First I want to THANK Meats-of-Evil, Dr. Paz & Adam Kolak for their excellent advice! Now I'm ready to go shopping for a new laptop w/Win7, but would appreciate recommendations on the best "stuffings" & brands.
Budget: $400-500 range.
Usage: Online reading, videos/movies (incl DVD), typing documents/spreadsheets
Location: my lap (exclusively)
Brands recommended? Any others besides HP, Asus or Lenovo?
"Stuffings" recommended for my usage? Ex: AMD vs Intel, etc.
Thanks in advance. Hugs ~ Moms
PS: I am not a 'gamer-gal' - just an old gal who retired from a professional career & enjoys what the Internet has to offer a brain that must be 'fed' a daily diet.
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Additional Info: I use a Verizon MiFi wireless modem exclusively (dl speed: 44mbs).
As for lap use: There's 3-fingers of space between laptop & thighs using narrow pillow across knees & front propped on tummy. Provides cooling space & works for me!
One very critical factor you haven't specified: screen size. Nowadays laptops range from 10" to 18". The question is how portable you want your laptop to be? You mentioned above you want to watch DVD with the laptop, do you want a DVD drive to be included inside the laptop? Any laptop smaller than 12" or of ultra-thin form factor, most likely do not include an optical drive internally. For those you have to buy a separate USB optical drive for playing discs.
Another advice is if you want to use the laptop exclusively on your lap, you should at least use some kind of cooling pad to hold the laptop. A pillow actually traps heat, the reverse of cooling. Heat from laptop is not only bad for the durability of the computer hardware, but also bad for your health. It is known that prolong use of laptop on lap can reduce sperm counts in men.
Here's one choice. It's really a steal in price for a business grade laptop such as this. i3 processor with integrated graphics is not exactly top of the line, but good enough for everyday computing, consumes less power and generates less heat. The only drawback, it may be a tad bit heavy to carry. This includes Win7 Home Premium, you are probably eligible for free upgrade to Win8. http://www.dell.com/us/soho/p/latitude-e5430/pd?oc=slctj1&...tude-e5430
Thank you Dr. Paz! Sorry to take so long to respond - Dec. was busy month. Prices should drop after the CES next week so plan to go shopping mid-month.
Dell: I had a Dell PC & then Dell outsourced tech support to India, which was terrible & then Dell outsourced sales, too - with similar communication problems. I bought a Toshiba laptop from Best Buy w/extended warranty - good thing because the harddrive croaked w/in 3 years.
Lenovo: IBM/China owns it & China has made out like bandits with huge inflows of US$ in trade & interest payments on US bonds. China built that 1500 mi. high-speed train with US bond interest alone. So... I don't send US$ to China if I can help it.
Aren't there any laptops made - or at least assembled - here in the old US of A?
99% of computer parts are manufactured elsewhere in the world, and majority are from China, even if the headquarter of the business is based in U.S. Many computer companies, not just Dell, out sourced their customer support divisions to India, including HP, Microsoft, etc. Laptops nowadays gets cheaper and cheaper, same time profit margins gets lower and lower, businesses have no choice but to cut cost by moving manufacturing and support to places where labors are cheaper. Same thing for cars, you can hardly find anything 100% U.S. made. Don't be surprised that a Toyota has more parts made here in U.S. than say a Chevrolet. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/driveon/post/2011/06/r...OWrIawXiGg
So you're asking something partly impossible. If you really dislike China (the mainland), you can buy from Japan (Sony), Korea (Samsung), or Taiwan (Asus, Acer, MSI). Taiwan is technically a separate state from China, with their own government and military. Good to send cash their way for helping out the small island with their independence, though part of the manufacturing are still done in mainland China. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_laptop_brands_and_manufacturers