Yesterday afternoon the winds suddenly picked up and began blowing the tree branches wildly. Whereas that morning all had been quiet and still as could be, it was like the heavens opened up and released a torrent of rage.

I watched from the patio door as rain began to pour down. I kept my gardener’s eye on my plants.

The branches from the tree that overhangs my fence were sweeping down so low I was afraid my plants underneath would be harmed. But after about an hour, things calmed down.

Today it is overcast and I don’t know about the forecast because I haven’t looked.

candle with vintage star cookie cutter

Yesterday my laptop started giving me problems. I had the Cox remote tech (I pay Cox Cable each month for this service) connect to my laptop to take a look at it. He said it was not a software problem, but a hardware problem. They can’t help you with hardware problems remotely.

He told me to check and see if I’d had it a year yet. I looked at my records and the laptop passed the one year mark in June. Geez Louise.

I’ve tried Dell, Asus, Toshiba and this one is a Lenovo Ideapad. I don’t spend a ton of money (under $1000) on them because they rarely last 2-3 years. Is that my problem? Am I not spending enough?

So I got online (while I can) and started searching for best laptops for 2018. Oddly enough it seems that Lenovo is at the top. Maybe I just got a lemon?

I am picky about a few things. I do not like touch screens. If I went to the electronics section of a store today, I would mostly find touch screen laptops. Everyone seems to want touch screen everything. Everyone but me.

Not only are these considered inferior laptops from what I’ve read, but it takes a lot of power to enable that touch screen, which brings with it more problems.

Hibiscus blooms about to open

I am old school. I hate the look of any screen with finger smudges on it. It would drive me crazy.

I don’t play games on my computer. In fact I delete the ones already installed. I use a computer for my work, to catch up on news, and to browse.

Here are my requirements:

At laptop with at least a 15 inch screen.

I like a backlit keyboard. I sit in a relatively dark room during the summer to keep it cooler in here. So I have to have a backlit keyboard.

Also, the last three laptops before this one had a circular port where you plug the electric cord into the computer when the battery gets low. And every one of mine wore out in that spot and the connector would no longer stay in. Thus I could not rejuice the battery.

I might have gotten more out of the last few laptops had I been able to stay connected to that port. But when it goes bad, it won’t stay in and connect. The hole I suppose gets bigger from use.

So after a time I’d push it in and it would just fall back out. That or it wasn’t connecting snugly. In which case you can’t get electricity to the laptop.

The one thing I like about this Lenovo is that it has a rectangular port instead of a round one, and it fits well. Most of the laptops I see have a round port.

However, if the hardware is going to go out on me in just over a year, that does not bode well because the computer will not be working whether I have it hooked up or not.

Red flower in front of a garden angel in my garden

So, I need a laptop that’s at least 15 inches, because I already have to toggle the font on the screen 125% to read. No touch screen. A backlit keyboard. And no circular port to plug in the cord to the laptop for more battery time. Which I have to do every hour or so.

It doesn’t seem to matter how much battery life a laptop brand boasts that theirs has, it never seems to last more than an hour or so for me.

Many keep pushing me toward a Mac, but they’re so expensive. Especially when you get to the 15 inch size. And what if I went into debt to buy it and it went out on me in 1-3 years? Maybe before I even got it paid off?

I’ve lived in this apartment over 4 years, and I think in that time I’ve bought three laptops.

I don’t know the answer to this dilemma. The tech guy I talked to on the phone yesterday said he preferred desk top computers. I used to own a desk top computer.

But after the ankle accident, I have to keep my right leg elevated or the ankle begins to throb. So I sit on this couch with my feet on the ottoman.

Any suggestions?

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68 Comments

  1. My MacBook Pro is 6 years old and no problems. I love it and when the time comes will get another Mac.
    I use it everyday usually 3 to 4 hours. Keep it plugged in most of the time. Can’t beat a Mac.

  2. Three laptops in four years? Maybe a Mac product would have been more cost effective for you since they generally last longer than 2-3 years. Also, iMac desktop models usually last for quite a few years as well, and to be honest I prefer my desktop over a laptop. We recently gave our laptop to one of our grandsons who was elated, but we simply did not use it very often. The only thing I don’t like about my newest iMac is that they no longer have iPhoto, which allowed for wonderful organizing of all of my photos. They now have a new program called Photo. It sucks.

