I am thinking about getting a laptop, don't have a lot to put into it. Looking at what's available, Gateway's NV model looks the best at Best Buy. I don't do a whole lot, surfing, email, forums, so don't need anything powerful, but do want speed. I know a couple of you have laptops and wondered about what you have and what you think about it. Size, too. I think I may need a 17" for my eyes. Gateway's comes with a built in webcam, which I want, too.
Whatever I get needs to be very user-friendly, too.
I have a Toshiba Satellite L355-S7902. I love it. I also had a Toshiba laptop that lasted for 4/5 yrs. That is unusual for a laptop. I chose the larger screen and also the numeric pad. They do have ones without the numeric pad, but I am used to using an adding machine and it makes it easier.
This is user friendly. I also came with a built in web cam and program for skype and such.
Honestly, there are probably cheaper. But, I find that sometimes a little more investment, a little more longevity.
Good luck. I have a desktops too. But the laptop no one but me touches.....
Post by Blossom/Jackie W. on Feb 2, 2010 11:06:50 GMT -5
Well ladies; I'm not a laptop fan..... I guess it's flat keyboards I don't like and when I have used mine, I also have a mini mouse attached to it. Can't get use to "no mouse" either.
Sue; you were having a problem woth Speed etc on your PC. Have you considered removing all the art programs etc that your daughter had on it and dumping a lot of those files? Graphics take a lot of bytes.
For work, I've been using IBM Think Pad T60 using Windows XP. I find its a portability handy (when I bring it with me on trips) but most of the time, it remains in my office (on the upper shelf). At my office, I have a large USB keyboard, external USB mouse, external speakers and external 23" monitor connected to my laptop. Thus, giving me normal size feel (like a typical tower unit) and still have the "smaller size" portability of a mobile laptop.
For my personal machine, I have a 2004 Campaq tower with external speakers, external keyboard, external mouse and older 19" LCD screen. And, it has larger size internal hard disk, various card readers and has a much better CD/DVD burner system (compared to my newer year laptop unit) as well. My personal computer is the typical tower unit using Windows XP.
In learning from my business laptop and personal tower unit experience and still wanting "portability", I would:
- Get a laptop with 4+ Gigs ram (6 Gigs - if cost is good) with 500 Gigs Hard Disk and perhaps a 14" LCD flip up screen. Something that is "certified" with Windows 7. Thus, still allowing portability on a bus, train, plane, at friends house, etc. etc. And having both OS and H/W bundled together (re: certified with each other), one reduces the risk of H/W and driver miss-matches as well. This would give me a nice "portability" machine.
- Every 6 months (or so - for affordability), I would "buy" a H/W add-on for this laptop. For example, external USB keyboard - with its own side numeric pad. External USB mouse. External Monitor. Would go with 23" or even 24" monitor. After using my current 23" monitor, I find the 19" LCD on my personal machine is even too small. With larger 23+ inch size screen, I've enabled larger size fonts - which is much easier to read. Especially when compared against normal size fonts on a typical 19" LCD.
With new technology of " Core 2 Duo Processor" or even the better "Intel Core i5 Processor" laptops and additional h/w add-ons every few months, one gets the portabiliy of the laptop but when in their main office, one gets the look and feel of a typical tower unit as well... Win-win on both fronts.
Also... When sizing a computer, always "size" for year 3 usage. If you "size" the computer for today's current needs, it will be out-dated in year 2. But if you size it for year 3 and possibly year 4 usage expectations, your laptop can last 4+ years (like my work IBM think Pad portable). And never "skimp" on CPU power. One can add more memory or HD later. Its often hard (often impossible) to add a faster processor in the future. Thus, think CPU processor and video card quality first. Memory and HD disk space as lower prioirty perspective.
Mine is a Toshiba Satellite Pro, with a mouse attached to it. Can't get used to one that's built in. Webcam is in it, but I've never used it. (Just took one ugly picture of myself, that was enough ;D )
Thanks, everyone! Many ideas here. Is it me or are we getting used to having to replace computers as often as cars. Seriously, I'm of the school that you keep something til it drops dead, and I expect to get 10 years out of it.
