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OT laptop for college OT

Daughter needs a new laptop. Her degree will be speech therapy with about 3 years left including grad school. So no heavy computing demands. She is not a gamer. Does use it for Netflix, etc. Looking at $500-800. Choices are overwhelming. She does treat her stuff very well. Anyone have insight? Thanks!
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Comments

  • sloveladslovelad Posts: 1,715
    Go with a surface pro. It’s what I used during law school and during the bar exam, so I trust it. Doubles as a tablet also. And easy to cary
  • stlcharcoalstlcharcoal Posts: 3,078
    Surface Pro.  I run the whole company on one......they're awesome.  I don't use the tablet feature or pen at all, but I can see where it's useful.  I have dock and a monitor at home and the office.  Just drop it in there and use the SP as your second monitor.  The Arc mouse is worth every penny.

    I recommend getting one with as much RAM as you can afford.  That's the only set back.  The memory isn't important as it comes with a ton of free OneDrive space.  Watch Costco, they have some really good bundle deals on them.

    The only thing that sucks is the sleep function.  That's a windows thing, not a surface thing.  But sometimes it messes up and drains the battery because the screen is on even though the keyboard/cover is closed.  Happens every once in a while.  Best thing to do is remember to restart it once a day to clear out the cache.  If you go a week without restarting it, stuff gets a little wonky.

    I had a SP2 which was so-so, then got a SP3.  Probably getting a SP4 this year.
  • Hans61Hans61 Posts: 3,414
    https://www.apple.com/ipad-pro/

    Its in that price range and the new  iPad Pro looks like it has a ton of improvements (the original surface pro surpassed the iPad when it was new) now apples catching back up it seems

    plus if she has a iPhone the devices will have compatibility 

    admit im an apple fan
    “There are three rules that I live by: never get less than twelve hours sleep; never play cards with a guy who has the same first name as a city; and never get involved with a woman with a tattoo of a dagger on her body.”
    Coach Finstock Teen Wolf
  • DMWDMW Posts: 12,507
    Surface Pro.  I run the whole company on one......they're awesome.  I don't use the tablet feature or pen at all, but I can see where it's useful.  I have dock and a monitor at home and the office.  Just drop it in there and use the SP as your second monitor.  The Arc mouse is worth every penny.

    I recommend getting one with as much RAM as you can afford.  That's the only set back.  The memory isn't important as it comes with a ton of free OneDrive space.  Watch Costco, they have some really good bundle deals on them.

    The only thing that sucks is the sleep function.  That's a windows thing, not a surface thing.  But sometimes it messes up and drains the battery because the screen is on even though the keyboard/cover is closed.  Happens every once in a while.  Best thing to do is remember to restart it once a day to clear out the cache.  If you go a week without restarting it, stuff gets a little wonky.

    I had a SP2 which was so-so, then got a SP3.  Probably getting a SP4 this year.
    I like the Surface Pro as well.

    @stlcharcoal - FYI, they changed the dock connection with the SP4, so your current docks won't work if I remember correctly. Also, the SP4 is now replaced with the new Surface Pro. Not sure why they didn't call it SP5.
    My Facebook Page where I document my cooking
    Morgantown, PA

    XL BGE - S BGE - KJ Jr - HB Legacy - BS Pizza Oven - 30" Firepit - King Kooker Fryer -  PR72T - 18.5" WSM - WSJ - BS 17" Griddle - XXL BGE - Akron Jr - BS SS36" Griddle
  • stlcharcoalstlcharcoal Posts: 3,078
    DMW said:
    Surface Pro.  I run the whole company on one......they're awesome.  I don't use the tablet feature or pen at all, but I can see where it's useful.  I have dock and a monitor at home and the office.  Just drop it in there and use the SP as your second monitor.  The Arc mouse is worth every penny.

    I recommend getting one with as much RAM as you can afford.  That's the only set back.  The memory isn't important as it comes with a ton of free OneDrive space.  Watch Costco, they have some really good bundle deals on them.

    The only thing that sucks is the sleep function.  That's a windows thing, not a surface thing.  But sometimes it messes up and drains the battery because the screen is on even though the keyboard/cover is closed.  Happens every once in a while.  Best thing to do is remember to restart it once a day to clear out the cache.  If you go a week without restarting it, stuff gets a little wonky.

