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  1. #1
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    Default Laptop question

    I’m not tech savvy at all. I can do basic stuff on the computer but no idea about much else.

    Anyway...my daughter starts high school next year and I was going to get her a laptop for Christmas but given the current situation I’m thinking I’ll buy her one these holidays as an early birthday present as we were going to go to Melbourne for her birthday weekend next month but I can’t see that happening now.

    So my question is...what are the minimum specifications I should be looking for in a laptop in regards to RAM, processor etc.

    I don’t mind spending a bit more for a good one that will last a few years.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    General rule of thumb - bigger numbers will give more memory, faster processing speed etc.

    Whether you actually need it is a different matter.

    For example, I think an i5 processor would be fine and I don't think you need to worry about an i7.

    An SSD drive is supposed will make everything work faster. I think it is worth it, but my DS (who knows a lot about computers) doesn't.

    Not sure about the RAM, will ask DS and be back later. I'm pretty sure mine is 8GB of RAM.

    What I would definitely spend more money on, is a larger screen and full keyboards ie with separate number pad.

    Also, it would be worth find out if the school allow you to purchase your own device or if you need to buy one from the school. Until this year, the highschool mine are at only let devices purchased through the school on the school network.

    ETA 8 hour battery life is a must if it is going to school.
    Last edited by SSecret Squirrel; 09-04-2020 at 20:49.

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    BigRedV (09-04-2020)

  4. #3
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    Default Laptop question

    Quote Originally Posted by SSecret Squirrel View Post
    General rule of thumb - bigger numbers will give more memory, faster processing speed etc.

    Whether you actually need it is a different matter.

    For example, I think an i5 processor would be fine and I don't think you need to worry about an i7.

    An SSD drive is supposed will make everything work faster. I think it is worth it, but my DS (who knows a lot about computers) doesn't.

    Not sure about the RAM, will ask DS and be back later. I'm pretty sure mine is 8GB of RAM.

    What I would definitely spend more money on, is a larger screen and full keyboards ie with separate number pad.

    Also, it would be worth find out if the school allow you to purchase your own device or if you need to buy one from the school. Until this year, the highschool mine are at only let devices purchased through the school on the school network.
    Thanks for the advice. I know the high school let you take your own as one of my friend’s sons started at the high school this year and she told me at the beginning of the year that she wished she got him one as a Christmas present which is where I got the idea from. It’s not a requirement but she said that they do a lot of work on devices.

    All her school work is currently on google classroom and we only have one PC so with me working from home for at least a few weeks next term it makes sense to buy one these holidays.

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    SSecret Squirrel (09-04-2020)

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    I wonder if going to the shops (25mins away) will be considered essential

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigRedV View Post
    I wonder if going to the shops (25mins away) will be considered essential
    Very. If you are going to look at computers, it could fall under the umbrella of education.

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    BigRedV (09-04-2020)

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    i5 or Ryzen 5 CPU both are good though a laptop with Ryzen will cost a bit less.
    8gb ram minimum or 16gb if you want it to last a couple of extra years.
    SSD's are more expensive but are way fast compared to an old hard drive.
    Screen resolution 1920x1080, heaps of laptops come with weird non standard resolutions, which can cause problems with some videos or programs.
    Here's two that fit the bill:
    https://www.officeworks.com.au/shop/...6tx-hpcs3086tx
    https://www.jbhifi.com.au/products/a...op-512gbryzen5

    The one at jbhifi is really nice, it's what I would buy if I needed to.

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    BigRedV (10-04-2020)

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    DD started high school this year, so I've just been through all of this.

    The tech leasing company that spoke at orientation recommended their 2nd-3rd up from their base model. The minimum specs the school said was 4mb RAM, 127mb SSD, 11" touchscreen. Touchscreen seems to be a definite (not for the capability, more because everyone else has one).

    These specs were too low for my liking. I got DD a 13", 8mb RAM, 256SSD. It's more than enough. She's very arty ,so I expect by year 10 I'll need to upgrade to a MAC or high-quality graphics PC.

    I didn't stress about a bigger hard drive as most of their files are stored online and I figure I can get her a $100 usb hard drive to back up photos etc. I went the larger screen so she could use it to watch movies etc - something I do not regret in lockdown! But it does make it harder to fit everything in her bag.

    One thing to watch for, make sure it can run Office 365 and can install 3rd party apps. Some of the "home" windows that come with the cheap laptops/notebooks will only allow apps from the Microsoft store, which cuts out a lot of good freeware/shareware.

    Finally, my DD is good at looking after things. If your child is a bull in a china shop, I would get the cheapest possible! Also, you can add it to your home contents insurance with accident/loss replacement cover much cheaper than if you got separate cover through the supplier/tech company.

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    BigRedV (10-04-2020)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mason98 View Post
    i5 or Ryzen 5 CPU both are good though a laptop with Ryzen will cost a bit less.
    8gb ram minimum or 16gb if you want it to last a couple of extra years.
    SSD's are more expensive but are way fast compared to an old hard drive.
    Screen resolution 1920x1080, heaps of laptops come with weird non standard resolutions, which can cause problems with some videos or programs.
    Here's two that fit the bill:
    https://www.officeworks.com.au/shop/...6tx-hpcs3086tx
    https://www.jbhifi.com.au/products/a...op-512gbryzen5

    The one at jbhifi is really nice, it's what I would buy if I needed to.
    These two are lovely laptops, but too big for a schoolbag (I say this as DD's only just fits in her big school bag and it's 13" with a soft envelope cover.

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    BigRedV (10-04-2020)

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    Do you know what high school she is going to? I would have a quick look on the high school website to see if the requirements are listed there. I know our school has a specific page on the website dedicated to the requirements needed.

    Just make sure it is fast enough, has a long battery life and is light to carry. One of my girls has a Hp Spectre and the a Hp Probook.

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    BigRedV (10-04-2020)

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    I lied, DD's is a 14" but very slimline. This is the one we got, was about $850 on sale.

    https://www.thegoodguys.com.au/acer-...top-nxhfcsa002

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