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Notebook Computer

January 12th, 2010

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Buying a notebook computer for my parents?

I am buying a notebook computer for my parents because I will be off to college soon and they will be without a computer. I am looking to go to BestBuy to buy the computer. Is there anything else I should know besides the memory, Megabytes, hard drive and virus protection softwere? Anything I should else I should ask about?
Does the GeekSquad at BestBuy actually help you set up your computer?

If you plan to go to Best Buy to buy a notebook, the only thing you need to look for is the hardware - don't worry about the bundled software because most of it is useless and should be removed anyway. This is true for any OEM system, not just those from Best Buy.

If you decide to get Geek Squad to help you set it up, there's a good chance that they will con you into spending more money than you need. The setup process - especially for a notebook computer - is fairly straightforward. Turn it on, enter some info, wait for it to boot initially, and done.

As far as specs to look for, it depends on what your parents plan to do with the computer. I highly doubt it will be anything TOO intensive because if so, you'd be getting them a desktop anyway.

If available, budget processors like a Celeron D or Sempron should be fine. For web surfing, word processing and whatnot, 512MB of RAM normally would be fine as long as the OS is Vista Basic. There are not going to be any XP notebook systems available. If the OS is Home Premium or Ultimate (I doubt they'd have Business) - then make sure it has at LEAST 1GB of RAM - which is ridiculous, but necessary.

Hard drive capacity is an issue if your parents have a large amount of files - or even a mediocre amount of very large files. As long as their data storage needs aren't extremely large, then a small to medium size hard drive (80 to 120GB) should be fine. Smaller if available.

For the time being, bundled virus protection is not of extreme importance. Windows Defender, Windows Firewall, and User Account Control all come with Vista versions and adequately keep the computer secure until a decent compatible AV program can be acquired. Many people will disagree with me on this, but I have yet to install an AV on my version of Vista (Business - upgrading to Ultimate as soon as my anytime upgrade disc arrives) - and I have yet to be infected by so much as a tracking cookie.

But, rather than any of the commercial bundles (Norton or McAfee) that come with the system - I'd suggest removing them as soon as possible and using a free, yet still better alternative such as Avast! or AVG Free.

That's all I have. Good luck.

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HP Pavilion Entertainment Laptop Computer DV6000 with Windows XP For Parts Only
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5 Flexible USB LED Light Computer Lamp for Notebook PC Laptop Reading 5V
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USB 20 External DVD CD RW Drive Player Burner For Notebook PC Desktop Computer
USB 20 External DVD CD RW Drive Player Burner For Notebook PC Desktop Computer
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Mead Notebook Computer Backpack NWT Universal size 40 value
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Manhattan Earth 17 Notebook Laptop Computer Skin Limited Edition Earth 475693
Manhattan Earth 17 Notebook Laptop Computer Skin Limited Edition Earth 475693
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4 Port USB 20 HUB High Speed External With Cable For Notebook PC Computer
4 Port USB 20 HUB High Speed External With Cable For Notebook PC Computer
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Lenovo ThinkPad E555 AMD A6 7000 Radeon R4 5 Compute Cores 2C+3G 2GB 320GB HDD
Lenovo ThinkPad E555 AMD A6 7000 Radeon R4 5 Compute Cores 2C+3G 2GB 320GB HDD
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Manhattan Basketball Notebook Computer Laptop Skin Sticker Decal 17 475822
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Lenovo ThinkPad E555 AMD A6 7000 Radeon R4 5 Compute Cores 2C+3G 2GB 320GB HD 2
Lenovo ThinkPad E555 AMD A6 7000 Radeon R4 5 Compute Cores 2C+3G 2GB 320GB HD 2
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Russian Transparent Keyboard Stickers Letters for Laptop Notebook Computer FLCA
Russian Transparent Keyboard Stickers Letters for Laptop Notebook Computer FLCA
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Manhattan Golf 17 Notebook Laptop Computer Skin Decal Limited Edition 475808
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Dell Latitude E6420 Laptop Computer Intel Core i5 2520M processor
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HP ZBook Studio G3 Mobile Workstation Notebook Computer
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Kensington Cable Lock for Notebook Computers Monitors 6 ft
Kensington Cable Lock for Notebook Computers Monitors 6 ft
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Portable USB Multimedia Mini Speaker for Computer Desktop PC Laptop Notebook ST
Portable USB Multimedia Mini Speaker for Computer Desktop PC Laptop Notebook ST
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Samson GO Condenser Microphone Clip on for Computer NoteBook with USB Cable E2H2
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Rosewill Backpack for 156 Inch Notebook Laptop Computer Protection RMBP 11001
Rosewill Backpack for 156 Inch Notebook Laptop Computer Protection RMBP 11001
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Acer Chromebook 156 FHD Laptop Computer Intel Celeron N3450 32GB
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USB Type C to HD Adapter 5Gbps Converters Cable 4K for PC Computer Notebook E4S8
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Padded Brenthaven Laptop Case Notebook Computer Bag With Shoulder Strap
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