    I had a SP2 which was so-so, then got a SP3.  Probably getting a SP4 this year.
    I like the Surface Pro as well.

    @stlcharcoal - FYI, they changed the dock connection with the SP4, so your current docks won't work if I remember correctly. Also, the SP4 is now replaced with the new Surface Pro. Not sure why they didn't call it SP5.

    Theres an adapter for the docks that I have seen.  It's just a plate that fits on the back wall to hold the SP4 further forward.  Port/plug is the same, just the thickness of the SP is different.
  • JohnInCarolinaJohnInCarolina Posts: 11,616
    Zaltydog said:
    Daughter needs a new laptop. Her degree will be speech therapy with about 3 years left including grad school. So no heavy computing demands. She is not a gamer. Does use it for Netflix, etc. Looking at $500-800. Choices are overwhelming. She does treat her stuff very well. Anyone have insight? Thanks!
    So for school she’d mostly be using it for word processing?  I’m just trying to get a better idea of what her needs will be.
    "If the world is something you accept rather than interpret, then you're susceptible to the influence of charismatic idiots." - NdGT

    "The truth is, these are not very bright guys, and things got out of hand." - DT


  • DMWDMW Posts: 12,507
    Honestly, for the needs you describe, a Chromebook would fit and would be less money than a Windows laptop or Apple iPad Pro/Macbook.
    My Facebook Page where I document my cooking
    Morgantown, PA

    XL BGE - S BGE - KJ Jr - HB Legacy - BS Pizza Oven - 30" Firepit - King Kooker Fryer -  PR72T - 18.5" WSM - WSJ - BS 17" Griddle - XXL BGE - Akron Jr - BS SS36" Griddle
  • The_StacheThe_Stache Posts: 825
    DMW said:
    Honestly, for the needs you describe, a Chromebook would fit and would be less money than a Windows laptop or Apple iPad Pro/Macbook.
    Chromebook is essentially for web based apps.  Based on Linux operating system it may be a challenge for support.

    SP4 is what we standardized my former work place on.  Along with bluetooth or wireless keyboard and mouse, docking port and external monitor(s). 

    You may need to raise your budget a bit to get all the accessories but the unit itself is bullet proof...  (Hint, because of its portability, I would recommend getting the replacement warranty in case it gets dropped)

    In a full time state of entropious nebulinity as Head Brewmeister and Chief Flatulator @ Rancho Loco Brewery and Flatutorium, Kirkland, TN

  • DMWDMW Posts: 12,507
    DMW said:
    Honestly, for the needs you describe, a Chromebook would fit and would be less money than a Windows laptop or Apple iPad Pro/Macbook.
    Chromebook is essentially for web based apps.  Based on Linux operating system it may be a challenge for support.

    SP4 is what we standardized my former work place on.  Along with bluetooth or wireless keyboard and mouse, docking port and external monitor(s). 

    You may need to raise your budget a bit to get all the accessories but the unit itself is bullet proof...  (Hint, because of its portability, I would recommend getting the replacement warranty in case it gets dropped)
    ChromeOS has come a long way from when it started. The Google Suite of apps can be used offline and provides word processing, spreadsheet, presentation software. My kids have them and use them for school. Unless you have additional third party software you need that is Windows or MacOS only, it's a great option.
    My Facebook Page where I document my cooking
    Morgantown, PA

    XL BGE - S BGE - KJ Jr - HB Legacy - BS Pizza Oven - 30" Firepit - King Kooker Fryer -  PR72T - 18.5" WSM - WSJ - BS 17" Griddle - XXL BGE - Akron Jr - BS SS36" Griddle
  • The_StacheThe_Stache Posts: 825
    DMW said:

    ChromeOS has come a long way from when it started. The Google Suite of apps can be used offline and provides word processing, spreadsheet, presentation software. My kids have them and use them for school. Unless you have additional third party software you need that is Windows or MacOS only, it's a great option.
    It certainly should be "in the running" as a possibility.  No argument here!! :)

    We chose a different route specifically because of the 3rd party software/OS compatibility issues.  If that is not a consideration here... the Chromebook certainly is a choice.

