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I have a daughter going to be a college freshman in the fall. She is going to be studying elementary education and I am at a loss of what computer to buy. Anyone who knows please help a computer illiterate father.

Honestly, if she’s going to college, and you want to get something that is sturdy, has great battery life, and can’t be easily screwed up: Get her a MacBook Pro Retina with a nice SSD [solid state drive]. Buy the three years of AppleCare [guarantee your investment, and let her take it to the Genius Bar at any Apple store if she has problems or wants to take classes on it], and let her thrive.

Asus, Lenovo, and Dell are all great computers, but their portability isn’t as great. Their battery life is competitive, but still cannot meet Apple’s bar, and the operating system on a PC is not as idiot-proof/virus-proof/spyware-proof.

This is coming from someone who has used PCs since their advent, and bought a MBP in 2010 when he was returning to college. I needed something which could stand up to my 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. class schedules without a reliable electrical outlet in sight.

My MBP put me through the remainder of my undergraduate career, the two years of grad school which came afterward, and now the subsequent year I’ve been spending working in the field. I’m typing this message on my MBP at this very moment, and the only reason I haven’t bought myself a new one is because I can’t justify it - - there’s nothing wrong with this one.

It’s a durable, reliable, and really a solid piece of technology. I still use a desktop PC at home and at work for various reasons, but the MBP is my center of work projects, study, entertainment, etc… I highly recommend you consider it.

Also: Congratulations on your daughter’s acceptance, enrollment, and the beginning of a new chapter of her life (and yours).

I bought one of these last week and mine has already arrived.
Just a quick review from someone who works in IT and has quite a few high power computers in his house.
This is a nice laptop for what you pay. It is very comparable in size and battery life to the new MacBook (not the Pro or the Air). With the most obvious difference being the screen resolution. This laptop has a 1366x768 screen and is definitely not an IPS display (thus it has very limited viewing angles).
What it does do well though is have excellent battery life and run Windows 8.1 reasonable well. (Which is an accomplishment when having only 2GB of memory.)
My daughter (10 years old) has claimed it as her own and happily watches Netflix and uses MS Word on it with no problem. She did ask for an external mouse and I plugged in a receiver for a wireless mouse into one of the 2 USB ports for her. The touchpad is quite large though and has a nice click action to it with a well defined right click section.
This laptop isn’t going to run high end games or graphics programs, but it is super portable and has great battery life. The 2 main reasons I bought it to begin with.

I like it. Also, I could buy 8 of these for what one MacBook costs.

Thanks for the quick review. Did yours come with a product key for MS Office? Mine did not, and I was disappointed to find that refurbs often don’t.

I have to second the macbook suggestion. Although the cost is going to be a lot. I have a 2011 15" mackbook pro and I maxed out the RAM and installed my own SSD. If you could get a 2012 or so MBP used in great condition and do the upgrades yourself, it might be a better value.

If the cost of a mac is too much, I’d just say stay away from HP. I have to use HP laptops working from home and I am not in the least bit impressed. Last computer I fixed for a friend was an HP as well and I’m totally over them.

I ordered the MeMo HD 7" ME173X refurb three days ago, and it arrived today. I know some of these have shown up scratched, etc. in previous woots, but this one arrived in pristine shape. Charger included, but no warranty card or manual (as expected). Battery was 2/3 charged, and set up went smoothly. Very pleased so far.

Is the screen resolution of TP500LA correct? Asus official site says it’s 1920x1080, but I’m not sure whether there are variants.

Never mind. Found it. It’s correct. It’s an old version with lower resolution.

how to get warranty on these?
The screen on my memopad has burn-in.

I’m sorry for the problem. Please use the Support form linked at the top of the page to contact customer support for assistance. Include your Woot username and order number for faster service. Be sure to explain the issue too.

I just unpacked my X751M, which has Windows 8.1 loaded on it, and the TOTALITY of what was in the box was Notebook, power adapter, and a single sided photocopy of a web page (with links underlined!) explaining how to make Windows 7 recovery discs.

Spent 20 minutes on the phone with Asus, no one in tech support (at the number ON THIS SHEET) has any clue that such a sheet could possibly exist, or what it means, OR how to create any kind of recovery media on DVD. I don’t really want to dedicate a USB drive, but I guess it’s either that or install a whole OS from scratch.

I don’t particularly want to learn Windows 8.1 either, since it is already an acknowledged Dead End OS.

At least I got a cheap box.

Win 8.1 isn’t that bad if you install Classic Shell (google it, it’s free).

Here’s info on Asus’ app to make recovery media:

Linkie here

If you want to roll back to Win 7, you’ll need to locate the drivers and whatnot.

I’ll also ask our computer team to ask their vendors to make sure the paper work matches the OS of the unit.

That’s cool and should be what I want, but there is a conflict. The page you linked to specifically says Asus Backtracker works with the Recovery Partition. The sheet of paper enclosed with my system says “To protect any potential customer data, your hard drive was completely wiped during the refurbishment process. This process includes wiping the recovery partition.”

I don’t know if that’s true, it is just what I was given.

Leaving me with the uncertainty of whether it’s even safe to run the download. However, I already have, and it too demands a USB storage device, with no DVD option. Kind of silly to have that big ol’ optical drive takin’ up all the space. Not to mention the fact that I bought two spindles of DVD-R before realizing I might never need half that many.

Anyway, I have no idea whether there is the usual level of system protection/recovery installed here, or none at all, or somewhere between. I can’t really start trusting a computer with anything at such a level of uncertainty.

tell them to actually complete the job they’re supposed to do with sysprep. That’s actually more important than whatever meaningless paper they include. Whoever did this box left it hanging. Tomorrow I can get a few minutes with an expert and maybe complete the job they should have done. If not … well right now I don’t know what, but I’m not happy with a computer that can’t be fully started, or logged into, or even set up logins on. It was supposed to run the Windows Setup on boot, but instead it starts up in the middle of sysprep - a utility I had never even heard of before today. I have no idea what software or scripts might be missing from it.