“A computer is like an Old Testament god, with a lot of rules and no mercy”

Tuesday, March 2

Looking to Buy

My wife's antique is finally about to give up the ghost. She hasn't had a new computer in 10+ years, relying instead upon second hand laptops. While these have served her well, her Toshiba is getting ready to die, I think.

We're looking at the sub-$600 range, and wanting something she can do her daily e-mail, photo editing, word-processing stuff on. But it also needs to be able to play video games. While not an avid gamer, she's been known to go on WoW binges for a few months, and even play some other games. So a discreet graphics card is a must, preferably Nvidia. ATI is fine (that's what's on mine), but I've noticed less driver problems with Nvidia and games. I don't mind tinkering with the drivers when something goes wrong on my own system, but she doesn't have the technical know-how. The less possibility of issues, the better.

Obviously, the screen size will also be important. Playing on a 12" screen isn't much fun, and as she likes to play in bed (I know, I'm a lucky guy), an external monitor isn't a choice.

Also important will be the "mouse" input. She doesn't like to play on a touch-pad, so the mini-joystick thingy in the middle of the keyboard is another necessity. That really narrows down the field.

So far, we're only talking about Dell and Lenovo. The problem with Lenovo is that it's difficult to get a model with the discreet graphics card at the price point we want to hit.

I'll keep you guys informed of the hunt.