November 29, 2020, 04:39:31 PM

Author Topic: New laptop for kid - ideas?  (Read 2188 times)

Offline GfK

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New laptop for kid - ideas?
« on: October 17, 2019, 10:44:54 AM »
I gave my old laptop to the kid about a year and a half ago when I got my new one.  It's a Lenovo G580 (think it's the i3-3110M 2.4GHz CPU).

https://www.lenovo.com/gb/en/laptops/lenovo/g-series/g580/

It's developed a few problems over the years so I don't think it's worth pursuing any repairs due to it's age (and I CBA to source parts and do the required chassis swap):

1. There's a horizontal flickering line about 5mm from the bottom of the screen.
2. The screw mounts in the chassis that the lid bolts onto are broken.
3. The Samsung SSD has developed an odd whistling noise.  Maybe an iffy capacitor.

We actually have two Lenovos in the house, and they've both developed "Floppy Lid Syndrome", so I'm not keen to go Lenovo again.  Never had that with any other brand of laptop.

The G580 mainly gets used for watching Youtube, and basic gaming - mainly Minecraft and Star Stable.  We're not after playing Red Dead 2 here.

Must-haves:

1. 15.6" screen
2. SSD (or drive-bay access that won't invalidate the warranty).
3. Preferably Intel CPU
4. Better overall performance than the G580
5. Sub-£500.
6. NOT Lenovo.

What are good brands these days?
Intel I9-9900K 3.6-5.0GHz | GeForce RTX2070 8GB | 32GB RAM | 500GB NVMe M.2 SSD | 1TB HDD | Windows 10 x64.
MSI Apache Pro | I7-7700HQ | GeForce GTX1060 3GB | 8GB RAM | 128GB SSD | 1TB HDD | Windows 10 x64.

Offline Derron

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Re: New laptop for kid - ideas?
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2019, 11:10:37 AM »
> 2. SSD (or drive-bay access that won't invalidate the warranty).

Is this a warranty void for you? Hard discs - and RAM are stuff placed in notebooks in a way that normal tech experienced persons are able to replace them. So at least in Germany (and surely other countries) replacing them does not void the warranty.


I have an old HP - some rubber parts went loose after the years, and also the chassis has a little crack in the corner (I wear it "bare" in my backpack so it might have hit some stuff here and there). Bought it "used" some years ago (~4yrs) for 200€. Fan got a bit loud/CPU hotter when upgraded to Windows 10 but else it is a steady workhorse with nice digitizer on board.

Also have some Acer, Toshiba, ... laptops here which still work but are too aged to use them for something "productive" than real-hardware-testing apps.


If you require some mainstream manufactorer then I would not blindly throw Lenovo out of the list of candidates - just check the "Floppy lid"-areas on the device of interest. Eg a "convertible" would be constructed differently and so the lid-part is more hardened.
All of the vendors might have issues with noisy AC plugs, hearable fans on high cpu load, ... or getting warm below a hands palm (some company introduced cooling of the WASD area ...)

bye
Ron

Offline GfK

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Re: New laptop for kid - ideas?
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2019, 11:18:49 AM »
> 2. SSD (or drive-bay access that won't invalidate the warranty).

Is this a warranty void for you? Hard discs - and RAM are stuff placed in notebooks in a way that normal tech experienced persons are able to replace them. So at least in Germany (and surely other countries) replacing them does not void the warranty.

I have an MSI Apache Pro - The only way into it is to remove the entire bottom panel, which has warranty seals over the screws.  I can't even upgrade the RAM or hard drives without voiding the warranty (which runs out next February anyway so I'll be straight in there).  Granted it's the first laptop I've ever seen that's like this but I dunno if it's a new trend to stop folk from tinkering about.
Intel I9-9900K 3.6-5.0GHz | GeForce RTX2070 8GB | 32GB RAM | 500GB NVMe M.2 SSD | 1TB HDD | Windows 10 x64.
MSI Apache Pro | I7-7700HQ | GeForce GTX1060 3GB | 8GB RAM | 128GB SSD | 1TB HDD | Windows 10 x64.

