Re: OT: selecting a new laptop is more difficult than before


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Well I do notice huge differences between SSD and normal hard drives. this desktop has an SSD for the os and programs but I also have a traditional hard drive for backups and other data, and its amazing how you start to notice the delays if you are moving stuff to and from the physicl drive.
At our Talking Newspaper studio that machiine, a little older than mine hads a normal drive and only 4 gig of memory and glitches and hiccups are always going on, even though the processor is the same. Sad really that one has to say it, but its becoming minimum standards to have i5, 8 gig and ssd for anything you want to do any serious work on.
Brian

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----- Original Message -----
From: "Governor staten" <govsta@gmail.com>
To: <nvda@nvda.groups.io>
Sent: Thursday, November 30, 2017 6:16 PM
Subject: Re: [nvda] OT: selecting a new laptop is more difficult than before


One thing is for sure. You need at least 6 or 8 gb of ram. Netbooks no
longer cut it, at all. You could possibly find some refurbished
computers on Amazon.


I have an Asus netbook with 4 gb of ram (not expansible), 500 gb hard
drive, 2.16 ghz dual-core Intel Celeron processor. Graphics and audio
are built-in. I need to get a new computer, as well. I'm interested in
this discussion for that reason.



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On 11/30/2017 11:26 AM, Deborah Armstrong wrote:
** This was also cross-posted to Cavi-discuss ***
As a screen reader user, I'm finding selecting a new laptop is more
difficult than ever before. I'm very curious to see what others think,
so please post your thoughts.
It used to be that I didn't feel I needed a super fast computer,
because I wasn't editing video. And nowadays if you look at reviews of
laptops, you'll see that people who edit photos, use CAD systems,
create art or engage in heavy gaming need fast machines. But for those
who just surf the web, read email and do some light word processing,
reviewers maintain that a slower and cheaper laptop will work just
fine. In fact, reviews of chromebooks are often mixed in with reviews
of inexpensive Windows laptops for just that reason.
In 2012 my Acer netbook (An AO-756) was the fastest ultraportable I
could buy for under $500. Its processor, a 1.4GHZ Intel Celeron 877
was a dual core from the Sandy Bridge family -- the slowest one in
that family, but it wasn't a much slower Atom. It had a reasonable
fast 500GB hard drive. I added 8GB of RAM making it even more useful
at running multiple tasks efficiently. I could use Word, Excel and
Outlook without latency and of course I did a lot of web surfing.
Compared to the computers at work, it was a bit slower, but like the
reviewers said, it didn't matter, since I didn't do computation-heavy
tasks at home.
What's changed today might best be covered in this post:
https://www.marcozehe.de/2017/09/29/rethinking-web-accessibility-on-windows/
which discusses how screen readers access the web. Today, if I have to
work with a dynamic website, my little ACER is unbearably slow,
despite my having carefully maintained it so it doesn't run
unnecessary background tasks, and so that Windows is regularly fully
refreshed.
I am convinced the problem is not so much that the PC is slow, but
that the screen reader has become a palace built on a shack's
foundation. It needs everything it can squeeze out of the processor to
handle the new, dynamic web. Seems both NVDA and JAWS fail miserably
on slower processors.
But if a task does not depend on a screen reader, the machine is still
fairly fast. For example, when I OCR something in Kurzweil 1000, the
laptop is just as fast as my much more powerful desktop computers at
work. And running something like Handbrake is indeed slower on my
laptop but not so slow it cannot be used. A video that takes an hour
to convert on my desktop at work might take fifteen extra minutes on
the laptop. Handbrake is often used as an informal benchmarking tool.
But where instant responsiveness counts, my Netbook falls short. I
expect to hear something when I press a key. Often, today, I don't --
seems like I am always waiting for the screen reader to pull itself
together and find the focus, or cope with a dynamic partial page
refresh, or the next column in the spreadsheet, or read my next email
in Thunderbird.
The Acer actually got fractionally faster when I upgraded to Windows
10, but even so, I mostly wait after pressing a key to hear something
read back to me.
My work computers which run Core i7 Pentiums respond immediately, even
though they are saddled with far more background tasks required by my job.
So if I were to trust reviews, this claim that for the kinds of things
I do at home on the laptop I don't need a very powerful machine, I'd
buy something with an Atom processor, a 128GB SSD and 2GB of RAM.
Clearly that would result in a machine that's even slower than my
existing laptop. Plus, it would have a quarter of the storage!
I guess the dilemma I'm struggling with here is how to avoid spending
a fortune and still get an ultraportable that has no latency when I
use a screen reader.
What do others think?
--Debee

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