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Question on getting a new desktop computer

Discussion in 'TUG Lounge' started by Big Matt, Jun 3, 2019.

  1. Big Matt

    Big Matt TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I've been a Microsoft person for 25 years and have finally come to the realization that my old HP desktop computer is worn out. It started with Windows 8 and went up to where I've been on 10 for a few years. Long story short, it's crashing due to what I believe is a disk error........not that any of that matters much.

    The question is: Should I just buy an Apple all in one and call it a day? I have all Apple devices (iPad, iPhone, watch, etc.). The most complex programs that I use are microsoft office which I can run on Apple. I'm looking for people who have experience making this type of choice.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Helaine

    Helaine TUG Member

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    I made the choice to move to MAC several years ago and have had no regrets. Having an iPad, iPhone and watch should make it a no-brainer - they can all work together and share information easily.

    You should make sure you don't use/need any programs that are Windows only besides Microsoft Office. Realize that you may need to buy some programs again for use on the MAC/iOS.

    The other question is desktop or laptop!

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
  3. Cornell

    Cornell TUG Member

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    Why would you get a desktop in lieu of a laptop?
     
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  4. Chrisky

    Chrisky TUG Member

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    I am not a computer expert but can tell you that is what we started to do in 2012. My laptop had died and after doing a lot of research, going to the Apple store, speaking to a ‘geek’ guy we knew, I purchased a refurbished a 2012 iMac 21” (desktop). It is still doing well, but I cannot upgrade the operating system anymore, I now only receive security upgrades. I had to learn how to use it as my DH was still using a laptop with Windows operating system. I was on my own, but found it quite easy to learn how to use it. Not long after my purchase, my DH’s laptop died, and he purchased an Apple laptop, then upgraded to a Macbook Pro. We are now an Apple family and have not looked back. We both have iPads and iPhone 8s.
    My husband upgraded his laptop with a SSD about a year ago, and is very happy with it.
    He does run Word and Excel on his laptop, I just use the Apple systems, iPages for my documents.
    Since you are already familiar with the Apple products you will have a super easy transition. I would do it, no hesitation.
     
  5. DaveNW

    DaveNW TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    I have a Mac laptop at home, and it is fine. I use a Win 10 desktop at work. The Mac works with my iPhone for Airdropping files and such, and works great. I use Office as my only production software on it. The rest is Internet data and such, which is all Appleware stuff. If I need to remotely connect to my work computer, it also works. So I’m happy.

    I’d suggest you explore the Refurbished and Clearance link st the bottom of the Apple.com website. You can save a lot of money without even trying. And the equipment is perfect.

    Good luck!

    Dave
     
  6. bbodb1

    bbodb1 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    In brief: Apple (even refurbished) is pricey. Now I should note I am typing this on my Mac Mini (which might be a solution worth considering if you have a good monitor and keyboard at home...)

    Matt, the best thing I can offer is this - start at the beginning - what do you want and need to accomplish with this device?

    If you can define that, better advice can be offered. At this point, it might a a suggestion of Apple, Windows, or even a Chromebook solution....
     
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  7. pittle

    pittle Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Would a new SSD fix in your current computer? These have saved several desktops and laptops that my husband has worked on for some 80yo+ folks who really do not want to buy a new computer. He put a 1TB SSD in my 5 Acer 15" laptop that I use as basically a desktop and it works amazingly well and is super fast. He has updated his 2 laptops with 256GB and 500GB SSD's.

    I've only been a Windows person as that was what we had at work before I retired in 2001. I do not remember the name of the operating system before Windows 95, but that is what I had when Windows came out. I had just DOS and a program called Smartware before I had Office or Lotus. While I have an iPhone and iPod, I have not decided to jump on the all Apple wagon - even though with Office for Mac, I would be able to learn.We are currently using Windows 10 and Office 2016. Mac's are just so much more expensive than computers with Windows.

    I bought a snazzy 13" HP last year for myself. If & when this Acer wants to bite the dust, that little HP will become my only computer. I bought it to take on vacations and keep up with email for a volunteer job that I do. I want to always have the history with me. But, the more I use it, the better I like it. The resolution and speed are awesome.

    Only you can decide how much you are willing to spend and what your learning curve is.
     