    1. A desk top does not work for me anymore due to my ankle. If I don’t keep it elevated, it starts to throb.

  3. I have a Toshiba Chromebook that I use daily, bought in 2010 from Walmart! Only had serviced once and it is not a touch screen. It has started giving me problems, but as it’s 8 years old, that is to be expected.. I don’t have a blog, but am on it daily – about 3 to 4 hours. Will replace with the newest Toshiba Chromebook!

  4. I purchased my first iMac in 1999. I am now on my third Mac laptop. That’s 3 Macs in 19 years, and I’ve only ever replaced one battery. And I only gave up the first two Macs because technology overcame them. Apple stopped upgrading their software, and they could no longer support advances in the internet. Yes, each Mac was a major purchase. But, as they say, you get what you pay for.

  5. Well, gee, I feel like I should just put in another good word for MACs. I’ve had my desk-top for about ten years and not had a problem. The only thing now is that I can’t up-grade anymore as the OS is out-dated. My computer was purchased for me by my dear daughter who reluctantly went to the casino with a bunch of friends who bought her ticket to play bingo because she didn’t have an extra $20. Imagine how they felt when she won $4,000.! She said she paid them back “right away” for the bingo ticket! All that aside, my computer wasn’t cheap, although it wasn’t $4,000. I can’t remember what she paid for it all that time ago. If I were to buy another computer I would buy a MAC but I would look for one that has been refurbished before buying a brand new one. Sometimes you can get them from a MAC repair shop for a lower price than a new one would cost.

    At any rate, I hope you can get the issue resolved very soon. I know it is beyond frustrating to have something that you need to use every day not work. Good luck; I’ll be imagining you with a great new MAC!

    1. Maybe in my dreams. Maybe not. I have the first cataract surgery next week and am getting ready to call the vet and pay my last portion of a bill: $350.

  6. I have always had Dell. First a desk top and now a laptop. My son is an electrical and mechanical engineer and has always had Dell computers. He had his 1st laptop since college and bought a touch screen and gave the 1st one to his sister. It still works. We never had any problems, even with all the usage it gets. We always got the best ones that they offer, but not cheap and they last. I hope this helps you. Dell’s website has good deals too, sometimes the shopping channels do too.

    1. I’ve been scanning the Dell website. Before I moved to Tulsa, all I’d had was Dell. But I did spend a lot on them. Once I moved here, I had to be more frugal. But maybe that’s silly as I keep having to buy computers. I’ll go look there again. Do they still have foreigners you talk to on the phone there?

      1. I didn’t talk to anyone I just ordered it 10 yrs ago, bc it was on sale with a coupon…nearing a birthday. So I said I deserve it and bought it. They send a booklet in the mail sometimes still. I still have alot of room on it, upgrade to windows 10. I just need a new battery soon.

  7. I had my MAC for ten years with zero issues! Now that it’s very slow I’ve gone to a chrome book, as it’s all I really need. But if this chrome book doesn’t last, I will go back to a MAC.

  8. I had a Toshiba 17″ screen laptop for a good 10 years and it always worked great! I ALWAYS left it plugged in.. would only unplug it now and then if I wanted to work in the living room. I upgraded it twice to a bigger hard drive once, and then to Windows 7 I think, as started out with Vista. I finally upgraded to a Dell Inspiron laptop. It is also 1 7″ screen which I love. I would rather have a desktop so I could have a big monitor, but love being able to take my laptop places, etc. This Dell is older and I really like it. It has Windows 10 which I really love.. and it is very FAST and SNAPPY. My older Toshiba seems like a slug now, although it had alot of viruses on it. This one is clean and FAST and love their Edge, which is Microsoft’s attempt at another browser, but it is very fast and has alot of different capabilities. I’ve always liked Dells… my IT guy where I worked a few years ago spoke highly of Dells and that’s what we had a work – they were desktops. I’m curious how long this one will last. Go to a computer repair store as they ALWAYS have used/refurbished laptops at good prices. I got this one for $300 and they added a couple of extra things for me that I requested, at no charge. I’ve always left the plug-in in the computer and never have had any problems with it. I do shut down the computer at night. Was always told to do that with any computer, shut it completely down at night, as gives it time for updates and virus scans, etc. Good luck! Marilyn

    1. I thought you had to leave your computer on for updates? I could be wrong. But when mine is getting read for scans, it will have something that says do not turn off your computer for a scan that is later.