Anyway, that's a good idea about deleting those programs. I'll check with her first. Knowing me, I'd get rid of something I need. She'll actually be home for Easter so I'll just wait til then. You know what's slowing me down are all the advertisements. I'm fine on a site w/o them, but even here at our forum it's a pain. I love the big screen of my Mac and the only reason I'd want the laptop is for portability. Maybe I don't want to be so portable, after all.
I agree with the mouse pads on the laptops being a pain. When I was working I had an Apple and hated it. I didn't know you could get a laptop with a mouse attachment. Thought it'd have to be wireless mouse.
I never in a thousand years would have thought to go to YouTube for info on laptops.
Decisions, decisions. By the time I make up my mind on something it's outdated.
Thanks, everyone! Many ideas here. Is it me or are we getting used to having to replace computers as often as cars. Seriously, I'm of the school that you keep something til it drops dead, and I expect to get 10 years out of it.... Decisions, decisions. By the time I make up my mind on something it's outdated. lol
Many folks are on a tight financial budget. Thus, they often buy what is "on sale". They really don't understand technical specs and many times, they let the "sales person" recommend a product. Thus, getting a great priced "initial" computer but its out dated in year 2 or year 3. When buying a computer, don't look at price alone. The base technical specs is more important. To me, priority is CPU/Processor, Video Card, Memory then HD power. CPU/Processor being the highest priority.
Technology changes so quickly as well. Back in 2004, I bought my Compaq unit from Future Shop. At that time, it has 500 Megs ram and it had 80 Gig HD. During its day, it was considered a higher then middle class machine. Perfect machine for the average home computer user. Today, I now have 1.5 Gigs RAM (3 times its intial base) and still, it pages too much to its HD. For today's need, it should really be increased to total of 4 Gigs of RAM. Since 2004, I added another 40 Gig HD (from my 2001 computer) and its initial 80 Gigs is now only used for its OS and Apps. All data files are now stored on its 40 Gig HD. And for today's standards, this 40 Gig HD is too small. Its data drive should be a minumum 340 to 500 Gig drive. And if I did lots of data storage, it should be a 1 TB HD drive. With this in mind, do get a computer that allows future memory expansion and future HD expansion as well. I find laptops can be "very tricky" (sometimes impossible) to install more memory and HD. Tower units (like Dell, HP, IBM, Compaq, etc) allow addition of more memory SIMMs and more HDs.
For today's times, the average home computer lasts 3-4 years. If one buys a good base and upgrade its internal parts later, they can get another 2-3 more years out of it. For my personal 2004 XP "tower unit", I'm hoping to get 1 more year out of it. Total of 7 "comfortable" years lifespan - and that's it. But if I bought a computer with a "cheap" processor or "cheap" video card in 2004, entire computer would have been replaced by now...
Long post short, always buy +1 or +2 notches higher then one needs today. Thus, allowing the computer to last longer. Especially since technology changes so quickly these days...
Thanks, Spike. Wow, I sure have a lot to think about. What do you think about removing all my daughter's programs as Jackie suggested? Do you think that would help speed things up? They have a tech man that's off-sight at work an he's the one who does all their programming/repairs. I've sent an email to her to see if she'd ask him about it, but they are so busy right now I don't know if she can find the time. (I have an iMac)
I'm beginning to think I may not want a laptop after all. I like the convenience of having it portable, but I never did do very well with the built in mouse pad. If I'm going to be using a wireless mouse, I might as well just be in my office on the big computer. That might be a good thing. Spend enough time on here as it is.
I'm in no rush, so don't have to decide any time soon.
To me, removing unused programs (and their unused data) from a computer system doesn't speed it up. Removals creates move avaible disk space, creates less icons and creates less registry entries (which is a good thing) but in reality, it doesn't really speed up a computer. Its like removing extra weight out of the rear trunk of the car. It makes the vehicle have better take-off but the improvement still isn't compared to a better `newer` vehicle. If paying someone $10/hour for program removal, ROI (return on Investment) is probably 10:1. re: Every $10 of labour for clean-up, one might get $1 of benefit in return.
