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Ask Slashdot: Buying a Laptop That Doesn't Have Windows 8

timothy posted about a year ago | from the craigslist-if-available dept.

Operating Systems 570

First time accepted submitter Sagan's Pie writes "I'm starting to look for a laptop for college, and the only thing I seem to find are laptops or tablets that have Windows 8. I have used Windows 7 for a long time now, and would not have a problem giving it up, but not for Windows 8. After visiting many major online retail sites, I've found that finding either a Windows 7 laptop, or even a laptop without an operating system is nearly impossible. So where should I go if looking for laptops sans os, or at the very least sans Windows 8?"

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570 comments

Try NewEgg (5, Informative)

GeckoFood (585211) | about a year ago | (#42825383)

NewEgg still sells Windows 7 laptops. Go into the laptops/notebooks section and enter Windows 7 as a keyword. Some of the units that come back are refurbs, but some are brand new.

Re:Try NewEgg (4, Insightful)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about a year ago | (#42825499)

Buy a computer that has the specs you want, then wipe the hard drive and install Windows 7. Problem solved.

Re:Try NewEgg (5, Interesting)

linebackn (131821) | about a year ago | (#42825701)

Buy a computer that has the specs you want, then wipe the hard drive and install Windows 7. Problem solved.

Except it is not always that simple. Supposedly there are already some laptops out there that lack drivers for Windows 7. The number of incompatible laptops will increase as time goes on.

There is also the problem of support. Vendors may refuse to support your hardware if it does not have the factory provided OS or software on it.

And on top of that, you would be paying for an additional windows license.

Re:Try NewEgg (4, Informative)

cayenne8 (626475) | about a year ago | (#42825723)

Have you tried the Apple store?

No windows 8 there.

:)

However, on a more serious note...you could get a nice macbook pro....and install VMWare on it...and get a OEM copy of Win 7 (I still seem them on newegg for a decent price)...and run it in a VM.

This combo allows you to have the best of all worlds on one computer...OSX, Windows (your fav. flavor) and Linux...etc.

That's actually the route I went.

Re:Try NewEgg (4, Informative)

gQuigs (913879) | about a year ago | (#42825741)

From what I understand that will depend on the UEFI implentation of the Windows 8 machine. That may no longer work depending on the manufacturer.

If you can't disable secure boot you won't be able to even install Windows 7, much less my preferred Ubuntu.

Re:Try NewEgg (5, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#42825905)

Buy a computer that has the specs you want. Then wipe the hard drive and install Debian. Return the Windows 8 license for a refund. Problem solved.

Re:Try NewEgg (1)

coastal984 (847795) | about a year ago | (#42825753)

A lot of business-model PCs (namely HP) come with Windows 7 downgrade already. Try looking for laptops like the 4540s that have been factory downgraded.

did i end up on Ehow.com ?!? (5, Informative)

hurfy (735314) | about a year ago | (#42825929)

Get out of the stores with 3 choices, perhaps?

here
http://www.walmart.com/ip/HP-14-G4-2149se-Butterfly-Blossom-Design-Laptop-PC-with-AMD-A6-4400M-Processor-and-Windows-7-Home-Premium-with-Windows-8-Upgrade-Option-bundled-with/21191020 [walmart.com]

Newegg had 144 hits (lots of refurb, but better than craigslist suggested below!) on win 7 home premium alone.
Dell, Tigerdirect, even Walmart all had them.

I think this was meant to be posted next year...... ...and all those refurbs will still be there, even if new isn't....

apple.com (2, Funny)

SirJorgelOfBorgel (897488) | about a year ago | (#42825393)

See comment subject. Doesn't come with Windows 8. Guaranteed.

Re:apple.com (1, Funny)

TehSpida (1154493) | about a year ago | (#42825439)

That only works if he has twice as much money to spend compared to a Windows laptop.

Re:apple.com (1)

Jeng (926980) | about a year ago | (#42825655)

And if his applications run on a Mac vs a PC.

and

Also yes he could run Windows 7 on a Mac, but if he is looking for a laptop with Windows 7 on it then he may not be able to afford an operating system separate from the computer at this time.

