Sunday, November 07, 2010

Shopping Guides

You'd think after 17 years of purchasing and owning personal computers, including four laptops -- Oh wait, I also have a netbook, so that's actually five laptops -- anyway, you'd think I'd understand what I need and what to look for in terms of processors, speed, memory, capacity, features, and so on.

I kind of do. I say "kind of" because I know what I use my laptops for and what I need them to be able to do. The problem lies in pairing up the usage needs with the specs of the different machines. Armed with my needs, I go on different manufacturers' websites and do my best to comparison shop. Unfortunately, I don't think the laptops are marketed according to what's intuitive for me.

At the heart of things, I automatically assume that bigger/more/faster is more desirable than "not as much". It's like I approach computer shopping with the same mindset that people used for selecting new cars back in the 60s and 70s.

Car shopping's easier, even with the obnoxious sales tactics.

For several weeks, I've known that I need to buy a new laptop. The current one still thinks that its e is depressed. I have to hit a shortcut button whenever I turn on the machine and then backspace and delete all of the eeeees that have already shown up in the password field. Handy thing that short cut button because, spontaneously, rows of eeeeeeeeeeeeeeees begin to appear. Even before this problem began, on a more regular basis the computer took me on an unexpected detour to the land of the Blue Screen. Not fun.

I've cruised different laptop manufacturer sites and attempted to comparison shop. I succeeded in getting overwhelmed. That model's lighter but not fast enough. The other one is heavier but faster and has a bigger screen and hard drive. The most expensive one has the fastest processor, the most RAM, and 500 GB HDD. Wow. Impressive stats but none felt just right.

I wish the companies would do what my friend and non-blood niece Hope just did. In a couple of concise paragraphs she made all of the numbers and specs make sense as they relate to what I need in a laptop. I no longer have to worry about whether I'm getting too fast or too slow a processor or too much or too little capacity in my hard drive. I know what to shoot for in RAM.

Now I can shop with greater confidence in my information. I'm prepared to make a good decision instead of stumbling around like a Technically Deficient Goldilocks trying to figure out which one is just right.

Some people need personal shoppers to help them pick out wardrobes. Everybody who knows how to use a computer, if not necessarily how to buy one, needs a Hope.

Thanks, Hope!

1 comment:

Hope said...

Thanks, Aunt Mary! I'm glad that we were able to help. :)

The computer manufacturers probably have a vested interest in making this all complicated. Because then most people just go with the "more is better" approach. Nobody wants to buy a brand new computer only to find that it's not fast enough.