Average laptop recommendation?

Hello, I am trying to buy a laptop as a Xmas gift to a friend. My friend uses it for school and social media browsing mostly. No gaming at all, no other programs other than what the average user knows (Microsoft Office and the like). My friend's current laptop is pretty slow, it freezes randomly, resets randomly and its wireless capabilities are crap by now. This laptop is at least 5 years old and it shows so it's time for a new one.

I'm looking at Black Friday deals but I'm also not very computer saavy. I don't wanna buy a laptop that might be worse than the one they have. I don't have the specs of the current laptop; the sticker with that info came off. I know it's a Toshiba Satellite P755-S5380. (Does that make sense?)

I'm also looking at not spending any crazy amount of money. Anything around $200 or $300 works for me, if it's possible. Although I understand it could be a bit more for a good laptop. Any help is appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Any help would be appreciated.

Nowadays, it's not too hard - you really just need to go by budget. $200-$300 is a pretty average range, would get you something extremely basic. But you have to consider this: After a quick search, the Toshiba Satellite that you mentioned there seems to be better than anything you'd get for $300 anyway. So if it's running like crap, more than likely it just needs a reformat. Otherwise an "upgrade" just really wouldn't be worthwhile, unless there was something actually physically wrong with it (screen acting up, battery performance decrease, USB ports malfunctioning, etc).

But if you go down the route of getting a new laptop, you can't really go wrong because it's that competitive these days. Going by brands, the bigger ones such as Dell and Asus are going to be a little more expensive, while the ones like Lenovo and MSI/Gigabyte whatever will be a tiny bit cheaper, but not a lot. More to the point, you just need to make sure it doesn't have features that you *don't* need, such as touch screen functionality, detachable screen into tablet, for example.

If there's anything else you're uncertain about, just quote me in a reply and if I can be any help I'll jump in. Mind you I'm in south east Asia, so apologies if I don't see it for awhile.

JohnnyDelRay:
Nowadays, it's not too hard - you really just need to go by budget. $200-$300 is a pretty average range, would get you something extremely basic. But you have to consider this: After a quick search, the Toshiba Satellite that you mentioned there seems to be better than anything you'd get for $300 anyway. So if it's running like crap, more than likely it just needs a reformat. Otherwise an "upgrade" just really wouldn't be worthwhile, unless there was something actually physically wrong with it (screen acting up, battery performance decrease, USB ports malfunctioning, etc).

But if you go down the route of getting a new laptop, you can't really go wrong because it's that competitive these days. Going by brands, the bigger ones such as Dell and Asus are going to be a little more expensive, while the ones like Lenovo and MSI/Gigabyte whatever will be a tiny bit cheaper, but not a lot. More to the point, you just need to make sure it doesn't have features that you *don't* need, such as touch screen functionality, detachable screen into tablet, for example.

If there's anything else you're uncertain about, just quote me in a reply and if I can be any help I'll jump in. Mind you I'm in south east Asia, so apologies if I don't see it for awhile.

Thank you so much for your help! Yes, the current Toshiba has horrible, crappy battery performance to the point where it won't stay on for more than 5 minutes unless it's plugged in to the wall, basically turning it into a small desktop, I guess. Would this be fixed by replacing the battery?

The laptop was brand new and "top of the line" back when it was bought, from what I'm told. So if it just needs to be reformat, would there be a risk of losing files or something like that? I'm asking because the idea of a new computer was going to be a surprise. But if a reformat is better, then I'll have to skip the surprise and plain ask to borrow it to fix it.

I really appreciate your help and yeah, take your time!

Beautiful End:

Thank you so much for your help! Yes, the current Toshiba has horrible, crappy battery performance to the point where it won't stay on for more than 5 minutes unless it's plugged in to the wall, basically turning it into a small desktop, I guess. Would this be fixed by replacing the battery?

The laptop was brand new and "top of the line" back when it was bought, from what I'm told. So if it just needs to be reformat, would there be a risk of losing files or something like that? I'm asking because the idea of a new computer was going to be a surprise. But if a reformat is better, then I'll have to skip the surprise and plain ask to borrow it to fix it.

I really appreciate your help and yeah, take your time!

No worries!

