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Rummy

Yet another 'find me a (cheap) laptop' thread!

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So I'm after a laptop guys - BUT I don't think I'm really after anything majorly advanced or anything. I'm almost after the cheapest laptop I can find - really it's going to operate for a bit of internet browsing. Possible small scale gaming/steaming if I find me an old Windows somewhere BUT-

 

It doesn't need to come with an OS/Windows. In fact I'll probably put some flavour of Linux on it for primary usage to keep it lean and mean - mostly I just need it for browsing tinternets with sound, and hooking up to a TV when I might want to make things big screen(so HDMI out is a plus, but I can still VGA+3.5mm out).

 

I'd even take a refurb. As long as it isn't super mega slow - I might be happy.

 

 

So...any recommendations on a cheapy ol' laptop for me? Either a tidy refurb or 2nd hand bargain or just a cheap brand new? Any good refurb sites to look over?

 

Cheapest new I've found is this HP 255 with Ubuntu at ebuyer for £220 - tho not available for a while.

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Chromebooks are great, tend to use mine more for than my Windows machine if I just need to browse the Internet. Won't be any good for using Steam though. You can install Linux on them if you really need to.

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If I only wanted to browse the internet, I'd get a Chromebook. But whilst it's super cheap, it might feel like wasted money down the line when you hit limitations in what you can do.

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If I just wanted to browse the internet, I'd get a Raspberry Pi. Far cheaper.

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If I only wanted to browse the internet, I'd get a Chromebook. But whilst it's super cheap, it might feel like wasted money down the line when you hit limitations in what you can do.

 

What sort of limitations might I be likely to hit? I really don't know very much about Chromebooks/ChromeOS, so I hadn't considered it in my option. This is essentially gonna be quick/easy living room browsing with ideal TV out functionality for big screen catchup and playback etc. I was under the impression its features are quite dependant on being online and the cloud etc - that was something I was a little less keen on atm.

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If I just wanted to browse the internet I'd get an Android tablet. Far cheaper.

 

That's true, I was being a bit vague. I guess you go for a laptop at least because you expect to do a lot of typing, so I took that part for granted.

 

If I just wanted to browse the internet, I'd get a Raspberry Pi. Far cheaper.

Unless you wanted to see what you were browsing, in which case you'd have to hope the train had a plug for the monitor you brought with you.

 

What sort of limitations might I be likely to hit? I really don't know very much about Chromebooks/ChromeOS, so I hadn't considered it in my option. This is essentially gonna be quick/easy living room browsing with ideal TV out functionality for big screen catchup and playback etc. I was under the impression its features are quite dependant on being online and the cloud etc - that was something I was a little less keen on atm.

Using a Chromebook is just like using Google Chrome on a laptop which boots super fast, along with all the apps and extensions you can get for it, mail, google drive (docs), etc..

 

If you suddenly decide you need some software like Excel, Outlook or Photoshop, you're out of luck, you'll have to use the web equivalents.

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Google Docs is surprisingly robust/good for an office-like experience, although yeah; Photoshop is a no. But I don't think you wanted to do that anyway.

 

One of the better things about the Chromebook in the link is the 16GB flash (effectively SSD speeds). It makes booting up/general operation pretty seamless.

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I probably wouldn't use it for documenting or work much(I don't have a current need, plus I'll have a seperate PC somewhere if super neccessary) - laptop's more just mobility and internetting around the TV/living room/maybe dining room; seems to be often recently that I'll end up throwing up the laptop to stream some music in company, or watch some episodes of things online(and the inevitable sharing by everyone of many HILARIOUS youtube videos and internet things -.-). Tbh the biggest tech thing I'd want in life atm is if my phone could just output to my TV with a simple plug, but sadly that isn't a decent realism quite yet.

 

I've used Google Docs a bit - but I'm still not a great fan of 'the cloud'; can't explain fully why but it isn't quite my dice. Knowing there might be inflexibility in applications later might put me off too, I sometimes end up needing some strange little known program to fix something for someone.

 

Having a look around, refurbs might be the way to go - as I'm not in desperate need of cutting edge tech or top quality cosmetic it works with my low price idea - does anyone know any good refurb retailers they've had recommended/would recommend?

