Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I Need Some Advice

I have decided to engage in some retail therapy and buy myself a laptop computer. Not from Ebay either, a real, honest to God, brand new one from the store (Walmart).

This is the one I am thinking about getting.

I know that most of you out there know more about this stuff than I do, so please tell me if you think that is a good computer. I don't need top of the line, just something reliable that will last me for the next 20 years (I tend to keep my computers forever).

If you have any info or advice, I would be most grateful. ;-)


Maricopa Mark said...

I would suggest, since you asked, you look at a dell and consider getting their best extended warranty.

Just D said...

You are the second one to suggest that, but for weird financial reasons that would take too long to explain (not to mention you would make fun of me for thinking that way), I can't order from them.

Sassan Sanei said...

First of all, I'm the worst person in the world to give anybody computer advice, because what I want in a computer might be very different from what they want. So you may as well stop reading right now.

One suggestion if your main goal is reliability is to look at LG laptops. Spec for spec, they cost a bit more than Acer, but they are supposed to be more reliable in the long run than Acer. I have not had any personal experience with either brand, these are just based on comments that I have heard from others. Another brand that I have heard good things about is Toshiba, I know a couple of people who swear by them and never had a problem. I have been using IBM (now Lenovo) laptops at work for many years and never had a problem with those either, but they tend to be quite expensive. As far as brand names go, HP has a good reputation, but my wife's laptop is HP and just yesterday developed a permanent yellow vertical line down the middle of the screen. This laptop was their top of the line when bought new for $2500 two years ago dammit, so as you can imagine I'm not very happy about this at all. So I am not recommending HP but this is based on a sample space of N=1.

If you really plan for the computer to last you 20 years, you might consider a newer/faster processor, more memory, and a larger hard drive. This will ensure that the computer is capable of running newer applications in the future which require more capabilities. However, this depends on what your actual needs are. If your primary purpose for this computer is Internet access, and you don't anticipate storing large amounts of digital photos or music on your hard drive, then it should be fine. The screen is a little small if you plan to spend several hours at a time looking at it. Most laptops come with 15.4" displays standard now, and you can go larger than that if you want, although it makes the laptop more expensive and heavier (less portable).

Keep in mind that Windows Vista is being launched in January. This is the new version of Windows after XP. Microsoft is offering free upgrades to Vista if you buy a Windows XP system now, but you have to "qualify" whatever that means, and you would still need to install the new operating system yourself. If you think you will want to run Windows Vista, consider waiting 3 months for the Vista launch. Prices on computers also tend to drop in winter after the Christmas retail rush is over.

All that said, as far as value for your money goes, I think the one you have chosen is a good deal. It's easy to get hung up on specs and go way over budget, so maybe it's just better to ignore me when I talk about faster processors and more memory. :)

I disagree with Maricopa Mark about getting an extended warranty. You may as well save your money. The price of computers falls so quickly over time that by the time you ever need to use the extended warranty (which statistically you are unlikely ever to need anyway), it would cost you less to simply repair the laptop or even replace it with a new one. But that's just my opinion. Many people like the peace of mind of an extended warranty, even if they never need to use it.

Good luck!