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Contributor
Posts: 36
Registered: ‎05-04-2010

Hello Everyone,

 

My name is Anna and I haven't been on these forums for a while. The reason I am here is that I need your advice.  I teach classes online on a part-time basis and need to purchase a new computer since my laptop is too small.  I wanted your recommendation.  I would like to eventually turn this into a business in the near future.  I've read online that it's best to purchase a business computer since it lasts longer.  I will need the computer to teach live online classes, create tutorials, and I want to get into creating my own courses via video recording as they do on Udemy.  I'm wondering if I should purchase a computer that has a dedicated graphics card. This computer needs to be reliable, upgradeable, affordable, I am on a budget and good customer service.  In addition, it must have good audio and resolution as well as be quiet since I will be creating tutorials. I thought about Dell, however, I'm reading mixed reviews about them not being the same and that their customer service is no longer good.  I had an HP laptop and I'm typing on a Lenovo, I do not like either of them.  I thought about getting an iMac, even though they are expensive because I heard that you can install Windows on their computers.  I teach Office applications mainly on Windows computers, but also know how to use the MAC version and would like to include it in my courses.

 

Any advice is highly appreciated.  Thank you for your time in this matter.

 

Anna

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,891
Registered: ‎08-19-2014

@emerald1010  Why don't you go to Best Buy or another electronic store & speak to someone in computer sales.DH did that a few years ago when he was looking to buy a new desktop. They discussed his needs & pricepoint & made an excellent suggestion.

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,506
Registered: ‎03-18-2010

My husband (now retired) used to be an IT tech.  We have 2 Dells.

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,837
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Computer Recommendation

[ Edited ]

As my son is very much into computers, I asked him to respond to you.  We have no financial interests in Dell computers or any other computer company.  My son is a tech enthusiast.  I hope this information is helpful to you.  

 

I am the son of this poster, and I personally believe if you like upgradability, you should go with a desktop with an external display. Unfortunately, upgradable laptops come at a hefty price, like the Alienware Area 51M or the Dell Toughbook. If you want a professional laptop that doesn't break the bank, I would reccomend the Dell XPS with 16-32GB RAM. The laptop is about 2.5lbs and made from an aluminum and carbon fiber chasis. If you need extra storage for the laptop, I would reccomend an external hard drive. If you want a desktop, I would recomend a desktop containing a mid range CPU and a mid range graphics card. The prebuilt that came to my mind is the Dell XPS Desktop which starts at $952.55 and starts at 16GB RAM, a GTX 1650 which can be bumped up to GTX 1660 for $44.10 and a 10th gen core i5 that can be upgraded to a core i7 for $132.30 or a core i9 for $396.90. In addition, you can always upgrade any of these parts when the time comes. Just be aware of storage and RAM for the most part, as they are the main limiting factor as to what you can and can't do. 

   

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,497
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

@emerald1010,  since you have very specific needs It might be a good idea to go to a local computer shop and discuss having a unit built to your specifications. 

 

Don't panic, the cost of a custom built computer is often comparable and sometimes even less than the name brands.

The more I learn the more I realize how little I know.
Are you setting an example or being an example?
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,125
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

@emerald1010

I have purchased Dell computers since 1992. I currently am using an Alienware desktop very similar to a Dell XPS desktop minus the lighted case.

 I am only throwing out some specs;

An i-5 processor

8-16GB of RAM

1660 Ti graphics card

 

A 512 GB SSD. If you have money i would buy a

The 256GB boot drive for Windows and 1TB storage drive. This is  a dual drive system. 

 

These components will need a larger case and a larger 500W power supply. Dell may require you to buy a CD/DVD. 

 

I usually buy Ultra sharp Display with a resolution of 1920X1200 with an IPS. A 24 inch monitor will be fine. 

You can use any nice Bluetooth speaker  even an Amazon Echo. 

 

You will be able to upgrade this computer, if you start with a larger case size. You can ask Sales department to help you configure a system. 

 

I always buy the best wireless card with Bluetooth. 

 

 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,475
Registered: ‎10-03-2014

Re: Computer Recommendation

[ Edited ]

I recommend the Dell XPS desktop.  Can't recommend a laptop if you want to run a business.  I'd go top of the line up to, but not including, the "gaming" model if you can afford it.  This is a very fast responsive computer.  However, this model might cost you over $2000. 

 

You can still buy the XPS at a lower price, though by choosing less memory, smaller hard drive and mid-grade graphics card.  You wouldn't need fancy speakers.  

