What to buy for traveling salesman?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by theTechnician, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. theTechnician macrumors member

    Oct 15, 2008
    I recently hired a salesman, around 60 years old, for my company and learned that he doesn't have a computer at home. He will be traveling and presenting our products to different clients and needs a laptop to help him with his job. The laptop will mainly be used for quickbooks, microsoft office, and emailing; no heavy usage at all.

    I need to figure out what to buy his as a laptop. I don't know if I should go the netbook route, or buy a macbook. I myself have a MacBook Pro, but he definitely doesnt need the size or speed of that. Whatever laptop/netbook I buy for him needs to be very simple to use. Could I use a linux netbook for simple tasks like those listed above a la the dell mini 9, or 12? I am concerned that a 9 inch screen is too small for a beginner laptop user.
  2. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    What's your price range? Refurb Rev. A MacBook Airs can be had for $999 - not the most powerful machine, but should do what you need, and the price is good (compared to a Rev. B anyway).

    A plastic MacBook wouldn't go amiss either, and would offer better performance, but the Air immediately came to mind for a "travelling salesman". :)
  3. techound1 macrumors 68000


    Mar 3, 2006
    I'm running ubuntu on an HP mini 1000 as I type this. I'm having a ball playing with it, but it has its buggy moments and I'm not sure it would be just right for someone new to computers who is away from the office.

    The macbook would be a more solid/reliable on the road machine and you wouldn't have to train him on the world of malware and viruses like you would with windows.
  4. theTechnician thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 15, 2008
    Thanks guys, I am considering the hp mini 1000 netbook for him, along with a few others. Another thing to add is that my secretary is using a dell pc tower for all her work, so would the MBA be able to play nice with that? Mainly quickbooks, emails, word, and excel? Also, with the ubuntu on the hp, can you run all the programs i listed above and is ubuntu very user friendly? I have never used linux before.

    BTW, my price range is $1000 or less.
  5. gan6660 macrumors 65816


    Aug 18, 2008
    I would get the MBA since it would be better and of more value to you if he quits or gets fired.
  6. skubish macrumors 68030


    Feb 2, 2005
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    I would get a low end windows notebook. They can be had for $600-$700.
    The key reasons are:

    1. VGA out. Netbooks generally have this. Note that on the HP mini it is an $80 optional dongle.
    2. Optical drive. Always good to have backup/restore discs when you are travelling on the road. I would recommend creating a backup image of the laptop drive with all the necessary apps and presentation material he needs. If there is a problem when he is on the road, he will be able to fix it.
  7. mgridgaway macrumors 6502


    Feb 25, 2006
    I would probably even opt for something cheaper. Get something around $400-500, put XP on it, and let him go wild. I think buying a mac for someone who doesn't even have a computer at home at that age shows that you'd be wasting money by buying him a nice computer. Just get him something to do the basics.
  8. theTechnician thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 15, 2008
    That's how I feel. If he doesn't have a computer at home, it's not worth it to me to pony up at least $1000 for a MBA when a cheap netbook or notebook can be had for much less. I love macs and all but for this situation, I don't think I would want to spend all that for a computer newbie. Any recommendations for a laptop, a netbook, or maybe even a tablet all under $1000?

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