Thursday, March 20, 2008

Advise Belle: Laptop Shopping

I am looking to buy an ultraportable laptop, under 3 lbs, max 4 lbs. I need to be more portable when I start fieldwork and dissertatin', even though I am going to take bunches of classes next year too. Right now I have a 17", 8 lb clunker that hurts my back, so I leave it at home and try to use school computers or gasp! write by hand. This is inefficient.

I'd like for it to be under $2,000, preferably $1,500 or cheaper. A Mac is not an option. I am not that kind of girl. I'm sorry, you hipster boys with blog crushes on me.

In terms of tech specs, all I do is use MS Word and other publishing programs, some statistical software, and blog. I don't need that much power. A good-sized hard drive is handy, as is 2GB of ram. I don't really care what kind of processor I have, believe it or not. Software-wise,I am resigned to Vista and Office 2007. You can't fight the future, even if it sucks for now.

I like this Lenovo Thinkpad. The problem is, there's no touchpad, only the eraser button. I hate those. Also, no integrated optical drive. That kind of sucks. But the price is right, and it is very light.

I also like this Dell Lattitude. Price is totally right, it is light, there is a touchpad. Again, no integrated drive. Is this a necessary sacrifice?

I also like this Sony Vaio. Pricier, but integrated drive and touchpad.

Thoughts? Other suggestions? Personal experiencs? I have only ever used Dell computers, and I like them fine, especially if I can get a three-year warranty.