I drove 60 miles today

That’s more than I’ve driven all month. For the past 3 months I have been averaging about 10 miles a week. I drove all that way for a computer.

Acer Spin 3
Acer Spin 3
Photo: Jay, the practical enthusiast
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We decided we’re not going to take any chances until we know more about how everything is going to play out. Our school district gave us the option to start the school year online with the possibility of returning to school after the first semester. The kids will still be attending school from home during regular school hours by sitting in front of their computers and taking part in class. The teachers will be live streaming their lessons from the classroom and some students will be there in person if any parents choose that option.

For the past 10 years we have only ever had one computer. Always a cheap, bottom of the line i3 with 4 GB Ram. The computers for people who don’t know anything about computers. Painfully slow computers that were cheap, usually around $400. We keep them for at least 5 years before replacing them with another cheap computer.

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We knew we needed a new computer and this year, by chance, before this whole coronavirus became a thing, we had some extra money and I found a deal on an Acer spin 3 with an 8th generation i7 and 16 GB Ram. It’s unreal how fantastically fast this thing is. We will never be able to go back to cheap computers again. We’ve been spoiled.

Comparing the old Acer Aspire 5 to the new Acer Spin 3
Comparing the old Acer Aspire 5 to the new Acer Spin 3
Photo: Jay, the practical enthusiast
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The problem is that with 2 girls in school and now only 2 computers my wife and I don’t have a computer to use during the day. So yesterday I started searching and learning about computers and I would be interested to hear what some of you computer nerds have to say.

I started my search for another Acer spin 3 with the same specs. We bought ours in February for $719. Used they are selling for $750 and new they are $1,700. WTF?! I looked for anything similar (2 in ones) with an i7 and 16 GB Ram and prices seem to start around $1,200. That’s way out of our budget.

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A friend who is a programmer suggested I check out userbenchmark.com and compare different chips. He said some newer i5s and AMD Ryzen 5s might be faster than my i7. My Acer has an 8th generation i7 8565U and when I compared it to a 10th generation i5 1035G1, the i5 came out slightly ahead. The Ryzen 5 4500U comes out way ahead, but is nearly impossible to find.

The HP x360 vs. Acer Spin 3
The HP x360 vs. Acer Spin 3
Photo: Jay, the practical enthusiast
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I spent all day checking every website I could think of and couldn’t find anything under $1,000 with specs that I wanted. Then I checked Sam Club late last night and found an HP x360 on sale for $599. It has the i5 and 8 GB Ram. Nothing else seemed to come close at this price point. When I went to show my wife this morning it was sold out online and in every Central Florida Sam’s except one 30 miles away. For that price I raced over and grabbed it.

The new HP
The new HP
Photo: Jay, the practical enthusiast
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So far I love it. It seems just as fast and well put together as the Acer and the price was great. But, I just want to warn anyone who is planning on getting a new computer for this school year that you need to start looking now. Prices seem crazy compared to just 5 months ago. Other than Sam’s I didn’t see any good deals out there. Also, does anyone have any advice when comparing specs like this? In the future what should we be looking for in a new computer?

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