Buying a new laptop

Ok, I realize that my irritation with the process of buying a new laptop is not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. I’m not dying of an incurable disease. I’m not dying of starvation. I’m fortunate enough that the problem of buying a new laptop can be a problem for me. I know that.

On with the actual story…

Last time I shopped for a laptop was about 3 years ago. Boy were times simpler then! It seems that manufacturers have gone out of the way to flood the market with “a maze of twisty little laptop models, all alike”. Should I get the HP Pavilion dv6000z or perhaps the dv2000t? Or maybe an HP Compaq would be better? If I turn to Toshiba, there’s a gazillion Satellites, Tecra and Qosmio (or whatever it’s actually called). I’m not kidding. Looking only at the Satellite models on the Toshiba web site, I find the following model numbers: A200 A205 P100 P105 P200 P205. Not that it means anything to me. There are some broad guidelines I can and do use to narrow down the field: an ultraportable would probably satisfy a CEO but not me or a bulky desktop replacement would satisfy a mother who has decided to replace the family desktop computer with a laptop but not me. But even narrowing down the field in this way leaves way too many options on the table.

I also like to get opinions from actual users besides just raw specs. So I have to go hunt those downs on opinion web sites. Consumer Reports (to which we subscribe) has just released new ratings for laptops but with the release of Intel’s Santa Rosa, those ratings are already obsolete.

I think I’m prey to the paradox of choice… What am I going to do?

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