Help Hoboken411 Decide: Laptop

11/24/2008:

Since I’m a Libra – I typically have a tough time making simple decisions. It usually happens when I’m at a restaurant or diner. I can never make up my mind when I have a menu in front of me (and usually really screw up the order).

Maybe some of you guys can help me with my next purchasing decision between buying replacement batteries for my current laptop – or getting a new one. See my pros and cons below.

help-hoboken411-decide-replacement-batteries-or-new-laptop.jpg

Background:

One of my laptops is an IBM Thinkpad (Lenovo) Z60. It’s a fine machine running Windows XP, has 1GB of RAM and a moderate hard drive. Tinny speakers and a semi-bright screen. But it works. Since it’s almost three years old, my main problem is that the battery no longer holds a charge. The original battery lasted about 2.5 hours. The dilemma is – should I buy one or more new batteries? Or scrap it and refresh the technology?

Option 1: Juice the old laptop up

I was thinking of just replacing the original with an OEM replacement 6-cell Lenovo Battery which costs about $150. But while I was at it – thought about getting an extended 9-cell Lenovo Battery ($165) AND an “UltraBay” Battery ($115), which would take the place of the DVD drive. I’d get over 6 hours of battery life out of that configuration. Total cost: Around $280

Pros: Great battery life, no need to re-install software, lower cost.
Cons: Old technology

Option 2: Just get a new one. They’re cheap now!

I found this very decent Toshiba laptop for under $700 – it has tons of RAM and hard drive space, a nice resolution screen, and great sound quality. The only spec worse than option 1 would be the shorter battery life (unless I spend even more on a bigger battery).

Pros: Faster machine, newer technology, overall better specs (ram, sound, screen, etc.)
Cons: $400 more, plus the giant headache of re-installing software (a week or two or more of work on my end)

What would you do?

The bottom line is – that I probably don’t need to do either option – since I rarely take the laptop out, and if I do, I usually use the power cord. But I’d like to be able to be more “mobile” in the future.

What would you rather have? A fully-functional (but not 100% up to date) laptop with 6 hour battery life and $400 extra bucks? Or a spanking new, fully-updated machine (despite the humongous pain in the neck it is bringing up to speed with software)?

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33 Comments on "Help Hoboken411 Decide: Laptop"

CreativeAngel
Member
CreativeAngel

Librans in da house! What-what? :mrgreen:

freewheelin
Member
[quote comment=”120546″][quote comment=”120504″]Whatever you do stay away from Dell. Their products have gone completely downhill and their support is non-existent.[/quote] Only if you buy a consumer model. If you buy a Precision workstation level machine you get very good support, and if it’s worth it to you, you spend a little more and get on site maintenance and tech support. Which is what any sane person would get if they used it for work. Aleinware’s laptops used to be manufactured by Clevo and sold in the US under the name “Sager”. You could find the same exact machine for $1000 less, which is what I did. http://www.pctorque.com/index.php I had good experiences with that company, they have a user forum and the people there were pretty responsive to my questions.[/quote] I went through about six Dells in our family over about 10-12 years and I always paid the extra money for next day at home service. But they always fought against sending someone until it became 100% certain that there was no way they could solve the problem by phone. And then, once when they came to my house and replaced all the faulty parts, the machine had the same problem a week later and they again gave me a hard time about sending someone out, even though it was obvious they replaced the wrong part. I’m still sitting on one dead Dell laptop until I can find the time to deal with their tech support, because they will keep you… Read more »
freewheelin
Member

[quote comment=”120563″]I will never go to a store to buy something like that. The employees don’t know a damned thing about what they’re selling and there are always better deals and better hardware online or a store that does nothing but build, repair and sell computers.

H411… You ever consider checking out Flashtech on Washington St?

They seem like they know what they’re doing but I don’t know what they have by way of notebooks. At the very least perhaps they can help you migrate your software and data to a new machine.[/quote]

Very knowledgeable and nice guys but very pricy. Honest though–a few times they actually talked me out of having work done there because they said it would be cheaper to replace whatever item had the problem. When I have had work done, either in store or at home, they’ve always solved the problem, including retrieving data from a dead drive.

Easy-E
Member

I will never go to a store to buy something like that. The employees don’t know a damned thing about what they’re selling and there are always better deals and better hardware online or a store that does nothing but build, repair and sell computers.

H411… You ever consider checking out Flashtech on Washington St?

They seem like they know what they’re doing but I don’t know what they have by way of notebooks. At the very least perhaps they can help you migrate your software and data to a new machine.

Tiger
Member
Tiger

You made the right Hoboken411, Toshiba’s are well priced but they are a bit counter-intuitive. One of the often ignored things around laptops is usability; how does the screen look? how about the keyboard? Unlike Thinkpads, Toshiba doesn’t score too high when it comes to that.

If you go to bestbuy or any other store they always try to oversell you. For me I believe in being ‘conservative’ when it comes to technology; buy only what you need NOW, with perhaps room for upgrades later on.

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