1. I’m cheap.
2. I like to keep things until they absolutely die. (I still drive an 11 yr. old, rust covered, no-cruise, no-defrost, no-power options Chevy Cavalier with 180,000 miles…I can get another couple of years out of it).
3. I didn’t want the hassle of transfering data.
4. It’s overwhelming.
Even though my laptop was slowing down (I was filling up my 1GB RAM, 160GB hard drive) and the wireless card needed to be replaced, I wasn’t ready. But then I picked up this fun little virus that shut everything down – it turned my computer into a glorified paper weight. My computer dude said it would cost $85 to get rid of it, and that particular virus was so bad he’d have to keep it overnight to make sure he got it all off. Sigh.
Instead of putting money into my 4.5+ year old machine, I went shopping, but not without asking some advice from the computer dude. Here’s what I found out (when buying a PC – Mac users can grab some coffee now):
1. The companies pretty much all use the same parts, so they are all very similar.
2. Laptops last about three years.
3. ACER laptops don’t often last the full three years.
4. He has the fewest complaints about TOSHIBA and ASUS.
5. For someone like me (I basically write and cruise the internet and need a place to store photos), the $400-600 options are fine. The higher prices reflect processor speed, but if you aren’t gaming or downloading movies, it’s not as important.
After chatting with my husband, I hit the road and went shopping. Here’s what I bought, from where, and I why:
1. HP Pavillion – 4GB RAM, 320GB hard drive, AMD processor, web cam, 13.3″, 4.1 lb, textured brushed metal casing.
2. I shopped Staples and Office Depot, and ended up buying from Office Depot (Staples’ closest model was a 14″, 4.8 lbs).
3. Why I bought the computer – I had an older 15.6″ that weighed about 6 lbs. It was too heavy and bulky to carry in a regular laptop bag (it started hurting my shoulder), so I ended up having to buy a backpack for it. Size and weight were big factors for me – I want it to be comfortably portable, while also large enough to spend four hours typing on it.
4. Why I shopped those stores – if you don’t know, Best Buy has the WORST return policy. If you buy a laptop, take it home, and it doesn’t work they will STILL charge you a 15% restocking fee. Where I live they are also telling people that you MUST have them do the initial start-up, otherwise it won’t work properly (thankfully those people knew better).
I picked Staples and Office Depot because I have rewards cards there, and because they have wonderful return policies. I once paid cash for a desk top at the OD. It had a glitch and I needed to send it in to the manufacturer for a fix – all within the first week! I didn’t want the hassle, so I took it back to the store, but I couldn’t find my receipt. I was pretty sure I’d be stuck with the machine, but the manager recognized me and authorized the return…in CASH! No store credit, just an honest-to-goodness return for my money.
So there you have it. That’s where my life has taken me this week – shopping! I would have put up a picture of my new laptop…but I have to figure out how to get my pictures on this one 🙂