I currently have two laptops: My full-size Compaq Presario and my pint-size HP Mini notebook. Both work for me, but only the Compaq has impressed me. Hopefully it works for a long time yet!
Last summer I was operating solely on my HP notebook, with my full-size HP laptop having died a few months earlier. The old HP had been heavy and lacked battery life, making it a lug to transport to the Texas Tech library to do research. Its Windows Vista operating system had been less than stellar, and its silver/shiny/light grey exterior had gotten smudged and pockmarked quite easily. Fortunately, one of my work colleagues was a total computer nerd who agreed to assist me in a search for a new full-size laptop.
I settled on the Compaq because it was cheap but provided everything I needed: Windows 7, decent memory, decent speed, etc. Because I was not a gamer or multimedia junkie I didn’t need something with oodles of processing speed or a cavernous supply of memory.
I’m a basic twentysomething male – if I can run Microsoft Office on it and surf the Internet, I’m pretty good to go. This thing cost less than $500 and has worked Microsoft Office programs and allowed me to surf the ‘net with nary a hitch. It’s powerful enough to handle my photograph-laden PowerPoints (I am a history teacher) and watch movies, which is about the most demanding thing it does. It’s drama-free and, most impressively, boots up fast.
My old HP laptop, even when new, took some time to get ready to go. This Compaq fires up and is Internet-ready in under a minute. I can start cranking out Microsoft Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, and e-mails even before my coffee maker has begun to spew the caffeinated stuff.
My HP notebook, which is my portable workhorse, has excellent battery life and is light and sleek…but lacks a disc drive and takes forever to boot up. If I ever need to show a DVD to a class through a projector, I make sure to bring my Compaq that day. The thing is decent on battery (much better than my old HP laptop) and boots up before the teens can start getting rowdy!
My computer-savvy colleague told me I should consider going a step higher on the laptop spectrum, arguing that Compaq was the “cheap brand,” but I’m glad I stuck to my guns and got the cheap laptop – it’s served me well on a price that even I, a poor graduate student, could stomach. I slapped down my debit card, carried the box back to my place, and in well under an hour was ready to grab some wireless Internet and begin using the thing – no difficult setup or installation processes whatsoever!
I’ve got 250 gigabytes of memory, can run a plethora of devices through numerous USB ports, crank out Microsoft Office files like a pro, and surf the ‘net within 60 seconds of hitting the “on/off” button. I think I’ve got a winner!