    In a full time state of entropious nebulinity as Head Brewmeister and Chief Flatulator @ Rancho Loco Brewery and Flatutorium, Kirkland, TN

  • LegumeLegume Posts: 8,221
    Check with her school, most every school will provide them access to MS Office for free or a very modest price (iOS and Windows) as well as an antivirus package.  Many will require the antivirus before they can connect to the school network.  There is often more software students will be able to get for free or next to nothing while enrolled, so it’s worth checking into before you buy any software or enroll in any free trials of whatever bloat will be on your machine when you get it.
    Austin, TX
  • LegumeLegume Posts: 8,221
    edited January 13
    I bought an iPad Pro for myself over the summer with the thought of using it as my only personal computer and I didn’t like it for that.  It got stolen, so I replaced it with a new Surface Pro from Costco and I’m very happy.

    That being said, 2 of my kids went through college with MacBooks and had zero problems.  My wife has had MacBooks and has had zero problems.  One son went through school with a mid-range Dell laptop and had to have it replaced d/t hardware problems (but he refuses Apple).

    Buy quality and check to see what type of support will be on campus or nearby for your daughter.  Having your kid call you at midnight with a paper due and laptop problems sucks.
    Austin, TX
  • GulfcoastguyGulfcoastguy Posts: 1,680
    Talk to someone in the Dean’s office where she is going. Sometimes they have special requirements of the equipment. Also sometimes they know about special deals for students.
  • ZaltydogZaltydog Posts: 104
    I appreciate all the input. Gave me some ideas I or she had not considered. Thanks for that!
  • YukonRonYukonRon Posts: 12,280
    Surface Pro, best available technology. Get as much memory as you can. Great for anything she will have to deal with in college.
    "Knowledge is Good" - Emil Faber

    XL and MM
    Louisville, Kentucky
  • milesvdustinmilesvdustin Posts: 1,303
    I have a Lenovo thinkpad yoga for work. Its a great laptop with no real frills other than touchscreen. 

    2 LBGE, Blackstone 36, Akorn Jr

    Egging in Southern Illinois (Marion)

  • WoodchunkWoodchunk Posts: 638
    If you have a SAMs club near you that's closing, you might be able to pick up a great deal
  • stlcharcoalstlcharcoal Posts: 3,078
    YukonRon said:
    Surface Pro, best available technology. Get as much memory as you can. Great for anything she will have to deal with in college.

    Mine is the i5-4300 with 8Gb of RAM.  It does alright with a bunch of browsers and 1-2 programs like Excel, Word, or QuickBooks open.  But get 3-4 open all at the same time, and it starts dragging.  You can run Photoshop or InDesign by themselves, but even those program really start pushing it.  I'll be upgraded to the 16gb model at some point this year.
  • johnnypjohnnyp Posts: 2,910
    DMW said:
    DMW said:
    Honestly, for the needs you describe, a Chromebook would fit and would be less money than a Windows laptop or Apple iPad Pro/Macbook.
    Chromebook is essentially for web based apps.  Based on Linux operating system it may be a challenge for support.

    SP4 is what we standardized my former work place on.  Along with bluetooth or wireless keyboard and mouse, docking port and external monitor(s). 

    You may need to raise your budget a bit to get all the accessories but the unit itself is bullet proof...  (Hint, because of its portability, I would recommend getting the replacement warranty in case it gets dropped)
    ChromeOS has come a long way from when it started. The Google Suite of apps can be used offline and provides word processing, spreadsheet, presentation software. My kids have them and use them for school. Unless you have additional third party software you need that is Windows or MacOS only, it's a great option.


    Disclaimer: I have not personal experience with chrome book.


    That being said, I used to work with a girl who was finishing up grad school and bought a chromebook as an inexpensive option to get her through.  She had a horrible time with cross-platform compatibility.  Specifically, Blackboard was a major obstacle.

    XL & MM BGE, 36" Blackstone - Newport News, VA
  • JohnInCarolinaJohnInCarolina Posts: 11,616
    HeavyG said:
    Macbook Air.

    With the prices available to all college students it would be in your price range.
    My wife has one of these for her job and she loves it.  

