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Which ~$1000 laptop (& MS Office on Chromebooks)


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#1

TomSahz
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Posted 24 June 2020 - 09:22 PM

Hey all, my partner is thinking about buying a laptop in the $1000-1200 range. I was looking at some for her and saw chromebooks can be pretty cheap, and in general, seem to meet her needs. However, one really important need is the ability to use Outlook/Word/Excel.

 

What laptops would you be looking at?

 

What is the experience like on a chromebook using the free office android apps (or I suppose office 365 if its much better)? Are there any major differences using office apps on a chromebook? Can you work with local files or do they have to be in the cloud?

 

I've read a bit online about it but was wondering if anyone had some first hand experiences of chromebooks for office type work.


Edited by TomSahz, 24 June 2020 - 09:23 PM.


#2

LinuxUser
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Posted 25 June 2020 - 09:37 AM

Yes, a Chromebook can work with local files. So can the Android Office apps. However, I'm pretty certain those apps require an Office 365 subscription on anything with a screen bigger than 8 inch, or to use certain features when editing. I haven't used them on a Chromebook, so I can't advise about the experience there.

 

I've used a Chromebook a little, and while ChromeOS is OK I'd personally favour a proper Linux distro. The advantage it has as opposed to normal distros is no admin stuff and it just works – but it still has the biggest problem, namely that it's not Windows. It's different again to anything else I've used, which includes Window, macOS, and a few proper Linux desktop environments. The most restrictive aspect for me is that normally you are stuck with either the web browser, the (few) built-in apps, or use Android apps (which doesn't seem "right", and aren't necessarily designed for it). Oh, and right-click by holding down Alt while clicking, although that may be hardware-dependent.

 

The other thing is, most of the cheap Chromebooks have pretty low-end hardware, including storage, and probably no upgrades possible.

 

My guess is that a Chromebook would work OK, but I'd probably look at a proper laptop. In that price range you should be able to find something pretty reasonable.


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#3

TomSahz
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Posted 27 June 2020 - 09:56 PM

Thanks for your thoughts! Yes its looking like a chromebook might be a bit lacking.



#4

djotter
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Posted 29 June 2020 - 11:47 AM

I highly recommend something with a 1920x1080p screen as a starting point, anything smaller is frustrating to use, especially for office applications.

This one has good specs for the money, Acer Aspire 5 A515-43, would need to do some review reading to see if the build quality is what you are looing for. https://classic.pric...t.php?p=5375503

Acer Swift, Asus Zenbook (AMD), and Asus Vivobook (Intel) are a little more flashy, and the HP Probooks are built pretty solid. They are a little more expensive than the Aspire, but a bit less plasticy.


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#5

lvmarv
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Posted 29 June 2020 - 12:51 PM

Stretch your budget a liiiiiiiiiiiiittle bit more..... you are so very close. This is what I would do......

 

https://www.pbtech.c...-IPS-AMD-Ryzen5

 

That Ryzen 4500u is a killer CPU, and beats all of Intel comparative offerings such as the i7-1065G7 at a cheaper price. I know I am stretching your budget, but this is where I would be looking!


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#6

TomSahz
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Posted 29 June 2020 - 10:28 PM

I highly recommend something with a 1920x1080p screen as a starting point, anything smaller is frustrating to use, especially for office applications.

This one has good specs for the money, Acer Aspire 5 A515-43, would need to do some review reading to see if the build quality is what you are looing for. https://classic.pric...t.php?p=5375503

Acer Swift, Asus Zenbook (AMD), and Asus Vivobook (Intel) are a little more flashy, and the HP Probooks are built pretty solid. They are a little more expensive than the Aspire, but a bit less plasticy.

 

Thanks for your suggestions. Yeah we were deliberately looking at a smaller screen because my partners old laptop was a 15.6inch screen and was a bit too large and heavy. I was definitely looking at the Acer swift though.

 

Stretch your budget a liiiiiiiiiiiiittle bit more..... you are so very close. This is what I would do......

 

https://www.pbtech.c...-IPS-AMD-Ryzen5

 

That Ryzen 4500u is a killer CPU, and beats all of Intel comparative offerings such as the i7-1065G7 at a cheaper price. I know I am stretching your budget, but this is where I would be looking!

Yeah this one looks real nice and ticks all of the boxes. Thanks for that. I guess with 100 cash back it would be 1215 which is very tempting.



#7

lvmarv
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Posted 02 July 2020 - 10:11 AM

Nice. What did you decide on?


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#8

TomSahz
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Posted 08 July 2020 - 03:36 PM

Nice. What did you decide on?

Did some more comparisons but ended up going with your suggestion. Seems to be very good for 1200. Just waiting on delivery.


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#9

lvmarv
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Posted 08 July 2020 - 10:22 PM

Nice! Keen to hear how it goes when you get it!


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#10

TomSahz
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Posted 14 July 2020 - 08:25 PM

Nice! Keen to hear how it goes when you get it!

I haven't forgotten about this thread, we just haven't had time to unbox and set it up. Partner wanted a monitor and mouse/keyboard so we went with a Samsung S24F350 (which has really good reviews) and the classic Logitech MK120 combo. Will report here once its all set up.


Edited by TomSahz, 14 July 2020 - 08:25 PM.

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#11

TomSahz
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Posted 26 July 2020 - 09:26 PM

Nice! Keen to hear how it goes when you get it!

First impressions are great. I was surprised at how little bloatware came preinstalled, but of course still had to remove a few things. Performs very well as would be expected, and is super quiet. Build quality seems good. The real test is always how long it stays like this I guess.

 

The Samsung monitor is also fantastic. So thin and light with a great looking image. Very pleased! If I needed a second monitor, or I needed a new one if my current one bit the dust, I'd definitely go for this Samsung one.


Edited by TomSahz, 26 July 2020 - 09:27 PM.

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#12

lvmarv
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Posted 31 July 2020 - 12:46 PM

Hey thats cool to hear man, glad to see that it is going well! It very much seemed like a well specced machine for a decent price with that cashback!


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Ryzen 7 3700X | Gigabyte GA-AX370-Gaming 5 | 16GB G.Skill Trident Z Neo 3600mhz DDR4  | eVGA GTX1080Ti FTW3 with Corsair H55 AIO | Samsung 970 Evo 500GB | Samsung 850 Evo 1TB | eVGA Supernova G2 750W | Coolermaster Masterbox MB530P





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