Sunday, July 15, 2007

New Computers Part 2

Long story short, a few weeks ago I went out rather stupidly with the intention of buying a Laptop with specs rivaling my potential new desktop PC for about $1600. Due to events conspiring against me (in hind sight I think fate was on my side that day) I came home in possession of a "budget", yet fully capable of what I really want from a laptop, laptop. After finding out about the nuances of daily withdrawal/EFTPOS limits and the fact that no Bank branches in the city are open on a Saturday (they open on Saturdays in the suburbs!), and then having a good think over lunch, I went and purchased a Compaq C554Tu . The clinchers of the deal being that the memory was expandable to 2 GB, and the $100 cash back on the already ridiculously low price.

So for $700 (after Cash back) I got:

  • 1.86ghz Celeron 440 (it's a Core Solo with a smaller Cache and something else turned off)
  • 512mb ram
  • 80gb HDD
  • 15" screen
  • DVD Rom/CD RW combo drive
  • 802.11 b/g wireless

As with anything labeled as "budget" there are a few compromises. The largest being the amount of ram, 512mb is just barely enough to run Windows Vista. Other compromises are no DVD burner, my current desktop doesn't have one either, but at least I'll be able to read DVD rom disks now. From what I can tell the battery life is absolutly dismal , and as I've been using it plugged in mostly, so I wouldn't know how long it lasts, except that it went down to about 85% after what only seemed like 10 minutes when the power plug was accidentally pulled out. Other minor issues are the size and weight, but at least it's portable.

While being fairly basic it handles day to day tasks well (word, photo editing etc). Today I purchased an extra 1gb of ram (for much less than the $100 cash back), and it now goes like a champion. I'm pretty happy with my purchase, and certainly less out of pocket than more expensive models. Now all I need is a wireless router and we are in business for some lunge chair web browsing!

Some reviews of the C554Tu:

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