A KrebsOnSecurity series on how easy big-three credit bureau Equifax makes it to get detailed salary history data on tens of millions of Americans apparently inspired a deeper dive on the subject by F...
Here's what to watch out for in Notebooks/Laptops and my recommendations.
Laptops: the sub $200 machines are not going to be a very useful purchase unless you are simply going to use them to surf the web. I have been reading up on these "sales" and none of the machines I have found would be anything I would recommend to anyone I know. Especially the Chromebooks and and the ones with 32Gb SSD drives as their only drive!
We have actually had a few of these in for service and found that Windows 10 updates tend to crash these machines because there is not enough space on drive to complete the required security patch updates. Making these machines a huge security issue and a danger to your home network if you have one!.
What I would recommend in a laptop is as follows:
Intel Core I5 or AMD A series - These are both roughly equal, except on the video side where the AMD is significantly better.
Minimum of 8GB DDR4 2400 RAM
Hard drive - Preferred Solid State Drive at 525GB - The reason here is the Windows 10 OS is almost 100GB today without anything on it. If you are like most you will want to use this for photos, and applications like Microsoft Office which can take up gigabytes of space, so you will want bigger drives than the typical 128 or 256SSD.
If you don't mind a bit slower a 500GB 7200 RPM hard drive is fine. The big difference if boot up time, on the SSD it is as fast as a few second while on the traditional hard drive it takes between 1-2 minutes.
Screen, 15.6 HD screen, preferred non glare matte screen which is much easier to read. Touch is not needed unless you want a machine that turns into a tablet. This option typically adds several hundred dollars to the machine.
DVDRW Drive - If I wanted the lightest machine this would not be an option, but for most folks this is not only a good idea it is greatly appreciated. With a DVDRW drive you can put in movies and show them on the screen or plug the machine right into the TV. This typically does not add any cost to the machine.
All Laptops today have WIFI built in, most good ones also have physical hardwired port as well.
Operating system - Windows 10 Professional. This has a great deal more stability and useful tools than the Home version and thus will be supported longer.
So, What should one of these machines cost? Fully configured with the memory, the 525GB SSD updated and ready to go should be between $795-$895. This machine would be considered a business class notebook/laptop and unlike the home versions will be useful for 3 or more years. For those that don't know the typical big box store machine today is designed to be replaced between 12 and 18 months! They don't want you to upgrade they want you to buy a new one, so be aware of this when looking this year.
Lastly, no machine is ready to go out of the box, They all require several hours of updating and configuring to be used. This is something the big box stores simply don't tell you. You are much better off getting one taken out of the box and updated prior to you putting it under the tree this holiday season. Why?, because you then know it works and it has all the security patches in place as well as antivirus so it won't take down your home network when it gets turned on and someone clicks on something they shouldn't have.
Have a safe and happy holiday season. As a bonus for taking the time to read this I'll give you $50 off one of our Lenovo or custom built machines this Holiday season for just mentioning this post.
If you have any questions feel free to call 343-2713 or stop by the shop and ask for me.
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