Re:apple.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825679)

But you get a computer that is twice as nice.

signed a former windows/linux user.

Re:apple.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825631)

for all your fashion accessories, and tickets to social acceptance

Re:apple.com (1, Interesting)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about a year ago | (#42825893)

Only problem with apple.com is they sell computers that have been empirically found to be of inferior in quality to cheap OEM's like Asus and Lenovo, and yet cost a lot more than (almost twice as much) the more expensive OEM's like Dell. Asus and Lenovo also give you a better warranty for free (Asus warranty even includes free accidental damage for one year in addition to the standard two year warranty.)

system76 (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825411)

https://www.system76.com/

Re:system76 (5, Informative)

cab15625 (710956) | about a year ago | (#42825585)

Just to clarify for the AC, system 76 sells/ships laptops, desktops, and servers with Ubuntu. If you are a linux user or feel like you might be ready to take the plunge, this is a good place to start. At least their systems are fully linux compatible. Even if you don't like ubuntu and have some other pet distribution, it has a better chance of working on one of these than if you get a windows laptop and flush the hard drive to install linux. Bonus: no windows tax, and no money to MS (except for possible hidden patent trolling on hardware or firmware).

Re:system76 (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825763)

http://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/laptop-computers/
Good deal, you can choose Windows 7, or "No operating system required" to spare 79 pounds. I have one for six months, serves me well with Debian Wheezy on board.

MacBook or Dell (4, Informative)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#42825415)

Get a Macbook and then put Windows 7 on it.

Dell also has a Windows 7 [dell.com] page.

I'm sure any business-friendly vendor will have the same if you poke around.

Re:MacBook or Dell (4, Interesting)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#42825609)

Replying to myself... Dell links to Windows 8 laptops from their Windows 7 page... ugh.

Still, they have Windows 7 laptops:
XPS 13 [dell.com]
Their m5030 is in the stores.
Latitude 2xxx
Latitude E5xxx

Go to their Business site [dell.com], select laptops, and check the box for Windows 7.

One with a Pentium I? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825419)

Enough to run Linux pretty decent

USED (3)

AcesDnied (2542270) | about a year ago | (#42825427)

I would suggest finding a used Laptop if you want to avoid windows 8. I work for a used computer sales company and we have 40 to 50 laptops a month that we sell with windows 7, vista, and even XP.

Also check Craigslist.

If you aren't buying used I don't know where you might find somebody still selling machines with windows 7.

Dell.com (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825429)

You can go to Dell.com and they have the option to build your own laptop with the OS you want.

Newegg (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825437)

Newegg currently shows 32 Ultrabooks with Win7Pro. I call... bs.

Just use windows 8... (3, Informative)

oic0 (1864384) | about a year ago | (#42825455)

Install a third party start button program that also takes you straight to desktop. At that point you basically have windows 7, just dont hold your mouse cursor in a corner or that not so lucky charms BS appears. Wish there was a way to turn that off.

Re:Just use windows 8... (5, Insightful)

Tim Cook (2821587) | about a year ago | (#42825575)

Actually, please don't do this. M$ needs to know what a hunk of crap they've released reflected by low sales.

Re:Just use windows 8...Pirate 7 (4, Interesting)

Jeng (926980) | about a year ago | (#42825821)

Sure Microsoft isn't just working to get paid twice?

Once for the Windows 8 license that the oem pays for and once for the Windows 7 that the customer puts on it for twice the price the oem paid for Windows 8.

So screw that, the pirated copies of Windows 7 are getting much better, just go with that.

Re:Just use windows 8... (1, Funny)

linebackn (131821) | about a year ago | (#42825745)

Wish there was a way to turn that off.

I hear a nuke from orbit is fairly effective. Haven't had a chance to try that yet.

Oh geez (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825465)

First world problems; "I want my hardware to have an operating system. No, not THAT operating system! Some other operating system!"

