Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Calgary SonyTVs, ShawXG1 Gateway & 5 Portals, 2x Harmony One
I have to say I have been completely satisfied with my 'cheap' laptop that was a birthday gift and came from FS. I was so happy with it I bought a slightly better one as a gift in return(for my girlfriend). It's an Acer with an AMD processor. It came with 512 megs of RAM but was supplied with an additional 512megs at the time. Since then, I have upgraded to 2gigs and am very happy with that. It came with XP Media Center Edition. The only problem I have had with it is the CD drive died just after the warranty ran out. Acer wouldn't do anything for me and wanted to charge me $185(not including shipping from Texas no less) for a replacement. I got a new one locally for just over $50 that was better anyway. It has a 15" 'Wide' screen and this is really nice for watching DVD's on the road.
I had been looking at a Toshiba but there is a problem with most of their keyboards in the key placements on the right hand side of the keyboard. Also, I was looking at spending almost $1500 on a laptop and am I ever glad I was given this one. It showed me that all I needed was the bottom of the line. It does everything I ever need and more.
The important things I have found are:
1)RAM-get as much as you can(this is even more crucial in a laptop).
2)HDD Size-Bigger is always better(I have 80gigs, wish I had 160 or more).
3)Battery Size-Again, bigger is better.
The only option I wish I had built in is BlueTooth. Dell is great when it comes to getting exactly what you want. You can go to their site and pick the lowest version that has most of what you want and then just go through the options and pick and choose as you like. The price is updated on every page. I actually used Dell to buy a laptop for a friend in New Zealand this way as it guaranteed me the warranty coverage and also the power and phone connection capabilities for the region. I was able to send a very well equipped machine(MSOffice Software, Lrg Batt, BT, Service and Support and a Carry Bag) to a friend in need for $1500 Can.
So, just for fun, try the Dell website and see what you can come up with. Then, if you are more inclined to buy local, go in and see what you can get for the least amount of money. About the only thing you can 'upgrade' at a big bix store is the RAM and that is only as an 'add on' since they don't want the RAM that comes with the computer either.
Some years ago I heard a 'computer expert' on one of the many 'computer shows' say that he always tries to stay on the 'trailing edge of technology' as it is always cheaper and, in most cases, there isn't any software that can take advantage of the power in the latest and greatest machines anyway. By staying on the trailing edge, he can afford to upgrade every other year(if not every year) and still do it for about half the price(or now about one quarter) of the current high end machines.
I have dragged my Acer from here to the West Coast and back a few times, banged it around(not intentionally) and it does everything I ask of it and I am pretty happy. Since getting the laptop, I hardly ever use my desktop and this laptop is on virtually every day(and most of the day at that).
I hope this helps.
If you can then do rather than not. You're your own worst enemy. They're parking their car over there.
Last edited by Jetranger; 2008-08-27 at 01:04 AM.