Help buying a laptop

I want to buy a low cost laptop, simply for

  1. downloading audio files
  2. uploading (if that’s the term) piano midifiles into my digital piano for learning purposes

I lean a little towards a new unit, but I’m not against getting a used or refurbished model in excellent condition.

So I Googled on cheap laptops and got lots of hits. The problem is I thjink need a computer with Thumb Drive capability (for how else could I load a midifile from it to the piano?).

Therefore, I have two questions:

Do just about all laptops have the ThumbDrive feature? If not, how do I tell which ones don’t?

Anyone here have a laptop for sale that meets my specs?

Oh, crap. One addition to the specs:

  1. Speakers. I want to be able to listen to the audio files.

I think most current laptops meet the standards you want. I have a relatively non-expensive toshiba satellite that has surprisingly loud speakers and 4 usb 2.0 ports so thumb drives can also be used.

Thumb drives connect to a USB jack, like the ones labeled “USB” in this picture. To use a thumb drive, there will need to be one on the piano AND the laptop (these days a new one is pretty much guaranteed to have one, and even most recent used ones do too, look for “USB ports” or similar in the ad copy. If it says 1.1 or 2.0 for the USB ports, either one should be fine for your purposes, but 2.0 is newer and faster, FTR.)

If your piano DOESN’T have a USB port, maybe it uses a standard type of memory card, in which case you will need to make sure the laptop has a reader for that type of card, or buy a plug-in reader.

This one isn’t really a General Question. Moving to IMHO.

samclem GQ moderator

Any laptop made in the last 3 years and maybe more will support USB flash drives on the USB 2 standard. That is a standard port that virtually all computers have now. If you need a media card with a reader, the external card readers tend to be uber-cheap at about $15 for an all-in-one reader. All you really need to look for is a computer with USB 2.0 ports which will work automatically with a drive and just plug in a reader if you need to use one of the various card formats.