It's been an interesting week, health-wise. Since not a lot else was getting done, other than a lovely dinner or two with friends I hadn't seen for a while, I started looking for computers again.
I started wobbling on purchasing a Mac. I am having trouble visualizing myself dropping that much money for a computer. Even if I buy an $800 PC laptop, a minimum Mac is $200+ more than that. So I returned to PCs, thinking that either a Dell or a Toshiba was what I wanted. I want reliability, and would like the computer to be upgradable and last at least five years.
It doesn't need a hot processor for games. It needs to handle text well. It needs a responsive keyboard for someone who types a lot (no Chiclets.) It needs a very good monitor, or an easy to see monitor that I can buy a TV to go with. It needs R-W drives, and to be able to read DVDs and CDs. I need USB ports for my Kindle, etc., an HDMI connection, and Ethernet. I'd prefer a hard drive in the computer, because I ideally will sometimes work where there is no cloud, and I can misplace a flash drive faster than you can blink.
Of course, it needs good speakers, wi-fi, a camera and mike. I'm not worried about software. I'm going to try Scrivner's, so if Office comes on the machine, great. If not, I'll try Open Office. And I'd like to get it for $800 or less.
A friend this week told me that unless I'm a business customer, Dell and Toshiba will probably give me lousy customer service. And a small biz customer will get no better service right now. He suggested Acer or ASUS.http://www.laptopmag.com/mobile-life/best-brands-2012.aspx
But these articles, among others, say Acer and ASUS are extremely unreliable, and that all customer service varies by as little as a point overall, and I should either buy a lemon protection plan or expect to be ignored by the manufacturer of whatever computer I buy. Some say Lenovo, some say HP -- and I'm deeply suspicious of the HP quality.
Unless I buy an Apple, and spring for the extended warranty.
So, am I looking for a unicorn? I really don't want to spend three months shipping a laptop back and forth, trying to get a machine that actually works. Should I just buy the cheapest workhorse and expect crap service if I need it? If I'm playing that game, I'm buying from Costco, since I have a relationship with them.