Charter Member of the Sub-Media

April 26, 2005

News Flash: Sometimes I Can Be Stupid « Stuff Important to Me »

Yeah, I know: the mind boggles, eh?

What I'm speaking of, specifically, is that I went ahead and purchased a second laptop.

Why? Why, why, WHY?

That's a good question. I also have a good answer.

I'm stuck in a hotel room right now with a 5-year-old son. At the time I decided to make the purchase, I didn't know when that situation might come to a close; possibly up to 30 days.

The computer is a significant tool in my household. Blogging, contact with important friends/family, listening to music, playing games. Not only were my son and I both wanting to use the laptop at the same time, his favorite game wouldn't run on my laptop.

I debated with myself for about a day: should I buy a really good laptop with decent memory (100GB/512MB), DVD-burner, 4+GHz processor? Or a good desktop with 200GB, video card (for hard-core gaming), Media-card reader (useful with my camera), DVD-burner...? Or just a cheap laptop so I can get online at the same time my son uses my old laptop?

I bought my Dell last year. 40GB Hard Drive, DVDplayer (not burner), CD burner, 2.2GHz Celeron processor, 256MB RAM, total of $750. But I bought the cheap battery and only get about 45 minutes (or less!) when not plugged in. That makes it useless on airplanes, and limits its usefulness at coffee shops. It also gets really hot. Not to mention the afore-mentioned problem of not playing Brady's favorite game (Rogue Squadron 3D). Wireless internet through a PCMCIA card.

If I bought the better laptop, well, it would be more expensive, first of all. And while it might be nice to have the DVD burner, I have a burner on my desktop that's currently in storage...I don't have any DVDs to burn at this point, so it would kind of be a waste of money. If the desktop burner breaks, I could replace it for only about $100 or so... The battery life wouldn't go past 2 hours...unless I get a Centrino. But the salesman said that the Centrino gets most of its extended battery life by being a weak/slow processor.

If I bought the desktop, well, I'd have spent close to $1000 and still not solved my 45-minute-max battery-life problem. Not to mention paying for the unnecessary DVD burner. On the other hand, it would handle Brady's game, guaranteed.

So I decided to go with a Toshiba. It had a nice, bright 15" screen, 80GB harddrive, internal wireless internet capability, but just a 1.3GHz Celeron processor and 256MB RAM, Lithium battery (for 2 hours battery life). I'd also heard that Toshiba has the highest owner satisfaction. DVD-ROM and CD Burner. All for $599.

Well, after using it for a week, I can see why. And even though the laptop wasn't strictly necessary, I'm glad I got it.

The wireless function works better than the PCMCIA on my other laptop. The keyboard is smooth and easy to type. The touchpad is smoother and more accurate. The screen can be seen in sunlight more easily. Brady's favorite game works fine on it. It's got some nice little programs by Toshiba that help you optimize it for your preferences. Both Brady and I can keep busy and non-bored at the same time. It was absolutely worth it.

Like I said, I can be stupid sometimes. This time it seems to be sticking.

Posted by Nathan at 08:22 PM | Comments (2)

Sounds like you got the same model laptop I did. It is the 4th Toshiba laptop I've bought since 1995. Model 1 is still being used daily by a semi truck driver friend of mine. The wireless interface on the new machine is phenomenal, I am able to check my email in store parking lots as I drive. I strongly advised creating a mirror image of your HDD , and burning it on DVD, to be used to restore the HDD when your OS crashes. The other restore methods are unbelievably tedious.

Posted by: Tresho at May 5, 2005 08:09 AM

That's good advice. Thanks.

It also makes me even happier about my purchase!

Posted by: Nathan at May 5, 2005 09:31 AM
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