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Old     (jaegermaster)      Join Date: Sep 2002       06-11-2014, 5:19 AM Reply   
I need to buy a new laptop. I could almost get away with a tablet but I need something that will run Quickbooks. It will mainly be used for my small business accounting and e-mail, but will also get used around the house for internet surfing.

So my requirements would be...

Able to run Quickbooks
Wireless capable
Keyboard (attached or detached)
DVD-RW would be nice
At least one USB port
Decent sized internal hard drive
Would like to keep it under or close to $500

Any recommendations?
Old     (buffalow)      Join Date: Apr 2002       06-11-2014, 7:11 AM Reply   
Which Qbooks? Are you linking into a server or remote machine? They make QBooks in the cloud now that might make sense for you. I find on the Ipad Quickbooks to be a little clunky and not super functional for day to day when working directly on it. I have 4 Qbooks data files and running service/construction businesses on them with around 20 users. I am always worried about having quickbooks on portable machines in case they were to get lost. I know you have passwords and such on the laptop, but as a computer guys I have broke into many password protected machines and especially Qbooks which has a weak password system. At least if you are logging into a server or online cloud you can have other levels of protection. Maybe a ipad with GoToMy PC would do it as well for you. Keep in mind that for your small business $500 is not much and you get what you pay for. I have tried all sorts of computers, laptops, tablets as well as most of my staff. We find that quality desktop paired with IPADs works very well in most cases, but with quickbooks that adds a more difficult component. I have also used Qbooks for mac, windows and online version. Qbooks for windows is the far superior version of them all. Qbooks for MAC is weak and at least 5 years behind the windows version. Qbooks online is functional but feels way more like Quicken and non business feeling, but if you are not a heavy user, may work fine.

My recommendation - MacBook - Than GotomyPc or similar way to remote into a desktop machine. Than you get speed, security, protection from viruses and such and great for not just email/Qbooks. Plus you will likely get 5-10 years our of them with little to no upgrades or software to buy on the MAc side. It's more money up front but in the long wrong it will save you on the OS upgrades, Virus protection, misc software. You can always IM if you need further advice. I have been on quickbooks since about 1992.
Old     (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       06-11-2014, 8:47 AM Reply   
With those kind of requirements you can find just about any laptop to work that was made in the past 5 years or so.

The main thing I would ask you, is how/where you will be using it. Because for what you want and the pricepoint, just about anything will work, but do you want something larger to mainly be at a desk or something and have the option to take it with you? Or do you want something smaller that you can take with you all the time?
You could even go as far as picking up something along the lines of a netbook and getting a slimline external dvdrw for the times when you do use it.
What size of HDD do you consider decent? 160GB, 500GB, Terabyte+?
Old     (baitkiller)      Join Date: Jan 2010       06-11-2014, 12:46 PM Reply   
We just got a couple new Surface' which is kind of a hybrid. I do on the fly data entry in Excel and it was nice that the office suite came loaded, not extra. The battery also lasts forever which is huge for me. You can buy an optical disc drive for <$40.
That and you are forced to use IE. I haven't used IE since Chrome came along. That sucks too.
If you can live with 8 its great and cheep. You could buy two for the price of a decent laptop. I gave it to my son and put another new screen (#3) in my old trusty netbook that runs 7.
Old     (jaegermaster)      Join Date: Sep 2002       06-11-2014, 6:27 PM Reply   
I would say 80% home use and 20% on the road. I am a carpenter and it would be nice to invoice some of my smaller clients on site. Type up an invoice in Q books, e-mail it from my truck and done. I have only dabbled in q books but also want to buy the business version and convert my business accounts to it. No cloud use if possible. No remote networking or other computers I need to access. I would say a 150GB internal drive would work. I have a 1 TB external for pictures and archived client files. The DVD-RW built in isn't a deal breaker but it would be nice. I forgot to mention I'm a windows guy and can't stand Mac's (no offense to anyone).

Thanks for the input.
Old     (polarbill)      Join Date: Jun 2003       06-11-2014, 7:39 PM Reply   
If you are going to buy from a place like best buy make sure and check, and to see what their prices are. my wife ended up buying a dell 15.6" touchscreen windows 8 notebook with 8GB RAM and 1TB storage from Bestbuy. I had her check tigerdirect or provantage and she saved $100-$150 at bestbuy. got the thing for like $600 or something.

I am not sure it matters in your situation but anything in the $500 range is going to be a consumer based product. Surface Pro 2's start at $800 or something like that without a keyboard. pretty much any business class machine with mediocre specs will be in the $700+ range.

When buying make sure and look at the warranty included. Most consumer machines come with 1 year parts and labor where as most middle of the road and above business machines come with 3 year parts and labor.

Sounds like you are on the right track though. First figure out if you want a laptop or a tablet(might be hard to find a windows tablet for under $500 with any specs). Then narrow down from there.
Old     (fly135)      Join Date: Jun 2004       06-12-2014, 7:16 AM Reply   
Check out Amazon for deals too. Last December for $500 I got a refurbished Asus 2.4Ghz 3rd gen quad core i7 with 8gig ram, 1T HD, 2gig graphics memory, 1080p 15" screen, and backlit keyboard. I'm a software developer and this machine is my office and development platform. That might be cheaper than anything up there right now but it doesn't sound like you need that much power. Yeah it came with Win8, but it is possible to get used to it. The lack of a start menu with your installed programs is the biggest flaw in the OS I've seen. And the annoying swipe crap of the right that doesn't seem to have a disable setting.
Old     (buffalow)      Join Date: Apr 2002       06-12-2014, 11:03 AM Reply   
I would maybe look at EZbooks or QB online or the goDaddy version of accounting. They are designed for your type of business and may be easier and cheaper in the long run. they would also likely work better on a tablet or similar.
Old     (Cabledog)      Join Date: Dec 2013       06-12-2014, 3:41 PM Reply   
I had this same dilemma awhile back and there is no perfect single solution that I found. I ended up getting both. Quad core i7 laptop for work and 3rd gen iPad for when I’m not at work and purposely did not set up work email on the iPad. The wife has a small home business and uses the Square credit card reader with her iPhone for her small percentage of off-site sales.
Old     (Shawn)      Join Date: Aug 2011       06-13-2014, 1:41 PM Reply   
Macbook Air
Old     (steezyshots)      Join Date: Feb 2008       06-17-2014, 3:05 PM Reply   
Get one of them that are both, I got the Dell where the monitor flips inside on itself and couldn't be happier
Old     (pesos)      Join Date: Oct 2001 Location: Texas       06-17-2014, 8:37 PM Reply   
Hard to beat the Surface Pro 3
Old     (jaegermaster)      Join Date: Sep 2002       06-18-2014, 5:24 AM Reply   
Riley, I saw those. That might be the way to go.

Thanks for the help everybody.
Old     (polarbill)      Join Date: Jun 2003       06-18-2014, 8:33 PM Reply   
yeah, convertibles are pretty cool. Usually a little on the spendy side though aren't they?
Old     (dezul)      Join Date: Jul 2012       06-19-2014, 3:39 AM Reply   
I just purchased an ASUS T100 for the gf. It seemed to have some pretty good specs and works a lot like a netbook and a tablet. The $371 shipped price tag was tough to swallow after seeing it last week for $300.


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