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  1. #1
    Liz
    Liz is offline
    Moderator Emeritus Liz's Avatar
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    Quick help with Laptop customizing options

    Time to get a laptop! And I need to order asap since I can't do much of anything on the computer I'm using.

    I finally decided to purchase a new laptop rather than another desktop as I am downsizing my office. I chose the "customize your own laptop" at Costco online. However after updating the price, the total is more than I want to pay.

    Actually after typing the list below, I don't know that I would change anything, but I would appreciate any advice/input - just your thoughts...

    Laptop Use
    I will use the laptop for my small office as well as photo editing, etc. I ordered Office 2010 Home and Student version since I've used this smaller option previously and it works well for my needs.

    The initial cost before configuring is $710.....went to $1,095 with upgrades.....I included the cost for each individual line item upgrade made.

    Photography:
    I will most likely use my Dell 22" monitor for editing - and I do NOT do RAW.

    I need some advice as to if there is anything I can remove from this list. If I need it all, I have the money - just don't want to get anything I don't need.

    Computer: HP Pavillion dv6t 15.6" (17 too big/heavy/expensive)

    Processor
    3rd generation Intel(R) CoreTM i5-3210 (2.5 GHz w/Turbo Boost to 3.1GHz) (cost is $20 more than 2nd generation)

    Memory: 8GB DDR3 Memory (2Dimm) - included no extra chg.

    Hard Drive: 1TB 5400 rpm ($40 more than 750GB)

    Graphics Card
    NVIDIA(R) GeForce(R) GT 630M Graphics with 1GB dedicated video memory (Video $51 more)

    Network 802.11 b/g/n Wlan

    Operating System
    Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

    Microsoft Office - Home Edition ($101)

    Battery: 9 cell Lithium ion battery ($21 over 6 cell)

    Backlit Keyboard. ($25)

    Primary Optical Drive
    SuperMulti 8x DVD+/-R/RW with double layer support - included

    HP Truvision HD Webcam - included

    Display
    15.6-inch diagonal Full HD Anti-glare LED-backlit Display (1920x1080) ($153)
    ***Anti-glare works for preventing my migraines from glare.
    ***The resolution is better than the other screen which is 1366x768)

    Thank you very much! I have been looking at so many brands of laptops, review websites, searches.....whatever! My brain is too tired to do any more. I'm just ready to pull the trigger on the order, but don't want to be regret it. And I have a LOT of work to catch up on.

    Besides my EM5 arrived and I need to go out and have some fun with it this weekend! And I need a computer quickly!

    Liz
    Olympus E-M5 digital camera
    Olympus E-PL5
    Lenses
    Olympus
    45mm/f1.8, 40-150

    Panasonic
    14-45
    25mm/f1.4
    14mm/f2.5

  2. #2
    Liz
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    Re: Quick help with Laptop customizing options

    Update: It's a done deal!

    I went back to the order to check something and it had been removed from my cart. So I started the configuration all over again, decided it is fine......and pulled the trigger. I think I did the right thing as there isn't anything on the list that will go to waste. :thumbsup:

    Liz
    Olympus E-M5 digital camera
    Olympus E-PL5
    Lenses
    Olympus
    45mm/f1.8, 40-150

    Panasonic
    14-45
    25mm/f1.4
    14mm/f2.5

  3. #3
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: Quick help with Laptop customizing options

    Sorry I was late Liz. I have went through several Laptops at work, upgrading regular. I have always used Toshiba and out of the few I have used, mine and other co-workers, I don't recall a failure.
    I run the free version of Avast for virus protection and have not had but one or two viruses in 7-8 years.
    I currently have two laptops a Toshiba Ultra Book and a Satellite. Both Window & 64 bit.
    I am like Barney Fife, I have a gun but Andy makes me keep the bullet in my pocket..

    Sony a99/a7R

  4. #4
    Member Footski's Avatar
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    Re: Quick help with Laptop customizing options

    It looks like a great little set up to me. I am about to upgrade to Windows 7 Ultimate as my current software is 32 bit and the machine is 64 bit compatible. I can then increase the memory to 8gig, all of which will run my laptop much quicker and smoother.

  5. #5
    Liz
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    Re: Quick help with Laptop customizing options

    Quote Originally Posted by Footski View Post
    It looks like a great little set up to me. I am about to upgrade to Windows 7 Ultimate as my current software is 32 bit and the machine is 64 bit compatible. I can then increase the memory to 8gig, all of which will run my laptop much quicker and smoother.
    Thanks Footski.......the cost was a lot more than I anticipated. I was going to go for the desktop since you can get a lot more.....cheaper. However, for a few reasons, I need to be a bit mobile. And since I retired I am trying to downsize my (already small) office. This way I have a lot more room and don't have to crawl around the floor looking for the right connection/wire, etc.

    The laptop I am using isn't mine, but it has Windows 7 and it is waaayyyy better than Vista!!!!! However, I'm limited on what I can do until I get the new one. Hopefully it will be shipped next week. I chose the Costco build-your-own and it doesn't come with all those trial versions and ads. My (former) desktop was one of those Costco deals.....and it was GREAT! You don't have to remove a bunch of "stuff" as soon as you turn it on. :thumbsup:

    Liz
    Olympus E-M5 digital camera
    Olympus E-PL5
    Lenses
    Olympus
    45mm/f1.8, 40-150

    Panasonic
    14-45
    25mm/f1.4
    14mm/f2.5

  6. #6
    Member Footski's Avatar
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    Re: Quick help with Laptop customizing options

    Liz,

    I wish we had a Costco over here. Not only do they appear to build great machines, but the prices are so much cheaper than I can get them for!

