For the new season, I need a new laptop. What is a good product in the $350.00 - $450.00 price range?
Larry, all the big computer names make a laptop at that price point. When we purchased our current laptop for racing 3 years ago we bought a Lenovo from Best Buy, it had the most memory at this price point. Our previous used Dell Laptop has been our backup since.
I have a touchscreen Dell that was in that price range. I spent another $100 later to swap out the hard drive for a solid state drive, which made an unbelievable difference in boot time and is just more reliable if you drop the laptop or something.
Anything you walk into a store and buy today will be more than capable of running a anything we use at the racetrack.
1. no Apple or Chromebooks - it must be able to run PC software.
2. MS Surface Pro seems to work.
3. I don't like touch screen because when I'm pointing at a spot on the screen it take that as a command. But that's me coming to you trailer to explain/help.
4. I have the solid state drive in mine and it was well worth the $200 or so extra for the quick wake-up/boot as I use the my laptop a lot and not continuously plugged in at my trailer.
5. Windows 10 standard edition (no benefit to Pro)is fine for any Grid, Racepak, weather station, and 99% of the EFI systems that I have encountered.
6. They generally don't come with CD/DVD drives anymore as you load stuff from USB or download.
7. I wouldn't bother with a anti-virus as long as you never surf the net with it.
I've purchased several refurbished (from major name sellers) Lenovo Thinkpad units, they're pretty nice for rough environment. $350-ish is good money spent.
"Despite the high cost of living, it remains popular."
Watch Costco for some great deals. I bought a HP laptop with SS drive for $499 early this year.
I have had terrific success with Dell Outlet. Full warranty, great service the very few times I have needed it, and great prices. The inventory turns quickly, so if you see something you like don't delay long!
I have a touch screen HP that I got from Costco for $399. It's been great, and I use it when I'm not around my desktop at home as well.
Owner/Driver of the Livin' The Dream Racing dragster
"Speed kills but it's better than going slow!"
Authorized Amsoil Retailer
I really like my Lenovo ideapad 330. It was at the high end of the price range you mentioned but I use it for more than just a race track computer. What I like about it is that its fairly sturdy. It gets moved around a lot since in additon to my racepak and MSD software I also use it for a laptop based OBD2 scanner, a lab scope and Ive run various EFI software on it also. Its proven to be very versatile.
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