Curstie wants her own laptop, something she can call her own to store & play all a her digital content, to use for work & or course for lots of fun.
We have a few PC’s in the house but none she can call her own, the PC she often uses is also my known as my ‘test’ pc which I’m forever formatting & forgetting to back up her files or forgetting to re configure the printer, our lose her Firefox bookmarks or…you get the picture. As you can imagine, I spend quite a lot of time in the dog house and quite rightly so!
Originally her requirements were quite low, something to browse the net, email, MS Office, play music & general light computing but not a cumbersome beast that weighs a ton & sounds like a jet taking off. We didn’t really have a budget but didn’t want something as expensive as say a Sony Vaio or Mac. With that in mind, netbooks seemed to be the way to go. Samsungs N130 & Dell’s Inspiron Mini 10 seemed plausible options.
We must have test driven quite a few in the stores, read reviews & mused over various options for weeks and in the end one thing (actually two things) became apparent. On a 8″ or even 10″ LCD screen browsing the internet wasn’t that much fun….way too much scrolling web pages up & down unless the resolution was set so high that your eyes would begin to sting. The second point was no optical drive. Originally this wasn’t a problem but the more she thought about it, the more she really didn’t like the idea of not being able to install from disk, watch DVD’s & burn audio disks. An external drive might have been an option but that sort of defeats the object of a portable device.
A full 15″ laptop had all the right technical options but was deemed too big and some of the 15.6″ widescreen laptops appeared to have a smaller footprint but again, I don’t thinks she was overly keen. Besides, most of the laptops we looked at were plain old black/silver boxes (excluding Dell) or finger print hugging black gloss & Curstie really wanted something a little bit different. To be honest, I’m happy to get the best hardware specs for my money without worrying if it’s a big fat slab of dull plastic. Maybe it’s because I’m so used to the standard HP & Lenovo business bricks we used at work rather than the appeal of a curvy Mac? Mind you, there’s are some stunners out there so maybe I converting too (there, I’ve said it James..Macs look soooo good).
Yesterday, we visited PC World to see what was available and after an hour, we’d narrowed our search to 13.3″ portable laptops. These offer a comfortable screen size but remain to be lightweight & portable & offer a range of system options (and future upgrades) similar to larger laptops. The problem is, we still couldn’t find one that had an internal optical drive or at least we couldn’t without going way over budget. Although the HP Pavilion Tablet TX series is a fantastic laptop in principle, I’ve owned one via work and certainly would NEVER own another (see previous blog post – https://stiggyblog.wordpress.com/2009/08/08/hp-tx1000-repair-part-1-the-problem/ The only one that ticked all the boxes and one I’d have to was simply stunning was the only one in store that was shipping with Microsoft Vista – NOOOOOOOOOO!
Now I won’t go on & on about how I loath Vista, I just couldn’t recommend it for Curstie. She was truly gutted and i explained all is not lost as we might be able to upgrade to Windows 7. We raced back home and looked at the manufacturers website. Alas, it looks like they haven’t and doesn’t intend to release Windows 7 drivers for this particular model. Now, I know it will run Windows 7 quite happily, but all the buttons & gizmos that make the laptop fun to use might not work. Beside, if the PC World are still selling this particular model with Vista pre-installed, then I’m guessing it’s either old stock or an older model?
Now imagine telling this to your beloved that her dream laptop is a no go. Heart wrenching stuff I can tell you.
Whist I preparing dinner, Curstie trawled the internet looking for a suitable alternative ever knowing that her choice laptop wasn’t to be. The newer version of laptop still wrapped up in the same gorgeous casing was way over budget but at the end of the day it’s Christmas after all so we thought to hell with it and ordered one.
So..after weeks of shopping, the search is finally over and we have a winner!
I can’t find many pictures online but here’s a few –
Toshiba U500 c12
Intel Core 2 Duo T6600 processor
DVD- RW (woohoo)
E-sata & HDMI ports
Multi card reader
MS Windows 7 64-bit
…and all the usually bit’s n bobs
It arrives on Tuesday giving me amble time to get it setup/copy over her data, wrap it and have it under the Christmas tree before the 25th.
Merry Christmas hon!