To make a faster computer, the best means is: - upgrade its CPU. Faster CPU (engine) under the hood, the faster it can process tasks. Like many vehicles, replacing with faster engine is near impossible (and not financially worth it). - more memeory. More memory means less "lack of memory" paging to its hard disk. Paging to hard disk slows down a computer. For page reduction tasks , target 4-6 Gigs of memory in Win 7 computer. For Win XP & Win Vista computer, target 4 megs of memory. And all memory SIIMs must be the same clock speed and same brand. Kingston brand makes good memory simms. Clock speed is matched to computer's factory memory. re: 2700, 3400, 5400, etc. - Faster disk speed. Many of the laptops and older computers have HDs runing 5400 RPMs. Sounds fast but the better HDs run at 2700 rpms. Faster hard drive, faster saving and retrieving data. Less HD bottleneck the better as well.
If one installs a faster CPU (if they can in that specific computer), more memory and faster HDs, they "can" make their computer go much faster. Not as fast as a new technology computer but much faster then removing unused programs. If a person must buy these items and pay for their install, their "upgrades" become very expensive. Many times, it costs less dollars to buy a brand new "new technology" computer then upgrading piece parts of an older computer. Especially if one needs to upgrade memory, Hard disk and Operating system at the same time. For example, a nicely built "new technology" tower unit (no monitor) in my morning flyer is $599. I cannot even buy more memory, larger hard disk and Windows 7 for my current older technology tower at this price. I'd be better off to buy this new system (which is only the tower) and use some parts from my older tower - to get it into production. Especially since my existing external keyboard, mouse, speakers and monitor (from my older XP tower) still work great.
When upgrading old systems, always keep ROI (Return on Investment) under consideration as well. Many times, upgrading old with 2+ more upgrades simply isn't worth it. Meaning, it often costs less to buy a brand new "discounted" newer technology machine. Same applies with vechilces - if needing to fix or replace one's older vehicle as well....
For me, I often use the 1 "file cleanup" + 1 "bought" H/W item, then replace approach. For example: My Win XP tower got an end/end file cleanup just before Christmas. It still ran slow. After Christmas, I installed more memory (which is a bought item). I then took the free HD from my 2001 computer (which was stored in my closet) and installed it (as its data drive). This is max amount of dollars and time I'm willing to spend on it. Next time for upgrade will be complete replacement. Nice Christmas present this year???
Perhaps this same approach might work for you as well (for your current laptop)???
Spike, I don't have a laptop. I am using an approximately 6 -7 yr.old iMac desktop. I would have no clue on where to open it up to put a memory card in. It's nothing like my old HP pc. This one has a rounded base and the only opening is for cd.s
That's good to know that removing the programs isn't going to speed things up. The only time I'm having speed issues is on any page that has advertisements, such as this forum. Maybe this is a good exercise in patience.
Having a 6-7 year old iMac, installing additional memory isn't really worth it. Especially since its OS will need to be updated soon as well. If your iMac was 3-4 years old, then upgrading with more memory would be worth it. But a 6-7 year old iMac box is "too old" to invest in its "minimum" upgrades. While browsing in a local computer store last month, I witnessed a lady carry in a large PC box, plops it on the clerk's counter and says to the guy. "Make it go fast!". I could tell she was very frustrated with that heavy PC box. The guy plugged in a monitor, din keyboard, din mouse and turned it on. It "fired up" as Windows 95. Not Windows 98, 98SE, ME, XP or Vista. It was Win 95. They guy looked over and said, "we cannot upgrade this old box. It cannot be done". Same holds true for your older 7 year old iMac box. Adding even small amount of additional memory (especially if you must buy the needed memory SIMMS) would NOT be worth it.
