Ultimate Cheapskate – 2009-09-23 6:08 PM
I’m looking for advice about brands, since I don’t know anything about the different brands that are available. And, yes, as I said originally, I’m looking for something I can use primarily to write and access the internet (no CD/DVD drive necessary). Also, I’m still searching for an explanation of a “notebook” vs. a “netbook.” I currently have a “laptop” (Dell Inspiron 1420), but since I travel a lot by bicycle on my book tours, etc., it’s very heavy, relatively speaking.
I think I’m OCD when it comes to looking for computer stuff. I spend so much time weighing costs and benefits, it’s pretty ridiculous. Eventually I’ll reach the saturation point and know it’s time to make a decision, which amazingly seems to match the time when my wife starts to dust the cobwebs off me and my chair in front of the computer screen, going over the closeout section at geeks.com or 10,742 other places online.
The first place I start to look up anything is CNET. I’m not saying they’re the best, or the be-all end-all. They just have a very comprehensive, easy, site to navigate – like their section on laptops and their section on netbooks. When I see something there that interests me, I google it and start reading other reviews, forums, blogs, and next thing I know it’s 4:25 a.m. One person can say – oh yeah, the Wizbang 1200 is AWESOME! and someone else says it sucks, and you see this repeated hundreds of times for the same product. So you can get lots and lots of recommendations, but in the end you need to get what suits you best, and the only way I’ve been able to do that is just get in the weeds myself and stay there until I can narrow it down.
Haven’t shopped for a laptop in a few years. I’ve got a Dell Latitude D620, which I like, but I’ve upgraded various things because it’s about 4 years old and I’ve needed more power and speed. Weight is not my concern, then again I don’t lug it around much. It’s 6 pounds, which doesn’t sound like a lot but you know that if you travel enough, that size can become an annoyance sooner than later.
Netbooks intrigue me, they are growing in number and will only improve in quality. I’ve never used one but I know that some of the leaders are not necessarily from Dell or HP or other big names, so don’t think you have to go that route – but I also know Your Cheapness is never suckered by those glitzy dopes anyway.
Good luck, I’d be very interested to hear about your choice if you get one.
@ StephanieD – OO used to stink but they’ve got very solid programs now. The latest version is by far their best, you can open MS documents, save as HTML, XML, PDF. If you actually hit a conversion snag, there are usually various ways to get around it now.
I was fortunate enough to sign up for the Office 2010 tech preview and get a copy, and even against a prototype, OO doesn’t compare. I’ll never use half of what 2010 can do, but the other half is enough for me to never want to use anything else unless someone tops it. I don’t care who makes the stuff, I’m by no means a MS fan boy. Like everything else it just depends on your needs.