNXX1/?coliid=I284G6F16NDJM0&colid=308HTL5SNANO3&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

My old one (if you even care): https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007X0ASZM/ref=oh_aui_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1  I found this via my orders, and                   couldn't find it via search, so maybe you won't be able to see it.

OK, I'm looking both for words of wisdom and a little enthusiasm here!

I suppose I'm showing my materialism and attachment to "the world"!

I have an Asus laptop similar to the one you are considering, and I've been very happy with it. If you're upgrading from a 2012 model, then I think you'll be pleasantly surprised be how much faster and better it is.

Looking at your old model, if you're moving from a Pentium to an I-7, it will be like night and day.
 
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Offline Gardener

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Re: Convince me to replace my 2012 laptop - or not!
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2019, 10:48:32 AM »
My main concern with your current setup is that it's probably at or over its end of life expectation for the hardware, which can up and die at any moment. Then again, so can anything -- I've seen new laptops at work die after a few weeks.

My suggestion would be to make sure you back up any data you don't want to lose, think you *probably* don't want to lose, etc. You should be doing this anyway!

I'd do this on something like a high capacity thumb drive: https://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-Cruzer-Glide-Drive-SDCZ60-128G-B35/dp/B007YX9OGW/ref=sr_1_3?crid=34LB72YYEOA8B&keywords=thumb+drive+128+gb&qid=1551454350&s=gateway&sprefix=thumb+drive%2Caps%2C205&sr=8-3

You probably also want to go into your profile folder and copy things like your favorites folder and any other folders that contain stuff you want to retain. You can then dump these in your new user profile (if/when you get a new machine) to make your experience more seamless. I don't think Firefox is included in that, but I'd have to look and am not on a Windows PC right now.

W/ Firefox, if you make an account and sign in, it should follow you to the new machine whenever you sign in as far as settings/favorites.

The laptop you are considering is very nice. But I'll be honest that it sounds like much more than you need. You could achieve a good result for $300 (or less!). You also might consider a business class refurbished model, as they tend to be a little more robust than consumer grade.

Your old one has a number pad to the right on the keyboard, which you are likely used to using. In my experience, going from one of those to a keyboard without a keypad to the right is a pain. That might be a consideration.

You could also do what I typically do and use a program which backs up your current hard drive and dumps it all on your new one, but they can sometimes be finicky. For most instances I'd recommend simply transferring the truly desired data.

You mention slowness -- have you deleted temp files and such?

Windows 7 standard service support (updates and such) ended in 2015. Extended support ends in Jan 2020. Here's an article on the difference: http://home.bt.com/tech-gadgets/computing/what-is-the-difference-between-windows-mainstream-support-and-extended-support-11364050710601

I'd suspect you are currently running an unsupported version, which is a security concern.

If you aren't familiar with Win10, or don't want to be familiar with it (understandable), you could always go a Linux route w/ a desktop environment that is more in line w/ Win7. Examples include Linux Mint Cinnamon or MATE, or Ubuntu MATE.

If that sounds interesting to you, you could transfer needed data to your new machine, install Linux on your old machine to try it out, and then once satisfied w/ it simply do the same on your new machine.

Or, you could cuss and hit the new one until you get used to Win10 :D
"And what use are the victories on the battlefield if we are ourselves are defeated in our innermost personal selves?" - St. Maximilian Kolbe

Providence is a present mystery by which our hope is confirmed and our faith solidified, if we give not into despair or disbelief.

