Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Buy Cheap When It Comes to Laptops

I just bought a laptop at Best Buy. My philosophy of computers, especially laptops, is--buy the cheapest one that meets your basic requirements. The expected life of a laptop, before it is lost/stolen/broken/obsolete, is somewhere under 3 years. I used to be anti-laptop, for casual home use where portability is merely nice, not essential, because the laptop cost substantially more, carried much higher risk of breakage, and was prohibitive to repair. However, laptop prices have plummeted so much, that I have changed my view. Just plan to buy cheap and replace as needed.

On that score, I think I did pretty well. I went in, looking for the $499 Dell Inspiron that was advertised. While I was waiting for them to fetch me that, though, I saw an almost-equivalent Acer, clearance-priced for $375. That is about as low as I can possibly imagine getting a Windows laptop; or, for that matter, any PC. And it even came with Vista Home Premium. I believe Micro$oft has given up on trying to extract a premium for VHP over Vista Home Basic--even the very cheapest laptops now come with VHP.

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