Monday, March 2, 2009

The Laptop Hunt Continues

A while back, I wrote an entry about how I'm on the hunt for a new laptop.  Certain, ummm, financial restrictions have made it so that I can't make a rash, impulse buy, so I've been forced to very carefully consider what make and model of laptop to buy.  It has also forced me to become quite the lunatic when it comes to knowing about what laptops are available right now.

So I wanted to write a little bit about a brand of computer that I haven't given nearly enough attention to.  That is HP.  Using's search facilities, I've been able to narrow down my criteria for a shiney new laptop, and the computer maker that keeps coming up on my list is HP.  I grew up on Apple, just like most from my generation, and so that's what I was used to pretty much until I entered college.  My first PC was from Gateway, a computer my mom was gracious enough to purchase for me.  After that, I started using Dell pretty much exclusively, and never gave anything else much of a look.  Until now.

When I started searching for a new laptop, I decided that I was going to try to be open to just about anything.  My older brother just purchased an Asus, a machine he's completely in love with now.  And for good reason: it's a solid machine at a solid price.  That lead me to the conclusion that being open to something new might be a good thing.  So I've been looking at Asus, Acer, Dell, Toshiba, Gateway, and now HP.

I've gotten advice to stear clear of HP.  People I've spoken to feel that you're going to pay a premium for the name.  They say that there are a lot better machines out there for the same price.  I'm not sure I agree.

I've done the legwork on this.  HP seems to be competitive, price-wise.  They're also very competitive when it comes to features.  You've got to look closely.  It's in the details.  For example, you could be looking at an HP and another brand, both with the same processor, amount of memory, screen size and resolution, and hard drive space, but the HP will have room for expansion that the other might not have.  Perhaps the HP might be $50-$100 more, but that price difference might be the difference between a computer that lasts you three years and a computer that lasts you six, because you have the option to upgrade memory.

The bottom line of what I've learned over the past three months is that there are a lot of choices out there.  Every single one of them is worth the time to scrutinize.  Don't narrow your options, and don't discount a PC maker just because somebody else doesn't think highly of them.  The PC world is very competitive right now, which is great for buyers, and pushes the manufacturers to produce the best possible product for the lowest price they can.  Keep your eyes open and decide for yourself.

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