It's crazy out there! Since I posted about beginning my Laptop Adventure, it's been kinda frightening. Thanks to my friend Val, my brother-in-law, and other friends, it's not so scary.
Val works at a company that does IT support for small to mid-sized companies that don't have their own IT departments. Since she talks "Computer" all day to both consumers and IT personnel, she was fab about answering my questions and decoding "Computer." She started with the basic "What do you do on your computer?" question to answering my questions about spec sheet items like frontside bus (FSB), hard drive speed, processor speed, and more. I really liked how she let me explain it back to her, just to make sure I understood it.
My brother-in-law gave me more specific info about models, info on what his friends use, what they like, and we went to look at some laptops. He pointed out what could be better on one model versus other models and helped me compare info.
I also posted my dilemma on my stamping/scrapbooking team board I and got more fab advice.
One of the best pieces of advice I got there was to try out the computer, keyboard, mouse, etc. before purchasing. Candi S. said that if I don't like the keyboard, I'll just end up hating the laptop. I never would have thought about that.. until I got the sucker home and realized I didn't like the keyboard or something.
I had my heart set on a particular model and when I tried it, I really didn't like it one bit. The mouse was centered in the base, but the way the rest of the keyboard was configured, the track pad was under one of my hands so as I typed, the bottom of my thumb/palm kept bumping it and blasting out parts of things I was typing. This particular model didn't have any office software on it, but it was connected to the internet. I was typing "bestbuy.com" in the address window and after I hit enter, I found I was searching for ".com" which happened again after I tried to go to the google page. I looked in the address history and apparently ".com" was a popular page on that model even before I got there! Not a good sign.
Tonight, we went to look again. I thought a different particular model was going to be coming home with me tonight. Nope. The keyboard was fine. It was the texture of the mouse/track pad. It felt a bit like textured plastic. To me, it just didn't feel right or comfortable. Just gritty.
I did test drive one model that I hadn't looked at before. I think this might be a winner. I'll sleep on it and test-drive it again to make sure. I'm a little excited because it has more than I was expecting! A fast processor, lots of RAM, oodles of hard drive space, a webcam (a nice add on I wasn't planning on getting), and a 17" screen.
I also found another one I really liked, though. I think my Dearest just wants me to pick one. I'll get there! Hopefully before the weekend.
Thanks to you everyone who gave me advice!! I appreciate all of your help.