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Answered Laptop choice - Your advice please!

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Deleted member 29185

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Hopefully you computer saavy FFers may be able to offer my youngest daughter some better advice than I can!

She is off travelling for a gap year before coming back to uni in 2020. Her old laptop is about cactus, so she wants to purchase a lightweight, but cost conscious replacement. Kogan seem to have two options that suit her budget and requirements. She is hoping one of them may suit her for communications and web-surfing/movies overseas as well as for uni when she returns. I have no idea, so thought I might put it out there for comment. The choices:
a) Kogan Atlas 13.3" UltraSlim X350 Notebook ($379)
b) Kogan Atlas Go 13.3" Ultimate Combo ($479)

Any feedback or suggestions would be much appreciated.
 
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TonyHancock

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It is a difficult one. I prefer the UltraSlim because my go to device is a PC rather than phone or tablet. The keyboard on the ultimate looks the same as the SurfacePro I use for work and the keyboard is not so good when I have it on my knee. There is a whole generation that may prefer the tablet aspect though.

In terms of robustness for travel I'd take the UltraSlim too, I have already smashed one SurfacePro at an airport Security Point.
 

Daver6

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You're getting what you pay for there. They're both incredibly low spec with minimal storage.

When you say movies, streaming or copying onto the laptop and watching? If the latter, with the tiny storage, you're not getting much on there.
 
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You're getting what you pay for there. They're both incredibly low spec with minimal storage.

When you say movies, streaming or copying onto the laptop and watching? If the latter, with the tiny storage, you're not getting much on there.
The SSD can be upgraded to about 500G and any more storage would be gained by a portable hard drive, at least that is what I'm thinking. I was more concerned about the 4G of RAM.
Can I ask what a better sggestion would be? Any suggestions are appreciated.
 

Daver6

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Correct about being expandable, but you're now adding cost and hassle. Why not spend more to start with then? 4GB of RAM isn't great either but all comes down to expectations on performance. In the computer world (Apple aside), the cost of a laptop is a reasonable guide to performance.

The problem you're going to run into is this. Lighter and smaller generally is going to cost more than bigger and heavier with the same performance. That price point is really at the bottom of the range for any kind of laptop.

I don't have any specific suggestions to be honest. Is there a specific budget to work to? What's more important. Light and small? Storage? Performance? You said use for uni...but for what? Just writing essays kind of thing?
 
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It looks like the 500G SSD is about another $115 or so and she already has a 1TB portable hard drive. Funds are an issue (she wants most left for holiday spending). I also have a $100 credit at Kogan so I was thinking she could try one of them and if she likes it, good. If not (or if it's lost/stolen/broken whilst traveling), well it hasn't broken the bank and we'll get a better one for uni. She has been accepted into a teaching degree and I have no idea how computer strenuous that course of studies is.
 

TonyHancock

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Lenovo Ideapad 120S-KH 11.6-inch Laptop

This is what I travel with when I am not on a work trip. I pop a 128GB microSD card in. The screen isn't great compared to my MacBook or SurfacePro but it is simple, light, and allows me to browse the web, send emails, use social media (shudder) and watch movies.

I took off Windows 10 and installed Ubuntu so have no issues at all with disk space or ram. If it is damaged or lost it wasn't an expensive buy....and I really do like Ubuntu - I know most will see this as a bit of a faff etc, but worth it.
 
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it is simple, light, and allows me to browse the web, send emails, use social media (shudder) and watch movies.
Given that one also only has 4G of RAM, I guess that indicates that 4G is enough for all the basics (she is not a gamer, nor uses CAD etc). I'd be a bit disappointed if she travels to the other side of the world and stays in her bedroom on a computer all the time! :eek:

Can anyone tell me what the difference is between a notebook and a laptop?
 

TonyHancock

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Can anyone tell me what the difference is between a notebook and a laptop?
I think they are one in the same. A notebook started as a device smaller than a laptop but it has become a coverall term.

The 4G of ram isn't an issue at all for me, but I did pull Windows off and replace it with Ubuntu which is, in my opinion, a much more efficient operating system.
 

VPS

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I think they are one in the same. A notebook started as a device smaller than a laptop but it has become a coverall term.

The 4G of ram isn't an issue at all for me, but I did pull Windows off and replace it with Ubuntu which is, in my opinion, a much more efficient operating system.
I'd suggest that for most people taking off Windows and using Ubuntu isn't that straightforward ;)
 
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I'd be looking for at least 8GB but YMMV
This is the trouble I'm in. All my computers for ages have all had 8G, so I just don't know how 4G will go. I'm not keen at all in removing Windows. I did ask about the Ultimate, but was informed the RAM cannot be upgraded, but I haven't asked about the UltraSlim. I'm assuming the same thing, but I might just ask the question regardless.

From my searches on-line, it would appear that laptops with 8G are starting at 2-3x the price of these two and those ones still have what appear to be pretty ordinary storage capacity, even my HP Spectre only has 115G (or something like that) but that is manageable with an external hard drive.

I think I'm leaning toward the Ultimate for her and just see how it goes. I have no idea about the processor, but a quad core N4100 2.4G sounds so much better than the dual core N4000, 2.3G of the UltraSlim! :confused:, however the battery is better in UltraSlim which may be better for travelling.

Also, can anyone say how easy (or difficult) it is to upgrade the SSD? Both claim to have SSD "slots" so would I be correct in assuming it's similar to a micro sd, or would those "slots" actually be on the motherboard, meaning the thing would have to be opened??
 

JFi

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I built my PC maybe 10 years ago. Q9400 and 4GB RAM with Windows 7 32 bit. I'm still using it today lol
I only use it for the basic things and have no issues including watching movies so 4GB is fine for me.

If anyone is thinking of installing Ubuntu though, it is very easy these days. I installed it with dual boot on my laptop just by following the onscreen prompts. Drivers work perfect including the touch screen, unlike the old days where you had to find drivers for network cards, sound etc. It's actually quite simple now.
 

AisleSeat

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Also, can anyone say how easy (or difficult) it is to upgrade the SSD? Both claim to have SSD "slots" so would I be correct in assuming it's similar to a micro sd, or would those "slots" actually be on the motherboard, meaning the thing would have to be opened??
You'll either have to open it up completely or there'll be an opening specifically for this on the bottom of the laptop (like some laptops have for RAM expansion).

Here's a good tutorial: How to install an M.2 SSD drive in a laptop - Dignited
 
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You'll either have to open it up completely or there'll be an opening specifically for this on the bottom of the laptop (like some laptops have for RAM expansion).

Here's a good tutorial: How to install an M.2 SSD drive in a laptop - Dignited
Ugh ... that bothers me. These are not like a laptop. They're more akin to a smart phone where to get into the things, the screen has to come off and those screens break fairly easily. Bugger. I'll email Kogan and ask how it is done and whether there is a special hatch to access it.
 

AisleSeat

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Ugh ... that bothers me. These are not like a laptop. They're more akin to a smart phone where to get into the things, the screen has to come off and those screens break fairly easily. Bugger. I'll email Kogan and ask how it is done and whether there is a special hatch to access it.
Then it'll be a special hatch. Just did a quick look around and found this
Kogan Atlas Go (S300) (KALAP13S300VA) - Manual

Point F shows a hatch on the back for the M2 SSD. I imagine the two you're looking at will be similar.
 

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