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Tbh the biggest tech thing I'd want in life atm is if my phone could just output to my TV with a simple plug, but sadly that isn't a decent realism quite yet.

 

It's called a Chromecast. ;)

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It's called a Chromecast. ;)

 

A word I had seen but often ignored - looks interesting though for £40...I'm seeing some cheap refurbs I could throw another £100 at and get similar plus more(another reason for a laptop is if I ever decide to host more Terraria or Starbound when it's complete it'll be a cheaper option powerwise than most/my PC).

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I probably wouldn't use it for documenting or work much(I don't have a current need, plus I'll have a seperate PC somewhere if super neccessary) - laptop's more just mobility and internetting around the TV/living room/maybe dining room; seems to be often recently that I'll end up throwing up the laptop to stream some music in company, or watch some episodes of things online(and the inevitable sharing by everyone of many HILARIOUS youtube videos and internet things -.-). Tbh the biggest tech thing I'd want in life atm is if my phone could just output to my TV with a simple plug, but sadly that isn't a decent realism quite yet.

 

I've used Google Docs a bit - but I'm still not a great fan of 'the cloud'; can't explain fully why but it isn't quite my dice. Knowing there might be inflexibility in applications later might put me off too, I sometimes end up needing some strange little known program to fix something for someone.

 

Having a look around, refurbs might be the way to go - as I'm not in desperate need of cutting edge tech or top quality cosmetic it works with my low price idea - does anyone know any good refurb retailers they've had recommended/would recommend?

 

All of those can be done with a tablet. If you aren't going to be much typing, then I would get an Android tablet over a Chromebook/Laptop.

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Stop stealing my thunder!

 

Rummy what phone do you have. Chromecast is supposed to launch here at some point.

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Stop stealing my thunder!

 

Rummy what phone do you have. Chromecast is supposed to launch here at some point.

 

Atm I think it's a HTC One V?

 

 

For what sort of price could I pick up a decent Android tablet for the job? I'm still super tempted by a laptop for some reason though.

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For what sort of price could I pick up a decent Android tablet for the job? I'm still super tempted by a laptop for some reason though.

 

Depends on the size of the screen. For example, a 7-inch Nexus 7 16GB is ~£170 (can probably get a bit cheaper if you shop around [32GB is ~£200]).

 

7-inch Kindle Fire HD 8GB is ~£120 (~£140 for the 16GB).

 

The Kindle Fire HD 8.9" is ~£160.

 

Of course, if you consider something like an Allwinner then you can get something far cheaper. For example this 9" Allwinner A13 with keyboard bundle for £60 (that was just the first one that came up on eBay).

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Interesting @Ashley...I might wait and see how the Chromecast is after all then, possibly pair it up with a cheap tablet as @MoogleViper suggests(or...could I even do it from my PC elsewhere over the network?!). This has been an enlightening thread gents, thanks for your help!

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Interesting @Ashley...I might wait and see how the Chromecast is after all then, possibly pair it up with a cheap tablet as @MoogleViper suggests(or...could I even do it from my PC elsewhere over the network?!). This has been an enlightening thread gents, thanks for your help!

 

You should be able to do it from your desktop.

 

Although with a tablet, you can just plug it straight into your TV. (Obviously you can do this with a laptop as well, but they're bulkier. I had to macgyver some sort of stand out of books and dvd cases when I did this with my laptop, as it didn't fit on the TV stand.)

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Now it's out in the UK we should see more support for it, hopefully. BBC iPlayer recently added cast support so the other shouldn't be too far behind.

 

Casting webpages in Chrome for mobile was added in a recent dev build so that shouldn't be too far off.

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Does this do anything above what a smart TV can already do? Or is it just a super cheap addon to make any TV smart?

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Does this do anything above what a smart TV can already do? Or is it just a super cheap addon to make any TV smart?

 

Yeah, pretty much.

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If you can cast the screen, why do we need to wait for iPlayer/4oD etc to be compatible? Can't you just cast the 4oD stream playing on your laptop?

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