If you seek the most computing bang for your buck, then a laptop with a 3rd generation Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processor is for you. These processors were released in 2012. They were used in laptops built around 2013. Since that time, Intel has spent most of its efforts not on improving computing performance. Rather Intel’s focus has been on improving the energy efficiency of the core i line of processors.
Surprising Performance from 3rd Generation Core i Processors
My experience with 3rd generation core i5 and i7 suggests their performance is within about 10% of the new 6th and 7th generation core i line of processors. Prices for five year old high end laptops are amazingly affordable.
Cost and Availability of Replacement Parts
For these reasons, I strongly recommend buying Dell or HP. The business lines of computers from these two manufacturers are significantly better made and more robust than the consumer lines. I recommend Dell Latitude or HP Elitebook.
I purchase a significant number of these computers from Ebay with good results. When buying from Ebay, make sure you are buying from a reputable seller, one who has made a large number of sales. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this yourself, Computer Sprout offers this service. All that is required is to re-imburse for out of pocket costs, plus make a small donation to Hillsboro Library Friends. You can literally save several hundreds of dollars by taking this approach to sourcing your computing equipment.