Buying a Laptop

There are many things to consider when making any large purchase. It is very important to have an understanding of the product you wish to purchase, as well as a realistic estimate of how much you are willing to spend. I have recently been doing research about notebook computers, and have visited many websites to weigh the pros and cons of different brands. Ultimately, I am looking for a computer that is the best value for what I need. Since I like to play games and watch movies, I need a computer with specific features. However, given that I am a student, I have limited funds available. I approached this endeavor with an expectation of spending about $1,300 before tax. The most important features that I need are a fast processor, a lot of memory, and a good graphics card. All three components are essential to both gaming and watching DVDs. Portability is not really an issue for me since I do not intend to carry it around too often. Given this fact, I am able to get a larger screen, which is great for the purposes I need the computer for. My first inclination was to try discount websites, mostly because I anticipated lower prices.
I first visited portable computers. Before I started to get approximate costs, I decided to view the customer service section of their website. I was immediately concerned with their 15% restocking fee for returns. I don’t like the idea of losing money if the product doesn’t work out. I also briefly entertained the idea of purchasing a computer from e-Bay. However, I decided against that since there is not much recourse if a product turns out to be misrepresented or has issues.  I like the idea of being able to go into my local store to physically see what the computers look like. Also, they carry a range of brands. Upon further examination, I discovered that the only 17″ portables available were made by HP. I looked at the HP Pavilion DV9005US; it has an AMD processor, which I am not particularly fond of. However, I am very impressed with the 1 GB of memory, as well as the 100 GB hard drive. It also has a great graphics card. It has a 17″ LCD monitor.
The price with a 3-year warranty was about $1,200 before tax, which is certainly within my budget. However, since accidental damage is not covered I was a little leery. Next, I tried. I enjoyed being able to customize my own computer. The model that really caught my attention was the Inspiron E1705. The computer I configured has an Intel Duo processor, which I would prefer over the AMD, 1 GB of memory and an 80 GB hard drive. I am not concerned by the slightly smaller hard drive because I can always use the CD-RW to store data. It also has a 17″ monitor. What really pleased me was the 3-year warranty-which includes accidental damage! It is slightly over my original budget though. Before-tax, the total is $1,386. The overage is, of course, less than $100. So, after careful consideration, I have decided that the Dell computer offers me a better value for my money. Even though it is more expensive, the accidental damage insurance means that I can properly protect my investment. I hope to never need it, but it is nice to know that if something does happen to it I can have it repaired. Another big factor in my decision is the fact that Dell is a reputable company. I know people who have Dell computers, and they seem very satisfied. I also like the fact that I can return the computer if I decide I don’t like it, which makes up for not actually being able to see the computer before I buy it.


Electronics: Laptop Computers. Walmart. 18 November 2006.
http:// gsp? cat=4070&fromPageCatId=3951&catNavI d=3951>
Home Page. Dell. 18 November 2006.
Home Page. Tiger Direct. 18 November 2006.

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