Whatever, just install whatever. Its not like its hard to install an OS.. unless that OS is Linux and that hardware is made by Samsung..

Downgrade Rights (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825481)

Windows 8 licensing includes downgrade rights. If you have the key and a Windows 7 disk you can re-install to Windows 7 with minimal problems. Double check to make sure this won't void your warranty though, if you care about that.

Re:Downgrade Rights (2, Interesting)

coastal984 (847795) | about a year ago | (#42825733)

Not so easy. Microsoft eff'd consumers with Windows 8 by embedding the keys in the BIOS - they are not use-ably retrievable. My shop used to clone PC batches by building a clean install of 7, then cloning it to others, and activating Windows with the key on the box. Not possible anymore - they are trying to force us into getting a volume license agreement, stating that cloning is a "right granted to volume license customers". Total crap by M$.

Re:Downgrade Rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825795)

That will still count as a "Windows 8 sale"... which then becomes even "more popular", numbers used to get retailers to switch to even more Windows 8 models.

W7/W8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825493)

Start8 from Stardock Software returns W7 look and feel, works fine

Downgrade after the purchase (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825515)

If you're technically inclined to do so, many laptop manufacturers have a downgrade path. See this article on LifeHacker regarding this: http://lifehacker.com/5974318/downgrade-your-new-windows-8-computer-to-windows-7-for-free

Clevo / Sager (5, Informative)

oic0 (1864384) | about a year ago | (#42825519)

Clevo based laptops typically come configured however you want and lacking whatever you don't want. No OS? no problem. You can also get em without hard drive, memory, chip, video card, whatever. They can be bought bare bones or with as much as you want in em. Also, the screen selection on them is usually much better. You can opt for much higher resolution than youll get in a dell etc...

Just get 8 and install Classic Shell (1)

neubian (2788915) | about a year ago | (#42825523)

Microsoft has a way of punishing those who do not fall in line. If you're going to use Windows, you're better off playing nice with them. Down the line, you'll want to install/use something that is no longer supported on Win7, and you'll regret not getting 8 now.

Re:Just get 8 and install Classic Shell (1)

DrKludge (239681) | about a year ago | (#42825685)

I think it is pretty clear that you are not better off with Windows 8. MS only started punishing people with wanting to stay on Windows XP 2 years ago. 10 years after that version was release. Unfortunately MS is punishing people with this new version.

Just try it (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825529)

The only difference is it's a start screen instead of a start menu. It's really not that bad once you give it a chance.

All this anti new UI stuff cracks me up. WHO MOVED MY CHEESE?!?!?!

Buy Local (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825535)

Most local computer shops will still be able to get new notebooks loaded with Windows 7. Some can even get XP loaded onto a new notebook.

Do you use the start menu often? (4, Insightful)

Kelbear (870538) | about a year ago | (#42825543)

I never do.

Really, the biggest change in Windows 8, is that I have to press the windows key when I login. Nothing else really changed in the OS for me. I still just hit win+r for the "Run" prompt, or click a shortcut in the number of places I've aggregated them that make much more sense than Win 7's start menu layout. I got Windows 8 because it was just $15 for a valid windows license.

I'm in full agreement that there's no reason to upgrade from windows 7 to windows 8. But if you get windows 8, it's not the end of the world (unless you're really married to the start menu). Or hell, if you really need the start menu, just go download it and install it. If you're on slashdot you should know how to do this. This askslashdot is kind of a no-brainer.

Re:Do you use the start menu often? (0, Redundant)

Miamicanes (730264) | about a year ago | (#42825767)

> Really, the biggest change in Windows 8, is that I have to press the windows key when I login.

Anything that requires a "Windows" key is a big, HUGE deal-breaking fatal flaw for people with Lexmark Model M13 keyboards (the ones with both buckling-spring keys AND a real Trackpoint), because they pre-date the Windows keys by a couple of years.

