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Thread: help me find a new inexpensive computer for mom

  1. #1

    help me find a new inexpensive computer for mom

    so my mom needs a new computer. her 4gb C: drive keeps filling up (there is an 80gb slave in there too, but whatever). her 15" CRT is about to bite the dust. this thing is just old & i've convinced her that it's time to bid it farewell.

    uses: web, email, ms office. nothing terribly taxing on hardware.

    ballpark budget: $500, prefer an XP machine. laptop vs. desktop is undecided.

    any suggestions for something cheap but not junk? where are those sites that list good deals? I'm not sold on just going through Dell...


  2. #2
    Hi Scott,

    Nice of you to help your Mom find a computer. Take a look at Slickdeals along with Gotapex and Fatwallet. If you want XP I think you have to go with Dell. You can also check out XPbargains but I have not been there in many moons. Wait for more members to chime in.

    Good luck!
    The test of success is not what you do when you are on top. Success is how high you bounce when you hit the bottom
    --General George Patton

    Complex problems need to be solved collectively.
    ––Paul Nussbaum

  3. #3
    Just bought an Acer laptop for my kid at Walmart, 120 gb hard drive, dual core processor, Windows Vista, I put my extra Office license on it, $600 I believe. Real small and lightweight, wireless internet natch. You probably get what you pay for but he just needs it for jr. college, mainly word processing, plus myspace, some games, IM's etc.

    If you have questions ask and I'll find out, as the above is the gibberish I submitted to my father to get it covered by the family college fund.

  4. #4
    Senior Member wheelchairTITAN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Oakville, ON ... Just North of the 43rd Parallel, SocialistLand
    Hey Scott

    I found this full system at BestBuy ... $ 444.97 was 619.97

    eMachines T3616 Desktop with 17" LCD Monitor, Printer, Cable & Surge Protector ... Save $175 instantly on this sensible PC package with widescreen LCD monitor upgrade and accessories


    ... rolling since 1989

    BE NICE!It's free

    P.S. ~ I have "handicapabilities"

    TWITTER: @MacBerry

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    SW Florida
    I have bought many computers over the years and built one.There are so many choices, so I'll just recommend a notebook. We have three Toshibas and one Gateway in our house now, and that's just the notebooks. We really like the Toshiba notebooks. The deals keep getting better on notebooks. The last one we got for my son for college. It's a Toshiba Satellite w/ dual-core Intel, 80G., 1G Ram, DVD/CD dual layer writer, 15" screen, 56k modem, wireless, ethernet... It cost $399 at Office Depot(after $200 rebate--hate rebates). They had a 40G wo/DVD write capability for $349.

    You have to watch for these sales if your going to buy local. They run them a lot in their weekly ads. My daughter has worked for Staples for 5 years (their machines are usually more $$) , she says she has never seen a Toshiba returned. They return loads of Compaqs, HP and some Acer. My son works for Dell in Tech. and he isn't crazy about most of their stuff.

    Notebooks are great space savers. If your mom has wireless like us it's so cool. Work outside or in bed, while watching TV. Notebooks suck if you want to expand though. My desktop has over 600G with all the drives in it. Try that with a Notebook.

    Good luck finding XP though everything new is Vista.

    If you want to buy online, you'll have to search around. has had a good rep. for many years.
    Last edited by ala; 09-13-2007 at 10:19 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    I've had very good luck with newegg as well. My son has also had good luck with TigerDirect. But you can sometimes get just as good a deal on a special sale at any bog box store. As far as expanding a notebook, unless she gets into gaming, I doubt your Mom will need expanding. If she runs out of storage there is always external drives. I'm not the computer buyer-builder in our house (I'm the one always screaming leave it alone! It's not broken!) but I have a compaq laptop that I am only so-so about. Minor issues, mostly speed. It has lasted 2 years without any other problems, just had to add an external for picture storage. Hubby bought it quickly when I ended up on bedrest (pressure sore, different forum lol) and didn't shop around as much as usual.

    As far as notebook vs laptop, since she already has a computer, she knows how and where she uses it. If she doesn;t have wireless, and isn't likely to work anywhere but her desk, stay with the desktop. If she has wireless, and can picture herself working in bed, or on the sofa ,etc, go with the notebook. If I bought another I would go that way.

    edited to add, The other notebook here is my husbands, a compaq that went to college with my oldest in 2000. He has had some minor issues with it over the years, but when he upgraded to an IBM with the airbag type technology, to protect it from falls (which might well explain his problems with this one!) we inherited it, and it is still in use. So maybe I don't really have a problem with compaq.
    Last edited by sjean423; 09-13-2007 at 10:58 PM.
    T7-8 since Feb 2005

  7. #7
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Florence, Kentucky
    I think that Dell has some great deals. When you look at what you can get with the Inspiron models for under $500 it is just amazing. I am presently looking at getting a new computer and I was looking at HP, Dell and others and found that by customizing and using parts off of my present machine, I could get a pretty neat Dell machine. In addition the last time I called Dell for support, I did not get an Indian on the other line, as many people have complained about offshore support apparently Dell has listened.

  8. #8
    Perfect, thanks!

    Paul - those were some of the links I couldn't recall.

    I know more of the performance systems (and Mac pro stuff, blah blah) for my line of work, but when I have a smaller budget to work with, it's sometimes tricky to figure out where corners are cut for these lower-priced systems. Regardless, it's crazy how much you can get for little $$ these days.

    and yeah, I'm well aware of the pros/cons of laptop vs. desktop. I use both. We'll see what she springs for.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Pruett

    and yeah, I'm well aware of the pros/cons of laptop vs. desktop. I use both. We'll see what she springs for.
    Sorry, wasn't trying to make it sound like you didn;t (altho re-reading, I did) .... trying to look at it from your mom;s pov, since I suspect she isn;t much older than I am. LOL.
    T7-8 since Feb 2005

  10. #10
    no worries, thx.

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