To follow up on my last post, we forewent putting more money into the 4+ year-old Dell 8400 desktop and purchased a new laptop.
I tried my darndest to convince Colleen the super-advanced features in the $1700 laptop were worth the extra coin, but she brought me back to reality, thankfully, and we ended up with an HP Pavillion for $699 from Best Buy*. 4 GB memory, 320 GB hard disk drive, 2.1 GHz processor, 17" screen, Windows Vista 64-bit, a mid-range video card, and a 1 year warranty. To get all that for under $700 was just too hard to pass up. Colleen and I also liked the feel of the HP keyboard better than any other laptop within a $400 price difference.
What we didn't get that we would have for $500 to $1000 more was a Blu-Ray CD ROM, 1920 x 1200 resolution, 500 GB HDD, high-end graphics card, and a 3 year warranty. But, I'm not a big gamer who needs cutting edge graphics, and I have an external hard drive that more than makes up for the smaller internal HDD, so I'm confident we made the right choice.
Plus, the HP came in a bronze color, which matches the browns in our granite kitchen counter tops quite nicely.
I fired it up last night and I was pleased to not find a bunch of cumbersome trial software clogging the system. It had trouble getting onto our wireless network, but Vista's networking diagnostics solved it after a few minutes of me attempting some manual fixes, and I was good to go.
While watching 24 on Fox, I was able to keep track of the Golden Globe winners in real time via CNN. I had forgotten how nice it is to have a laptop handy while in front of the T.V. It was handy to be able to confirm from where we knew some of the new characters on 24 without going down to the basement office.
Vista took just about 15 seconds to load the correct drivers for my external hard drive and my iPod. So far, I'm very impressed the intuitive and intelligent Windows Vista.
*Best Buy is ALWAYS packed. We went to the one in Framingham on Saturday evening and the parking lot was jammed and the store was even more populated. We had to wait about 10 minutes to even get the chance to talk to a salesperson. The Framingham store was out of the HP, so on Sunday at noon I hoofed it out to the Worcester Best Buy. Same experience - just absolutely packed. I have to think Circuit City going bankrupt has increased Best Buy's traffic & sales. If I were to follow Warren Buffet's investing theory, I should stock up on BBY today. It's trading at $28.08 right now, so I'll make a 100-share hypothetical trade and will report what I would have made/lost next Monday.
Update: BBY closed at $28.10 a week later, so I would have earned $2. Though if you factor in the commissions ($8 each way), I would have lost $14.