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May 21, 2005
Taking The Plunge, Again

After much deliberation and consultation on finances, I finally decided that an upgrade for the Official Malfunctioning Laptop Of Captain's QuartersTM was overdue. Thanks to two generous gift certificates from my last birthday, Amazon wound up getting my business even if they didn't handle my last order very well. I took a trip out to Best Buy to see if they could beat the Amazon price on two models on which I had focused: the Sony Vaio FS640 and the HP 1040 US. Going to the store also gave me an opportunity to see both models to get an idea of their physical build, and also to see if anything else looked better for the money.

Both models would have worked for me. I want to get back to an old hobby of DVD production for family films, and while my desktop does that reasonably well, I've gotten so used to the laptop that I'd like to have that capability. Obviously, after the experience I've had with the Toshiba Satellite, I'd rather get a machine from a more reliable manufacturer, and both HP and Sony have better track records on that score.

The Sony Vaio was the more expensive of the two, and had a bit smaller hard drive than I wanted. It had a bigger display and a thinner case, with a keyboard that most closely resembled a regular desktop. (One of the aspects of the Toshiba I have always found annoying is its keyboard layout, with the Ins and Del keys where I'd normally have a Ctrl key, and other such irritations.) The HP had a smaller, thicker case, and sturdy construction. However, it has a slower processor and an even smaller hard drive, although it matches my current size. The price difference was substantial, about $270. I also looked at models from Gateway and others.

In the end I chose the Sony. I don't want to have regrets about buying an underpowered system later down the road. The Sony also writes double-layered DVDs, allowing for twice the storage, and in both - and + formats. The price at Best Buy and Amazon were the same, $1499, but the gift certificates I had at Amazon made it much more economical for me to purchase it there. I also avoided sales tax that way, although I paid $27 for two-day shipping.

I should have the new machine by Wednesday. I'll let you know what I think once I have it up and running and my files transferred.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at May 21, 2005 11:32 PM

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