  7. #7
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Re: Quick help with Laptop customizing options

    Your configuration looks OK to me. Things I looked for:

    - You don't specify how old your DELL screen is. Some modern portables (both of mine) don't have a VGA connector which makes them very difficult to connect to older screens with only VGA. But your portable has a VGA output so that's OK.
    - My portables only have 6-cell batteries but then mostly I run them off the mains.
    - If you're getting a 1TB disk then I imagine you're thinking of keeping all your files on your system. At least that way you know where they are. Make sure you have a couple of 1TB USB3 backup drives and do your backups regularly, switch between the two backup drives every couple of months
    - Often systems come bundled with a one-year subscription to an anti-virus, which is a good deal. I've started using Microsoft's Forefront anti-virus which is free and seems to work just fine.
    Charles

    Nikon D800, D7200, Sony RX100m3
    Not buying any more gear this year. I hope

  8. #8
    Liz
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    Re: Quick help with Laptop customizing options

    Quote Originally Posted by Franglais View Post
    Your configuration looks OK to me. Things I looked for:

    - You don't specify how old your DELL screen is. Some modern portables (both of mine) don't have a VGA connector which makes them very difficult to connect to older screens with only VGA. But your portable has a VGA output so that's OK.
    - My portables only have 6-cell batteries but then mostly I run them off the mains.
    - If you're getting a 1TB disk then I imagine you're thinking of keeping all your files on your system. At least that way you know where they are. Make sure you have a couple of 1TB USB3 backup drives and do your backups regularly, switch between the two backup drives every couple of months
    - Often systems come bundled with a one-year subscription to an anti-virus, which is a good deal. I've started using Microsoft's Forefront anti-virus which is free and seems to work just fine.
    Charles,

    Thanks for your input. Much appreciated! I left you a question at the bottom!

    I was not sure I was making the best decisions, but I had done quite a bit of research before ordering.

    -Battery upgrade was $21 so figured I go with that although I will mostly be plugged in.

    -1TB I was unsure what to do. I asked at a computer website and the suggestion was to go for it. Actually I could have done with the 750GB and kept the $40, but the term TB so I did not know how to intelligently compare. :aureola:

    -I think the laptop comes with 2 USB2 and 3 USB3 ports.

    -Antivirus - I use AVG which I have come to like. AVG doesn't throw out ads months before renewing, etc. Costco's customize yourself does not come with anti-virus software or ads. The person who repairs my computers had suggested the AVG a couple of years ago so I went with it.

    I do have one question.....Is there other protection/security that I need? I'm really dumb when it comes to this type of thing. I used to be up-to-date on all of it, but the past 2 years I've been too busy to follow the fast pace in the world of technology.

    Thanks again Charles!

    Liz
    Olympus E-M5 digital camera
    Olympus E-PL5
    Lenses
    Olympus
    45mm/f1.8, 40-150

    Panasonic
    14-45
    25mm/f1.4
    14mm/f2.5

  9. #9
    Member dl4449's Avatar
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    Re: Quick help with Laptop customizing options

    AVG is what I used to use on my pc it is FREE and i believe it also scans EMail also.
    Microsoft Essentials is also free and works quit well.
    Hope this helps

  10. #10
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Re: Quick help with Laptop customizing options

    Quote Originally Posted by Liz View Post
    ...
    I do have one question.....Is there other protection/security that I need? I'm really dumb when it comes to this type of thing. I used to be up-to-date on all of it, but the past 2 years I've been too busy to follow the fast pace in the world of technology.
    ...
    You don't need anything extra on your Windows system apart from an anti-virus (Windows Defender is a minimal anti-virus installed with Windows 7 but you need more).

    Most of the anti-virus companies sell a package with their own Firewall software but the Windows integrated Firewall does a good job already.

    I'm quite impressed with Microsoft Forefront. Last week a friend asked me to install a doubtful version of Photoshop that someone else had given her on a USB key. As soon as I opened the folder Forefront came up with a stern warning that it contained a known hacker program - not even a virus - and asking if I wanted to continue. I had no difficulty in explaining to my friend why I was not going to install this copy Photoshop on her nice clean system.
    Charles

    Nikon D800, D7200, Sony RX100m3
    Not buying any more gear this year. I hope

  11. #11
    Liz
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    Re: Quick help with Laptop customizing options

    Quote Originally Posted by Franglais View Post
    You don't need anything extra on your Windows system apart from an anti-virus (Windows Defender is a minimal anti-virus installed with Windows 7 but you need more).

    Most of the anti-virus companies sell a package with their own Firewall software but the Windows integrated Firewall does a good job already.
    From the information you've given to me....my plan would be:

    Continue to go with the AVG free version since Windows integrates Firewall. With AVG you need to upgrade to the pay version to get Firewall.

    Thanks again, Charles. I'm very grateful for this invaluable information.

    Liz
    Olympus E-M5 digital camera
    Olympus E-PL5
    Lenses
    Olympus
    45mm/f1.8, 40-150

    Panasonic
    14-45
    25mm/f1.4
    14mm/f2.5

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