  9. Since I’m retired this laptop is on all day and half the night, even if I lay down for my customary nap. I use Windows, not Mac OS. My go-to brand is Toshiba. I still have a Toshiba that I bought at least 10 years ago that has a Vista operating system on it. Sadly, I won’t be able to use it much longer because Microsoft stopped supporting Vista and, like XP before it, they were rendered too dangerous to use, at least for someone like me who is not a techy person. I don’t know all the tricks and things one can do to try and keep using an old system safe from malware, worms, etc. once the system support is halted by the manufacturer. I was able to use my Vista machine a few years longer because for awhile Foxfire (Mozilla) offered a safe platform for it, but they stopped supporting Vista too. I now work on this newer laptop, which I purchased about 5 years ago – I don’t remember exactly when! It’s also a Toshiba and came with Windows 8 on it, since upgraded to the free version of Windows 10. Both machines have never given me any issues at all as far as not working, at least not to the point where I wasn’t able to figure out how to fix the problem without having a Help Desk to call (that is one of the only things I miss since I retired). I’ve never paid more than $300 for a computer, always purchased at Office Depot or Office Max (when they were two separate stores), whichever one offered the best deal. I don’t need all the bells and whistles for what I do. I’m no gamer, I blog, I read a lot of news and comment on stories, and I sometimes watch chess matches; I also stream a subscription TV service on this newer computer which I couldn’t use on my old but trusty Vista laptop. I don’t have a backlit keyboard, but the screen is 17 inches. I’m frugal when it comes to paying for more than what I need in a computer, especially since they are built to go obsolete. I know you mentioned you did not have a good experience with Toshiba, but I have. I’ve also had good luck with Acer, and I recommended Acer as a good but inexpensive brand for a friend who needed a home computer. She has had no issues that we weren’t able to solve; she’s had more problems with her internet service provider and Wi-Fi router than with her under $300 computer. We went shopping for that (at Office Depot) in 2014, and it’s working fine 4 years later.

    1. I just haven’t been that lucky. I never drop computers, or spill anything on them. No one but me uses it. I pretty much use it in the same spot all the time unless I have to be back in the bedroom with it, which is rare now that I get offline at night and read. I don’t get it. I don’t care about the bells and whistles. I just want what I put in my requirements and to get some darned mileage for my money. At least it’s a tax write off.

  10. Brenda ~ I’ve had my MacBook Air for over 3 years, and have never had a problem with it. Back lit keyboard. Rectangular power plug in that is held tight with a magnet. My screen is only 13.5 inches, but they do make them bigger. GREAT customer service and IT help.
    Worth every penny.
    bobbie

      1. We got my computer at an Apple store; there is sure to be one in Tulsa! Or you can buy one from Apple online.
        The Apple stores also hold a wide variety of classes; usually free for a year after you buy from them. Great way to learn to use them!
        Email me if you have any other questions.
        Hope that helps ~

  11. I love my Mac Pro. I have had it five years with no problems. The other brands I have had did not perform as well and had viruses. Best Buy was helpful.

  12. I have an HP Envy, 15 inch screen, backlit, it has a touch screen but I use the keyboard. It appears that the HP Envy is on sale at Best Buy and you can also subscribe to “student” best buy emails and they will send you coupons codes to knock the price down $150 or less, depending what you purchase.

    I have had mine for 3 years and I love it.

    1. I just happened to be looking at the HP Envy a bit ago. I guess you don’t have to use the touch screen. I’m so literal I didn’t even think of that. I’ll check that sale out.

  13. I have an HP desktop I leave plugged in all day long. It’s been no problem and I rarely use it un-plugged. I too enlarge the screen to 125%. I’ll be interested to hear what you decide and I’m getting a lot of information from all the Comments.

    1. The comment section here is always rich with info! I guess I’ll have to leave my laptop plugged in. I have never had an HP.

  14. I use a chromebook and love it but I had a Lenovo laptop for years and it was an awesome computer! Sorry yours has gone out so quick. I hope the IT guy who commented might be able to help.

    1. I doubt, unless someone works from home, that they use a laptop as much as I do. It gets used a good bit of every day.

  15. Hi Brenda,
    I feel your pain. I seem to go through laptops like water too. My husband bought a Surface Pro computer with a detachable keypad that lights up at night. It does have the touch screen which I never wanted too. Yes the finger prints would drive me nuts too. However I use it to touch and scroll through things, like the articles and news I go through. You can’t see the fingerprints until you turn it off. I found a way around that too I only turn it off at night, so I wipe it down every night before I turn it off. It’s clean in the morning. I have not had one problem with this computer which is a miracle in itself. I recently noticed that many of the doctor offices I frequent have them.