If you plan to upgrade to new technology iMac 21.5" or 27", may I suggest you wait a few more months. The new 27" iMacs (released in early Dec 2009) are having yellow screen / screen flicker problems and last week, Apple put a temp "halt" on ALL their production. Apple is now doing an indepth QC investigation to determine the problem. In 1-2 months, they'll probably have another minor revision of their iMac line - to fix this unexpected market disaster. Some 21.5" iMac have this yellow screen or flicker screen problem as well - but isn't as bad as the 27". Besides this "yellow screen" issue, new OS 10 doesn't allow "icon sizing" changes. One gets a larger screen but due to much better DPI resolution, their icons are now much smaller. I read that Apple is also working on a OSx update - to allow folks to change to larger icons - like their previous OS9. In the future, one can have a large size screen and larger size icons - which older users are demanding as well. With these 2 items "in progress", may I suggest waiting another 8+ months - before getting a new iMac late 2009+ computer.
If you love the Apple computers, you may want to investigate their new Mac Mini line as well. re: store.apple.com/us/browse/home/shop_mac/family/mac_mini?mco=MTAyNTQzNTk If wondering, Apple "beefed up" their Mac mini line in early Dec 2009. With external USB mouse, external speakers, and external monitor, one can obtain a very "low cost" Apple Desktop computer. Especially if you already have keyboard, monitor, speakers and mouse from different systems. Yes. Buying a new Mac mini (with 4 Megs RAM) would be less costly then trying to "upgrade" your current 6-7 year old iMac. If wondering, I was thinking of getting a Mac mini (with 4 gigs RAM) soon. But.... My wife wants a new "all in one" iMac 27" system instead. Thus, we'll probably "wait it out" and get a refined iMac 27" system this coming Christmas. Or, a slightly lower cost Win 7 system instead. Only time will tell which platform we pick next (for under our next Christmas tree)....
Sue, I have a HP Pavilion with blue -ray and a 17 screen . It has a built-in web cam (I have never used) , but I love the computer. I really had to get use to touch pad , but I do have a blue ray mouse that I can use too. It presently has Windows Vista, but I think if Jack can get use to Windows 7 that he may switch my laptop over to it. One thing though if you intent to carry this with you, this thing is not light weight. I leave it on the coffee table in the family room because that is where I spend most of time and we sat up wireless network so I love it. Martha
i was wondering about the weight of the 17 inch laptops. If I'm going to have to leave it on my dining room table, or wherever, I may as well just have a pc.
I have been lucky with my computers, cost wise for me. My first pc I got as a Christmas present and then replaced it with the iMac which was given to me by my daughter. This will be the first I actually have to pay for myself. I'm like an old dog, though, when it comes to learning new things on the computer. I can't believe what I used to be able to do, taught myself programming back in the 80's, but now can't even figure out how to download pics from my camera. But then, I haven't really tried that hard.
So, thanks all for your help. I'm going to sit tight here for a while and not make any rash decisions.
Spike, thank you for all your information, we also are looking to replace an old 6yr Dell laptop, which I love, Have been looking at 4 and 500 with core 2 duo or the new i3 but reading this the i5 would be a better choice (?) but I'm puzzled what do OS and H/W bundled mean ? and yes want Windows 7 Now I'm not all that computer literate but do believe it has to be current to newer spec.s to last. what vidio card 'name' would you look at? and lilke Sue, we're in not particular rush,
Some folks (due to perhaps a tighter financial "initial" purchase budget) purchase `on sale` computer containing end of production run OS - like Vista OS. If one looks at their outer box or keyboard stamp, it clearly states the machine is certified for Vista. They use this computer for 6 months (or so), then upgrade its OS to Windows 7. From a financial purchase perspective, this approach may seem better. re: Pay for an "on sale" computer system NOW then later on, upgrade its OS (using money saved from end of Vista production run discount savings). When upgrading its OS (from Vista to Win 7), they can run into all sorts of problems. Driver miss matches, setting miss matches, etc. etc. Even if a clean install, their computer is NO longer certified to run with Win 7. If they have technical problems and call in a warranty repair, their warranty is now void - because it NO longer contains Vista. To me, it makes more sense to purchase a "complete bundled system" that is certified for the OS you plan to use - during the hardware's entire warranty period.
