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RE: Laptop (Follow Up)

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I want to thank everyone for their contribution. The last time I bought a laptop, it weighed 17 pounds, had a 386SX processor and had a display consisting of 16 shades of gray.


Freshly armed with the knowledge (mostly paranoia reduction) gained from this list, I went to the computer store this weekend. My first decision when I got there was that I wasn’t willing to pay for the small footprint I originally wanted. The only models with the small footprint on display at the store were mostly Sonys (most people told me bad stories about Sonys) and one Toshiba. All were more than I wanted to part with just to have the potential of taking it with me on my motorcycle trips. The small footprint models ranged in price from $1,800 to $2,500.


Those who told me that there was a good “bang for the buck” factor if I was willing to live with 7-8 pounds were absolutely right. I found a Compaq with an AMD Athlon processor (2.13 gHz), 512 mb memory and 60 gb HDD for a net of $950 (which included $350 in rebates). The features, along with the great display, are all equal to or better than my desktop. I also got a 3 year extended warranty. I still can’t believe the price. My 386SX laptop cost $3,500, but then my first cell phone cost $1,200. I believe I just dated myself :o).


The unit has wireless capability but I really can’t see the benefit of WiFi for me. I wouldn’t want to replace my existing router just to be able to surf the net from another part of my home and then expose my system to yet another venue for hackers. I can’t see paying $40/month (T-Mobile) just to be able to sit at Starbucks and surf the net. I seldom fly or stay in hotels. However, I _do_ want Internet capability and my cell phone provider (AT&T) has a pretty logical solution. They offer a GSM card (about $300) which will allow me to reach the ‘Net anywhere my cell phone works. They have various plans depending on usage all the way down to $8/month for the occasional user. I can move the card from the laptop to a PDA, which I’ve decided to go with instead of a small laptop. The only features I need when touring on my bike are to be able to go on the ‘Net (mostly for and webmail), Microsoft Streets and Trips, keep a copy of my address book (Outlook) and maybe a little word processing and spreadsheet capability. I’m also thinking about adding a GPS at a later date. So, even with the PDA ($300-$400, depending on the model of iPac I go with), I’m still way ahead compared to going with a small footprint laptop.


Thanks again for the help.


T. William (Bill) Allen, S.E. (CA #2607)

San Juan Capistrano, CA

-----Original Message-----
From: DSmith7367(--nospam--at) [mailto:DSmith7367(--nospam--at)]
Thursday, June 03, 2004 6:03 AM
Subject: Laptop


I have been using a Toshiba Satellite laptop as a replacement for my desktop since the first of the year.  Love it.


Only problem is the lack of a number pad.  I solved that with a Microsoft wireless keyboard and mouse.


Dave Smith, P.E.