PLEASE, help me pick a laptop!
I'm looking to buy a notebook for my genealogy research use. It will not be my main computer and I wouldn't be doing anything that requires a high spec machine - mostly photos, data collection, internet, etc.. What I do want is a reasonably quick machine with good screen resolution. After spending several days reading every forum I could find. I concluded most donít give enough info for the experts to really help them.
I collected these questions. I hope with this amount of info, one of you can help me!
Questions I have asked myself!
1) Exactly why do I need a newer laptop/notebook! My 10 year old Sony VAIO is no longer useful. Iím told it canít be upgraded! Plus the batteries are a 100 bucks! I need a unit that I can take with me to the Library or County Clerkís office to scan wills, birth certificates, etc. I often take hundreds of headstone photos in a day. I fill several Media cards, then download them back at my truck, check the results and go out again. I often go to peopleís home and scan in family photos, which I can later edit and repair.
2) What is my budget?
Around $800 although am prepared to stretch to $1,000.
3) What size notebook would I prefer?
I like things big and heavy! Heavy duty and well built is always better than dainty and cute! 15.5Ē or larger screen!
4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
One that doesnít run so hot. No Macs. More interested in their customer service! One that has techís that speak English and know their stuff. A brand that will stand behind what they sell.
5) What tasks will you be performing with the notebook?
Email, surfing the internet, editing photos, often run several programs at once. (Like word processing, a genealogy research site, and a Google search all at once.) DVDs, and sometimes record a little music to CD.
6) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places or leaving it on your desk? Mostly will be left in one place, but occasionally will take it in my truck to a cemetery or County Clerkís office, or with us in our recreational vehicle on trips.
7) Will you be playing games on it; if so, which games?
No games at all, well maybe some card games.
8) How many hours of battery life do you need?
The more, the better, and cheap enough that I can afford several!
10) What OS do you prefer? Windows (XP or Vista), Mac OS, Linux, etc.
I'd prefer XP Pro. Or a notebook I can down grade to XP! Donít want to have to buy all new programs.
11) Would you prefer standard or widescreen?
Donít care as long as my old eyes can see it! Probably the standard XGA -1024x768 or SXGA - 1400x1050 Iím thinking of going for mid-range as I want something decent for my photos.
13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen?
Donít really know?
Build Quality and Design
14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?
Not at all, just not flimsy or delicate!
15) When are you buying this laptop and how long do you want this laptop to last?
Not be DOA and for 4-5 years at least.
16) How much hard drive space do you want?
Oh, 75-100GB, Itís not important, as I always use my external hard drives to store my data, only have the actual programs on the unitís hard drive.
17) Do you need an optical drive?
DVD-CD/RW sounds like the most sensible option.
18) What other options?
Must have multi Media card reader, and must have wireless network, (Wi-Fi), also want USB2 Ports. Want to be able to easily shut off the touch pad.