Saturday, April 3, 2010

Buying a Laptop

Rule #1: Always deal with professionals. Their expertise saves time and money. When I said wanted a good solid “five-year laptop” the first computer clerk I spoke to said that honestly the low-end HPs and Dells her store carried were not five-year material, although the Macbook was. She dismissed Netbooks as “accessories.” If I wanted a decent Windows laptop at around $500 I might try the brand Asus. “It doesn’t advertise. That’s why you’ve never heard of it,” she said, and suggested Best Buy.

At Best Buy, I viewed and typed on HP, Dell, Sony, Toshiba, Asus and Acer floor models. I confessed that all I did was write, email and surf, and the sales associate said I shouldn't then pay for a machine with gaming extras. Chose an Asus with a 17-inch screen and Windows 7. I paid $79 more for having had the Geek Squad pre-delete the factory bloatware and adware and pre-install an antivirus program good for a year – saving me time and money. I once installed an antivirus program on my own. It *#*&#*!@ up my whole computer and I spent hours on the phone to tech support.

Computers are our tools. I take mine very seriously. I like the Asus’ light weight, speed, and 17-inch screen, and surprise, I don’t hate Windows 7. But I wasn’t done dealing with professionals. Went to Clayton Computer to have the whole IBM desktop transferred onto the Asus, cringing at the cost. But knew I might otherwise waste days fussing with downloading programs, transferring files, and naturally making mistakes and corrections. I had professionals do it. Like anyone else I hate parting with money, but I’ve spent the same amount on trivial things, such as bracelets. Better to seek and pay for expertise. Better to save time, which is priceless.

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