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Thread: Shopping for a new notebook deal

  1. #1
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    Default Shopping for a new notebook deal

    Started shopping for a new notebook around the 1st March. I was looking for one about a notch or two over an 'el cheapo'. I like HP and went to their on-line store first off. They had a ProBook 455r with all the bell and whistles for about $670 delivered. So, I ordered the thing and they said it would take about a month or so as the Covid business had kicked in on their supply sources. Understandable, but then about a week or so ago, I received and email from HP advising me to be patient, as the new ship date would be around the end of April.

    I didn't want to wait that long and decided to cancelled the order; and that's another story in itself. Hopefully I'll see the refund in about 10 days. Anyway, I got on Google and started looking locally. Previously, I didn't think the MicroCenter would be open but it is. They didn't have the 455r but rather last years's model, a HP ProBook 450. This discontinued 450 turned out to be the better buy. Whereas the 455r had W10 Home and a Ryzen 3 CPU, the 450 in turn, had W10 Pro and an I 5 (side by side benchmarks are out there). The illuminated keyboard on the 455r was optional, but standard on the 450. BTW, both notebooks are identical in appearance.

    Both units come standard with a 500 GB HDD and 4 GB of SDRAM. I was able to add on a 1 TB Crucial M.2 stick on sale, and a 16 GB DDR4 SDRAM module which was not on sale, for less that the total HP 455r price. I did get a price matching offer from HP, but there was a discussion about the 450 being last years' model.

    The notebook come in a plain cardboard box with only a foldout to get you started. Now you must download the manuals if you want them. I charged right in and got the notebook up and running in no time and everything looked good. I then shut it down and popped the back cover off and installed the SDRAM module and the the M.2 stick. HP thoughtfully provided the screw needed to secure the stick as it was clearly within a silkscreen marked area on the PCB.

    I fired it up and the notebook saw the new SDRAM, but not the M.2, as it needed to be initialized. Once that was accomplished, I needed to download Crucial's free cloning software package which is by Acronis. That was straight forward and the cloning went off without a hitch. But then something happened; on the subsequent reboot a screen popped up and said I needed to provide the 'Bitlocker' key. Oh really; just where in Hades would that be? Near panic set in as I had no reference to it anywhere. When you Google about a lost or misplaced Bitlocker key, the most common response is to just reinstall. I though about it for a while and it dawned on me that if I could get into the BIOS, which I could, maybe I could swap boot drives and the thing would come up. I got lucky and booted with the original 500 GB HDD and immediately went into the control panel and clicked on Bitlocker, and when it opens, it gives you the key info. You need to print it out and file it it away for safekeeping. It's possible, they say, to retrieve the key from Microsoft, but it looks like a convoluted process to me. So, the Bitlocker function has been turned off. Note that if your W10 is below Pro, you need not worry about it. It seems that this model ships with Bitlocker enabled but with no prior warnings.

    Another thing concerning the OEM installed software: There is no Windows key provided and no activation is required per se. It seems like the key info is embedded somewhere in a chip the motherboard.

    It's a nice notebook, very light weight, but nowhere near the same class as my HP Elitebook 865, but then again, that was a very expensive unit when it was new.

    Stay safe!
    Last edited by Agent Orange; April 5th, 2020 at 10:04 AM.
    Surely not everyone was Kung-fu fighting

  2. #2

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    Nice...

    I guess Fla. is off so you need something to do at home.

    I'm in the market for a Chromebook. I have quite enough 'standard' computer equipment to do everything I want and need to do so I've decided to go with a new Chromebook for web use as well as running Android apps. Now I have to figure out which one. 14" or so should do it.
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stone View Post
    Nice...

    I guess Fla. is off so you need something to do at home.

    I'm in the market for a Chromebook. I have quite enough 'standard' computer equipment to do everything I want and need to do so I've decided to go with a new Chromebook for web use as well as running Android apps. Now I have to figure out which one. 14" or so should do it.
    Florida is off for this year. Checked-in with condo managers and they said just about everything on the island is closed, and no one knows when it's going to come back to life. They rolled over our reservations to next year.

    Chromebook is a good choice. i came close to getting one. Still might.
    Surely not everyone was Kung-fu fighting

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Orange View Post
    Chromebook is a good choice. i came close to getting one. Still might.
    Ya', but there are so many... the question is which one?
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  5. #5
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    My understanding is with an oem unit thenos key is embedded in the firmware. Go check that out for me

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stone View Post
    Ya', but there are so many... the question is which one?
    If I was going to spring it might be this one? https://www.samsung.com/us/computing...e310xba-k01us/

    I think it's direct from the factory. Price isn't bad.
    Surely not everyone was Kung-fu fighting

  7. #7
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    I have an 11.6" Lenovo CB. It really isn't big enough. And I forgot my password (and the associated google account pw). I guess the thing is a bit handy. This is the least desireable of CBs I would imagine. Screen is lousy. But it works (worked). Most of the time. A few times it wouldn't turn on. It seems plugging it into the charger alleviated that at least once. These things seem to have their bugs.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tipc View Post
    I have an 11.6" Lenovo CB. It really isn't big enough. And I forgot my password (and the associated google account pw). I guess the thing is a bit handy. This is the least desireable of CBs I would imagine. Screen is lousy. But it works (worked). Most of the time. A few times it wouldn't turn on. It seems plugging it into the charger alleviated that at least once. These things seem to have their bugs.
    Isn't Lenovo the IBM wanna be?
    Surely not everyone was Kung-fu fighting

  9. #9
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    As I recall, Lenovo made many of the Thinkpads. Then they and IBM had a parting of the ways. Generally they're pretty sturdy. The 100e (first gen) isn't a slim princess. It was made for the edumucation environment. Don't drop one on your foot. It had a celeron, newer models have a mediatek chip. I'd take the celeron anyday. But as I've said it isn't a beauty queen. And tbe display won't win any awards.

    Some of the very low end lenovos seem flimsy by comparison to my ~3 years old Ideapad 110 (and the 100e). But they were selling them for 140$ on Black Friday. For that price ... I think the things have an A6. Not a screamer by any measure. But Lenovo has been and I suspect still is good qualitu. You can spend as little or as much as you want and still get a 17" lcd and a good keyboard. I wish you the best with your HP but by my experi3nce I've learned to stay away from their consumer products. Their business range is a different scoop, pretty good quality.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Orange View Post
    Isn't Lenovo the IBM wanna be?
    Lenovo bought up all the old IBM PC Division rights. They still support(ed?) many of the old IBM PC systems and have some of IBM's support info. restructured on their site. IBM's support site will automatically redirect you to Lenovo and vice versa for Server type systems, go figure.

    Lenovo's End of Life portal:
    https://download.lenovo.com/eol/index.html
    now the ThinkPad T400 and T410 have been "End Of Life"-ed, for example.

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