Woe is me, because I have held my peace. Isaiah 6
 
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Offline maryslittlegarden

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Re: Convince me to replace my 2012 laptop - or not!
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2019, 11:47:55 AM »
I'll second the Linux recommendation... .
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Offline Der Polka-König

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Re: Convince me to replace my 2012 laptop - or not!
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2019, 08:44:54 PM »
By far the biggest laptop improvements that the casual user will notice over the last several years are:
  • Display -- much sharper, Full- or UHD, more vibrant  colors, with less-harsh backlighting (and we finally overcame the ill-conceived glare-inducing glossy-display fad).
  • Solid-State Drives -- way faster to load files into memory for I/O, keep much cooler (so less risk of data loss from overheating), and generally considered safer since there aren't moving parts as with conventional hard drives.
  • Wifi -- The addition of the 5 GHz band (Wireless ac) is massive. Where I am, the older 2.4 GHz band (Wireless b/g/n) is incredibly congested, and neighbors' signals are always interfering with one another. Of course, you also need a router that transmits on the 5 GHz band to notice this benefit, but any made within the last decade should be able to.

Really the only major dis-improvement has been the increasing lack of modularity. Way too many components are connected right to the main board now, so they can't be upgraded or replaced.

All that said, I still use an old 2013 Dell laptop as my usual "general browsing" machine -- YouTube, movies, checking the news, etc, and don't notice much of a difference between using that or one of my newer laptops for that sort of use. So you probably really don't need a new one.

If I tried to do any of my usual programming on it, though, it would definitely struggle compared to my newer machines -- one of which is an ultra-portable Asus ZenBook -- not terribly different from the VivoBook you're looking at -- which I've been very happy with.

Regarding Operating Systems, I stick to Gentoo and Arch Linux, but for anyone looking to dip their toe in the proverbial Linux waters, either Ubuntu MATE or Linux Mint are probably the best options. I haven't even booted Windows in a VM in close to a year; it's been many years since I've run it bare metal, so most of my knowledge of Win10 is from hearing friends complain about how devastating the latest update was at work.
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Offline Maximilian

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Re: Convince me to replace my 2012 laptop - or not!
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2019, 11:24:37 PM »

  • Solid-State Drives -- way faster to load files into memory for I/O, keep much cooler (so less risk of data loss from overheating), and generally considered safer since there aren't moving parts as with conventional hard drives.

Regarding the Solid-State Drive, another advantage in addition to those you mentioned is that it removes the need for a fan. No fan means lower weight, greatly reduced power draw on the battery, and the elimination of noise. My Asus laptop is virtually silent while my previous laptop maintained a pretty steady noise level.
 
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Offline Gardener

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Re: Convince me to replace my 2012 laptop - or not!
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2019, 11:49:18 PM »
There are other parts that need fans or some cooling source, though.

CPU and GPU activity will gen heat and require a cooling mechanism. CPU w/ degraded thermal paste will fry and I've removed GPU cards w/ heat damage (though that was a particular model from ~2012 and was known for grenading -- sometimes literally w/ a POP!).

The main benefit for OP's usage will be faster load times and such.

SSD's go hard when they go, but regular backups of critical data can resolve that problem. Even HDD is hard to recover from if it grenades.

For OP's usage model, I cannot see spending more than a few hundred dollars. $799 seems excessive imo.
"And what use are the victories on the battlefield if we are ourselves are defeated in our innermost personal selves?" - St. Maximilian Kolbe

Providence is a present mystery by which our hope is confirmed and our faith solidified, if we give not into despair or disbelief.

Woe is me, because I have held my peace. Isaiah 6
 
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Offline Non Nobis

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Re: Convince me to replace my 2012 laptop - or not!
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2019, 08:01:35 PM »
Thanks everyone for a lot of great info.  Decisions, decisions..

Now for some more decisions (trouble and/or fun): I'm considering getting a desktop (maybe an all-in-one) instead.  The only real reason for this is the bigger monitor; my eyes would really appreciate it, and I hear someone oohing and aahing (and I've done that too) about theirs.

