IT dummy and Windows S mode

For many years I have been using a netbook, small, slips in a bag for when we are away to load a days photos and share with people we are visiting.
To some extent it has been superceded by a Samsung tablet, but it does have odd uses, in particular, relating to hifi, running REW.
It has been playing up, running slow and cannot be upgraded beyond the win 7 lite version.
A replacement would not see daily use so I’m not thinking of a big spend. I came across an Asus E210 at John Lewis and conveniently have just enough vouchers to pay for it. I am aware of limitations with the memory which is why I was then interested in one of the reviews, there is an expansion slot and searches show 250 Gb about £35.
This is where I need help -
The review refers to moving Windows to the expansion memory, but if i can find instructions for a dummy on how to do this, do I then have to edit Bios to tell it where to boot from?
Then, Win Home S mode limits what software can be used. I know that you can opt out and that is not a reversible process, and things might not run smoothly.
If I follow the review, install 250 Gb, do I have a reasonable hope of a laptop that will work for the foreseeable?
If there is an alternative laptop that avoids any of these doubts, my limit is it has to be at JL and preferably in the £149 + £35 budget.

For an IT dummy I very much doubt you’ll find a simple solution within you budget. The world has now moved on to Windows 10, and recently 11. I would bite the bullet and spend more on something that will actually be supported for a few years to come.

By the way, what’s REW?

REW = Room EQ Wizard. The need for a laptop, I really don’t want to carry my desktop PC in and out of the room on the occasions that I want to use it.

At the price, it seems like it would be the lowest spec E210 in the family… with 4GB RAM and a 64GB memory card for storage? I expect you’ll have no problem adding an SSD and installing Windows on it (that’s pretty easy and plenty of web guides - but possibly no S Mode option for a fresh install on a new drive)… but I’m leery about the RAM and you don’t say if that’s also upgradable if needed or desired.

I’d ask on the REW forum for any user experiences with such a small amount of memory (the storage probably won’t be an issue), and possibly you could double check that the base processor is sufficient for something that might be a bit compute intensive (although you aren’t likely to be running this software a gazillion times and won’t be too worried if it takes a few moments to calculate the filter).

I know nothing about S mode, but you’d also likely be handcuffed since REW is provided as a direct download and might not be available on the Microsoft Store. I have no idea what might go wrong if you opt to move out of S Mode and can’t revert.

Given that you are price sensitive and this seems to be a cool low performance but high portability device, maybe you could buy it and try it out for a few days, and return for refund if you’re unhappy with anything? Not sure if it’s all sales final?

I had an Acer Aspire One A150 netbook that started life with Windows XP, which was upgraded to Windows 8, them 8.1 and finally Windows 10. I upgraded the memory from 1gb to 1.5gb (the max) and replaced the HDD with an SSD, with an USB attached hard drive holding the media. It was my music server running AssetUPnP and Serviio perfectly for a couple of years, before I moved it on and I think it is still going. OK it was never going to win benchmark tests but did the job.

Recently went to my local computer shop for an IPhone battery replacement. I noticed that they were selling refurbished HP (which I like) 13" laptop with SSD and Windows 11 for £220. If my current music server fails I will be paying them another visit. This approach may be an option for you.

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