    I had one of the first ones and it lasted me six years before we donated it.  I wouldn’t be surprised if someone is still using it. They are extremely well built. 
    "If the world is something you accept rather than interpret, then you're susceptible to the influence of charismatic idiots." - NdGT

    "The truth is, these are not very bright guys, and things got out of hand." - DT


  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,948
    As above, check out the school's recommendations. Where I worked, they listed a base system for both Mac & Win, and a recommended. I got a better than recommended laptop for my younger daughter, which was good, because it was not obsolete by the time she had typed the characters off the keys. So I just had to pay to replace the keyboard.

    If you get a tablet, perhaps assume a keyboard replacement will be needed a few years down the road. More memory is always better.

    As a point of reference, that daughter did use Macs until recently. She switched to a Surface for Photoshop graphics when her the Wacom she was using w. her Mac died.  She likes it a lot, but concedes than my new iPad has better response.
  • ColtsFanColtsFan Posts: 1,816
    Surface Pro's are a great choice, but not in the 500-800 range. I would not recommend a Chromebook. She'll likely to be printing from it and Chromebook's rely on Google Cloud print which isn't the most reliable.

    Any decent consumer level, big box retailer laptop will fill her needs. Just focus on specs. 
    Preferably 8 GB of RAM or more and Intel i5 or i7 processors. 

    Toshiba, Dell, Lenovo all have some decent "consumer level" laptops. 

    I'd buy this and be done with it. Dell latitudes are business class with better hardware that consumer devices. These are refurbished but I wouldn't get caught up on that. 

    Dell Latitude E7440 14.1" HD Business Laptop Computer, Intel Core i5-4200U up to 2.6GHz, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, USB 3.0, Bluetooth 4.0, HDMI, WiFi, Windows 10 Professional (Certified Refurbished) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075Q5FFSX/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_ijMwAbF0FVX6F

    Two large BGE, KJ Jr, 36" Blackstone, FlameBoss 300
    Follow me on Instagram @ hoosier_egger
    Bloomington, IN - Hoo Hoo Hoo Hoosiers!
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 26,712
    HeavyG said:
    Macbook Air.

    With the prices available to all college students it would be in your price range.
    This.  You don't have to restart it every day.  Least likely to give you problems.  Macbook Pro is the best, but expensive.
    ______________________________________________
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  • AviatorAviator Posts: 1,727
    whatever you do keep away from asus. very fragile. 

    ______________________________________________ 

    Large and Small BGE, Blackstone 36 and a baby black Kub.

    Chattanooga, TN.

     

  • ZaltydogZaltydog Posts: 104
    Thanks for all the comments. Really gave the Surface Pro a look, but it is really more than she needs.
  • stlcharcoalstlcharcoal Posts: 3,078
    Not sure if they still make the "surface" but that was the less powerful version of the "surface pro".  I think in later years, its the same, just doesn't come with the keyboard cover.  There was a difference in the first and second generations though.
  • Zaltydog said:
    Thanks for all the comments. Really gave the Surface Pro a look, but it is really more than she needs.
    Grab a MacBook Air, will be reliable and useful for years to come.

    I have a Surface Pro 4, iPad Pro, and a 7 year old MacBook Pro. The SP is great but was also over $2G, the IPad will be too slow to use in 3 years, and the MB still works great, even though I have done everything possible to kill it.

    I bought the MB because sub $1k PC laptops just don’t last.
    Highland, MI

    L BGE and a KJ Jr
  • ZaltydogZaltydog Posts: 104
    Thanks for all the comments. Really gave the Surface Pro a look, but it is really more than she needs. The university may have some sort of deal on a Macbook. She us accustomed to PCs though. But PC's seem to often have issues after two years or so.
  • U_tardedU_tarded Posts: 1,562
    Zaltydog said:
    Thanks for all the comments. Really gave the Surface Pro a look, but it is really more than she needs. The university may have some sort of deal on a Macbook. She us accustomed to PCs though. But PC's seem to often have issues after two years or so.
    About 8 yrs ago my wife had and go laptop 3 yrs old take a dump durning her studies.  Best Buy recovered files and we got a MacBook Pro.  Yes it was more than your budget but it was literally he last computer we bought and it is still going strong.  Only thing we have had to do for it is a new charger.  Might be a good investment and a lot of times you can find 0% financing to cut the cost burden of up front cash layout.  Also she got a significantly discounted Microsoft office suite throughout the university. 
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