Yes, the Unicomp EnduraPro has a Windows key, buckling spring keys, and a pointer stick. Unfortunately, the EnduraPro is built with an inferior pointer stick that isn't a genuine TrackPoint.

Re:Do you use the start menu often? (3, Insightful)

Nimey (114278) | about a year ago | (#42825785)

*eyeroll*

Ctrl-Esc does the same thing. You just don't get the Windows-key shortcuts that you've been missing all these years, like always.

NFS is missing (was: start menu) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825927)

One really big downside when upgrading from W7 to W8 is the fact that retail users have no chance at all anymore to install the NFS client. With W7, this was available via the Ultimate version, but with W8 the NFS client only is delivered with the Enterprise version, which you can't purchase at all as retail user.

It doesn't matter (0)

InlawBiker (1124825) | about a year ago | (#42825545)

This is fighting a battle that doesn't need to be fought. Just get the hardware you want regardless of the OS that's pre-installed.

- You don't save significant money buying an "Ubuntu" laptop or whatever, but you severely limit your choices.
- Any pre-installed Windows OS will be full of crapware that you'll want to get rid of with a clean install anyway.
- It will be easier to resell later with the latest OS on it, if you ever want to sell it.

Re:It doesn't matter (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825667)

- You don't save significant money buying an "Ubuntu" laptop or whatever, but you severely limit your choices.

Not true!
I configured my laptop here: http://www.mysn.de/ and paid ~80 EUR less because I chose the "No windows" option. Kubuntu was installed in a few minutes from a USB drive and I'm very happy with it. The thing boots in a few seconds to the login, significantly faster than your run-of-the-mill smartphone. Just the keyboard is a bit of a let-down.

Amazon (2)

Lester67 (218549) | about a year ago | (#42825547)

I'll reiterate Newegg, and add Amazon.com. Their list of top 10 selling laptops for Christmas, none of the top 5 were Win8, and all of those models are still for sale.

Re:Amazon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825931)

I was looking around BestBuy the other day and they said that they are getting bunches of returns from people who bought W8 machines. It seems that they can't figure out how to use them. W8 is definitely not intuitive when coming from W7 and below.

Check the custom builders (1)

halfEvilTech (1171369) | about a year ago | (#42825549)

Builders such as Digital Storm, iBuyPower, and CyberPower PC among others still make build to order laptops with your choice of Windows 7, 8, Linux or even the option to leave the Hard Drive blank.

System76 (4, Informative)

Kryai (976997) | about a year ago | (#42825561)

I just purchased a laptop from https://www.system76.com/ [system76.com] their laptops come only with Ubuntu, had excellent customization options, and reasonable pricing (why is it so hard to customize laptops nowadays, when did this happen =\ ) My colleague recommended them and I get my laptop Monday so I don't have first hand experience yet, but I just had to make this decision and that's what I ended with selecting.

Thinkpad (5, Interesting)

oGMo (379) | about a year ago | (#42825577)

Get a Thinkpad. I just got a W530 [lenovo.com] with a 1920x1080 screen, one of the few you can find outside Apple. It has great Linux support [linlap.com], even down to the silly fingerprint reader. I can easily get 7 hours or so on the battery with the recommended tweaks. There's a whole wiki just for Thinkpad stuff [thinkwiki.org].

It ships with Windows 7, but you never have to boot into Windows. You can blow away the whole drive, "recovery" and "boot" partitions, and never look back. It has a conventional BIOS in addition to UEFI (disabled by default; leave it that way), so you shouldn't have any issues there.

It's a tank, it's not terribly sexy like an ultrabook, but it's great if you want a desktop-fast Linux-friendly workstation laptop.

Stay local (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825579)

Go to a local small computer store. Most of them still have loads of old laptops with other operating systems that they can't sell

https://www.system76.com/ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825581)

System 76 sells pretty nice laptops with Ubuntu.

DreamSpark (formerly MSDNAA) (3, Informative)

Nichotin (794369) | about a year ago | (#42825587)

Do you have access to DreamSpark via your school? I study IT in Norway, and with my Microsoft DreamSpark login I can get a good bunch of their operating systems for free. If you do, then get a Windows 8 laptop (just make sure Windows 7 compatible drivers are available), then install Windows 7 from DreamSpark.