I rarely need the portability of a laptop, although it was handy when I stayed with my Mom for 3 years (moving a desktop wouldn't have worked out as well).  Other than that the laptop stays in one place. I occasionally used it for watching movies in more comfort, but now my 10" kindle is doing OK for that. As I'm not working I don't really need 2 computers, and even in the past had been using a laptop as a desktop for years. (I still have the TV monitor for DVDs)

Looking at all the possible features, I am accumulating a supposedly "gotta-have" list;  gotta-have i5 or i7, gotta-have SSD, gotta-have >= 256 GB (oops, not TB!) and so forth (any other suggestions?).  Of course these make the price go up.  Gimme the best of everything and the cheapest price.  I did find a refurbished HP business class all-in-one that might do the trick:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07HPC3R48/?coliid=IN8BWRLT2YQML&colid=308HTL5SNANO3&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it  Not as cheap as Gardener wisely advises, but at least it is cheaper than my last idea.  I like that it has a DVD drive.

Where's the best place to get Microsoft Office? 

I COULD switch to Linux; I used Unix for many years (and liked it more than Windows, back then). Maybe I'll see how much I hate Windows 10.  It'll be a real test of my cleverness and patience; maybe a waste of time? What caveats are there for using Linux instead of Windows? How much trouble/cost is it to replace Windows S/W that won't work - including software that I downloaded online already and (at least used to) use pretty heavily? I do know there are substitutes for MS Office, but are there caveats there too?
« Last Edit: March 02, 2019, 09:57:24 PM by Non Nobis »
[Matthew 8:26]  And Jesus saith to them: Why are you fearful, O ye of little faith? Then rising up he commanded the winds, and the sea, and there came a great calm.

[Job  38:1-5]  Then the Lord answered Job out of a whirlwind, and said: [2] Who is this that wrappeth up sentences in unskillful words? [3] Gird up thy loins like a man: I will ask thee, and answer thou me. [4] Where wast thou when I laid up the foundations of the earth? tell me if thou hast understanding. [5] Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
 

Offline Gardener

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Re: Convince me to replace my 2012 laptop - or not!
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2019, 09:30:22 PM »
All-in-one has some advantages, but personally I would steer clear due to the issues noted in this article:
https://www.windowscentral.com/benefits-and-downsides-buying-all-one-pc

I'd also steer away from something w/ an internal webcam that cannot be unplugged.

You could also do a dual-boot and retain Windows. Or you could run Wine, but that... that exposes Windows issues to your Linux box that otherwise wouldn't be a concern.

For MS Office, you will likely need a subscription after a while. That subscription will allow you to do stuff online on OneDrive, so it's actually unnecessary to have the software installed on your box.

"And what use are the victories on the battlefield if we are ourselves are defeated in our innermost personal selves?" - St. Maximilian Kolbe

Providence is a present mystery by which our hope is confirmed and our faith solidified, if we give not into despair or disbelief.

Woe is me, because I have held my peace. Isaiah 6
 
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Offline Non Nobis

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Re: Convince me to replace my 2012 laptop - or not!
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2019, 11:30:55 PM »
All-in-one has some advantages, but personally I would steer clear due to the issues noted in this article:
https://www.windowscentral.com/benefits-and-downsides-buying-all-one-pc


But isn't this comparing all-in-one vs standard desktop?  Doesn't a laptop have the same disadvantages as listed for the all-in-one?  (Except perhaps(?) the laptop can be cheaper, if I follow your advice!)

I've tinkered with/updated hardware in a tower computer in the past, but never particularly enjoyed it. (I did software at work, and only a little hardware at home).   But yes it would be more repairable and probably cheaper to start. (When I bought tower computers in the past the manufacturer put them together according to my specifications, and that was not so cheap).

I like the positive points listed for the AiO - taking up less room, being easier to move.

But here is an even more convincing article against the all-in-one: https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/why-you-shouldnt-buy-an-all-in-one/  Maybe what's most convincing is the line "I recently described all-in-ones to a co-worker seeking buying advice as “terrible, hateful, overpriced things full of regret.”

I'll think about it... Again that article is talking about AiO as opposed to tower pc.

