OT - laptop/tablet recommendation

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Currently I have an old (2002) Dell Inspiron laptop that still works
and does what I need it to do.  However, it's very heavy to lug around
and cumbersome.  These days I pretty much use it at the library to do
genealogy research - such as capture and save screenshots and download
pdf files or use a pdf printer driver to print stuff as a pdf file.
The library has a wi-fi network, and I have a wi-fi PMCIA card for the
laptop.  When I get home, I transfer those files to my main computer,
usually by way of flash drive.

Like I say, it does what I want, but it's heavy and bulky.  I'm curious
to see  what replacement options I may have.

My requirements are that:
1.  it has to have a good keyboard input - I'm a decent touch typist
and dislike fumbling around on a keypad or cell phone like I/O device
2.  decent sized screen - eyesight is not as good as when I was younger
3.  recognize and use a mouse - touchpads don't seem as responsive
4.  ac/dc power brick (battery charger?) for use at the library
5.  USB 3 connectors for peripherals
6.  wi-fi ready  
7.  an Ethernet connector (I use wire at home)
8.  printer driver to print content as a pdf file

Not sure of the proper phrasing or applicability to this type of
device, but have enough RAM and disk storage (I may easily save up to a
gig of data at a time when I do my research)

Technology has improved a lot since 2002, there are a lot of gadgets
out there now and I don't keep up with that part of the market.

So what might be viable replacements for my laptop?  

If nothing else, what would be useful search terms to use?

I'm aware of Tom's Hardware, but are there sites out there covering
this topic and provide reliable, credible info with perhaps discussion



Re: OT - laptop/tablet recommendation

Yes wrote:
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Have you visited a brick and mortar store lately, like
the Best Buy ?

A quick browse through there, might focus your view
of these things a bit better.

For example, if *all* the laptop screens look good
to your eyes, it means you can concentrate on the
$300 price range of machines. (Screens with 1366x768 pixels
made with TN twisted nematic panels.)

If *none* of the machines look good, even ones with
IPS screens or retina 2880 pixel screens, maybe it means
you're not easily going to find a machine you're going
to like.

You can find Ultrabooks with sky high pricing.
Gouging (introducing laptops at the wrong price point),
happens, as the manufacturers attempt to profit from
the Ebay impulse buyer crowd. Not every product you
see, makes sense from a value perspective.


If you find Windows 8 running on the machines, and the
Metro tiles bother you, it's possible to add free
third-party software, to put "traditional menus" on the
screen. If you haven't seen a Windows 8 screen yet,
you're in for a shock :-)



netbooks - gutless
laptops - frequently good value for money,
           compared to other form factors.

subnotebook -
ultrabook - snappy processor, good screen
           - laptop for rich guys

Desktop replacement - "heavy as a boat anchor"

tablet - thing with detachable, or no, keyboard

phablet - tablet you make phone calls on


Re: OT - laptop/tablet recommendation

Paul wrote:

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The only one I'd gone to recently was the local Microsoft store with a
friend because he wanted to ask them some questions.  I wasn't really
considering upgrading my laptop at the time, so I did not inspect their
product.  The staff people were polite, cordial and sincere, but after
I got home I discovered that the tech person gave me wrong info re:
Adobe Flash Reader and Windows 8.1.  So, I'll just say that I'm not
impressed on that count.

WRT your questiion about Windows 8, I've been using it since around
Thanksgiving.  Using it hasn't been as bad as I had expected before I
started.  I'm adjusting.  I used WinXP Pro for about 8+ years before
that and Windows NT 4.0 before.  I don't foresee returning to WinXP,
but I have not deleted it yet either  :-)  I've got things set up
reasonably well on my desktop for what I do.  I may not be totally
happy with Win 8.1, but I am reasonably satsified.  FWIW, I never used
Vista or Windows 7, so the only thing I had to adjust to was moving
from WinXP to Win 8.1.

P.S.:  I appreciate your thoughts.  You've provided answers, sometimes
the only one responding, to my questions in both this newsgroup and two
other groups.

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