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  1. #1
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    Magsafe or other trip resistant connector for the PC?

    I'm getting a new laptop for my fiancee. All of her laptops in the past have died because of power coupling damage. Is there something like magsafe for PCs? Lenovo has the new square thing, but I'm not sure if it'll actually do anything.

    Also, any advice on a sub-$500 laptop?

  2. #2
    Network Hub Jambe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Internet View Post
    I'm getting a new laptop for my fiancee. All of her laptops in the past have died because of power coupling damage. Is there something like magsafe for PCs? Lenovo has the new square thing, but I'm not sure if it'll actually do anything.
    Is there a common thread to the damage? Like... a physical arrangement in the living space that makes the connection easily-damaged? It might be cheaper (or at least preferable) to fix that first.

    I don't think there are any non-Mac MagSafes because I'm p.sure Apple has patented it and refuses to license it to anyone (a good reason for reducing tech patents to ~3-5 years, I'd wager).

    Quote Originally Posted by Internet View Post
    Also, any advice on a sub-$500 laptop?
    1: Samsung's Chromebook.
    2: a secondhand laptop for Ubuntu (requires more tinkering).
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  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Boris's Avatar
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    I just helped my sister buy a MSI U270DX. It's a (dog-slow) AMD netbook, but did come with an 128GB SSD. It's fine for browsing, but the E2-2000 cpu in there does have a little trouble with 720p youtube.

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    Network Hub Jambe's Avatar
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    Yeah, use case would be helpful. Does she just browse and watch videos with it? You won't get non-casual gaming out of a $500 laptop. I still think a good option would be finding a secondhand or remaindered laptop (do you have a Microcenter nearby?) to stick Linux on (Ubuntu is pretty straightforward). You could do Windows 8, ofc, but that's an extra $90.

    I recently helped a friend with an ASUS X202E; it was a touch sluggish, so I just replaced its 5400 RPM HDD with a Samsung 840 SSD (non-Pro, 250 GB) and it was snappy thereafter for browsing and general use. It is 1366x768, unfortunately, but again at $500 not many laptops are 1600x900 or bigger.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CWISC5I/

    You could get that and swap its HDD for Samsung's 120 GB 840 SSD and be just under $500 delivered:

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009NHAF06/
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jambe View Post
    1: Samsung's Chromebook.
    2: a secondhand laptop for Ubuntu (requires more tinkering).
    He asked for a laptop - not a tech-head tinkering tool with no actual real world uses whatsoever... ;)

    When you say "power coupling damage" do you mean the power socket in the laptop breaking-off internally? It's a common problem and it's 101% caused by people treating their laptops like SHIT. It happens to cheap laptops and $2000 ones equally and the solution is to remember it's a delicate bit of electronics, don't yank the cable, don't jam the plug in, don't move the laptop when it's attached to a wallsocket, don't leave the cable attached when you bag it, don't leave the cable where people WILL trip over it, don't let your kids within 20feet of it and so on.

    If you owned a Ming vase, the solution to the possibility of breakage wouldn't be an upgraded, tougher Ming vase - it would be not putting the thing where it will get broked - same idea here ;)

    It's a PEBKAC issue - basically

  6. #6
    Network Hub Jambe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    He asked for a laptop - not a tech-head tinkering tool with no actual real world uses whatsoever... ;)
    Chromebooks are super-straightforward and far easier than Windows machines. If one's computer usage is browser-based (as is often the case these days) Chromebooks are more than adequate.

    I wouldn't recommend even Ubuntu or Mint to tech novices though.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jambe View Post
    Chromebooks are super-straightforward and far easier than Windows machines. If one's computer usage is browser-based (as is often the case these days) Chromebooks are more than adequate.

    I wouldn't recommend even Ubuntu or Mint to tech novices though.
    Without knowing his requirements you recommened 2 completely off-the-map options - one of which MIGHT work for him and the other which almost certainly wouldn't - he asked for a laptop, that means a WINDOWS laptop to 99.9% of people :)

    I wouldn't recommend any Linux to anyone on earth not running a server or needed low-level hardware access (security researchers and the like). Mostly Linux is used by people DESPERATE to be different and willing to sacrifice anything to do so - it's almost a religion - and like most religions, people tend to try to push it at other people ;0

  8. #8
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    also - you recommend a Chromebook which locks someone into the Google architecture quite tightly against a Windows one which is nowhere-near as restrictive - I thought Google had moved over to the same darkside as MS in the mind of the technerd?

    Did I miss a memo? :)

  9. #9
    Network Hub Jambe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    Without knowing his requirements you recommened 2 completely off-the-map options - one of which MIGHT work for him and the other which almost certainly wouldn't - he asked for a laptop, that means a WINDOWS laptop to 99.9% of people :)

    I wouldn't recommend any Linux to anyone on earth not running a server or needed low-level hardware access (security researchers and the like). Mostly Linux is used by people DESPERATE to be different and willing to sacrifice anything to do so - it's almost a religion - and like most religions, people tend to try to push it at other people ;0
    I'm a marginally-savvy turdling and Ubuntu/Mint can work just fine for me as a daily driver. In any case, I'd wager Internet is an adult who can judge the responses in this thread. If we're analogizing to religion then surely Windows is Christianity. It must be nice being a missionary for the most ubiquitously-adopted cult, eh? Praise be to Ballmer.

    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    also - you recommend a Chromebook which locks someone into the Google architecture quite tightly against a Windows one which is nowhere-near as restrictive
    Since Chrome OS is a browser on a Linux kernel one can use one's preferred online storage option. Google Drive is obviously the best-integrated but it's trivial to access SkyDrive, Dropbox, etc (those two even have Chrome extensions).

    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    I thought Google had moved over to the same darkside as MS in the mind of the technerd?

    Did I miss a memo? :)
    If one judges by stereotype they merrily miss most memos.

    )))))
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  10. #10
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    I got her a newegg deal laptop. It has an i3, 4 gigs of ram, and warranty for $400; not a great machine but meets her needs. She does treat her laptop like shit, but she's not going to remember not to, so a better use of time and effort would be looking at how to minimize the damage. That means break away cords. If I had my way, the first inch of a cord would be attached to the pc, and then it would release at the slightest tension. I really do think this is one of those cases where it's easier to engineer a solution than fix the problem behavior.

    She uses linux just fine. She operates our couchputer with mint on it daily, and has never been frustrated since I made the firefox icon giant. She's been on a netbook for a few months now, and said puppy linux completely changed her experience with it. I had to show her how to connect to the internet, but after that she was fine. However, she needed word for classes and a beefier machine than the netbook for her 120+ page googledoc manuscript.

    Thanks for responding.

  11. #11
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    If you really want a breakaway connector - make one.

    All you need is a suitable socket/plug and a magnetic power connector - I'm ham-fisted-as-hell with soldering irons and I reckon I could cobble one up

    In fact here's one

    http://gizmodo.com/5472278/this-diy-...ur-laptop-safe

    I assumed there'd be one on Kickstarter - and there was but it failed it's goal

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/...r?ref=category

    It does really fall into the category of 'wrapping things in fluffy stuff' tho, if you abuse it you should lose it IMO - it takes a fair-bit of force to break the board connection, I really cannot work-out how people do it OTHER than tipping the laptop towards the power-socket!?

  12. #12
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    So the kickstarter failed, but you can buy them now. Thanks!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Internet View Post
    So the kickstarter failed, but you can buy them now. Thanks!
    They obviously won't have as many voiceovers, language options or - indeed - T Shirts and 80% of the plot - having failed on Kickstarter :)

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