Looking around me, I think I’ve become a complete techno-geek. I try not to be a first adopter of everything and not to be “that guy” who has to go out and buy super-expensive gadgets all the time, but I’m certainly not lacking for them at this point. My in-laws are forever buying new iPads, gadgets, computers and other doodads, and I know this drove my wife nuts when she lived with them, so I really try to hold back. Plus, it’s about contentment — being happy with what you have, and not getting new things unless you really need (vs. want) them.
That said, last week I bought a new laptop after saving up for a few months. It’s a purchase that’s been brewing for a while — my seminary netbook stopped working (it wouldn’t receive a charge) after two years of use, leaving me without a mobile computer. This normally isn’t a problem (I have both a work and home computer), but I’ve started to realize that a laptop was going to become necessary for both my jobs. I needed one for Massively when I’m on the go, and I’m already looking at a few lengthy trips coming up in that regard. And for my church position, I’ve needed to use powerpoint a lot more for meetings and whatnot.
My budget was $600, and I started doing research on the best computer I could get for that. I didn’t want another netbook — they’re nice, but extensive typing and trying to do big projects on a tiny screen became annoying. Plus, power-wise they’re on the dinky side. So a regular laptop it was, with priorities on word processing, some basic graphics work, and (yes) gaming. The last part was the most difficult, because good cheap gaming laptops aren’t that common. I was eyeing an Alienware Mx11 for a while, but while they were previously $600, they’re now in the $900-$1100 range, plus they are smallish and lack a DVD drive.
So instead I ended up with a Gateway NV75S02u, ordered fresh off Amazon on Thursday and received it on Friday. Not too shabby! For my purposes, it’s perfect. It has a large screen, Windows 7 with a basic edition of Office, large hard drive, a nice chunk of RAM, and an integrated AMD Radeon chip to help with MMO gaming. It’s not going to be the best gaming platform compared to a desktop, but it should do the trick.
It feels weird to have yet another computer, but I’m having some fun setting it up and even enjoying sitting on the couch with my wife while working instead of being huddled away at my desk. Hopefully it’ll come in handy next month when I head off to California for a week!