    You might want to look into it. I’m in love with it. Oh yes and you can pick the color of keyboard you want too. I love red. <3

    Shelley

  16. Brenda, I forgot to add that Apple online has a refurbished section. That’s where I bought my iPad Mini 3 two years ago, and it works great. However, I’m not sure I’d buy a refurbished computer, especially if it is your bread and butter. But that’s just me.

    I will buy my MacBook Pro online from the Apple store.

  17. I am a dedicated Mac/Apple fan. I will soon be getting rid of my 27″ iMac (8 years old with constant use) to buy a 15-inch MacBook Pro. A change in life circumstances has made me realize I need to go smaller (but it’s certainly not going to be cheaper). You won’t be replacing a Mac in 1-3 years, unless you choose to. Macs are expensive, but I’m sold on everything they sell.

    1. That’s what I hear. When I bought my camera this past spring at Best Buy, they said Macs last a lot longer. My computers do get heavy use.

  18. I’ve always used HP computers with very good luck. They have lasted me from 5-8 years before they’ve needed to be replaced. My last one is still working … just slower and more sluggish that I wanted. So I recently purchased another HP. Got it from Staples for $489.59 tax included in November 2017. It was originally $629.99 but they had a coupon for $180 (some kind of special sale) so I jumped on it. Has huge memory, large screen, is really fast and works great. Here is the model number and other info in case you want to look it up: HP 17bs062st 173 Laptop. Model # 1KV3SUA#ABA.

    HP also has an extended warranty plan and I opted to purchase it this time although I’ve never done so before. But it allows them to look at your computer remotely and if there are hardware problems, etc. you ship it back to them for repair. I’ve used them for some setup issues I had because I didn’t know what I was doing and they were great.

    I also purchased Malwarebytes anti-malware software to prevent any problems there and it seems to be doing a good job as well.

    Hope this helps and you find a computer that fits your needs and keeps on running.

    1. I’m going to look it up. I pay Cox Tech Support $9.99 per month to work on my computer remotely for software problems. They clean it up, etc. A tax deduction for me.

  19. I used to have so much trouble with laptops. Then I got a Mac. My children all have Macs. There is a reason people are suggesting you get one. They don’t wear out. They are reliable and etc etc. Yes, they’re expensive. Save up for one. I’ve had my Mac since 2013 and have had no probs. I’m 66 and have eye issues so I enlarge the print option. It’s a 13 inch. We purchase ours at Best Buy where there is a person to help you. Options for you.

    1. Best Buy is where I bought my camera this year. I don’t have the luxury of saving up for one because when my computer goes out, I can’t work and make money online.

  20. I too like my hp. I don’t use the touch screen. I never have had a problem with plug ins with any of my computers. However, that said, I usually keep it plugged in most of the time. My computer service guy also said that desk top computers seem to have less problems and last longer. I usually get 4-5 years out of my lap top. Good luck.

    1. Mine do get a lot of use. About 5-6 hours a day anyway. Maybe I should have just left it plugged in all the time. But that would not help this one, as it is another problem entirely.

  21. Hi Brenda, I hope this can help you in some way. I use Dell computers. I work for a government agency and am the property clerk. I have spoken with our IT people and we both agreed that the Dell brand has better longevity (round plug). My work computer is a 15″ laptop (which is always plugged in) and I have two monitors and keyboard on my desk. When I need to telework, I just unplug the laptop and take it home. When I use it at home, I always have it plugged in. A few years ago, I fell and broke my ankle. I had my husband go to my office and pick up my computer. There I was, in my recliner with my foot up aided with extra pillows, working away-but only part time.
    I have my personal set up, so I can sit in my comfy chair with ottoman close by, laptop plugged in. I only unplug when I want to use it outside or at the breakfast counter; the battery never runs out of power. Also, my desktop has a touch screen, but I never use it-I don’t smudges on the screen either!- I just use the keyboard.
    I have purchased 2 desktops and 2 laptops for our family over the past 15 years or so, on line from Dell. I did my research on line, in stores, and asking people at work; as I did have problems with some other brands previously. I have never had a problem with my Dells – only with internet provider and the usual user problems. Good luck to you on your new laptop search.
    P.S. Thank you for all your beautiful floral photos, I always enjoy them so much!

        1. This is what the IT people have us do at work and I when I asked them about it and they agreed there isn’t a problem. When I go unplugged, my battery lasts about 3 hours.