But the author also says "I’d recommend buying a laptop and using it with an external monitor over an all-in-one".  I've considered that, but it would be more expensive. Maybe I could get a cheaper laptop, and then add the external monitor.. but I only want ONE monitor, straight in front of me.  I guess I could deal with 2...
--
I  think the HP all-in-one that I linked to can have the webcam turned off via the device manager, if that is all you had in mind.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2019, 02:01:04 AM by Non Nobis »
[Matthew 8:26]  And Jesus saith to them: Why are you fearful, O ye of little faith? Then rising up he commanded the winds, and the sea, and there came a great calm.

[Job  38:1-5]  Then the Lord answered Job out of a whirlwind, and said: [2] Who is this that wrappeth up sentences in unskillful words? [3] Gird up thy loins like a man: I will ask thee, and answer thou me. [4] Where wast thou when I laid up the foundations of the earth? tell me if thou hast understanding. [5] Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
 

Offline Gardener

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Re: Convince me to replace my 2012 laptop - or not!
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2019, 01:33:39 AM »
Here's an article that compares laptop/desktop/AiO:
https://www.lifewire.com/all-in-one-pcs-832299

You can set the laptop so you can close it and only have one monitor displaying in your face. I regularly use a laptop w/ external keyboard, mouse, and monitor w/ the lid closed.

The repair costs, if ever needed, *should* be less on a traditional desktop PC. If you get something where everything is built into the motherboard, that could be a problem.

Any component should be able to be turned off via settings in Device Manager, or even BIOS -- internal mics, onboard NIC, etc. The problem w/ Device Manager or even BIOS settings is if malware gets admin access it can turn those things back on. I'm personally not a fan of internal/onboard webcams and internal mics. I like to be able to physically unplug things rather than trust a setting.

Linux Mint and Ubuntu in their various distros w/ a Desktop environment include LibreOffice which is basically an open-source Office suite, and as I said you can do online documents w/ OneDrive should you need Microsoft Office.
"And what use are the victories on the battlefield if we are ourselves are defeated in our innermost personal selves?" - St. Maximilian Kolbe

Providence is a present mystery by which our hope is confirmed and our faith solidified, if we give not into despair or disbelief.

Woe is me, because I have held my peace. Isaiah 6
 
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Offline Gardener

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Re: Convince me to replace my 2012 laptop - or not!
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2019, 11:03:42 AM »
I've attached a screenshot from OneDrive Word doc editor.

This was from a laptop running Linux Lint Cinnamon.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2019, 11:05:40 AM by Gardener »
"And what use are the victories on the battlefield if we are ourselves are defeated in our innermost personal selves?" - St. Maximilian Kolbe

Providence is a present mystery by which our hope is confirmed and our faith solidified, if we give not into despair or disbelief.

Woe is me, because I have held my peace. Isaiah 6
 
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Offline Philip G.

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Re: Convince me to replace my 2012 laptop - or not!
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2019, 08:35:15 PM »
Non Nobis - I have used old laptops with lightweight linux for years now, and I am satisfied. 
For the stone shall cry out of the wall; and the timber that is between the joints of the building, shall answer.  Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and prepareth a city by iniquity. - Habacuc 2,11-12
 
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Offline Non Nobis

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Re: Convince me to replace my 2012 laptop - or not!
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2019, 02:06:32 AM »
Non Nobis - I have used old laptops with lightweight linux for years now, and I am satisfied.

Is this dual booting or replacing Windows with Linux?

I see Linux in my future... I used to have Cygwin years ago on Windows and it was great to have something Unix-y again.

On a new laptop, maybe I could eventually dual boot (I will love (???) the challenge of switching from Win7 to Win10, and then using Linux too)

On the old laptop, maybe eventually just Linux

[Matthew 8:26]  And Jesus saith to them: Why are you fearful, O ye of little faith? Then rising up he commanded the winds, and the sea, and there came a great calm.

[Job  38:1-5]  Then the Lord answered Job out of a whirlwind, and said: [2] Who is this that wrappeth up sentences in unskillful words? [3] Gird up thy loins like a man: I will ask thee, and answer thou me. [4] Where wast thou when I laid up the foundations of the earth? tell me if thou hast understanding. [5] Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?