Personally, I like the "performance specs" on the Intel i5 and i7 chips as well. They appear to be very fast processors. For my next future system (iMac or Win 7), I plan to focus on the Intel i5 or perhaps the better i7 chip (if their cost comes down some more) as well. Especially for some of the "intense CPU" demand tasks I often run on my computers. re: Multi-tasking across 5-6 different apps with 4 window overlays at the same time.
The AMD chipset has been around for many years as well. A few years ago, I did have a computer with "top of the line" AMD CPU. When I installed a few programs on that AMD box, their install program displayed an "NOT an Intel Chip - does not meet minimum H/W requirements" error. Since then, I only focus on Intel Chip sets (not AMD chips). Hopefully, AMD have resolved this issue since then. AMD chips have simular benchmark speeds as the lower end Intel chips but to me, Intel has made much more technology improvements with their current i5 and i7 chips. To me, AMD chips are ok for the average home user but if one wants more H/W lifespan or if one is a "power use", do focus on Intel chips instead. Based on market demand, I bet the Intel i5 and i7 chips will be new minimum CPU standard within 2 years. And do keep in mind that today's "power user" and their yearly increasing computer needs will be the "average home" user in 2 years. Especially if does more then internet surfing.
To me, a nice hardware bundle for home user could be: - 320 Gig HD for average home user. - 500 or even 1 TB for home based "power user". - CPU: Intel Core i5-650 Processor or better for home "power user". - CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 or better for home "general user". - For memory (Mac or Win 7 based), I would have a "minimum" 4 Gigs of RAM. For power users, one needs 6 Gigs of Ram. If running many background programs (like anti virus, Powerchute for Backup UPS connection, etc. etc.), I'd go with minimum 6 Gigs of Ram. If one doesn't like installing future memory simms, then install 6+ Gig RAM within initial base system. For my future iMac, I'd get it with minimum 6 Gigs (due to my home "power user" tasks). And if I get a Win 7 machine, I'd go with 8 Gigs of RAM (in its initial base). - Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GT230 or better. More onboard graphic card memory the better. 256 Meg ram is normal and 512 Meg ram is even better. Esepcially if one does lots of graphics / photos - like my family does. - For laptops, I'd go with 15"+ flip up screen. For tight plane and train travels, I find 14" screens are better. yes. Smaller screen but it also means smaller / lighter latop to carry. And smaller screen size means less lid "flux" during transport - which coverts to less screen breakage / screen bleed problems - from rough handling. For desktops, I'd go with 23+ inch screens. After using my new 23" screen, I find my previous 19" screen way too small. Looking forward in getting 24" PLUS size screen in future years. Using larger screen and large size icons (at the same time) makes any computer much more enjoyable. Always remember to size one's computer not for today's needs but needs in 2 years. If you will be doing more photos, surfing, apps, etc. in 2 years, then definatly "buy up" today.
As a suggestion (being from Toronto area), do some web surfing or in-store browsing in Best Buy www.bestbuy.ca/en-CA/category/desktop-computers/20213.aspx?path=3551fbf72f2cbaac084e0e041a558fa2en01 and Future shop www.futureshop.ca/en-CA/category/desktop-computers/1003.aspx?path=6a9f5dba0603ee54a91a96583ee5273fen01 stores. Also visit a few local computer stores as well. Pick 1 day each week for a nice "walk about" or "mall walking" adventure. Ask them what they recommend for your specific computing needs. Ask their opinions on "what would be a good bundle in 2 years"? As then where they see the computer market trends in 2+ years. One doesn't need to buy what they recommend. After all, information gathering is always free. During your research, do focus on "patterns of info". If different sales reps recommend simular "system "bundled" patterns for your current needs and have simular opinions on where market direciton is heading into, you'll have some more solid advice. As they say, "info is free - it just takes time to gather it"...
Spike, I have to put in a word here for a couple of other alternatives that are significantly cheaper than your proposed systems. Many people here on the list are only going to be using their systems for e-mail, surfing the net (including youtube videos) and some photo filing and maybe occasional editing. I bought a netbook which has 1 GB of internal memory and a 160 GB hard disk. I bought it for travelling and taking away for the weekend etc. but for the sort of uses I just mentioned it work just fine The other thing that can bring an older computer back to useful service, is to change the operating system for the free Ubuntu Linux system - free and runs at least as well as Windows, as well as being less prone to virus attacks.
