It’s been a hectic first few months of 2020, and with the covid-19 disease just beginning gain traction outside of China, and a national emergency just declared today in the US, the next several months might get even more hectic. Many schools have been closed and employees that can, have been asked to work from home. Shoppers are picking store shelves clean, because nobody knows how long this is going to last. It’s a cray time, really! Go stock up on what you need to survive at least the next 3 months.
And if you’re in the market for a new computer, this is just as good a time as any to buy one. So in this post, I’ll share with you three of the most affordable units you can buy from the original manufacturer’s online store. Sure, they’ll come pre-loaded with Windows 10, but you can always wipe it and install your favorite Linux distribution in its place (recommended), or install the Linux distribution alongside it. Any one of these units can handle practically all your computing tasks, including streaming activities and playing games on sties like casino NetBet.
Let’s start with a unit from HP.
1. HP Pavilion 15z touch
I’m writing this blog post on a Dell Inspiron 15 5000 series laptop powered by an AMD A12 processor, which I bought about 2 years ago. Still works pretty well, but I have to practically punch the C key smack in the middle to use it. That’s why no Dell laptop made this short list. And that’s why the first unit is a solid HP Pavilion 15z touch. The base package, which retails for $489, sports a 15.6″ diagonal HD SVA BrightView micro-edge WLED-backlit touch screen (recommended that you upgrade to a full HD screen for just $50 extra). Inside is an AMD Ryzen™ 5 3500U CPU with Radeon™ Vega 8 Graphics. You also get 16GB of RAM for smooth performance. Rounding out the internal hardware is a 256 GB PCIe® NVMe™ M.2 SSD. You may buy one directly from HP here
2. HP Pavilion 15t
This unit has an Intel® Core™ i7-8565U, with Intel® UHD Graphics 620. A 512 GB PCIe® NVMe™ M.2 SSD and 16 GB of RAM makes for smooth computing. And a 15.6″ diagonal FHD IPS BrightView WLED-backlit display allows users to view content on the screen from wider angles without compromising on quality. The unit is on sale on the HP online store.
3. Acer Aspire 5
This unit from Acer sports a 15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) 16:9 display, Intel® UHD Graphics 620 shared memory, 8 GB, DDR4 SDRAM, and a 512 GB SSD. All that is humming atop an Intel® Core™ i5-8265U Quad-core 1.60 GHz processor. At $699.99, I think it’s a sweet deal. Grab one at the Acer online store.
General recommendation: If you can afford it, always buy a laptop with at least a Full High Definition (FHD) screen. Avoid one with a screen resolution of 1366 x 768. A unit with that display resolution makes it very unpleasant to run a virtual machine on your system, because the resolution of the virtual system will be severely hampered.