Another option is to install Start8 from Stardock or similar, if it is the new interface stuff you don't like. I found Windows 8 quite likable with a proper start menu.

Sager (-1)

TrancePhreak (576593) | about a year ago | (#42825591)

Sager has a bunch that you can configure with Windows 7. However, quite frankly, this all reminds me of the Vista hate that was perpetrated by people who had not even used it.

Re:Sager (1, Funny)

Nolas (942934) | about a year ago | (#42825711)

Sager has a bunch that you can configure with Windows 7. However, quite frankly, this all reminds me of the Vista hate that was perpetrated by people who had not even used it.

ding ding ding! We have a winner ladies and gents!

Get a Win8 Pro laptop and downgrade (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825593)

The pro licence includes the right to downgrade to Win7.

The Toshiba laptop I just bought came with Windows 7 Pro installed, and install DVDs for Windows 8. Good solution for me.

Easier would be to buy second-hand.

Why Win7 fan so against Win8? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825597)

If you are a fan of Windows 7, why are you so against Windows 8? Just click on the "Desktop" tile on the start screen and boom, it's Windows 7. There really aren't that many differences in user experience other than the start menu is now a start screen. You can continue to use Win8 the same way you used Win7.

Why not Zoidber... er... Chromebook? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825615)

My next laptop is going to be a Chromebook... All I use my laptop for is to surf the web, and the security updates are a pain in the butt. Chromebook to the rescue.

Dell: Project Sputnik (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825623)

Dell sells plenty of good laptops that don't have Windows 8. One of their amazing laptops is the Project Sputnik laptop:
http://www.dell.com/us/enterprise/p/xps-13-linux/pd.aspx
If you don't want Ubuntu, here are a list of all the laptops that Dell have that have Windows 7. You can edit the laptop search options to find one suited for you.
http://www.dell.com/us/enterprise/p/laptops.aspx?c=us&cs=555&l=en&s=biz&~ck=mn#!facets=80770~0~1791344&p=1

From pyrokey3

PCs For Everyone (1)

Daetrin (576516) | about a year ago | (#42825637)

http://www.pcsforeveryone.com/ [pcsforeveryone.com]

I've gotten one computer from them, and it was a mostly decent experience. (The card reader didn't work because of some weird incompatibility issue. I've forgotten the details now so i can't say if the problem was "obvious" enough that they should have warned me about it when i put the components together.)

A friend of mine has gotten a couple computers from them. One of them ended up having a flaky hard drive or something that was causing her some aggravation, but they seemed pretty reasonable with their support for the problem.

I believe all of the above computers were desktops, but it seems unlikely the laptop side of their business would be significantly different

Windows 8 is not a big deal. (2)

The MAZZTer (911996) | about a year ago | (#42825641)

I had the RC for a while. If you absolutely hate Metro you can download tools to can it and give yourself a reasonable replacement Start Menu, though the best ones cost money. StartMenu8 was the best of the free ones IIRC, while Stardock's Start8 was the best of the best but is like $20 or $30 or something like that. Then it's just like using Windows 7 with some minor enhancements (it doesn't get a lot of love but I love the Ribbon UI, and now Explorer has it).

Alienware (1)

DiSKiLLeR (17651) | about a year ago | (#42825649)

I know of the top of my head that Alienware laptops still come with Windows 7. Possibly others too.

And as many others have pointed out, get Windows 8 Professional and use your downgrade rights. You just need Windows 7 Professional media and you can install it instead. (You want to reinstall any laptop yourself anyway so its clean and without bloatware and factory provided viruses.)

Re:Alienware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825819)

Problem with that is AlienWare is primarily an over-priced 'gaming' laptop. I was the service manager for a reseller that sold, among other brands, Alienware. The markup on those was ridiculous compared to what they actually have for hardware, and that was just from the supplier end purchasing them for re-sale.