I agree. There's lots of different computer systems that are "on sale", or can be used "instead of" Win 7. Less costly or perhaps much better solutions. Before buying anything, folks definately need to perform indepth research. Buying a new computer system is much like buying a vehicle. Do they buy "cheap" knowing it only lasts a few years, or do they go with stronger / more expensive design - knowing it will last longer? Or, will they go hybrid (non-traditional) and perhaps obtain other benefits. Like the Apple or Unix platforms that don't need anti-virus s/w (and its involvement). Buying a new (or replacement) computer is NOT an easy decision - even for the experienced buyer. There's definately lots of grey areas that each buyer must take into consideration.
I'm from the old school that feels "buy more then needed and it will last longer" approach. Just like a vehicle, buying +1 or +2 better then what one needs today will be perfect fit in 2-3 years. And it will last 5-6 years "more" without needing to be replaced. Like many, I see those Win 7 laptops with small CPUs and 1 Gig of RAM "on sale" in my local local flyers. Great attracktive "on sale" price. But, does one want to replace their laptop every 1-2 years - because its way too slow soon after? Going with a hybrid computer system is often a good choice as well - if one can provide their own basic support. But if the buyer needs help, help access is limited or costly. For example, very few folks know how to configure Unix for Mail. But lots of folks can setup Win 7 and their common Mail applications. Thus, one does "take a risk" of going with a hybrid (aka: non-traditonal) computer system as well...
Its my opinion many home users simply want a "no fuss / no muss" computer system. They want to "turn it on", they want to "use it" and they want to spend less time "fixing it". And, they want it to last many years without problems. To me, buying a common "store bought" bundled h/w bundle with certified OS (like Win x or Apple Mac OSx) that is +1 or +2 sizes larger then one needs today is one's best lower risk option. Non-traditonal computer systems (like Unix, perhaps Apple - for 1st time users) have their own education curve and their own risks as well... But that's just me - who's an MCSE (Microsoft Certified Engineer).
Spike 99 Thank you for the information, yes it has helped, and will better define our search. As you just said, what we are looking for is no fuss/muss, but one that will last, at least as long as our current laptop has. 6yrs. and I know we didn't ''use' all the bits here but....they were there if we wanted/needed them. Again thank you.
re: HP Pavilion Elite HPE-150f Desktop Processor: i7 - 860 Memory: 8 GB RAM HD: 1 TB Wireless N Video: NVIDIA GeForce GT230 graphics card with onboard 1.5 GB RAM
Above all for local flyer $1,079 / online web page $1,095 + applicable taxes (Canadian location). Available as "special order" at Staples.
Haven't tried this specific HP model myself but if building my "top 5 list", this specific HP tower would be near the top of my selection list. Especially since Staples also sells a 23.5" LCD monitor for under $180 as well. Including monitor and taxes, $1,500 would buy a really nice combo - loaded with today's new hardware features.
Hope this helps in your "new replacement system" research as well....
After thinking about your initial post, other folks reply and my family's `re-evaluated` computer needs, it appears "we'll be buying a laptop as well". For my wanted computer features, I'll be focusing on:
- 16" LCD screen. If possible, go with high resoution and if needed, configure icons for more DPI (like my current Win XP machine - that's using icons at 125% larger size). - HDMI port - to connect to our 37" FULL HD TV via HDMI cable. - 2.2 GHz (or better) CPU. If wondering, 2.1 and above are Intel Core 2 Duo T6600 or i3 Intel chips. Hopefully, I can get an affordable i5 Intel in laptop version "that's affordable" withi the next 2 months. We'll see. - 320+ Gigs HDD. We'll see... - 4 Gigs Ram. - Windows 7 - 64 bit. With 64 bit OS, I can lower my CPU speed need into the 2.x GHz range. - full size / 100+ keys keyboard. - 2 to 4 hour battery time. Longer life battery the better but not a deal breaker. - 3+ UBS 2.0 ports. - built in Web cam (but not mandatory - since USB external connected web cams are now affordable). - Definately HDMI port - a must have with this small of screen. - Wireless connectivity - for Internet hub. - Wireless connectivity - for wireless printer connection. - VGA port (DVI port is optional) for this small of screen. - built in speakers with external ear/speaker jack. - built in Mic with external mic jack. - Mouse touchpad.
