Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My New Laptop - A Lot for a Little



After four years of use my old Toshiba laptop running XP is finally on its last legs. Like an old dog that you take "to the country", I gave it to my brother, who has a gift for keeping old technologies alive. He has a couple of my old shuttles in various states of disrepair.

Best Buy was running an ad for a Toshiba Satellite L455 running Windows 7 for $349. I reviewed the advertisement and it seemed to have what I was looking for - a built in DVD, a decent sized screen, and maybe it wouldn't take 5 minutes to boot up like my old machine.

I tried to order it for pick up but then it turned out that the store didn't have it so I canceled the order and picked up the newer version of the laptop, the L455 S5008 with a newer Intel processor and more memory for $429. Turns out that was a good idea; the older Toshiba kind of got savaged over at CNET for being too slow and crappy (but damn cheap).

This was my first time working with Windows 7 - it worked great. I was trying not to buy the same damn software over and over so I installed another copy of MS Office (you can install up to 3 copies) and pretty much everything else other than Norton Anti-virus is free. If you have been holding off on buying a new (Windows) computer because of the horror stories about Microsoft's operating system (Vista), I'd recommend just biting the bullet and taking advantage of a cheap computer offer and purchasing one on sale now.

It is amazing how cheap technology has gotten - I remember when a "base" machine was over $2000 (in the 1990's), and then $1500, and then $1000. Now, out the door for $429, you have a fast, powerful (enough) machine with what you need to run most basic tasks, watch movies, and most everything else.

If you have been holding off buying a new laptop, I'd finally get one with Windows 7 loaded onto it and this Toshiba isn't bad if you want one I'd consider "expendable". You can get a lot of use out of it and in a year or so pass it onto a kid or relative or even take the software off it and just buy a new laptop outright. At this type of price there isn't much point in waiting much longer.

4 comments:

Dan from Madison said...

You are taking the same strategy on laptops as I am. I use them mostly for internet cruising machines anyway. I spent $350 on one several years ago and it is finally starting to slow down and I didn't even have any anti virus running on it - I typically go to the same sites and they are proven safe.

When it pukes I will get the cheapest thing out there and move on with that.

Carl from Chicago said...

You should look at this Toshiba and not necessarily wait for it to puke because it boots up and runs so much faster than my earlier machine, and is damn cheap. Just my 2 cents.

Anonymous said...

Carl,
This is hard to believe, or not;
I am going to an ipad party.
To get in you need a ...........
Gary

Carl from Chicago said...

I am helping a friend set up a mac book air. Damn this is a beautiful piece of equipment. It is so light and cool. It will be hard to go back to my big lunky laptop.