So I’m looking for an inexpensive laptop

I’m looking for an inexpensive, but quality laptop and it’s frustrating because I always want the nice things that always push a computer way above my budget.  On the basic end of things, I just want mobility. I want to be able to carry my laptop around my house and use it whereever. I want to be able to sit at Starbucks, work on my site, and surf the internet.   To make my laptop more ideal, I’d like it to run Photoshop and other graphic editting stuff fairly quickly.  An absolute bonus would be to make it a gamer.

However, at this point in my budget, I’m unwilling to pay the money for a gaming machine (most likely just to play Sims 3 and/or possibly maybe WoW: WotLK).

So for simplicity’s sake, I’ve been looking at the Dells. I’m torn between configuring a Dell Studio or a lighter and better constructed XPS. I’ve also taken a look at the Inspirons, but I am willing to pay a tiny bit more for a computer that’s better constructed and has better components.  My budget is less than a $1000, so here are the Dells I’ve been looking at:

Dell Studio 15

PROCESSOR Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T5800 (2.0GHz/800Mhz FSB/2MB cache)
OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium Edition SP1
SYSTEM COLOUR Ruby Red
LCD Hi Resolution/Bright, glossy widescreen 15.4 WLED display (1440×900) (I could downgrade this to the standard display and only get a 1280×800 resolution and take $150 off the bottom line)
MEMORY 3GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 at 667MHz
HARD DRIVE 250GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM)
GRAPHICS CARD 256MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3450
OPTICAL DRIVE 8X Slot Load CD / DVD Burner (Dual Layer DVD+/-R Drive)
BATTERY OPTIONS 6 Cell Battery
SOUND OPTIONS High Definition Audio 2.0

This configuration, according to the Dell site, is $1029.

The Studios are a bit bulkier and heavier, by about a pound.

Now the XPS:

PROCESSOR Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T5800 (2.0GHz/800Mhz FSB/2MB cache)
OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium Edition SP1
SYSTEM COLOUR Alpine White
LCD AND CAMERA Slim and Light LED Display with VGA Webcam
MEMORY 3GB DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz (1GB x 2GB)
HARD DRIVE 250G 5400RPM SATA HDD
OPTICAL DRIVE 8X CD/DVD Burner (DVD+/-RW) with double-layer DVD+R write capability
WIRELESS CARD Dell Wireless 1395 802.11g Mini Card
BATTERY OPTIONS 6 Cell Battery
SOUND OPTIONS High Definition Audio 2.0

So, I have a smaller screen, which could either be a positive or a negative depending on how you look at it, and a higher end laptop with similar features to the studio and it costs a teeny bit more.

What sucks about both these configurations is that they are about a hundred dollars or more over $1000. I can drop the price if I went for the standard displays instead though. I opted for the LED display, for reduced energy consumption and weight. The XPS reviews pretty decently and so do the Studios. I wish I could stave off my tech vanity and just choose something cheap and functional, but I just have hang ups about it. At the same time, I wish I could increase my budget and get something I know I’ll be 99% happy with, but that’s the balance we have to make.

I know, I could just hold off on getting a laptop all together. But that’s just silly and wrong.

Leave a comment