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Thread: Computer company recommendations

  1. #1
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    Computer company recommendations

    My home computer is well past its useful life and I'm looking at replacing it. It has been long enough since I shopped for such things that I haven't really kept up with who is good or bad anymore. Is Gateway still in business?

    Any recommendations? I'm looking for a Windows machine, probably a desktop, doesn't have to be a real high end machine, but I don't want something too basic. Almost certainly will buy this online, and no, I don't want to put it together myself by buying components. Mostly looking for recommendations of US companies to either avoid to to seek out.

    Thanks,
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  2. #2
    Maybe something multiple monitors so can keep an eye on the all trouble makers on the forum at once . I have had a dell laptop without much issues. Here is a website that might help.
    http://techguylabs.com/tags/desktops
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  3. #3
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    What are you going to do on it? If it's been that long, you could probably go all in on a desktop then pick up a light weight Surface to pair with it. Personally, I'd go with a Chromebook instead of a Surface, but if you are all Microsoft you might as well stick with them. If you aren't interested in a tabby or laptop to pair with your machine, then my suggestion is to stay away from Dell all in ones. Dell desktops are fine, but the all in one units are a pain to service, repair or upgrade. I've installed and worked on hundreds of Dells and they're good at a moderate price point.

    To be honest, if you have a nice TV with the right inputs, I'd invest in a computer that will connect with it and get a cordless mouse and keyboard combo. That will give you the feel of a Chromecast/Alexa without having one more device. If you don't already have some sort of music or streaming movie account, you may have one soon. Might as well have one more option.
    Solfe

  4. #4
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    Lenovo ThinkStations are relatively reliable. Note that I'm recommending their Think... models, which are what they sell to commercial customers, NOT their consumer models. For somewhat of a premium they come with a 3 year on-site warranty, but they're usually very easy to repair. Unfortunately, Dell systems tend to be more difficult to fix on your own.

    Most modern graphics cards support three simultaneous displays.
    Selden

  5. #5
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    Been very happy with my Dell.

    (Which is no guarantee that any body else's Dell makes them happy.)
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  6. #6
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    You might look at the Intel NUC. If you already have a keyboard, mouse and monitor it's a powerful little package. Only 4 inch x 4 inch (depth varies by model). I got one for my wife and t's been very good. I bought a basic model and so added memory and storage but you can order all that installed.

    https://www.intel.com/content/www/us...-kits/nuc.html

  7. #7
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    Poster In The Dell

    Quote Originally Posted by pzkpfw View Post
    Been very happy with my Dell.

    (Which is no guarantee that any body else's Dell makes them happy.)
    Panzerkampfwagen has a point. I am a retired System Analyst (25 years with HP) and I have been very pleased with every Dell I have used. They are tough reliable machines. Indeed, this is being done on a hoary old Dell laptop.

    Most important, test as many makes/models as you can, yourself. Signing on to CQ/UT can be very revealing, you know how this site is suposed to work.

    Good luck Try Consumer Reorts also.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    What are you going to do on it? If it's been that long, you could probably go all in on a desktop then pick up a light weight Surface to pair with it. Personally, I'd go with a Chromebook instead of a Surface, but if you are all Microsoft you might as well stick with them. If you aren't interested in a tabby or laptop to pair with your machine, then my suggestion is to stay away from Dell all in ones. Dell desktops are fine, but the all in one units are a pain to service, repair or upgrade. I've installed and worked on hundreds of Dells and they're good at a moderate price point.

    To be honest, if you have a nice TV with the right inputs, I'd invest in a computer that will connect with it and get a cordless mouse and keyboard combo. That will give you the feel of a Chromecast/Alexa without having one more device. If you don't already have some sort of music or streaming movie account, you may have one soon. Might as well have one more option.
    I don't have a nice TV and I wouldn't want to us it as my computer anyway. And for my portable computing needs, either my phone, my old tablet, or my work laptop are more than enough.

    Funny that people mention both Lenovo and Dell. My current machine is a Dell and it has also been a very good machine; I was pretty seriously considering another one. Our work computers are Lenovos and I've been pleased with my current laptop. So maybe either one of those would be a good choice.

    Thanks all.
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  9. #9
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    As for laptops, I would avoid Toshibas. My wife has had 4 of them in 5 years. I removed a fairly good rant about them and decided to share the funny bits. My wife insisted on each and every one of these Toshibas as Windows was the best kind of computer in her mind. Their main selling point was affordability, meaning bottom of the barrel price and specs. I insisted on an extended warranty, which was most helpful. After 3 dead machines in just 14 months, I gave her a Chromebook with a Baymax sticker on it.

    In her mind, the Baymax sticker makes the Chromebook superior to any other OS or manufacturer. My kids dropped this machine and my wife decided not to tell me and replaced it with a used Toshiba. It died in less than 2 weeks. She took the refund and the $20 Amazon card the seller gave her (by way of apology) and used it to purchase a Chromebook and two stickers - one Baymax and one Hiro. This is apparently better than the first Chromebook.

    More seriously, the Chromebooks were made by Acer (dropped and broken) and HP (still working). I have the exact same Acer model she had, but mine is in perfect condition about 10 months past EOL. I'd like to replace it but there is nothing quite like it on the market right now. It has a 300 GB hard drive. I suspect that a Windows OS HP or Acer would be just as good as the Chromebook and probably more up-gradable.
    Solfe

  10. #10
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    Now that I think about it my other advice is, whether buying desktop or laptop, don't bother with getting the latest and greatest model unless you have a specific need - like being an avid gamer and having to have the "best" GPU.

