Thursday Dilemma: Computer Crazy

Welcome to Thursday and our dilemma! Kevin and I are famously indecisive (we think, maybe, we’re not sure), so we thought it would be a great idea to let someone else help us with the design dilemmas that come up in the Little House. That’s where you come in. Whenever we’re stuck in a particular quandary, we like to ask for your advice to help us in our decision making process. We really do use your tips, ideas, and suggestions, so keep them coming! We love to hear what you think!

On any given evening, I can be found editing pictures and writing the next day’s blog on this (baby) dinosaur:

Because both our school lap tops have died, this is our only personal computer. It’s an Acer netbook. It gets the job done, but it’s slow. Very slow. And tiny… the screen is just 10 inches. Kevin got it for free with credit card points, so you know it was top quality to start with.

We decided the other day (after much deliberation) that we want to purchase a new laptop. First and foremost, it would make blogging 1000 times better. A larger screen, real keyboard, and faster speeds would make both writing posts and editing pictures much easier. Decision made. Boom.

Now comes the hard part: picking out a computer. Thankfully, God graced me with a husband that knows about such things. I do not. I want a pink laptop with a big-ish screen. Kevin wants gigs of ram and gigahertz and processing speed. And no pink.  Our budget is fairly tight, so that means that our first choice, something Apple, is out.

What’s in is a Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, 8GB of ram, and at least a 15.6″ screen (don’t quote me on any of that). We’ve narrowed the field down to three vastly different competitors.

Competitor 1: Acer Aspire

$174

The Acer Aspire is at the low end of the performance and price range we’re looking at. It has a Intel Core i3 processor and a 15.6″ screen. What’s attractive about this laptop is it’s price. At only $174 it doesn’t break the bank and we could use the money we save on something else… like chairs for a certain patio project? The down side? We’d likely have to upgrade this model in a year or two. Plus, it’s not pink.

Competitor 2: Sony Vaio


$399

The Vaio is in the middle of the price and performance range. It had the Intel Core i5 processor Kevin’s looking for and the 15.5″ screen I want.  It’s right in the middle and a good compromise. It is, however, not pink either.

Competitor 3: HP Envy


$645

I don’t know a thing about computers and I know that the HP Envy is a thing of beauty. It has a Core i7 processor, a 17.3″ screen, and even a number pad on the keyboard. We added this computer into the mix because it’s normally over $1,200. That’s right folks, it’s half off. That’s like a giant coupon and you know how we love our coupons here at LHBH!

We’re really stuck on what to do. All we know is that we want to do it soon (as in this weekend while these prices are still valid).

Which laptop would you go with? Are you as computer illiterate as I am? Does this post serve to show just how nerdy Kevin and I really are?

 

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9 thoughts on “Thursday Dilemma: Computer Crazy

  1. I use a iPhoto and iMovie so much, and lots of mac apps for development, I can’t really say. You can get a MacBook Air with the i5 on refurb right now for $750 but it doesn’t have the 15″ (http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals/mac/macbook_air). Refurbs include AppleCare. My PC fixer friend opened up my MacBook once to check the guts, and he was at a loss for words. He finally whispered: “it’s just a thing of beauty”.

    But I hope you like whatever machine you get! A 15″ screen sounds great! Just a warning on the 17″ screen, make sure you try carrying one or looking at one in person. They can be a bit big to tote around, and anything bigger than 15″ on a laptop is superfluous (from my experience). If you really need the real estate, I would recommend investing in a cheap 20-22″ monitor and mirroring your laptop. If you’re doing anything that really requires that much real estate, you’d probably want to be at a desk to focus and for stability anyway. If I were a betting individual, I would guess you would get the Vaio middle machine.

  2. When it comes to PCs, I prefer HP computers. My family has been using them for at least a decade now (different computers as we’ve had to upgrade) and they’ve been great. We usually get ours from Costco so they’re always affordable and have a second warranty (I’m not sure if they still have this, but if something happens within the first 6 months, they’ll replace it for you).

    With that said, I LOVE my macbook pro. And Apple Care (seriously – if I have an issue, I just call them up and ask… and regardless of what time it is, I always get to speak to a person!). That in itself makes it worth the extra money. I bet that if you look for a macbook without the retina display, you can get a great price. 🙂

  3. Last year I happened to acquire a new laptop via internet- sight unseen. I’m a researcher and happened upon what I believe to be the predecessor to the HP ENVY series. I was looking for one on the cheap so I also had to cut out Apple products. Since I design graphics, work on photos, I needed the wide screen to have multiple windows open side-by-side. I believe my ratio is a little wider and sqauttier than most so it’s not as bulky (I also crazy researched until I found the perfect zebra print laptop case- compromise if it’s not pink?).

    Anywho- it runs Photoshop, AutoCAD, Firefox, etc. all simultaneously without issue. The 64-bit system has been nice! I LOVE the added space for the number pad on the right side of the keyboard. Enough storage to hold all my music and thousands of photos. It’s got a matte finish so you don’t see fingerprints everywhere.

    However, I DID buy it refurbished and therefore it was around $250. Steal. Bought it to replace my POS laptop I got in 04 and my desktop from 02. You might check places like TigerDirect.com if you’re not in a major rush, or check again right around Thanksgiving since people will be trying to make room for Christmas stock. I believe I lucked out on Overstock.com or Amazon for mine. Might just see if there are previous versions of the ones you’ve picked out that are refurbed by the factory. Goodluck!

  4. We will be laptop shopping in the future too! Shayne is a computer guy so I rely on him for all the internal requirements. I just judge them based on looks and layout of the keys, screen, etc. That being said, Shayne had an Acer for his school laptop and hated it so I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that brand although I am using one at work right now and a few months in still don’t have any issues. I really like HP and I think Sony will perform well for you too. I usually end up in the middle of the range so I would suggest that or go for the great deal at half off!!

  5. I dont know if you saw my post on Instagram earlier this week, but Jesse just bought me a new laptop. He did research for a few weeks (because he is a nerd like that) and based on performance and price he got me a Toshiba Satellite C855. It’s not pink 😉 but I’m just happy to have a new computer for blogging and watching tv 😉

  6. My dad has had a Sony Vaio for years and has never had a problem with it. My laptop is only slightly better than what you’re working with now….very slightly. I need a new one too…

  7. This is completely unscientific, but I say buy the best you can afford 😉 I saved up for a MacBook five years ago with upgraded RAM/gigs/who-knows, and while it’s starting to show its age, it still functions well (and I still get great support at the genius bar at my local apple store when I need it, but I know you’re not looking for a Mac commercial here!). My point is, if you cheap out at the get-go, you’ll probably need to spend on a replacement sooner than later.

  8. Pingback: Handyman Wednesdays #9: Blog-puters | Little House. Big Heart.

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