Buying a computer system/Laptop


I'm a 60 year old looking for a simple laptop for about $500 or less. I just need for emails, do my banking and my hobby of entering contests. I need it to be able to connect to my wireless at home. I don't play games or stream movies. I'm not computer savvy. I have a Dell Inspiron now with Windows 7 that I'm comfortable with. The new laptop would be a backup in case something happens. Can you suggest an "out of the box" ready laptop ? Thanks for your time

Generally any modern laptop will satisfy your requirements, and I would encourage you to stick with reputable brands like Dell or Hewlett-Packard. That having been said, purchasing another inexpensive/cheap laptop for a "backup" is probably not cost effective, as it will likely not outlive the other machine by a significant margin, versus buying a new machine when your current one fails (on average you should be able to expect at least 18 months out of a laptop, but many home users can expect much longer life-cycles if the machine is well cared for). Depending on your specific usage style, a tablet computer may also be a worthwhile consideration as an eventual replacement for your laptop, as you haven't listed any tasks that require extensive processing power or storage capacity.

If you have any further questions, or need clarification, feel free to ask.


Buying a computer system

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I have nearly two decades of experience in IT, computer repair, and related fields and will attempt to provide the most solid, brand-agnostic advice when it comes time to purchase a new computer, or upgrade an existing machine. I can answer anything from the seemingly basic to the downright complicated - and will do my best to provide this information in a clear and concise manner.


I have been an enthusiast of PC's for many years, and can answer questions about the purchase/use of a new computer or the purchase, installation, and use of upgrades for existing computers. There probably isn't a whole lot related to the home computer that I haven't seen over the years.

15+ years of experience

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