You can look at Sager and MSI, they still offer several models with Win 7. They aren't always pretty to look at (think Thinkpad/business laptop) but on the other hand, you usually get pretty good hardware for the cost and having he chassis not advertise 'steal me' is a + too.

CAS

If you consider linux... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825651)

System76 is great. Really. Bought one for myself then another as birthday gift last year. I have always bought dell in the past. Bought a Sony once. Spend way too much for it. They didn't cover warranty. System76 is just like buying from Dell. They cover their stuff. Their stuff is well designed.

Just buy a lenovo T530, T430 series (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825657)

It either comes with windows 7 pro preinstalled or you can downgrade from windows 8 pro to windows 7 pro legally.

Quit Windows and go with something else (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825663)

Before it's too late!

New? (1)

DogDude (805747) | about a year ago | (#42825683)

Is there a particular reason the submitter needs a brand, new laptop? The used PC market is massive. You can easily get a refurbished Intel i5 with Windows 7 for under $400.

With that being said, all of you people who buy new PC's all of the time: please keep doing so! Your purchases allow me to always have access to a strong, steady supply of very, very cheap computers. I don't remember paying more than $200 for a desktop, or $500 for a high end laptop in the last ten years, thanks to your generosity!

Botique Manufacturers (1)

thoth (7907) | about a year ago | (#42825707)

I'm a notebook fan - need the portability for various reasons - and have bought from a few places.

If you want Windows, try Velocity Micro http://www.velocitymicro.com/ [velocitymicro.com] and look into their NoteMagix line. I just checked and you can pick between various Windows 7 and 8 flavors.

Or perhaps Sager Notebooks http://www.sagernotebook.com/index.php [sagernotebook.com] I bought a gaming notebook from them 3 years ago and it is still going strong (although I upgraded it to Windows 8 and swapped the HD for an SSD since then).

Or try System76, I bought a linux notebook from them and was happy with it. http://www.system76.com/ [system76.com]

SD, FW, and Outlets! (1)

XiaoMing (1574363) | about a year ago | (#42825731)

As great as the 'Egg is, they tend to be overpriced for everyday purchasing.

If you can wait:
My best suggestion is to get an account at fatwallet (a coupon/deal aggregator and forums site), and set up a "topic alert" where you get emails sent to you whenever a good deal with a specific keyword (I used "i5" as well as "14" "14.1" for my keywords for my last lappy). Also frequently visit slickdeals as they have a nicer layout and faster response time for sales of limited quantity.

It's usually these deal aggregator sites that pick up the best limited quantity sales of clearances (which will almost always be Win7 nowadays). And this will include anything good from the 'Egg.

If you are lucky
Outlets! One of the greatest things about outlets is the option to buy laptops that people have ordered, built, but then cancelled. These are "New" (as opposed to the dented box, or refurbs) on the outlet, and often come hundreds cheaper than buying completely brand new.
Outlets also have sales of 20-30+% off that will be picked up by SD and FW.

Of course, finding one of these takes a bit of patience as well as luck, but that's how I got my most recent lappy.

MacBook Pro (1, Offtopic)

DaMattster (977781) | about a year ago | (#42825743)

I honestly think that you should go with a MacBook Pro because Windows runs very well in a virtual machine on it. You have the best of both worlds at your finger tips. I really like my MacBook! I have a VHD with Windows 7 installed and I use VirtualBox to run it. No problems and very fast.

Refurb from eBay (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | about a year ago | (#42825747)

Some great deals can be had on refurb'd demos or off lease units for a fraction of the price of a new machine.

All good quality laptops last many years at this point, so wouldn't worry about lifetime.

But I would put in an SSD post haste.

Chromebook? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825749)

Buy a chromebook and load it with Ubuntu? caveat - your school uses Windows only programs - then I guess Windows 8 it is.

