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.