Author Topic: Best cheap laptop ideas?  (Read 59 times)

micah

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Best cheap laptop ideas?
« on: May 14, 2018, 04:14:03 PM »
I've lined up a consulting programming gig but they'd like me to work out of their office at least a few days a week to start.  I haven't heard yet if they'll be providing a workstation or not, but I know at my last job, it was often assumed that contractors would use their own equipment.

I use a desktop PC at home. I have a chromebook, but it looks like I'll need a legit machine that can run windows and either a virtual machine software or a full WAMP stack.  Despite not having any money, I'm thinking it wouldn't be the worst idea to buy a new laptop. I can at least get a tax deduction for it at the end of the year.

I don't think it would be my primary machine so I don't need  a big touch screen or anything.  The question is, can I get a way with a sub $300 machine off the shelf at a retail place and still do legit programming? I'd probably need to install photoshop and virtual box etc.

You can get a 15" dell or HP at best buy for $279.  Some smaller ones are even closer to $200.  They're all only 4GB ram and most have celeron processors.  Obviously no SSD.

Thoughts?

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tgm

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Re: Best cheap laptop ideas?
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2018, 04:40:11 PM »
Which Chromebook do you have? I do legit programming on my Samsung Pro. If it's the running Windows part, I might actually say try running a VM in the cloud and connect remotely and see how that works for you. Shut it down when you're done each day and you could keep the costs down quite significantly. Or perhaps just get a small Intel NUC and remote into that from the Chromebook or hook it up to the client's monitor/bluetooth keyboard and mouse and call it a day. I run a NUC for my home PC now and the slim ones are very portable and probably much better than a cheap laptop.

Many times on my contracts, the client has approved hardware they provide. It often sucks, but it's generally managed by them with all of their monitoring software etc on it.
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ober

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Re: Best cheap laptop ideas?
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2018, 04:51:39 PM »
My former company and current company offer hardware to contractors but they are free to use their own.  If I was contracting I would likely want to use my own stuff. 

I haven't really been in the market so I can't really make a suggestion.  I do like tgm's idea though. 

Congrats on the consulting gig too!

micah

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Re: Best cheap laptop ideas?
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2018, 06:05:29 PM »
I like the virtual machine idea; heck I could probably even google remote desktop my home PC. That said my Chrome book is bit over 4 years old - one of those Acer C720 models that were popular back then for about $200.  Also, I've seemed to misplace the power cord :)

Maybe day one I'll show up with that (presuming I can get it charged up) and see what they have for me there then reassess.

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Perspective

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Re: Best cheap laptop ideas?
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2018, 10:57:21 AM »
Why not send an email explaining you work primarily from a desktop at home, and ask if they provide a laptop or if you need to bring your own? That way you might avoid an unnecessary cost.

ober

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Re: Best cheap laptop ideas?
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2018, 01:59:31 PM »
That might be temporary if he continues to do this type of work and jumps from one place to the next.