What computer to get my non-techy Girlfriend?
I was looking at building her an AMD based Mini ATX, but I'm seeing all these great, economical chrome OS based boxes for under $200.
I'm wondering how easy it would be to get her setup and functional with one.
Honestly, in a perfect world (and one where I was paid more) I'd get her a badass Mac-Mini and monitor.
Alas, my question; Which simple PC would work best for my non-techy (at all) girlfriend?
RJ MacReady, out.
Just seeing if there is any other clever ways out there.
This is the latest low price version NUC...
For stronger performance consider the i5 version...
You will have to add ram, a drive, and os..keyboard, mouse...
Be sure to test any new compurter for at least 90 days before going to a remote location...I would use an ssd rather than a spin up drive.
Find a refurbished or used entry level Mini, a decent monitor, a logitech bluetooth solar keyboard (charges from indoor lights) and a mouse and you have a great system.
You specifically asked about a desktop. Without question the Mini is the choice (again, used or refurbished a good deal). However, if your GF only wants to browse, message, Skype, then a tablet will do. I only know iPad so I cannot fully comment on other tablets.
The iPad lacks major apps like Office and Open Office. If your GF wants big league apps a Surface would work BUT it is Windows based and you still have do all the idiotic things needed to keep a Windows device safe (anti virus, etc). Android is the target of 95% plus malware for mobile so beware.
FYI, this post was written on my 2 year old iPad. I start every day reading Flipboard on my iPad and do all my e-mail and browsing. During the day I do my "business" work on my Mac Mini or my iMac; the Macs share each other's files so it does not matter which one I use except for huge spreadsheets - then I use the Mini with dual monitors.
One last thing. I use Pogoplug to automatically upload photos from my iPad or iPhone to a drive in my home. Your GF should consider some type of cloud storage, like Drobox, to warehouse files and photos outside of Antartica. If she is really technically limited, you could help her with that.
And, if you would rather work on OSX, yourself, stick with OSX. But be warned, OSX is THE SINGLE MOST FRUSTRATING PILE OF GARBAGE when it doesn't "just work."
In fact, nothing just works, but Chrome OS. In any case, you should give her something you wouldn't mind working on.
BTW, I was in Staples Canada one time. It had a 27" iMac on display. I discovered it had Fusion and Windows 7 on it so I launched Windows 7. A store employee came by and asked if I needed help. I noted that I was checking the speed of Windows 7 on the Mac. He was shocked that this was possible, then proceeded to tell me that Staples does not recommend Apple because "it is not compatible". Once again I pointed out that I was running Windows 7 on a Mac and asked where the compatibility issue comes from.
I provided tech support for a non-profit corp. Both Win 7 and Win XP were used. Much of my time was spent trying to keep both systems up to date with endless updates, both system and virus checking. I won't even start on supporting their old DOS application (yes, DOS).
I used to run a company that sold Atari computers, some with Mac emulators. I provided unlimited support. Realistically, I had little to do. I branched out into PCs (the '286, '386, '486... era) and continued with unlimited support. I shut down the business because supporting PCs was such a pain in the butt that it took all the joy out of computing.
For years I hated using Windows 95, 98 and XP based computers. Finally, after getting an iPod touch as a birthday gift, I bought my wife a Macbook to replace her Dell PC (do NOT get me started on Dell crap). The transformation was instant; she began to enjoy using a computer again; to the point almost of obsession. So, I bought myself an iMac. Same thing happened to me. I started loving using a computer again. We now have a Macbook Air (daughter), a Macbook (son), a Macbook Pro (wife), an iMac (me) and Mac Mini (me, I am working on it to write this). I do not, for a minute, regret moving to Mac (oh yes, one regret - I sometimes use my Mac to run Windows to support folks who still use it).
Back to the original request. If the original poster's girlfriend is not tech savvy and wants a desktop, I strongly advice on a used or refurbished Mac Mini. If all she wants to do is browse, then a tablet will do (but do not expect to use business apps unless going to a Surface and all the Windows baggage it brings along)
Regarding a slow iPad, I have friends with an original iPad. Is it slow; yes - slower than my iPad 2 and it cannot use the latest iOS. But it still works. I would assume that the girlfriend would not get a clunky old tablet but something of a recent generation. Just bear in mind that while iPads only amount to about 1/3 of the tablets out there, they account for most of the web traffic; that is, the are used much more than their non iOS counterparts. What does that say about them?
Netbook? Every owner of a netbook that I have known has ditched them. Every one got an iPad. No doubt there are some out there who still use and love them, but the exception is not what one looks for, it is the rule.
That said, I have an Ivybridge MacBook, issued to me alongside my 3rd gen iPad, the "netbook," and an ASUS Transformer Book t100 (basically a Baytrail Netbook). I have found that Macs aren't that great; their powerful Core i5s being mostly useless within OSX, especially if all you do is use a web browser and a word processor. If that's all you do, a Haswell Chromebook will be an excellent choice.
So, you could get a Mac, but it'd be like getting a Humvee to drive in narrow European streets; it would work, but there are better fits available, especially if you happen to be a mechanic who works on Pugeots.
I've personally looked into a mini PC custom built for my TV which altogether was under $500 for a real badass setup with 500GB SSD, latest Intel i7, 16GB RAM just to watch movies on, they have complete boxes put together on Amazon for ya starting at $200 Intel Next. Also a chromebox is cheap and VERY easy, hard to F-up and requires no setup.
PS: In a perfect world people wouldn't be so set on getting something trendy and they wouldn't be so lazy and ignorant about everything around them.