I bought a new laptop a few weeks ago on May 21st, but that probably doesn’t seem like a big deal coming from an ex-computer consultant. Well, while I was paying for my laptop, I started thinking about the last time I actually bought a “new” computer or laptop. It turns out that the last new computer I bought was a Dell laptop back in 1998 when I first started my computer consulting business. I was so excited to be receiving checks from customers that I figured I should spoil myself a bit with a new laptop. Plus, it was cool having one.
The nice thing about working in the computer industry was that I was constantly upgrading customer’s computers and I had the inside track on scooping up all their used equipment. After buying that first laptop in 98′, I negotiated cheap purchases of slightly used customer computers and laptops for years to come and never need had to buy new again. Until now.
Out with the OLD in with the NEW Laptop
My computer setup a month ago was a Dell desktop (customer hand-me down) and a Dell netbook (bought from a customer for cheap). I knew I would need to replace the desktop at some point since it didn’t fit in with my future location independent lifestyle and the plan was to buy two new laptops (mid-range & higher-range) to replace my current setup. The two laptops would allow me to have a backup for emergencies but also would allow me to work on one laptop while the other is rendering videos for example.
Before I could put my plan into action, my netbook decided to stop charging and would no longer turn on. Instead of spending the time and money to fix it, I just pulled out the hard drive and copied everything to my desktop pc. Well, wouldn’t you know it. My desktop overheated (motherboard) in mid-May and I was without a computer, so I went out to the local computer places and began researching for a new laptop. I figured I would get the mid-range laptop first and found a good one over at Microcenter in Houston.
My New Acer Aspire E1-571-6888
I was looking for a laptop under the $400 mark for my mid-ranged laptop. This laptop was on sale at Microcenter for $379 plus tax for a total of $411 and no I didn’t go for the extended warranty. The laptop has the Intel i3 3rd gen processor, 15.6 in screen, 500 gig hard drive, 4 gigs of memory (I added 4 more gigs a few days later for 8 total), DVD, and came with Windows 8.
One of my freelance clients requires me to log into their network with Windows 7, so I downloaded all the Win 7 drivers for the new laptop, formatted it and installed Win 7 64-bit. I spent two or three days installing and configuring my software and I used a SATA/IDE Drive to USB Adapter Cable to transfer all my files from my desktop computer’s hard drive to the new laptop. I used cables like this for years while assisting clients with file transfers from dead computers. It allows you to connect one end to your old hard drive and the other end to a USB port on another computer for easy file transfers.
Now that I have been using my new Acer Apsire E1-71-6888 for over 3 weeks, I must say that I’m very impressed with this $400 range laptop. I mainly use internet-based software, Excel, SEO Tools, Video rendering, some graphics and all browsers for testing, so I feel like I’ve put it through some rigorous tests and my laptop has performed well. It has the Intel HD Graphics 4000 chip so playing movies has been a treat since my netbook didn’t have a DVD player. I’m not much of a gamer, so I haven’t tried any games yet, but this mid-range laptop is great for what I will need on the road.
To complete my laptop redundancy plan, I expected to buy a high-end model laptop but thus far this laptop is all I need so I might pick up a second Acer like this one and save a few hundred dollars over the high-end models.
Thanks for checking out my site. What type of computer setup do you have for your rig or what do you plan to upgrade to in the future? Let us know in the comments.