Monday, June 01, 2009

Computer Shopping

Every few years it seems imperative to find -- and buy -- a new computer.

Generally it's because the old one is weighted down with more programs than it knows what to do with. It runs (no, it walks) as if it has all the time in the world. I can not only brush my teeth while it's booting up, I can floss as well!

And since I wrenched my shoulder running through O'Hare last fall with the albatross laptop and the Asus EEE PC both in my backpack (when I went to Texas to take care of GlowKid when she had mono), I've been thinking 'less is more.' And way less (weight) on my shoulder is a much much better idea.

I reconfirmed this when I went to Montana in early May.

But the most compelling reason for getting a new laptop lately is my oldest grandson who wants to inherit the walk-don't-run laptop with the wonky battery.

"It's fine," he says. "No problem. I don't care. It's better than what I've got."

Since what he has is a desktop system that doesn't have even a passing acquaintance with the term 'pentium' he could be right.

In any case, I spent my 'free time' late last week in search of the perfect laptop -- the best blend of speed and agility and lack of weight that I could find. In my price range.

I tend to be something of a skinflint when it comes to computers.

As usual when I found what I wanted in an ideal world, I was sure I couldn't afford it. So I started figuring out other alternatives.

And that's what led me to 'refurbished' computers.

If you have experience or opinions about refurbished computers, feel free to jump in and share the benefits of your expertise. Not that it isn't already too late. But I'll be very interested in what you have to say.

My 'refurbished' ideal computer is on its way.

Maybe it will be a disaster. Maybe it will turn to dust on the spot. But if it does turn to dust within the year, it's under warranty. And my computer guru Fred assures me that if it's going to screw up (or turn to dust), it is more likely to do so in the first year than at any other time.

He called this the 'high rate of infant mortality' among computers.

Who knew?

Not me. Anyway, the new 'refurbished' computer has already been shipped. It arrives late this week, complete with warranty.

I probably won't even get to enjoy it or use it at all (other than taking my copy of Word Perfect off the wonky laptop and putting it on the new one) until I get Demetrios and Anny finished and on their way.

But once I do, I will be cleaning off all my other old programs and moving them to the newbie. I will also try to see how much faster I can get Old Wonky to run before I pass it on to the grandson.

If you're really good at this sort of thing, I'd be grateful for your advice.

And if you're not advising, at least keep your fingers crossed -- for both of us.

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Blogger Barbara Bretton said...

I've purchased refurbs from and from -- the Dells have all been winners. Two of the three Averatecs were winners but the third was--well, let's just say it was a disaster. (They didn't bother to seat the hard drive,just whacked down the screws with one end sticking up and shipped it out!) Averatecs are great little workhorses. Dell is an old standby. A Dell refurb is probably your best bet; they definitely have the widest selection.

01 June, 2009  
Blogger Christa said...

I will wish you luck becase I have no clue when it comes to computers. If anyone in the family has computer questions we ask my stepbrother. A few weeks ago I needed ink for my printer. Since bubble jet printer are pretty much gone it's really hard to find the ink. So in my search for ink I dragged stepbrother along and ended up with a new printer.

02 June, 2009  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...

Barbara, This one is a Dell, so I'm relieved to hear you've had good experiences with them so far. It arrived this morning and I've been 'customizing' it so far and happy with the results. More fun playing with it than writing the book (sadly!)

Christa, lucky you to have a stepbrother you can call on when you need advice. I tend to be the person people in my family call, so you can see how desperate they must be!! Hope you're enjoying your new printer. I'm liking this computer so far.

02 June, 2009  
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09 June, 2009  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...

Thanks for letting me know, Jared. As an update, I'm very happy with the computer I got, so it seems like it was a good decision!

10 June, 2009  
Anonymous used computer said...

Dell is always a good descision. I remember getting a Dell Latitude D600 for someone with a 30 day warranty and what do you know. The creep is working for over a year now :P

11 June, 2009  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...

Thanks, used computer!

Obviously a good omen, if the Latitude D600 is still working with only a 30 day warranty. Mine is behaving perfectly so far. Well, perfectly as a computer at least!

12 June, 2009  
Anonymous Computer repair toronto said...

Thanks for this post. Dell is a good company but the technical support need improvment.

02 August, 2009  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...


Fortunately so far I haven't needed to find out anything about Dell's tech support because everything has been working perfectly. I'm feeling most pleased and very happy with the computer.

03 August, 2009  
Anonymous Alisha said...

Thanks for sharing your story. I'm thinking of getting a refurbished laptop too but wanted to read about other peoples experience first. Oh and find out which brand I should go with...

06 August, 2009  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...

I've now had my refurbished laptop for over two months. I've worked it hard, have dragged it on a 5000 mile road trip, used it in airports and cafes as well as in lots of hotel rooms and back home on my porch. It's been a real work horse and has behaved perfectly. I'd give it an A! It's a Dell XPS 1330 -- big enough for a full size keyboard and light enough to lug with me wherever I've wanted to go. It also has a solid state drive which is very fast and has been perfect so far. I couldn't be happier.

Obviously, your mileage may differ, but I would buy refurbished again. No doubt I will.

06 August, 2009  
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22 February, 2010  

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