  "The windows PHONE isn't SELLING. we blew all this R&D money, what do we do?!!" I know - graft it on to the front of a desktop and get rid of the start menu to make the computer look really user friendly..then immitate schizophrenic behavior by having half the apps still open up or show updates in a desktop. Make our web browser behave differently depending on whether you are using it in Metro or Desktop mode. Hide all of the application icons and toolbars so that people have to spend 10 minutes right clicking on their apps in obscure places to see if any "secret" menus pop up with all of the options we all used to be able to access in 30 seconds. ..when a set of buttons finally slides into view then we have to be able to read heiroglyphics or guess at what each of the really modernist looking metro buttons do. "What does this round PLUS do George? Err...I dunno Fred push it an' find out!"

Try to find the PRINT button in Windows mail, I dare you - I finally just told my grandparents, "Press CTRL-P" "Oh gee, thanks!"

Microsoft has been writing software for 30 years now and they can't make an Email client that renders HTML messages correctly?? Give me a break. I know every other iteration of Windows is a badly baked beta that we all get the privlige of paying for but come on guys, people actually have to use these things. I guess it doesn't matter as long as it has the all-mighty "app store"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRKIDdIaFyE

Re:Chromebook? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825845)

PS: I know I can't spell privilege - and I actually really LIKE Windows 7 - use it every day at work and it is probably the best Windows I have seen in a while. At home, mix of LINUX MINT and Ubuntu/debian based things.

Find one with a touchscreen and just use Win 8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825775)

While I agree that Win 8 is complete crap on a standard ergonomic desktop or traditional laptop, it's pretty good on a laptop with a touchscreen. This is what's it's for, and if you can afford something like that, I'd recommend at least trying it out. It's actually not too bad on that kind of setup. You won't get gorilla arms with a laptop - only with external monitors.

How hard have you looked? (1)

jamesmusik (2629975) | about a year ago | (#42825787)

HP has 8 current (i.e., not on clearance) laptops with Windows 7, most of which do not involve downgrade rights.

sans windows 8? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825797)

try www.apple.com

Refurbs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825807)

Refurbs are the way to go. I ran into this dilemma recently when trying to pick out a new laptop for my mother, who would have been an absolute nightmare to transition to Windows 8. I ended up with an excellent-condition refurb from Dell for a great price.

Or just f'ing use Win 8... (2, Insightful)

The Dancing Panda (1321121) | about a year ago | (#42825835)

Seriously. It's the same, with a small UI change. The Start Menu is now accessed by moving your mouse to bottom left corner of the screen, and it's redesigned in a tile format. Other than that small change (which people make way too big a deal of), and moving the Control Panel to the settings menu (bottom right corner, click Settings), it works exactly the same, in my experience.

Project Sputnik (1)

pyrokey3 (2835821) | about a year ago | (#42825867)

Dell makes many great laptops that aren't Windows 8. Such as, the XPS 13 Laptop which was just part of the new Project Sputnik. This was a Dell project when they wanted to manufacture a laptop that ran natively with Ubuntu for developers: XPS 13 Laptop Developer Edition [dell.com]

If you aren't a developer or you don't want Ubuntu 12.04, you can buy the same laptop with Windows 7: XPS 13 Laptop Windows 7 [dell.com] The XPS 13 Laptop is perfect for school use with its fast start time.

If this still isn't for you, try this page: Dell Windows 7 Laptops [dell.com]

Classic Shell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825871)

Unless you're looking to get away from Windows, just install the freeware Classic Shell onto Windows 8 to make it boot to the desktop and have a Win 7 start menu. The OS is superior to 7 in a lot of ways once you suppress Microsoft's immense Metro-related screwup.

Linux Options (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825873)

Got to www.zareason.com for Linux laptops. Good stuff and good prices.

Windows 8 not much different (3, Informative)

onkelonkel (560274) | about a year ago | (#42825875)

At the risk of not actually answering the question you asked, why not use Windows 8? One click and you are on the desktop, and the experience is roughly the same as windows 7. If that one click is too much effort, install Classic Shell, and get almost exactly the same experience as windows 7. It works for me (YMMV).
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