  22. My daughter has had a Mac since she graduated college (a gift from my dad) – she’s had it 6 years now without so much as an issue. It might be worth the investment.

    I have a Toshiba and I don’t love it….however it doesn’t get the use yours does, that’s for sure.

    Good luck with your search!

    1. I do a lot of research before I buy things. I find good review for the Mac and bad ones. Actually when looking at best laptops for 2018 Lenovo came up top and the Mac was somewhere around the middle.

  23. Sorry I am no computer expert but I must say I do love my iPad which was under $300 and I don’t see smudges at all on my screen. I just read quilt blogs and do my email so I am more than thrilled with the longevity and ease of this tablet on my lap. Yesterday I also got to thinking of how mad I am at Walmart for suddenly closing our Sams stores in upstate NY. All those employees were scrambling that day to go over to nearby Walmart hoping for a job but didn’t happen. I felt sorry for all of them as we said our goodbyes during their final sale days to good people who worked hard only to be terminated abruptly.

    1. Brenda, Jerry has had a mac for over 10 years and uses it all the time no problems. It was expensive but worth it.

  24. Can you explain the actual hardware problem? I’m an I.T. guy that is semi-retired now and I have worked on quite a few brands. On another note, when you do purchase another laptop, it would be a really good idea to see what extended warranties are offered for the brand you choose. Dell’s Gold Level warranty may be a bit pricey but, they were pretty good at completely replacing laptops if a technician could not repair it on-site after two attempts. Sorry to hear of your problems with the Lenovo. I’m using an older Lenovo desktop PC now that I dual-boot with Windows 10 and Linux Mint 18 and I am reading your website at 150% on a 24″ Acer monitor from about 2 and a half feet away on my ancient wooden office desk.

    1. The screen flickers and all kinds of weird colors flash around. Sometimes a line crosses the entire middle horizontally. It’s like shaking a snow globe at times. I forget what the Cox guy told me it probably is, something he said I’d have to take it to get looked at, which would, he said, probably be around $300 or so.

      1. Yep, sounds like the video board may be going out. If you have been rough with opening and closing the laptop, it could be as simple as a loose connection from the main or motherboard to the actual led monitor. Try moving the monitor part gently and see if it makes a difference. If you can get it to change any (worse or better) output, then you have diagnosed a loose connection. If on the other hand, if it takes a while to screw up the output from a good-foot, then a main or sub-board may be the culprit.

          1. This same thing happened with my Samsung chromebook two times during its first year with me. Thankfully, the warranty covered it and Samsung replaced the video board both times. Funny thing is, it hasn’t happpend again since the warranty ran out…. for over like 3 years. I have probably just jinxed myself!

  25. Maybe a desktop on a rolling cart with a big monitor and wireless keyboard?
    But that cost would probably be as much or more than an apple.
    My granddaughter has an Apple supplied by her school. And my daughter is a teacher and the school supplies her an apple. I guess they have the best life expectancy with the abuse they get.

    1. Yeah, I figure the same thing about cost. I can’t believe they provide expensive Apple products in schools. I thought schools were financially in trouble as it is.

      1. It is my understanding that Apple donates computers to schools because (1) public schools never have the finances needed to provide all the services they would like to; and (2) if you are not computer literate your job options are going to be limited.

        1. Apple probably gives the district a good discount, but I don’t think they are free.
          The kids pay $50 a year for insurance.
          My daughter teaches in a different district and the students do not get computers.

          1. Here in California, Apple has donated computers to public schools in the past. It was not one computer per student, but rather one computer per classroom. There have also been tax benefits offered to companies that would give grants to school districts to enable them to purchase computers. In order to get those grants the school districts would have to apply for them. In that way each classroom in a California public school would have one computer for their use, and the district could apply for grants to be used for the purchase of additional computers. (If the district could already afford to purchase computers without a grant nothing stops them from doing so). The kids in public schools here did not have to pay insurance to use the computer. For if a district has parents that are poor the students wouldn’t be able to pay for insurance, which would then defeat the idea of them having the opportunity to be computer literate.

  26. I am glad you got some rain; we got about 5 inches here in eastern Iowa on Sunday night. What a downpour!
    Sorry I don’t know much about computers; I have an HP Touchsmart that I have been happy with although I rarely used the “touch” feature. I do leave it plugged in all the time.

    1. After reading the comments, seems others leave theirs plugged in all the time. I was told not to keep the battery topped out all the time.

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