Any Idears?

Since we all know what a relatively indecisive person I am (if not, well…now you know), it’s just about time to ask you lovely folks for your opinions again. Yay! This time, it’s with regards to my lap-lap-lappytop.

Ahem. Laptop.

My current model is a Dell Inspiron 1520 that’s over 5 years old. (Um, yep. It’s time.) The caps lock is missing and there’s a big ol’ line down the middle of the screen (video card issue, I assume). Clunky, kinda warmer than I’d like, as slow as a…very slow dinosaur. It’s pretty ghetto, and getting worse every time monkey spots it open.

So, I’ve finally decided that, for cost sake, I won’t be getting a Mac; it’s just not worth it to me right now when we’ve got other things we’re saving for — like a non-scratching post armchair for Mama to nest in every night. 😉 At least I’ve got ONE decision down.

Here are my wishes, oh fairy godmother:

– A good amount of storage and speed
– A slot for a USB port (and a DVD burner, if possible, but it’s not a deal breaker)
– Under $500
– Does it HAFTA have Windows 8??? Windows XP is and always will be my BFF.
– A good size screen (~13″ or more-ish) that’s not TOO heavy
– Photo editing (I love my PicMonkey, but I’m not sure I can live without my Photoshop and Publisher…but maybe I can be persuaded) — so I don’t think any Chromebooks would be viable. Right? (No, really, I’m asking. I’m no expert.) I’ve been searching around and know there are some Chrome apps that might replace this…but I’m apprehensive. I guess this could be another non-deal breaker but it reminds me of the time my husband opted for the pared down version of his car (meaning no car starter and no cruise control…wait, what? Yes. Cruise control. That’s just not safe NOT to have).

Anyhoo. Too unrealistic? I’m not a slave to brand names, necessarily, but a good review is kind of a must. And your opinions would help greatly, too!

A few that I’m stalking ogling researching…

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Contestant #1, c’mon down!!! Toshiba Satellite (we’ll leave out the numbers ‘n stuff for anonymity) is a super-cheap date at around $400. While Toshy’s got some of our basic “turn ons” — such as two USB 2.0 ports (do I NEED a 3.0??), a 15.6″ screen without super heft, a DVD drive, good battery power — it’s got 3 GB of ram vs. competitor’s 4 and may be a bit sluggish. Ultimately, she’s what we call okay to look at, but not sure how much substance is lurking beneath. Is she shallow and ditzy? Is she witty and fun, worth taking a deeper look at? No idea! But, isn’t that half the fun of looking?

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Toshy the Toshiba Satellite
All images from

Contestant #s 2 and 3 are twins who hale from sunny California (not really, I made that up). Let’s double our pleasure with Acer Aspire #1 and Acer Aspire #2!!! Our first twin is the less expensive of the two (at around $350, although I’m not a Walmart fan, so this may shift if we go with it) and comes with great ratings — an editor’s pick, actually. It’s got a 15.6″ screen with 4 GB of memory, and they have generally great (although sometimes backhanded) compliments for the machine, considering its price. It’s also lacking in a DVD drive (necessary? Probably not) and USB 3.0 (ditto), and I’m not sure if it can handle my kazillion-tabs-open-at-a-time habit. Maybe! It’s not like I’m a gamer.

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Acer #1

For Acer #2, coming in at just around $500, seems to have the positive bells and whistles of her sister (along with an awesome review for the price), but with added awesomeness such as a DVD burner, a lighter weight (for the same size sceen), a USB 3.0, and greater storage. Hmm. Certainly enough to put us in a pickle, huh?

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Acer #2

Just for fun, let’s meet a newbie in the bunch who’s known for her value (read: cheapness) with a “space, the final frontier” unknown quality about her — we have the Samsung Chromebook ($250). This one’s a challenge to compare since it doesn’t have a traditional operating system and calls for the Internet to get much of anything done, so there’d be a large learning curve, but for that price and adorable package, it needs to be considered.

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Samsung Chromebook
Va va voom…
…yet so strange.

Wild card time!!! Since our guest (um, I) will be making QUITE the commitment at the end of today’s Dating Game, we’re going to throw a couple of “nicer options” out on the table just to see if anyone has experience with them or enjoys the brands.

‘Cuz it’s my game and I said so, that’s why. 😉

Here’s the infamously sexy HP (I almost came up with a horrific Dating Game name for that one…) Pavilion. There’s something to be said for looks, considering how much time you spend staring at your computer in a given day. (And let’s just say I’m sick of the view currently.) From an aluminum chassis to the ports to the storage…simply put, this has it all. The only thing I’m iffy on (and this is the thing that has me considering a higher price of $650 in the first place) is that its metal look has a navy blue hint to it. Very unique. And, of course, my current laptop is navy blue…and I’ve generally hated that it wasn’t silver (or black, if it has to be). I might be able to rationalize to myself that it’s become a wicked awesome neutral lately and be done with it.

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HP Pavilion
You sexy thing
(You sexy thing you)
The last wildcard in our game is Sony Vaio. I’m 50/50 about this brand name, so if anyone has some super wonderful things to say, speak up or forever hold your peace. The fact that PC Mag can’t rave enough about it (even saying that they had to keep double-checking the price, $629.99, considering all that you get out of the machine) speaks volumes…but I’m still not sold.

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Sony Vaio
As Monty Hall once said…”Let’s pick Meg a computer!!!” (Clearly never said that.) And I’d love to hear what your favorite brands are in the comments. What do you swear by? Anything I’ve mentioned, or should I check out something I haven’t mentioned? Thanks so much for your help, guys!!!

Which laptop do you choose?
Toshiba Satellite
Acer Aspire #1
Acer Aspire #2
Samsung Chromebook
HP Pavillion
Sony Vaio free polls