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Old 09-27-2019, 08:58 PM   #1
socalwriter1
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Default Laptop recommendation?

the last post on this was years ago so I thought this was a natural question to ask of this board.

i need a new laptop. i use primarily wordprocessing and research on the web for my stories. no high tech video game playing or any of that.

any recommendations? i started doing research on them and there were so many laptops out there... would love your input. thanks.
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Old 09-28-2019, 06:52 AM   #2
TigerFang
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Default Re: laptop recommendation?

If you are a Windows fan, Lenovo Laptops Outlet is one place to shop for refurbished, new, and used Lenovo Thinkpad and Google Chrome laptops. The inventory changes daily, so be prepared to click-to-buy when you see what you need. Here is one laptop with the Windows 10 Professional OS: ThinkPad 11e Gen5 11” laptop.

Newegg is another source for you to consider, although I have never shopped there. In any case, for my Windows computer, my preference is the Windows 10 Professional 64-bit Operating System (not the Home version). Prior to that, it was Windows 8 Professional.

The Apple MacBook Pro (any size) is a sturdy, reliable performer, too, but it costs more, plus everything else—no matter what it is—costs more to add on because it is an Apple computer. Laptops Direct appears to come highly recommended in that community for buying an Apple computer.

When laptops are shown in use on television shows, I have noticed that a vast majority seem to be an Apple MacBook. And if they cannot show the Apple logo lit up on its cover, it is covered up with something related to the story (but not always; sometimes just covered), even though most who are familiar with these laptops and their designs can still tell which brand is shown. It seems that Hollywood’s preference is for the Apple computer, so if you think this will help you “blend in” or make you more “acceptable” with the Los Angeles writing scene, then an Apple laptop is the ticket for you.

Here is an article that may be helpful: “Buying a refurbished MacBook: What you need to know”.

In my experience as an Avid editor in conjunction with Photoshop, After Effects, and other production-related software, Apple computers are the standard of the day. Since you have indicated that you are not concerned with this aspect of using your computer—now or in the future—for you, I would recommend the Lenovo laptop.

For me, the choice was whether I wanted to spend a higher proportion of time protecting, managing, and updating a computer (Windows), or whether I wanted to spend more time creating with it (Apple), cost be damned. Others here may have a more vociferous opinion on what operating platform you ought to use. It seems the two camps will never compromise on the topic of “which is better?” The answer to that question is that there is no one answer; as usual, your choice depends on your needs.

The MacBook Pro 13” I own has reached its peak on operating system updates to more current versions, though, so there’s that to consider with respect to your installation limitations. For instance, with OSX El Capitan, I cannot download and run the latest, greatest Final Draft program version. This doesn't faze me in the least because I now use the Fade In screenwriting program that imports and exports Final Draft files and costs far less than Final Draft. Fade In also seems to “ignore” the operating system; the Fade In updates always install.

If cost is a factor, the PC laptop is probably your best choice. However, if you were to buy a used or refurbished MacBook Pro, I do not believe you would be disappointed with it, provided it was properly refurbished.

You can PM ComicBent your computer question. He is far more knowledgeable than most of computers, programs, and software. More than likely he can help you make a well-informed choice.

Last edited by TigerFang : 09-28-2019 at 08:46 PM.
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Old 09-28-2019, 01:17 PM   #3
socalwriter1
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Default Re: Laptop recommendation?

thanks tigerfang for the info. since i don't do any of those creative things like using photoshop, it sounds like a pc laptop is the way to go. but too many choices out there...
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Old 09-28-2019, 05:05 PM   #4
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Default Re: Laptop recommendation?

it's a hollywood fact: if you don't write your script with Final Draft on a MacBook, you'll never sell that MFer
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Old 09-28-2019, 05:29 PM   #5
lostfootage
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Default Re: Laptop recommendation?

I personally have two laptops. A MacBook Pro (I do some video and photo editing, so I do like having power), and then a MacBook Air for travel. I just love the typing feel of an MacBook.