Yeah replacing a battery is a pretty viable option, there are pros and cons to it of course:

Pros
-New battery, full functionality restored for little cash usually
-Get to keep using the laptop, at least extended lifetime for awhile

Cons
-Risks of getting something too cheap, battery may be a lousy knockoff, which means it will also eventually deteriorate, but not that quickly as long as you use the wall socket as much as possible. Best to check reviews.
-Also if it is too cheap, then you could also get a badly fitting one which might require some duct tape to keep in there (not the end of the world, but possible annoyance)
-If something else breaks soon after, then you've wasted money on a new battery for otherwise dead laptop.

So, despite it sounding a bit risky, for the price that batteries go for nowadays I still believe it's worth it. I had an HP which I kept going for another 3 years with an aftermarket, extra capacity battery before it finally gave up. For less than $40, I was happy.

With regards to reformatting, it's not as drastic as it sounds either. The preparation is actually what determines how much of a headache it can be. You basically have to:
-Make sure you have all crucial data backed up. Pretty simple with an external hard drive.
-Make sure you have a list of all important programs that you will want to put back on, including serial keys, and maybe executables etc. They're generally pretty easy to download if you don't have them handy though.
-Make sure you have all drivers required for the full reinstall. But even this, later versions of Windows handle pretty ok. If it's built in intel graphics, you probably won't have to do anything. As long as your mouse, wifi and USB ports work, you should be fine.
-Lastly, make sure you have a copy of Windows that can be activated, or at least the original serial that came with that computer. Won't go into the various options of obtaining one though, for obvious reasons.

Of course it helps if you have someone with experience, but it's really a simple process. IF the hard drive has been partitioned and isn't stuffed to the brim, you probably don't even need to back up to an external drive, as reformatting only involves wiping the partition that Windows is on (usually C:, of course)

JohnnyDelRay:

Beautiful End:

Thank you so much for your help! Yes, the current Toshiba has horrible, crappy battery performance to the point where it won't stay on for more than 5 minutes unless it's plugged in to the wall, basically turning it into a small desktop, I guess. Would this be fixed by replacing the battery?

The laptop was brand new and "top of the line" back when it was bought, from what I'm told. So if it just needs to be reformat, would there be a risk of losing files or something like that? I'm asking because the idea of a new computer was going to be a surprise. But if a reformat is better, then I'll have to skip the surprise and plain ask to borrow it to fix it.

I really appreciate your help and yeah, take your time!

No worries!

Yeah replacing a battery is a pretty viable option, there are pros and cons to it of course:

Pros
-New battery, full functionality restored for little cash usually
-Get to keep using the laptop, at least extended lifetime for awhile

Cons
-Risks of getting something too cheap, battery may be a lousy knockoff, which means it will also eventually deteriorate, but not that quickly as long as you use the wall socket as much as possible. Best to check reviews.
-Also if it is too cheap, then you could also get a badly fitting one which might require some duct tape to keep in there (not the end of the world, but possible annoyance)
-If something else breaks soon after, then you've wasted money on a new battery for otherwise dead laptop.

So, despite it sounding a bit risky, for the price that batteries go for nowadays I still believe it's worth it. I had an HP which I kept going for another 3 years with an aftermarket, extra capacity battery before it finally gave up. For less than $40, I was happy.

With regards to reformatting, it's not as drastic as it sounds either. The preparation is actually what determines how much of a headache it can be. You basically have to:
-Make sure you have all crucial data backed up. Pretty simple with an external hard drive.
-Make sure you have a list of all important programs that you will want to put back on, including serial keys, and maybe executables etc. They're generally pretty easy to download if you don't have them handy though.
-Make sure you have all drivers required for the full reinstall. But even this, later versions of Windows handle pretty ok. If it's built in intel graphics, you probably won't have to do anything. As long as your mouse, wifi and USB ports work, you should be fine.
-Lastly, make sure you have a copy of Windows that can be activated, or at least the original serial that came with that computer. Won't go into the various options of obtaining one though, for obvious reasons.

Of course it helps if you have someone with experience, but it's really a simple process. IF the hard drive has been partitioned and isn't stuffed to the brim, you probably don't even need to back up to an external drive, as reformatting only involves wiping the partition that Windows is on (usually C:, of course)

It actually sounds like just updating/fixing the current laptop is the best choice at this point. I doubt the original activations keys are still around. For any of the programs installed.

And by the sound of it, this computer is better than anything I can buy during black Friday or cyber Monday.

Thanks so much for all your help! 😁

Why don't you buy a Mac, if I was your friend I would love that. Their laptops are pretty nice!

 

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