Author Topic: Travel laptop  (Read 986 times)

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Offline Toonces

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Travel laptop
« on: February 11, 2020, 08:50:19 PM »
Alright Grogheads, I need an assist here.  I checked this and the last page and didn't see any threads on this already.

I'm looking for a very affordable laptop to take on the road when I travel.  I usually only use my laptop when traveling for internet, but I would like to have the ability to do some light gaming.  Think GoG or hex-type games, nothing processor/graphics intensive.

Also, I want it to be as small and light as possible.  I've been lugging my 19" Alienware the last few trips and it is both way too bulky and heavy, and complete overkill for what I typically use it for on the road. 

Lastly, I'd like it to be as affordable as possible.  Honestly something in the $250 range would be ideal, but nothing more than $500 for sure. 

I don't want an Apple.

I've tried Google, but I am finding I need expert advice.
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Offline Staggerwing

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Re: Travel laptop
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2020, 04:24:39 AM »
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Offline Anguille

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Re: Travel laptop
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2020, 07:50:05 AM »
Acer has usually good and avordable small laptops (or two in one).

Offline airboy

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Re: Travel laptop
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2020, 08:43:21 AM »
I'll give you a couple of radical options.

1] Kindle Fire - big screen.  You can play app games, it is a great pdf reader for your game manuals, and it is a great ebook reader.  If I am not going on a trip with long dead times I take my Fire.  It is light, does internet/email ok, and whatnot.  It fits your price range.  I got the thing originally to read pdfs (work, game manuals and game pdfs).

2] A used laptop.  When I go on very long ocean cruises I take my very old laptop.  I play gog games and use it as a web browser.  Mine is a 15+ year old Thinkpad.  You might get someone to give you an old laptop that will play gog games.

Problem - battery life in old machines.  We got a lot better at prolonged battery life.  My old laptop mostly is used plugged in.

Offline DoctorQuest

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Re: Travel laptop
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2020, 10:05:39 AM »
To echo Airboy's point 2.....If you were in Omaha I would recommend Redeemed Computers. They sell refurbished business class computers. They have some Core I7 Dell laptops for like $140.... These are the smaller rigs meant for travel. If you have a place like that near you it might be worth checking out. Good chance if they are a reputable refurb vendor they will have a decent guarantee.

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Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Travel laptop
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2020, 04:56:19 PM »
I have been quite happy with my Surface Pro 3 for this purpose, which was the first Microsoft Surface to run a true Windows system (8.1) instead of RS or whatever that was before.

You might be able to find a refurbished one in your range, perhaps even with room for adding some military spec protection kit to it. I put drop-protection on its back (intended for US military use in the Middle East), and a decent keyboard on front-fold. Admittedly the mousepad is sucky, but I got a folding mouse which has been quite serviceable for several years now, despite the fact that you have to kind of break its back to make it work! (Its central 'wheel' set of buttons however are finicky and will straight up quit on occasion, requiring the mouse to be flattened off and recracked back on to reset.)

To this I added a black and orange carry bag which doesn't look entirely derpy.

I can try to find a copy-paste from my Amazon orders list if you're interested.

For performance........ well, it can run the modern XCOM (at least the first one, not sure about the second), with some downtweaking and struggling. Ditto Space Hulk: Ascension, which is horribly optimized. I often use it to play my turns of FoG:Empires when I'm away from the home computer, currently, and in late games it can struggle a little in processing turns.

For typing: most of my posts here have been on the Surface over the past few years (not counting some AAR threads like the Dawn of War thing from a few months ago; those need real production.) I'm typing on it right now! I wouldn't recommend writing a book on this, but it's serviceable.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2020, 04:58:28 PM by JasonPratt »
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Offline Dammit Carl!

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Re: Travel laptop
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2020, 05:52:20 PM »
2] A used laptop.  When I go on very long ocean cruises I take my very old laptop.  I play gog games and use it as a web browser.  Mine is a 15+ year old Thinkpad.  You might get someone to give you an old laptop that will play gog games.

Honestly, this is how I roll.  Have been kicking it with Toshibas (admitted brand snob for 'em) bought this way for years now and I'm not too terribly out of pocket for them owing to how long I use them and what I use them for.  I'm to the point where I really do want a dedicated gaming laptop, though.

Offline Toonces

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Re: Travel laptop
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2020, 09:05:54 PM »
Thanks for the suggestions fellas.

The more I think about this the more I think something like a Kindle Fire or other tablet-like device is what I'm looking for.  I need to explore some options to see what's out there that I can hook a keyboard to; the whole typing with my thumbs thing just doesn't work with my Homer Simpson thumbs.  Something like an HP that is ultra-lite might work too if the price is right, although I hate all the bloatware big brand computers some with anymore.

I'll be sure to follow up with how it all turns out.
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Offline airboy

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Re: Travel laptop
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2020, 03:53:59 PM »
I use a large kindle fire for occasional email while out of state.  It would not be great for a lot of detailed, work emails.  But for everything else it works fine.