I need a new laptop


Puritan Board Junior
My faithful computer of over 10 years has died. The keyboard is not working and when I took it in they said they couldn't find anything wrong with it. I have decided that I need a new laptop. I am not a gamer but I do like to watch videos on my computer so I need a large screen and I would like one that can play CD's and Dvd's. Any suggestions.


Puritan Board Freshman
Gosh, that's a bummer. I'll be looking forward to the suggestions which I trust will be forth-coming; I'll catch glimpses of what I imagine are laptops when I happen to pass by the electronics section in walmart and everything looks so small! Those screens would be way too small for me.

My own lap-top is going on 9 years I believe--so I very well may be in the same boat you are soon! In fact, I was thinking of taking this one in to get it touched up (all the things that are making it slow-running taken out of it) and seeing about getting a back-up that I can use while it's being worked on. Thankfully I know of a computer place that's trustworthy where I can take it to.


Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Do you have a price range, budget? One thing to note up front is that very few laptops are sold with optical drives built in anymore. You may need to get one on the side.


Puritanboard Commissioner
I need a large screen and I would like one that can play CD's and Dvd's. Any suggestions.
Almost impossible these days to find a laptop with a optical disk. You'll probably have to spring for an external DVD drive. The push is ever toward thinner and lighter, and that rules out a mechanical drive.

Other things to watch out for - many of the new machines don't have an ethernet port. You can only connect via wifi. And you may come up short on USB ports - they may swap out one of the usual ones for a USB-C. Which means another adapter if you need to connect more than two items via USB.

I recently got a really good deal by going with a refurbished machine with a 10th generation processor instead of the state of the art 11th generation.

Another thing to look for - machines might either be optimized for use while plugged in (faster) or for battery life. So figure out if you are going to leave it plugged in most of the time, or you need it on the go. As far as processors go, AMD is usually a little cheaper for equivalent performance. And there's the tradeoff between SSD speed and traditional hard disk capacity.

I have found the best deals at Microcenter, if you have one near you (even better than online or employee purchase plans).


Puritanboard Commissioner
I'm hoping for less than $800.
I got a Core i7 10th Gen refurbished with Optane, Solid State Drive for $649 plus tax. An external disk player would get you over $700. A new i5 11th Gen would probably run about the same price. AMD should be about the same or a little cheaper. Unless you are a hard core gamer or need to plug into eithernet, it should more than meet your needs absent the drive. Mine is a convertible, which I don't need but it was the best deal I spotted at the time. The only drawback is the camera, which I didn't think to check the specifications on. So folks can't fully appreciate my long nose and large ears on conference calls.


Puritan Board Junior
Thanks everyone, I confess I really don't know much about computers. I have tried a usb keyboard and it didn't work.


Puritan Board Senior
I purchased the one below for work last March when everything was going online and it's been a wonderful computer for my purposes.

Lenovo ideapad S340 15.6" Laptop, Intel Core i5-8265U Quad-Core Processor, 8GB Memory, 128GB Solid State Drive, Windows 10 - Abyss Blue - 81N800H2US​



Puritanboard Commissioner
@LadyCalvinist Here's an article showing what's available with optical drives these days, pickings are pretty slim;

Another trade off you'll find with laptops are those optimized for gaming benchmarking and those optimized for normal office activities benchmarking.

Lenovo has a history of pre-loading Chinese spyware on their consumer laptops (they've been caught more than once, as I recall) My last two laptops have been HPs. The specs given by @timfost are what I was looking for for 'work from home' before I found the deal on the i7. It should be well within your price range.