Offline Xerra

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Re: New laptop for kid - ideas?
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2019, 01:27:36 PM »
I've got a Lenovo Windows laptop I bought 18 months or so back and it's the biggest pile of shit I've ever owned. Damn thing is so slow that it takes 15 mins to launch calculator. Sure, it was cheap, but it was sold as a solid computer. I never got round to taking the damn thing back though because I had parallels up and running by then and just left it for the missus to tinker with.


Offline Derron

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Re: New laptop for kid - ideas?
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2019, 01:31:50 PM »
Had a Lenovo on my laps last weekend - it booted 15 minutes until I was able to use it.

Took me almost an hour until the uninstaller of some McAfee suite finished uninstalling it's security suite and AV suite - licence ended "388 days ago" - maybe this borked up something.
After uninstall the whole machine booted up in <1minute (no SSD I think - else it would be <10 seconds). Computer was fluent again so I uninstalled some Lenovo "tools", updated AMD gpu drivers, ... removed some "chromium" from autostart (added twice for whatever reason) and then ... computer was OK to get used.


Fan was quiet, computer not that hot and it did what it should - no hardcore users though.


bye
Ron

Offline GfK

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Re: New laptop for kid - ideas?
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2019, 02:19:52 PM »
Bit of a tale behind how I got the G580.

My older Lenovo - an E520 - died.  No power at all.  I did some digging and it turned out there was a known motherboard fault on that model.  I contacted Lenovo and they offered to fix it, free of charge, even though it was out of warranty.  Happy days!

Downside was that it would be away for up to four weeks, and it was the only laptop I had at that point.  So being happy with Lenovo pulling out all the stops, I bought the G580 to tide me over.

When the E520 came back, granted it was fixed.  But there were a couple of screws missing out of the bottom, and the touchpad wasn't working.  It didn't even show up in device manager.  Opened it up, and they'd forgotten to plug the ribbon cable back into the motherboard.  :o  If I hadn't been conversant with taking laptops to pieces, it would have had to be returned for probably another month.  This is about where I lost a bit of faith in Lenovo as it was just careless.  They couldn't possibly have turned the laptop on and tested it without noticing something like that.

I emailed them about it and they said "oops, really sorry.  We'll send you some screws to replace the missing ones".  They never arrived to this day.   ::)

At some point later, the lid hinges failed on the E520, and I replaced the bottom chassis.  All was fine for about six months, then the mounting points snapped off the new chassis too.

Obviously then I had the exact same thing happen with the G580.  Neither had been mistreated - they're just made of horrible, flimsy plastic, with a tiny metal shim inserted to take the screws, and that doesn't seem suitable for the job.

So erm yeah.  Lenovo laptops seem to be one of the cheapest, but I guess that comes with added risk.

Opted for an HP one anyway.  I've had HP before and it was OK - so it'll be fine for the kid to mess about with.

https://www.laptopsdirect.co.uk/hewlett-packard-255g7-r5-2500u-7dc73ea/version.asp
Intel I9-9900K 3.6-5.0GHz | GeForce RTX2070 8GB | 32GB RAM | 500GB NVMe M.2 SSD | 1TB HDD | Windows 10 x64.
MSI Apache Pro | I7-7700HQ | GeForce GTX1060 3GB | 8GB RAM | 128GB SSD | 1TB HDD | Windows 10 x64.

Offline Brucey

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Re: New laptop for kid - ideas?
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2019, 08:42:57 PM »
I like my ThinkPad :)

Offline JBR

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Re: New laptop for kid - ideas?
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2019, 10:56:38 PM »
Hi,

Have you considered a DELL INSPIRON. They can be quite cheap and fairly simple to change to SSD.

Jim

Offline CodingKnight

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Re: New laptop for kid - ideas?
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2020, 11:21:48 AM »
Just saying, whatever you get, get a laptop with a good battery. I bought a Dell Inspirion and after a year of use it doesn't last more than 2 hours on battery.

Offline JBR

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Re: New laptop for kid - ideas?
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2020, 06:28:34 PM »
To be fair the Inspiron is not really designed for battery life. You should go for a small screen and slower processor.

I went for a 17" i7 and it still lasts 2 hours after 2 years.

Good luck, Jim.

 

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