So far, the HP 17.3" Pavilion G71 at Walmart appears to have lots of great reviews. And, matches many of my wanted technical specs.
If wondering, our future MS Win x laptop will be our home's "carry about" wireless system. Something that can be used within any room and connected to internet and printer via wireless technology. For our basement computer desk area, I'll still be focusing on a much larger destop unit. Possibly a intel Windows 7 64 system or a IMac on 27" screen system - for my much larger processing needs. If wondering, I'm leaning towards the Graphics Designer / Multi-media iMac 27" with i5 with 1 TB and 4 Gigs RAM platform - with connected external 1 TB HDD for critical data backups. For the next 4 years, we'll be will be running both Apple iMac and PC/Win x platforms in my home. And when each machine needs to upgrade (say in 4+ years), we'll decide if Windows 8, or continue with Apple / iMac platforms is the way to go. Only time will tell...
Hopefully, some of these laptop specs help in your laptop search as well.... As they say, "good hunting"....
Spike, thanks again for the info., now another related question, what (if any) extra security/anti virus/spyward etc. do we/I need to add . I don't think we have anything in our current laptop (but not sure) we do use the stuff downloaded from Rogers though and (touch wood) have had no problems.
Some like Norton Antivirus the best. They say its very good but its background in-depth scanning tools bogs down many PC Win XP/Vista systems too much. If CPU GHz is lower end, Norton's background scanners brings the computer's remaing speed down to turtle speed.
Some like McAfee Antivirus the best. It's also a store bought product and runs in the background as well. If wondering, I ran McAfee for several years and liked it. But, didn't like paying for it.
Today, I use AVG Basic antivirus (for free). It's a high level scanner and snags many of the common viruses. It's free cost (which I love) and best of all, it doesn't impact a computer's speed. I see no speed differences - while its in the background. I also manual scan every weekend to ensure any accidentally missed viruses are manually scanned again.
I hear Mircosoft Security Essentials (which is Free from Microsoft) is good background product as well. I'm running Microsoft Security Essentatials on my one Win XP machine (along with AVG Basic for Free) and it seems to work fine to - without bogging down its slower speed CPU too much.
If the "average" home user who Internet surfs and always implements "clean" surfing habbits, I would recommend AVG Basic (for free) and/or Networking Essentations. Of these 2 products, AVG is the better product. If someone in your home might have very bad/dirty "surfing habbits" and don't like to keep the screen clean (if you know what I mean), then do buy McAfee or Norton products instead. IMO, Norton is better then McAfee but Norton "over" scans everything. But if that's what you need (for a dirty surfer on your computer), its worth buying Norton or McAfee every year. But for the average "clean" home user, AVG for free and MS Security Essentials "for free" (running at the same time) works great as well. Esecially on the older / slower CPU Win xx computers.
On my future Win 7 machine, I'll probably run AVG with Microsoft Security Essentials (together) as well. I've always had good luck with these free products - even running in the background "at the same time". And, I always keep clean surfing screens as well.
The antivirus wear is what I am going to miss most when I get my new computer. This one was outfitted by the tech where my daughter works. Don't even know it's there and haven't run into any of the problems as I had with my old desktop. Don't have to do anything at all, ever. (just be careful where I go and what I open up). I really do love this machine and hate to see it go. I'd forgotten the pain it was to keep watch over everything and will miss that. I'll probably wait until it's ready to croak b/4 replacing it, now that I've read all your posts, Spike. I'm going to need a little more cash to get what I want. But your advice is not for naught, I've bookmarked it for future reference.