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Cheap-o laptop

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hey guize

so my brother, who does not know a computer from a hole in the wall, has been living and working happily with his macbook air for like 1000 years, but it finally broke. since it was a gift, he has no idea what mac laptops cost, and he recently had a brain aneurysm when he found out

so he calls me and hes like I NEED A CHEAP LAPTOP?? and he wants to spend "a bit less" than a macbook air would cost... like half that lol. or less. i was like Ok its not gonna be apple, u kno that right? he was like What does that mean

personally, i must confess that i barely kno what a chromebook is, what a pc laptop is, etc.

he does web based work in chrome, some basic photo editing, stuff like that. obvs this is not a video/vfx machine, but i want him to get somethin that isnt garbage even if it is rlly cheap

would u all edjumacate me on whats out there a lil bit?? idek where to start looking! ☹

my first question is are any of these chromebooky netbooky lil things EVEN worth the X hundreds of dollars that they cost, or do they just break in 3 months, are intolerably shitty, etc etc

guize????? ??????

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A little better guidance on your brother's actual price-range would be helpful.

Having said that, if, after looking at non-Mac alternatives your brother decides he wants to stay within Apple's ecosystem, one can comfortably stay in the Mac realm for well-under a grand with an Apple refurb...

Refurbished Mac - Apple:


...(link posted for informational purposes only, I have no affiliation with Apple. Mod kindly inform and remove link if I'm in violation of TOS.)

Wish I could offer some suggestions on the PC side of things, but I'm Mac-only since '95. Hopefully some other posters will chime in with suggestions?!


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Agree with the above about getting a refurbed or second-hand mac.  

PCs can be good too, especially when looking at previous generations.

One thing to be careful of, and not something I know much about, is that there’s a couple of different types of computers out there.

Without getting too technical, if you think about computers we had before the internet, they basically did everything themselves.  You had software and it was on your computer, and your computer did all the work.
Now, there are lots of things “in the cloud” and some things (take Gmail for example) are computer programs running on a computer somewhere else.  Accessing Gmail using a web browser (or any webmail) is a good example because you load up the web page of gmail and the gmail server goes and looks at your email and crunches the data in the server, then sends the web-page to your device.  The program is running on the google server and you’re basically looking at the screen over the internet connection.  Lots of software is like this - you look at it through a web browser.

So, they made computers that were designed to just access things online (like webmail, google docs, etc) and the idea is that you just need a computer that can run a web browser and all the processing is done by a server “in the cloud”.
This makes these computers cheaper because they don’t need to have lots of CPU or RAM or whatever, but the problem is that they’re not designed to run without an internet connection.

I’m sure someone else will explain this whole thing much better, but the general idea is that unless your brother works with everything online, he’s better off with a real computer rather than one of these things.  IIRC the Chromebook is one of these, and I think there were others.

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