  8. Panina

    Panina TUG Review Crew: Elite TUG Member

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    My daughter has an apple laptop. I have the iphone and the ipad I love. When my computer got outdated (2 years ago) and I researched, I decided on a laptop Dell 15.6 Ultrasharp HD touch Infinityedge display, intel core i7, 32 gb memory, 1tb ssd. As far as I was concerned the apple didn’t come close and I love apple. No regrets, still love this Dell and the touch feature it has plus the large display to the edge with great picture quality.

    So my advice is only get an Apple computer if you truly love it more. I didn’t.
     
  9. SmithOp

    SmithOp TUG Member

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    Not tied to any OS, can use whatever, have Windows and Mac around the house.

    What I would recommend is OpenOffice instead of MS Office, does everything MS does for free open source. I have it on Windows’s and MacBook.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
     
  10. Luanne

    Luanne TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Some of us prefer desk tops computers.
     
  11. geekette

    geekette Guest

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    usually more powerful, optical disks usually standard, upgrade bays, assortment of ports in case something other than USB needed. Plus, if you aren't planning to take a computer anywhere, it's just (for me) ergonomically better to have a standard place with normal keyboard, big monitor. I like desktop for the power to crunch my data, laptops rarely have same juice. Laptops can run very hot, too, not generally suitable for lap use. Laptop speakers generally not great, tho that's not really a concern for me.
     
  12. dioxide45

    dioxide45 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    All true, but the most powerful program the OP is using is MS Office. Perhaps only 1% of all users use Office to its full potential. I am very proficient in Office and hardly get close to what its potential is. I have used laptops for years. Even use one at work, even tough it is connected to two large screen external monitors, I still type on the laptop keyboard. Guess I have just gotten used to it now. I could never go back to a desktop. I edit full HD video on a laptop with no issues at all. The internal SSD does make a huge difference as does the external ones that I edit video off of. Of course, editing video takes a lot of horsepower. The OP would be just fine with the lowest end MacBook. For a desktop model, I would also recommend one of the Mac Mini's. We have a late 2012 version with upgraded ram and it works great. Would be better with an SSD. If you can find one with an SSD, other than the newest 2018 version, it is probably the best Mac Mini out there. Better than the 2014 version that they force upon the world.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2019
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  13. Cornell

    Cornell TUG Member

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    I'm with you -- I am a statistician and do heavy computation of large data sets all day on a laptop and have yet to fully tap the limits of my laptop. I just cannot fathom being tethered to a desktop. Even if you aren't ever traveling w/a laptop, it sure is nice to be able to move it to your kitchen counter, sit outside, pick it up to show someone something.
     
  14. joestein

    joestein TUG Member

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    I am a desktop person myself. I am not an apple person, I even use Android phones.

    However, if you do decide to get a windows based desktop, I would recommend Digital Storm. I would think their cheapest PC, the lowest tier of the Vanquish 7 would be more than sufficient for you. You would get a PC that is cleanly built with quality components for $699. I previously had the top Tier Vanquish 2, and it was the best machine that I ever owned. You will have a PC that has no garbage, spy or shovel ware on it, unlike most larger manufacturers.
     
  15. Ken555

    Ken555 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Macs are excellent, but if you don’t want to learn a new system stay with Windows. And if you want a laptop, I’d suggest considering Microsoft’s own Surface Pro, which you can get at Costco for a quite reasonable price. Otherwise, the new Mac mini or any of the MacBook’s would work quite well (the least expensive will have more performance than you need, so choose based on screen size, comfort, etc). Generally speaking, the more memory and storage you have the greater the longevity of the computer.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  16. Ken555

    Ken555 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I agree desktops have their place. However, just FYI, all the features you mentioned here can be obtained with a laptop, other than the possible exception of performance when considering inexpensive computers.

    I’ve had a laptop as my primary computer for ~25 years. All that time I’ve had a large monitor, regular keyboard and mouse, and used it just like a desktop. All the ports you would use today can be replicated with many different solutions, depending on what you exactly need. My desk also has a keyboard tray so that the keyboard and mouse are at an ergonomically correct height.

    My current setup is a MacBook Pro 15 with the following: Dell Ultrasharp 30” display, keyboard, mouse, CalDigit Thunderbolt hub, powered 10-port USB hub, multiple external drives, fabulous Audioengine A2+ speakers, and other accessories. When I travel I just unplug two cables and go (since I have an older version of the CalDigit hub...the current one would only require one cable). My MBP performance is very comparable to most desktops and the same would be true for modern non-entry level Windows laptops.

