What is our budget? Actually, it would be his budget. We had a long, hard talk with him and told him that he could either buy his own laptop now with money from his savings account, or that he could wait a few months until his birthday when we would buy him a laptop. Did I mention that he is under the age of ten? Due to his age, he is not very skilled in the ways of delayed gratification, which means that he wants a new laptop tomorrow. To put a positive spin on this, I decided to make a homeschool lesson out of this (did I mention that I homeschool him? I do).
I remember seeing Chromebooks being advertised online, and recalled seeing them at Best Buy and other online electronic stores. They got good reviews and were very reasonably priced, so I thought, which made them a good contender.
I don’t know what clued me into the fact that Chromebooks were different from laptops, but something did. Perhaps it was the talk of all of the “cloud” things it did. I figured that the cloud had something to do with memory storage or something. After speaking to a helpful salesperson at Best Buy, I learned that Chromebooks have their own operation systems, just like Apple has its own thing going on.
Uh-oh was my first thought. I am PC person, as is my husband. We use Microsoft everything here (and only recently quit Internet Explorer as a search engine). I found out that I could not upload my copy (legal, of course) of Microsoft Office to a Chromebook. Playing Minecraft on it would be highly difficult as well (you have to do some serious computer programming to make that happen). Also, it appears that printing can be a bit of a beast, too.
So, we (I) decided that Chromebooks are not for us. Maybe we are dinosaurs (but of the crocodilian sort that could survive anything); but even so, we have a system that works for us. We don’t want to go and reinvent any sort of wheel when what we do works for us.
So, a Microsoft, PC laptop it is. We are currently considering a regular laptop, but (if the price is right, as well as the reviews) we might consider a tablet with an additional keyboard. I’ll keep you posted as to what he purchases. Now here’s what we (I) will weigh in our final purchasing decision:
Things to consider when purchasing a laptop:
- Compatibility. Will the new one work with the other computing components (printers or routers) you have at home? Will it work the same that way that your existing computers do, or the one that it is replacing? Be sure to do your research on what it is you are purchasing.
- 10-key on the keyboard. Do you do a lot of word processing involving numbers? I do. Having a 10 key on my keyboard makes a huge difference to me.
- Solitary Insert button. I used to be an HP person, until they combined the Insert button with another one on the keyboard (I now have a Sony). This might not matter for some, but it matters to me.
- Portability. Physical size matters! Is the new laptop heavy or light? Consider who it is you are purchasing it for.
- Unbiased reviews. Find them online, and be sure to read a few of them.
- Return policies with the retailer you purchase it from. They vary from retailer to retailer, so be sure to ask questions before paying for the computer.
- Use. Consider what you’ll be using the computer for. Do you like to listen to iTunes on your computer while you edit pictures, write a book, and surf the web? I do. Having a decent sized RAM (Random Access Memory) with lots of GBs will ensure that all of those programs you have running will not slow down, or stop. Do you want to save lots of pictures, music, videos, and documents? You’ll need a healthy sized Hard Drive for that. If you want to use a headset, a special mouse, or even a certain kind of printer, you’ll want to have a laptop with Bluetooth in it, too. If you plan to play a lot of music without using earbuds or headphones, you might want a good sound card. Do you want to watch a DVD on your laptop? (You might want to sit down for this one). Most new laptops do not include a DVD or disc drive. You will have to buy an external drive for that.
- Price! Consider your needs and match that to a realistic budget. Doing research and asking the right questions can help you determine what it is you need.
Thanks for reading! Let me know your opinions or if there is any other high-tech component that I can investigate for you!