A Current Laptop Recommendation

The following recommendation was written for a customer. Criteria provided:

1. Home computing with small farm business
2. Currently running Quickbooks 2010 on Old Microsoft XP desktop computer
3. Wife is an accountant
4. Would like portability
5. No gaming
6. Uses Itunes
7. Does not want to convert to Mac
8. Currently own Officejet 6500 wireless all-in-one

Prior to this discussion, we reviewed reasons to choose a desktop over a laptop these days. At the time of that discussion, there was very little difference is the price of a laptop vs desktop with the same computing ability. See Laptop vs. Desktop - Decisions, Decisions

Update 07/22/2011 - The links are probably no longer valid, but the advise is still sound. Just watch for 2nd Generation on Intel® i-series or get a second opinion from MyGeekShopper.

One paragraph of Tech talk: For these situations, we recommend at least an Intel i5 processor with 4 GB memory (6 GB or more is best.) Disk storage has not been a limiting factor. Generally we like to have an ATI or even better NVIDIA separate graphics card. The more separate graphics memory, the better. So if you go shopping on your own, those are some of the details you want to ask.

Update 6/1/2011 - While these configurations continue to be decent configurations for the requirements provided, I now find that we can configure these machines with even better options at the HP and Dell sites or we can configure the same machines for less for the same equipment. In the case of Best Buy options, if you intend to buy from the local big box, you will still be happy with the performance of these machines. Best Buy also provides a 6 months subscription to a choice of 3 antivirus application including Symantec Internet Security, KBM's product of choice. If you need help with getting information from your old computer to the new, ask about configuration and data move services and get specific especially if you have multiple accounts on your old computer. I recently had experience at the Apple store with their "free" service. They would only move data for one account on a machine. If you have more than one person using your computer and you each have an account, it would be extra to move each account.

KBM's charge for configuring a home computer is $139. For a business computer we charge $269. We will clean off the spam apps that the manufacturer installs, instal and configure either Microsoft Office (License required) or Open Office. All of your data, short-cuts, and email will be moved to your new machine. We install an antivirus application. We recommend the Symantec products, but will install one of the free antivirus apps if you prefer (and we will provide a $5 discount on virus removal services in the first year;-) Seriously, sometimes the free products are o.k. for you. We'll help you decide.) If you have other applications that you like to use, give us a list and we'll give you a quote. It is generally between $0-35/application. We will install GotoAssist so that we can provide 60 days of remote support services for you if you need help after you get your computer home and start using it. If you have a home network, we will for no extra charge make sure that your home network is secure. You can always find us for more help and tutoring after 60 days at MyGeekShopper.com.

OK… Here is what I have found upon searching for a laptop for you… I am not dancing on my desktop over the first two, but they appear to be the best compromises available in pre-configured and custom configuring is not saving me anything these days. Probably related to Japan and fuel prices…

Dell Inspiron 17R I17R1599MRB Notebook PC - Intel Core i5-480M 2.66GHz, 6GB DDR3, 640GB HDD, DVDRW, 17.3" Display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, Black

This dell has slower drive and graphics card, but basic configuration is good. I can also configure it at the dell site with better graphics for $859

Following is a decent deal at Best Buy… I think they also have a thing where they will move your data for you… check into that.

HP - Pavilion Laptop / Intel® Core™ i5 Processor / 17.3" Display / 6GB Memory / 640GB Hard Drive - Aluminum Model: dv7-4285dx | SKU: 1686237

Again the slower drive; better graphics card, but not great

This one would be my pick of the litter

HP - Pavilion Laptop / Intel® Core™ i5 Processor / 17.3" Display / 6GB Memory / 640GB Hard Drive - Aluminum Model: dv7-4285dx | SKU: 1686237

Still the slow drive, but much better graphics card. More space than one of your barns.

All three of these appear to have the separate numeric keyboard which should make your wife’s eyes light up.