    So, it is actually quite possible to replicate features and performance with a laptop. This is one of the reasons laptop sales have become the majority of all computer sales in recent years.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  17. "Roger"

    "Roger" Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    People tend to like whatever they have, so I will join the crew.

    One thing that you might notice in the responses above is the people who like Apple tend to also have Apple phones and IPads. Put them all together that is a lot of extra money over a Windows, Android universe. I have never cared for the keyboards on a laptop, plus I often need the numerical section on a full sized keyboard. Finally, I went to an all-in-one computer (the cpu is in the monitor, no tower taking up space). Much less expensive and more than powerful for my needs. (The big advantage of the higher price computers is speed in gaming. Not my thing.) The one disadvantage of an all in one is if, for example, the screen goes dead (or the hard drive or the ...) you have to get an entire new unit. On the other hand, you can buy two all-in-ones for the price of many of the alternatives. Even if something does not go out, I can modernize with a new computer more often for the same price as one current computer. (If you do go this route, save your old keyboard. It might be better than the one that comes with an all-in-one.)

    As I said, everyone likes what they have. I am just giving my reasons for liking what I have.
     
  18. Brett

    Brett Guest

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    I'm also a windows and android person (better value !)
    I've attached an external LCD screen and keyboard to my cheap Lenovo laptop
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2019
  19. Big Matt

    Big Matt TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Browsing, email, use of word, excel, and powerpoint. Would also watch TV or live sports on it through the browser once in a while
     
  20. Big Matt

    Big Matt TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Also, I have a windows based laptop and use it for business travel. I don't want a docking station and have a large monitor, printer and full sized keyboard and mouse. I run out of ports with a lap top and don't want to keep unplugging and plugging in. That's why I want a desk top. Money isn't a big deal, it's just wanting to own something that doesn't break and doesn't need virus protection. My current computer has been a problem over time. I've had to reinstall the OS twice which means installing all of the programs and transferring the data. Huge pain in the you know what.
     
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  21. geekette

    geekette Guest

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    Of course I can plug all that crap in to a portable, but I'm still paying more, getting less, for a hot machine that I've found do not last as long as desktops and are often much more expensive. The reason that laptop sales have increased is that the user base has increased. how many laptop users today were using computers in the 80s?

    My data server needs juice and multiple processors, means nothing to me that you've laptopped 25 years. I want onboard optical drive and often more than one. I want spare bays in case a client hands me a hard drive. No problem on wireless keyboard and mouse, have had those for years. Have put computer display on big tv when I had a back injury so I could stand or lie down to work. Of course many things are possible. I can replace parts in a desktop myself but am unlikely to ever even bother to open up a laptop.

    I want what I want. Not sure how that's an issue for anyone. I have both, by the way, and end up replacing laptops much more frequently. I work and I play. The needs are different, and for power and reliability, I use desktop.
     
  22. Ken555

    Ken555 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Ah yes, sorry...I forgot to whom I was responding to. Had I remembered, I wouldn’t have bothered. You’re not interested in other opinions...


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  23. Cornell

    Cornell TUG Member

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    So...My recent situation was similar, but not identical to yours. I have had a MacBook for years (for personal use) but have always had an Android phone. I always did just fine w/the two "not talking" to each other. Six months ago I switched to an iPhone. A couple of minor things that I love ....that may not matter to you at all: I love that I can airdrop photos from my phone to my Macbook so easily. Previously, getting photos from my phone to the computer wasn't as easy. Secondly, I am text messaging constantly. I love having iMessage on my Macbook. It's so great when I'm working on it to quickly respond to a text w/o having to pick up my phone. Plus I love composing the messages via my physical keyboard, not my phone's keyboard. These are minor things but the Apple-integration of my phone and computer have brought a lot of conveniences that I wasn't anticipating.
     
  24. PigsDad

    PigsDad TUG Member

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    That was not very fair, IMO. Geekette nailed the benefits of a desktop in the first sentence: for the same money, you get a more powerful, durable, expandable machine that runs cooler. If you have no need for portability, why would you pay for a laptop that includes a monitor that you will never use? Inferring that a laptop is always a better option than a desktop is silly.

    Kurt
     
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  25. Ken555

    Ken555 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    It was based on previous threads which I had forgotten.

    As to the salient points, this thread already mentioned several advantages to laptops, but I certainly didn’t say a laptop is “always a better option”. If you’re trying to be fair, be fair.


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