Old 03-21-2020, 01:08 AM
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Laptop: Dell vs HP ?

Opinions please.
My understanding has been that HP and Dell laptops aren't especially good, but that opinion goes back over 20 years. I'm wondering if times have changed- in your considered opinions, are laptops from either maker a decent product in the under $1500 price range?

In that price range I obviously don't expect or hope for a professional quality machine. I just want to know if their lower end products are well put together.

With my eyes going bad as I near 70, my two biggest concerns are a) 17" screen, and b) adequate screen brightness. I looked at both a Lenovo and an Acer, both priced under $1,000 and was shocked by how dim the screens are; by comparison my older (and dying) Toshiba 15" still has a far brighter display.

Thanks. Stay healthy.
Old 03-21-2020, 08:05 AM
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your best bet would be to look at review forums find out what others have experienced and, more importantly, how the company stood behind its name/product.

another option would be to drop in at best-buy where you can get a good 'grasp' (pun intended) of a product you are considering play around with it a few minutes ask questions if necessary. this is the ploy i usually stick with when looking for a product: after taking a pic (including price/features) of three or four computers you like at best-buy or other store go home and do your research pull up the company's product sheets find out what others have to say.

my current setup is toshiba-laptop previous two were desktops (dell and ibm). laptops don't last forever the collective usually suggests 3-4 years of solid use and it's already beginning to show its age. mine is 6-7 years old (used 5-6 hours daily). a year after purchase, i upgraded the ram from 8gb to 16gb after six add'l years, decided to replace the keyboard.

oh and if you're interested check these links at your leisure:
at one point in time, i was offered a wooden scīpiō (handstaff) after a time, i slowly 'n methodically whittled that cane down until it became one ginormous toothpick.

Last edited by albino_manatee; 03-21-2020 at 08:09 AM.
Old 03-21-2020, 12:07 PM
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I live in a town that is fairly limited in brick and mortar sources for laptops. CostCo and Staples are my only real choices in that regard. I have in fact been doing what you suggest, and (by the way) have found so-so reviews for the Dynabook (Toshiba rebrand) laptops. Most disappointingly, dim screens - the bright screen is one of the things I like best about my critically damaged Toshiba.

I have been looking at online reviews, with mixed and conflicting results, but the online forum I most respect is the one we're on right now. That's why I asked the SDMB for opinions.

Old 03-21-2020, 12:37 PM
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Is it possible that the laptops you were looking at had the screens auto-dimming in a bright environment? I see/use many laptops and I just haven't seen any Dells, HPs, Lenovos, or Acers that had truly "dim" screens. Granted, some models have brighter screens than others, usually if they are intended for media purposes.

Getting back to the original question, I'd favor the Dells over the HPs. HP and I have just never been good friends.
Old 03-21-2020, 03:37 PM
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Auto-dimming in a bright environment? I'm not familiar with that.

One thing to keep in mind that many companies produce a range of products. From low end crap to high end serious user stuff. So looking at one Acer laptop tells you nothing about other models. Some of their stuff does indeed have cheap screens. Others don't.

This is why God invented reviews.

Some HP stuff is for naive consumers and not all that great. Stuff for businesses tends to be higher quality. Well, relatively speaking. You have to get well up the line to see passable quality there.

With Dell, the quality tends to be a bit better but the thing to keep in mind is you're not buying a laptop, you're buying customer service. So extra $ for something you probably don't need but if you if do, you will be really, really glad to get it.
Old 03-21-2020, 06:28 PM
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Desktops tend to have better, brighter screens than laptops. Is there a reason you need a laptop?
Or consider a docking station with a desktop monitor for use at home.
Old 03-21-2020, 08:04 PM
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I appreciate all the suggestions, but really- I'm not the wide-eyed novice my OP apparently suggested. I've used computers and professional quality laptops since 1994. I already know how to shop. I already know what I need and want, why, and what for.
I've already read a shitload of reviews, focusing on the problem of laptops with dim screens which is indeed an issue for many buyers and reviewers alike, across several brand names.

All I wanted from my SDMB compatriots was your opinions on one question: at the lower end of the price scale, are Dell and HP laptops any good these days?

In any event, it's been decided. I drove 70 miles to the big city, looked at HP, Dell, and low-end Lenovo laptops. The HP's were the only ones with screens that are as bright and clear as my crippled Toshiba, which I brought with me for side by side comparison. In my experiences with HP printers (NEVER again), their tech support/customer service is execrable, but them's the breaks. It's only a $600 laptop, I can afford to find out the hard way how good it is or isn't.

I apologize for how cranky this must read. Tone of voice and inflection would make it sound benevolent, which is how I'm feeling.
Old 03-22-2020, 01:30 PM
Hari Seldon is offline
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Ever since a Dell "help" line employee hung up on me after I said, "What the hell am I supposed to do now?" I have decided the company is run by religious fanatics and I want nothing to do with them.

I also suspect that the dim screen you saw was in some power-saving mode. During a power failure a month ago, the screen on my laptop went very dim.
Old 03-22-2020, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Hari Seldon View Post
I also suspect that the dim screen you saw was in some power-saving mode.
a) you couldn't be more wrong
b) Read my last post.
c) I'm finished with this thread.
Old 03-22-2020, 03:26 PM
Dewey Finn is offline
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Okay, then. I'm sure people will be falling all over themselves to offer help and advice the next time you ask for it.
Old 03-22-2020, 03:39 PM
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About two years ago I bought a dell, although I always had a low opinion of them in the past. As far as a machine to just do the usual browse the internet type stuff on I think it's really nice, I bought whichever one had the faster processor in it but I don't remember which on it is off the top of my head.

It has tablet mode, touchscreen, a solid state hard drive that boots up very fast. I also enjoy the facial recognition to unlock it instead of having to type in a password.
"You can do anything you set your mind to...But money helps"

Last edited by pool; 03-22-2020 at 03:39 PM.


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