    A machine with (for example) the previous (or two) generations' CPU in it will be cheaper, and probably good enough for any use.

    e.g. My desktop (well, mini-tower) DELL was the old model (Vostro 460) on run-out special when I got it. That enabled me to spec it up a bit (best of its generation CPU, extra monitor (having identical monitors makes my brain not hurt), extra HDD, what was then a lot of RAM) and still not spend all that much. Six years later and still going strong, plenty powerful for anything I do. (I've upgraded the GPU, but more for want than need.) I have no plans to replace it.

    It's like buying a used car that's just a year or two old vs buying new. Lots less money for pretty much the same benefit.


    P.S. the single best upgrade if possible, is an SSD. DO NOT buy a laptop without an SSD in it.
    Last edited by pzkpfw; 2018-May-26 at 05:46 AM.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by pzkpfw View Post
    Now that I think about it my other advice is, whether buying desktop or laptop, don't bother with getting the latest and greatest model unless you have a specific need - like being an avid gamer and having to have the "best" GPU.

    A machine with (for example) the previous (or two) generations' CPU in it will be cheaper, and probably good enough for any use.
    Absolutely. If you look at the price/performance curve, there is always a bend in the curve, and that's what I aim for, just below the point where price starts skyrocketing.
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  12. #12
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    We bought an HP All-in-One pc about 2 years ago and it's been good to us. We prefer a pc that's plugged in (not rechargeable) as we aren't that connected to the web. Also use a cheap portable tablet for trips.

  13. #13
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    I am very pleased with my new(ish) Dell. It's an Inspiron 7459 with a touch screen, although I don't actually use the touch functionality all that much. I purchased a service agreement that included in-home repair if needed and online tech support. The latter came in handy when I thought I might have picked up a nasty piece of malware. I called the Dell people and quickly was connected with a tech that took control of the machine and sorted the malware out (it was not very nasty after all) but then proceeded (with my permission) to modify a lot of the settings that I had wrong. I was very happy with that.

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    I have had good experience with Dell in the past (but a long time in the past). My wife's latest laptop is an HP and it is pretty good (apart from a noisy fan). Previously, she had a Sony which was ... not so good (really appalling Wi-Fi).

    ne thing I would watch out for, there has been a fashion lately for touchpad with no separate buttons. This can work well but often it is impossible to click without sending the cursor all over the place. So either look for one with actual buttons below the trackpad, or try it out. (But if you are only ever going to use a mouse, then you can ignore this :-) )

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    I bought a Dell Optiplex 3010 five years ago, and at the time of purchase was given a reasonable choice in HDD and RAM capacities, etc. It still serves me well.

    The hard drive failed after about six months, and I'm saying this not as a criticism, but to point out the very good warranty service they provided. The diagnostics were done over the phone by a polite and efficient contractor. I live in a little community in the middle of BC, but they had a new drive, installed by a contractor, within about two days.

    The mouse that came with the machine was a low-end piece of junk, and it too failed after about a year, but I had a new one sent to me within a few days. It wasn't really an inconvenience because I've kept a collection of such components from previous machines and simply used one of those during the wait.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torsten View Post
    The hard drive failed after about six months, and I'm saying this not as a criticism, but to point out the very good warranty service they provided. The diagnostics were done over the phone by a polite and efficient contractor. I live in a little community in the middle of BC, but they had a new drive, installed by a contractor, within about two days.
    I had a similar experience when the hard drive failed on one of my Dell's. They accepted my diagnosis of the fault (I didn't have to go through a helpdesk that knew less than me about computer hardware!) and delivered a replacement drive to my office in a couple of days. And they didn't need the old drive back (which I needed to transfer all the data across).

    Similarly good support when a battery died.

  17. #17
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    Shortly after I got my Dell in 2013 they offered me a free upgrade from Window 8.0 to Windows 8.1. That crashed the system and when I called them they said my warranty didn't cover software problems. I hadn't made a rescue disk. Rather than buy one I took the computer to a repair shop and had Windows 8.1 on it. The repair guy said he didn't put on any of the Dell stuff. It's been fine since then.

  18. #18
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    I bought the desktop that I use now from AVA Direct. It was more expensive than a low-end Dell but in the same price range as an upper end Dell.

    They are located in Twinsburg, OH and were very easy to work with.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
    Shortly after I got my Dell in 2013 they offered me a free upgrade from Window 8.0 to Windows 8.1. That crashed the system and when I called them they said my warranty didn't cover software problems. I hadn't made a rescue disk. Rather than buy one I took the computer to a repair shop and had Windows 8.1 on it. The repair guy said he didn't put on any of the Dell stuff. It's been fine since then.
    Was it Dell who specifically offered the upgrade, or Windows itself?


    (For my part, mine came with Windows 7 Pro, a little before 8 came out. I did the $50 upgrade (offered by Microsoft) to Windows 8 - even though the Dell website said my Vostro wasn't certified for 8. I did end up with a problem where sleep mode made it die, so just got in the habit of turning it off. The upgrades to 8.1 then 10 (all from Microsoft, nothing to do with Dell) have all been fine.)
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  20. #20
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    As I remember, the offer of upgrade was from Dell, but now I'm not certain.

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