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

Brian's Mail list account <bglists@...>

Yes I intend only to try laptops where I can hear the screenreader running as a portable app in store.
A friend of mine, sighted has a dell and asked me to sort somthing out for him. I had to plug in an external sound box to get it not to chop off the end of every bit of speech. It also lagged terrible on the internal card. its almost as if its back to just cludging any old junk in for the sound on a laptop.
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----- Original Message -----
From: "Nikos Demetriou via Groups.Io" <>
To: <>
Sent: Thursday, November 30, 2017 9:21 PM
Subject: Re: [nvda] OT: selecting a new laptop is more difficult than before

We discussed this before but since we are talking about laptops I wanted to
express my consirns again.

I don't know what happens with the soundcards on laptops these days, or if
it is just driver issues but for a lot of models nvda doesnt work well with
And I am talking about espeak which is light weight. I don't want to
imagine what is going to happen with hi-q tts.

On several laptops, I heard nvda not being able to incorborate.
For example the beginning or ending of sentences might be cut, or when
doing things quickly such as typing, you hear some clicks between the
letters as you type.
The problem could be fixed, if we disable audio enhunsments. The problem is
that some manufacturers disable this option so we get stuck.
Another possible fix is to disable the manufacturer audio driver and
install the generic audio driver from microsoft, but this way we are
loozing some of the quality of the sound the laptop can provide such as the
bass or some loudness of the audio.

I am very disapointed with the laptops these days because a laptop might
have the best specs, but we don't really know if it has got a nice
soundcard with good audio drivers unless if we buy it and play with it but
it might be too late to change it if we find a problem.
Good luck finding a new laptop.
I hope you find a good one.
Lenovo laptops seam to have the most sound issues with nvda but i have seen
hp and toshiba laptops to act a bit strange as well sometimes.

I don't know about del. One of my friends recently got one and she is happy
so far.

On 30 November 2017 at 20:33, Rui Fontes <> wrote:


1 - Don't choose anything else than SSD devices. They are much more fast
than any other!

2 - For processor, it depends a lot when you want to replace it and how
much you want to spend...

If you want to spend only a few hundresd dollars, maximum 400 USD, you and
replace it in 2a 3 years, you are well with a processor like Intel(R)
Core(TM) m3-7Y30 CPU, like my hybrid laptop have along with 4Gb of RAM.
# of Cores
# of Threads
Processor Base Frequency
1.00 GHz
Max Turbo Frequency
2.60 GHz
4 MB SmartCache

3 - If you don't want to change laptop so soon, you must choose a better
processor, like I3 or I5, at least 8Gb of RAM and nothing else than a SSD



Às 17:22 de 30/11/2017, Tyler Wood escreveu:

This summarizes exactly how I feel today.

I shouldn’t need a crazy fast machine. However, when I’m on a machine with
a mechanical hard drive or slower processor, I can tell the difference the
second I start using it. It still functions, but my general assumptions get
in the way. I get impatient. Come on, move already!

This is why I went overboard in my new desktop, which should arrive in
December. Dell xps 8930 with a core i7 processor. I may not need it, but
with the advancements in computer technology and how screen readers are,
instead of becoming lighter on processor usage, are seemingly more
dependant on them, I figure I should get as much power as I can while I
can. My thoughts are a core i3 processor, 8 gb of ram and a decent solid
state drive should get you where you want to go. The problem is when you
want more than a 128 gb drive. You have to pay for the i5 or i7 processor,
thus making the machine even more expensive. Also, in 5 years, that i3 may
be ancient history. It seems things are taking off at breakneck speed
rather than slowing down as far as advancing goes. Soon all applications
are going to be multithreaded if they’re not already and you want as many
threads as you can squeeze out of it in the future. Dual core with
hyperthreading just isn’t going to cut it in even 4 years – and if it does,
it’s going to be on the edge of it. Maybe this is just my paranoia talking,
but you never know.

*From: *Deborah Armstrong <>
*Sent: *November 30, 2017 10:26 AM
*To: *
*Subject: *[nvda] OT: selecting a new laptop is more difficult than before

** 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:

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?


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