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If you were going to buy a laptop today...

Discussion in 'Computers, Hardware, and Operating Systems' started by W3CKL, Aug 15, 2016.

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  1. W3CKL

    W3CKL Ham Member QRZ Page

    So I'm a Mac guy and have been for 25 years. I own a marketing agency and have a background in professional photography and visual design. Mac dominates my industry. That said, my degree is actually in computer science and in a previous life I was a Windows sys admin and network engineer.

    I have an SDR Play and an Icom 7300. I'm intrigued by the digital modes and all of the eye candy of running my rigs on the "big screen". As the result of moving in with a woman and combining two households, I have a surplus of large HDTV's which would look pretty cool on the wall of my office, filled band scopes.

    I've been looking at laptops at Office Max and Sam's Club and am continuously amazed by the low prices. Ham radio is a Windows' world and I'm thinking about getting something that can run all the cool software that we in the Mac world don't have access to.

    Only two real requirements are that it has a processor that can handle the widest bandwidth of SDR Uno and that it has an HDMI-out port.

    Have any of you purchased a relatively inexpensive Windows laptop from one of the big box stores lately and lately and care to make any recommendations?

    Thanks in advance,

    Bill
     
  2. K8ERV

    K8ERV QRZ Member QRZ Page

    I don't think you can buy a new puter today w/o Win 10 on it.
    I buy used ones with Win 7.

    Ur choice.

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
     
    K6CLS likes this.
  3. W1GVT

    W1GVT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Last edited: Aug 15, 2016
    K6CLS likes this.
  4. WF7A

    WF7A Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm a Mac guy, too, but am contemplating buying a PC laptop for the same reasons--some software is better on a PC than on a Mac. (MS-Word, for example.)

    How firm are you on having HDMI built into a laptop instead of connecting an adapter to a USB or DVI port? The reason why I ask is that if you don't require a built-in HDMI port then you'll have a wider selection of laptops to choose from.

    If I were to buy a laptop tomorrow, I'd buy an Asus brand one because of their design--they pull air in from the sides and blow it out the back, making for a much cooler laptop (and on your lap!); heat is a killer of all laptops so the cooler they run, the better.

    The only downside of Asus is their customer service--it's notoriously terrible. However, if your machine survives the burn-in period then it's pretty much a non-issue.
     
    K9ASE likes this.
  5. K6FNI

    K6FNI Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I think HP is still shipping new machines with Windows 7 but there are fewer and fewer of them. I personally prefer Windows 7 and I'm not looking forward to upgrading.

    Robert, K6FNI
     
  6. N6OIL

    N6OIL Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    We just bought a dozen HP EliteBooks with Win7 Pro and the docking stations, you need a DP to HDMI adaptor though.
     
  7. KX4OM

    KX4OM Ham Member QRZ Page

    My only preference would be a laptop that uses standard BIOS rather than UEFI. Intel and Microsoft have tied together certain CPU and chipsets to the Secure Boot configuration. If you ever want to use another operating system (such as Linux) other than Windows 10, that may present a problem. I expect that Microsoft will be more restrictive in the future regarding disabling the bypass of Secure Boot.

    Ted, KX4OM
     
  8. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I got a nice couple of ASUS laptops for my daughter and me at the same time, and they're pretty screaming machines. I do all my data acquisition with mine with no problems.
     
  9. KX4OM

    KX4OM Ham Member QRZ Page

    If it is Windows 10, make sure it is Windows 10 Professional. There are still a few settings to reduce Microsoft's intrusiveness and junk "features" that can be changed following the August 2nd Anniversary Update. A lot of settings privileges were taken away from Windows 10 Pro by that update. Better yet, Windows 10 Enterprise if your company qualifies and can afford it: much more admin control over settings, no ads, no Windows Store, no "tips" popups, no Cortana if you don't want it, and Level 0 telemetry (sent to Microsoft and its partners) rather than Basic (Pro) or Full (Home).

    Ted, KX4OM
     
  10. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Don't buy a Craptop with a Win 10 OS locked BIOS.
     

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