I’ve finally pulled the trigger. If you’ve been following along, I’ve been looking for a new computer since August, to replace a five-year-old Fujitsu laptop that has seen better days. I had a tough time with Circuit City a few months ago, so I continued looking.
With the help of a former co-worker, we decided on a Dell Inspiron. He used to be a big fan of IBM ThinkPads, but in his expert opinion, the ThinkPads now made by Lenovo don’t have the same high quality parts as they once had. Conversely, Dell’s parts have improved.
I had to forego the numeric keypad. If it really bugs me, I’ll get an external one, but I think I’ll be fine. Here are the specs: (Warning, geekiness follows.)
* Intel Core 2 Duo T7200 (2.00 GHz, 4MB L2 cache, 667 MHz FSB)
* Windows XP Media Edition, free upgrade to Windows Vista Home Premium (I will likely install Windows as well as Ubuntu)
* 17 inch UltraSharp WUXGA LCD
* 1GB memory, to be replaced by non-Dell 2x1GB DDR2-667 PC2-5400 SODIMM Memory
* 256MB NVIDIA GeForce Go 7900 GS
* 120GB 5400 RPM SATA Hard Drive
* 8x CD/DVD Burner (DVD+/-RW) with double-layer DVD+R write capability
* WiFi plus Bluetooth
* No preinstalled software
I think I’ll be quite satisfied. To save money, the 2GB RAM is coming from another vendor. Using a Dell 20% off coupon, and adding on sales tax, the total is $1,762. I’ll be expecting 3% cash back through Ebates [aff] as well as additional cash back from my credit card’s rebate. The memory adds another $214 (no sales tax), and I should eventually receive $20 of this cost back in the form of another rebate. I have free 3-5 business day shipping on the computer and free 5-7 business day shipping on the memory.
While this is less than the amount of money I thought I’d have to pay at this time to get what I want, it pretty much wipes away my chance of breaking a net worth of $70,000 by the end of the year. And I still have holiday gifts to buy.
Updated June 17, 2014 and originally published December 12, 2006. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.