 

You can customize, so I would include as much memory as you can afford.  Don't skimp on memory.  Same with the hard drive.  Some come with two drives, one called an SSD drive.  I recommend.  Also the latest Intel chip; which I think is still the i7.  You will also want a large high definition monitor...at least 24 inches, but I'd go 27 inches, again if you can afford it.  The Ultra Sharp is very clear.  

 

I can't recommend another Dell model because, in my experience, the XPS is an exceptional performer.  Using Dell's for about 25 years.  No hardware problems ever.

 

If you can hold out, Dell has some very good sales throughout the year. 

 

 

Dell's tech support has been somewhat problematic in the past since it moved to India.  Very difficult to understand techs and often we are given those who are just learning, but they have experienced techs who help them if they run into snags.  You just need to be careful they don't do anything stupid.  By that I mean, I had one that did.  Nearly had a heart attack.  

 

I think all manufacturers are using foreign support now, so users are at their mercy.

 

You would be better off to take your computer to Best Buy or a local techie to fix if you have a problem.  More than likely it would be software or a "bug", not hardware.  

 

 

 

 

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,963
Registered: ‎10-07-2013

@NicksmomESQWe were looking for a new MacBook Air.  We went to Best Buy.  We were less than pleased.  The so-called computer experts are really sales people and nothing more.  We ordered from Apple on-line and got what we wanted. 

 

Some of the Apple Retail Stores may still be open.  If you can find one that is and want an Apple product, that is the best (only?) place to shop.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,442
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

@emerald1010 wrote:

Hello Everyone,

 

My name is Anna and I haven't been on these forums for a while. The reason I am here is that I need your advice.  I teach classes online on a part-time basis and need to purchase a new computer since my laptop is too small.  I wanted your recommendation.  I would like to eventually turn this into a business in the near future.  I've read online that it's best to purchase a business computer since it lasts longer.  I will need the computer to teach live online classes, create tutorials, and I want to get into creating my own courses via video recording as they do on Udemy.  I'm wondering if I should purchase a computer that has a dedicated graphics card. This computer needs to be reliable, upgradeable, affordable, I am on a budget and good customer service.  In addition, it must have good audio and resolution as well as be quiet since I will be creating tutorials. I thought about Dell, however, I'm reading mixed reviews about them not being the same and that their customer service is no longer good.  I had an HP laptop and I'm typing on a Lenovo, I do not like either of them.  I thought about getting an iMac, even though they are expensive because I heard that you can install Windows on their computers.  I teach Office applications mainly on Windows computers, but also know how to use the MAC version and would like to include it in my courses.

 

Any advice is highly appreciated.  Thank you for your time in this matter.

 

Anna


I have a Mac, train people on computer use and it's not easy.  In fact, I'm considering getting Office 365 for Mac so the forms we use will look the same.  The biggest problem is the formatting of documents.  Pages, Numbers and Keynote don't always "play nice" with the Office equivelant.  Something simple like using "save as" isn't available in Pages.  You can change the name and location of a document but, there isn't a choice of "save as" under file.  Depending on what you teach, a Windows machine may be the better choice. 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 18,075
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

@Marp wrote:

@emerald1010,  since you have very specific needs It might be a good idea to go to a local computer shop and discuss having a unit built to your specifications. 

 

Don't panic, the cost of a custom built computer is often comparable and sometimes even less than the name brands.


Building computers these days is a bit tricky as the bitcoin miners are snapping up components as quickly as they become available. Power supplies, video cards, and higher-end CPUs are nearly impossible to find at anything close to MSRP. The bigger manufacturers and custom builders tend to have better parts availability than a small custom shop does these days as they buy directly from the manufacturer.

 

A builder like Falcon Northwest, Digital Storm, Origin, Maingear, etc. might be your best option for a custom PC these days. If you get the right customer rep at such a place they can guide you to the perfect machine for your needs. If you get the wrong customer rep at such a place you can end up with an overpriced paperweight, so shopping around from place to place makes some sense. 

 

Linus Media Group (known as Linus Tech Tips on YouTube) Used Sarah, their graphics artist/merch expert who knows essentially nothing about computers, to buy PCs from a number of such companies and see what they offered both in terms of the product and service. If you do a YouTube search for "Linus Media Group How could they mess up this bad" you should find the four-part series. It's a good thing to watch to get a feel for what you'll experience in the custom PC world these days. Sarah was also recently featured in a video where they had her build her first computer. She's not overly proficient shall we say.

 

When you need a computer for a very specific set of needs, you really need to go the custom PC route. Given the lack of available components for the very small builders (and hobbyists), you pretty much have to go to one of the bigger guys like an Origin or Maingear to get what you need at a sane (well, sane-ish) price. Good luck!

Fly!!! Eagles!!! Fly!!!