After talking about it in a previous post, I had to once again help someone pick out a new computer. As seems typical at this stage in my (and my friends’) lives it is a computer for another graduate student on a tight budget. Thankfully this person is also not much of a gamer or requiring of anything special out of a computer, just the basic: web, music, word processing, and pictures. So you know…a computer, any will do.
For someone with simple needs, there aren’t many factors that are left to consider in your decision, you have: price, aesthetics, dimensions, weight, and most importantly keyboard layout. I cannot stress enough the importance of a comfortable keyboard layout, something that most people completely overlook when looking for a new laptop. I am fully aware that in a store or online it’s tough to figure out if the keyboard will work for you, so that should be the first thing you concentrate on figuring out when you pick one, then return it if it’s not comfortable.
For the rest of the details, I am thoroughly convinced that hardware is just hardware, no matter the brand. Hell, most brands are owned by just a couple of main companies anyway, further justifying my conclusion. There is also the 5 years I spent helping thousands of customers with their broken computers. The summation of that experience? It’s all the same shit. Regardless of price, brand, or age; a computer can and will fail on you when you least suspect it, and most assuredly when it will most inconvenience you. Really it all comes down to luck, so just pick something pretty with a nice keyboard and hope for the best.