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Notebook, mini computers?


Kirk W

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I was just looking around for a very small computer to take traveling and thought of the little notebook models that I used to think were too small... Are they gone forever, displaced by the tablets now? I didn't even find them listed with refurbished or used stuff. Guess that I've stayed out of the market for too long and lost track of them.

 

Suggestions anyone?

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Every once and a while, Woot.com will have some notebook computers available. Most are factory refurbished. I bought a factory refurbished laptop on Woot several years ago and had zero issues. Today Woot has a Lenovo Thinkpad T420 14.1" Laptop, Intel Core i5-2520M 2.5GHz, 4GB DDR3, 320GB SATA, 802.11n, Win7Pro 64-bit for $349.

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I just recently purchased a Surface 3 that's small and, before that, had a HP Envy x2 that was just slightly bigger.

 

If you don't need a Windows-based or an Apple-based computer, you might consider a Chromebook which you can get for very little money (I love the price of the Chromebook, but can't use one because I need a computer that will handle Quicken).

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A bit more information. I'm mostly looking for a means to sort and group photos that I take as well as making a back-up copy. I have found that if I store too many pictures without moving them to folders by location or date, when I do return home my memory fails me and I have difficulty making sure where some things were. I use a camera with SD storage and was thinking of some means to copy from the SD to a thumb drive or similar device and in the process set up folders or something to group things by date and location, even perhaps a title for selected shots. When we went on our cruise I took my laptop for this but was looking for something smaller and less weight to do the job this trip. My laptop is a fairly large one and so it has more weight than I need for this. Of course, being cheap by nature I also don't want to spend a great deal on the device.... ;)

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Kirk, look into using Google Photo as a storage management system in the Cloud. Without commenting on the privacy issues of using Google, Apple or Microsoft ecosystems....they all give you probably as much Cloud storage as you would ever use. Google certainly does. I have 15,000+ photos and 8,000 individual songs stored in the Google Cloud. They are accessible by ANY of my devices at any time. I stream music without any issue almost anywhere I am. And it really does not "cost me" that much in data. Plus, on some of my tablets that Danielle uses to teach line dancing I have certain of her "playlists" downloaded, so no Internet required. It is a very fluid system.

 

Photos can use some data though, if you are bulk loading them. I have my settings such that only when on wifi will my photos automatically upload.

 

The new Google Photos (recently upgraded) can do some remarkable organization things. It makes the old Picasa seem like a 50' Polaroid camera...if you get my drift. It has remarkable abilities to recognize people....I can find my Dad in pictures ranging from his wedding photo, to army photos, to him buried in a side profile in a group of high school buddies. You would not think it possible but with a single click I can find him in the 15K photos. And so far it has not made any mistakes.

 

You really do not have to worry much about backup if you are using a major cloud storage facility. I do keep a copy of some of the pictures on my hard drive....but it is really not necessary unless you are a commercial photographer, and then your needs are a LOT different. My pictures go from my phone to Google automatically. They are simply there. From my camera - which I use less and less as the phones get better and better - once I put it on my hard drive Google moves it automatically - based on my settings.

 

On edit: to complete my point, with Cloud storage you need way less storage locally. So a lower priced computer without a conventional hard drive may meet your needs well (with just SSD storage). Take a look at the HP Stream as an example. It has some limitations. but for general computing and associated cloud storage it pretty much is ideal. And relatively cheap. I've been using THIS ONE for some time and it works very well. But be aware that for heavy duty stuff it will not be what you want. For web browsing and light development (Word, Excel) it is fine. The screen is very good good. The sound is excellent. It does movies very well. It is excellent for looking at pictures. But it has limited local storage. I'm using the one with a touch screen for $279.The original link shows one without touch - here is the LINK to the HD touch screen. I highly recommend a touch screen on a device like this. This is a nice device for what it is...

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