Help the Geek Girl get a new laptop!

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Posted 20 Jul 2009 in Technology

New topcase for MacBookYeah, I’m a geek girl and all, but I’d like YOUR input on purchasing a new laptop!

My biggest requirements are:

  1. Small size (no bigger than 14 inches wide)
  2. Good screen resolution/widescreen
  3. Under $1000

Is this too much to ask? HarriMac found a couple of laptops that sound great, but they all have Windows Vista. Is Vista a good idea? I’ve heard mixed reviews, so I want to get some feedback from YOU, my readers, on what to look for in a new laptop and where to get a new laptop!

I’ll mainly be using a new laptop for internet surfing, word processing, blogging and watching DVDs. 😎 Leave your tips in the comments!

Update 4/23/09I won a MacBook… and other adventures of the Geek Girl

Creative Commons License photo credit: sjeemz

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  1. I wish I had some cash to spend on a new laptop… I would seriously consider Apple next time as I want a machine for multimedia – specifically burning DVD’s, but I understand that they are expensive… I am also considering replacing XP with Linux on one of my desktops just to see what all the fuss is about (my own feeling is that since the introduction of Vista, people have been switching to Linux with even greater regularity…!). I don’t use Vista and would be wary of it especially if you want it to integrate with existing peripherals. PC market is very competitive over in the UK, we can find fairly high-spec laptops in supermarkets for under $750, even decent brand names are now competing on price…

    • I tried Linux on an old machine I had lying around and to be honest, this Geek Girl was more confused than ever! You can purchase laptops at a supermarket? Is that like a grocery store or like a large retailer like Best Buy or Circuit City here in the US?

      I found some great deals, so I am sure I can get a brand new, great quality laptop for under $925!

  2. Hi Ellie,

    I am using a Dell Latitude 430: XP, 12.1 inch screen, superlight and superslim!

    I use it similar like EXCEPT for the DVD watching. Part of the slimness and lightness is because the CD-DVD is external, so that could be a no for you?

    Price is 1500$ BEFORE bargaining :-) Google and you will find it for 1000$. if you can use Dell coupons and buy straight from Dell, be prepared for the usual waiting list: less money means more wait…

    Vista: not enough new software available, so I am not going for that. I want to use my laptop, not finetune it every day …

    Apple Jay: way above my budget 😆

    • Oh my gosh – that sounds sweet! I think I found a winner – I’ll blog about it later !

      I have a copy of XP here in my office, so I may just install it if Vista is that bad. :)

  3. :mrgreen: Ha Ha _ I have a copy of XP Pro of uncertain origin…I will not be letting that out of my sight until Vista has a better reputation.
    I saw an article about a version of Linux which is supposed to be really easy to get up and running – I haven’t taken the plunge yet, but it would probably give me a lot of material to write about on Livewyre.NET if I did!
    I am a staunch convert to Firefox, Linux may be the next step, but I don’t mind admitting I would be scared to do it with the PC I use every day.

    • I love Windows XP! However, my new laptop with Windows Vista Premium will be arriving on Monday! I got the laptop tricked out with 2GB of RAM, so that should help me out tremendously!

      I’ll definitely post about my adventures with Vista.

      Like you, Jay, I like Firefox a lot, and I install it on every PC I get a hold of, whether it’s mine or not! It’s just a great program with tons of options for everyone! 😀

  4. I have just bought an extra 1GB for my desktop, then found a spare 512MB at work!! I swapped the 512 for my 2×256 (fair exchange – the machine was dead anyway!) so now I have 1.5GB. I also have installed FF on my laptop at work – I don’t care who’s computer I use, as long as I can get FF on it…
    Seeing as I am officially the webmaster at work I should probably use IE more than I do for testing pages since most of the world is still ploughing a Microsoft furrow…. :roll:

    • That sounds good. I didn’t know that you could put uneven amounts of RAM into a computer! Learn something new every day!

      I use Firefox Portable, but it is running REALLY slow — not sure why. :(

      Unfortunately, I have to use IE because some websites just won’t work in Firefox, which makes me sad.

  5. The occasional site requires IE, but I guess that’s down to ignorance on the part of the webmaster…let’s not say anything about those visiting any of my sites that get glitches because they use IE?? – In fact I think ‘submit’ forms (even on my own site) don’t do quite what they should in FF…
    Yeah most motherboards will accept any combination of acceptable RAM, mine is happy with different speeds too, some motherboards required matched RAM… I used Crucial.COM to determine exactly what configuration of RAM I could use – needless to say I didn’t then go on to buy their relatively expensive RAM suggestions, but went for an ebay-tastic alternative…
    There is a suggestion of using Linux as a portable OS (ie on a thumb-drive) is that what you mean by portable??

    • My site looks slightly different in IE vs Firefox, but not enough to make me try to make it compatible with everything. Opera is a nice browser, but it doesn’t work with a LOT of sites – so I don’t use it very often.

      Ebay has great deals on most everything – I’m looking for a cell phone there now.

      Yes, there’s a way to use Firefox on a thumb (flash) drive. You can download/install at – they have lots of different programs, including Toucan, which is a file syncing program and Pidgin Portable.

  6. Now I am learning…. I use opera on my ‘phone since you mention it, works a heck of a lot better than the standard phone browser – it’s called opera Mini and allows you top see the whole page and zoom in on the bits you want to look at….
    Opera was not installed onto the phone direct, but I found it while browsing the memory card (looking for games…) I use a Nokia 6300 but other 6300 users I have spoken to had no extra software on their memory card…

    • I’m definitely installing Opera on my cell phone; but for some reason Opera will not load Gmail and Google Calendar for me.

  7. Well, should you win the lottery anytime soon the new Mac Air thing looks super sexy!! :mrgreen:

    I’ve got an HP Pavilion laptop and I do love it. It wasn’t a pricy model either, mine is about a year old though so I’m sure my model number is out of date.

    • Yes, the Mac Air looks so beautiful. I want one! 😆

  8. I’ve got a hot pink sony vaio which I like – small & portable – it’s got vista which I haven’t had any problems with especially since I got Firefox. I do mostly word docs, internet, quickbooks & lots of photos. Only has 2 usb ports which really sucks – have an external hub for the other things I need.
    Don’t remember what I paid for it a few years ago but it’s been a good machine. If I could just keep the cat off of it – it’d be great.

  9. I saw this the other day and thought – what again?!? what did she do to the last laptop??
    So, clue me in… are you looking for a a laptop again…! or are you recycling old posts for fun? Not that your posts aren’t worthy of recycling of course, wisdom bears repeating 😉

    • I tried to use a plugin that would republish old posts but it did not work as planned! I am still using my Macbook and loving it!

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