[thechat] how do you buy a PC?

David Kaufman david at gigawatt.com
Fri Jan 9 07:10:23 CST 2009

Hi Erika,

"Jack Timmons" <jorachim at gmail.com> wrote:
> Erika Meyer <ekm at seastorm.com> wrote:
>> <Laptop wants, needs, and opinions>
>> Erika
> Off the top of my head, a few websites first for you to look at:
> The Nice: http://tinyurl.com/yrd3py
> The Cheap: http://www.pricewatch.com/notebooks/
> Alternative: http://www.tigerdirect.com/

I buy nearly all my gear from TigerDirect.  I've always been very happy 
with their prices, the amount of info (and customer reviews!), ship times 
and easy returns.  That said, I ignore the rebate prices (the rebate almost 
are never worth the hassle) and I never buy anything refurbished, off-lease 
or factory returns -- only new chit, please!

The next best thing is Best Buy for geats laptop sales (and ofcourse you 
get the two added benefits: instant gratification and a throat to choke 
if/when you need service -- just be sure not to buy the store's own 
extended waranty... these are usually a real ripoff.

> Of course there are your Dell alternatives, etc.

All my own laptops have Dells and I like them (the machines, not the 
company -- tech support lines are a nightmare).  They've got some great 
deals right now!  There's no way to avoid the pre-installed crap - I 
usually repartition & format the drive and reinstall my O/S of choice. 
They are however one of the PC manufacturers who will still sell you a 
laptop with a supported version of Windows XP on it.

> The best I could find iin your price range was a Compaq. While I know
> they've had a crap history with me, it comes with 2 gigs of ram, AMD 
> chip,
> and a decent Nvidia card:
> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834107024

I got my wife a Compaq from Best Buy about two years ago for under $500 
(Sunday newspaper sale circular special).  It's been great for her.  The 
only downsides: no XP option - she had to get Vista, and the battery life 
is like 7 minutes.  Well 90 minutes actually, but feels like 7, so not a 
great option for a road warrior students who need to run on batteries a 
lot.  Compaq (er, spelled "H.P." nowadays) may sell higher-capacity 
replacement batteries (for quasi-outrageous prices) on their website.  If 
so its probably worth it if you play the Sims very far from AC outlets a 


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