The last corporate job I had I used Lenovo laptops, and if I had to buy a PC type machine, that is the brand I would pick. They're well made. I got my mother one when she retired in 2014 and she hasn't had one problem with it. Of course, all she does is internet surf and play games. But still, it's a good sign. I also like the keyboard feel of Lenovos, but not as much as MacBooks.
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Old 09-28-2019, 07:24 PM   #6
Bono
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Default Re: Laptop recommendation?

Huge Apple nerd. I remember making fun of apple, then my girlfriend now wife got a Powerbook 1400C for college and I did too. Never looked back... I loved the apple keyboards. They kept changing them a little, but always great.

My current laptop is a Macbook Air -- but it's the one with the last great keyboard apple every made. The last 2-3 years they have updated the keyboards and I hate them all! I'm actually in panic about what I'll use in 3 years when it dies. There are rumors they are changing it.. in a race to get thinner, they did what Steve Jobs would never do I believer. Make something worse for the sake of a dumb reason, slightly thinner. Or just new for new sake.

I think it's called Butterfly keys and the old ones were Scissors keys... but as a writing, I think you'll probably hate it to. Maybe some people love it. But there's no -- what's the word -- action? Feedback. Like I dont' feel the keys as I hit them so it's harder to type and just feels off to me. I got used it it on the iphone, but it just feels so weird on a laptop to not feel where the keys are and feel them being pushed down.

So my number 1 recommendation is TEST OUT ANY LAPTOP before buying one. To me it's all about the keyboard and feel.

On a side not, I would look into Google chromebooks are they are so cheap and just if you stick with Apple the iPad with bluetooth keyboard so you can control which keyboard you get. Microsoft Surface actually look pretty nice to me too.

Last edited by Bono : 09-28-2019 at 08:53 PM.
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Old 09-28-2019, 07:48 PM   #7
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Default Re: Laptop recommendation?

First, a Windows laptop should do perfectly well for you. You can custom order them or you can easily go to a big box store and buy one there.

Windows 10 will do the trick. Get at least 8GB of RAM. Get an i5 processor. You don't need more than that unless you are a gamer. You can, as Bono noted, test out laptops in the store. I'd say go 15" though my wife writes her movies on a 13' computer. Dell, HP, or Lenovo will be fine. Save your money. (I own a MacBook Pro, but will still say Windows for what you get for your money.)

You can buy the basic MS Office Suite (Word, Excel) or you can even use something free like OpenOffice. You'll be able to install basically any screenwriting program on laptop. Don't just get one for like $250. But I wouldn't focus too much on getting one above $500. (I have a Chrome laptop but I wouldn't really recommend it for writing. I use it only when I'm traveling and I just need to work on the site and answer some emails.)

Second, folks, please use your shift keys and properly capitalize words in sentences so your posts are easier to read. (I posted about this other day.) Thanks.
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Old 09-28-2019, 10:39 PM   #8
lostfootage
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Default Re: Laptop recommendation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bono View Post
My current laptop is a Macbook Air -- but it's the one with the last great keyboard apple every made. The last 2-3 years they have updated the keyboards and I hate them all! I'm actually in panic about what I'll use in 3 years when it dies.
Me too.

I have a 2017 MacBook Air with a fabulous keyboard and the thought of losing it sends me into a panic. I also use a USB Mac keyboard that also has the same kind of action. I think I bought this thing in 2012-2103 and plug it into my laptops. I tried a mechanical keyboard but sent it back. Too much.
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Old 09-28-2019, 10:44 PM   #9
megablahblah
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Default Re: Laptop recommendation?

I just buy $500 refurbished laptops from Tiger Direct or similar. These things break or go out of date in 5 years, I no longer spend more than $500 on them.

I do Photoshop, Premiere Pro, music production with lots of plugins, and have no issues with processing power.

Whatever you buy for $500 will do word processing and Internet browsing, easily.
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Old 09-29-2019, 10:08 AM   #10
socalwriter1
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Default Re: Laptop recommendation?

Thanks guys. For my (basic compared to many of you it sounds like) needs, it sounds like a pc Windows laptop is the way to go.

Lenovo seems to be popular here... I'm assuming that's a good brand.

Okay, Will, I hear ya and will do.
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