Well I've gone a full week without a laptop and nothing bad happened. I survived.....just.
Survival was helped by Daphne loaning me her iPad and by also having a smartphone ! Good backup, eh ?!
Of course neither of these could fully replace an actual computer so I spent the week looking at many models and reading reviews till I was about ready to scream and get an abacus !
Customer reviews on sites like Amazon can give a very slanted view on a laptop. People give 3 stars out of 5 because the delivery was a day late, the box was damaged, it came with hard to understand Windows 8 or the company's help desk was based in India. As none of these 'complaints' relate to the product as such, it's best not to ignore a laptop choice just because it gets several low scores.
So I read and read and after several days, I was just about ready to go for a desktop pc and have it built to my specs. But I really wanted a laptop despite using it mostly in the house - in fact for the last 2 years, my old laptop didn't even have a working battery so HAD to be used indoors.
In the end I decided to make a list of 'must have' specs and look for a laptop with them installed. There weren't many ! I guess my sights were set high.
On Wednesday I went to a PCWorld in Leeds and looked at their selection and made my choice. A Samsung NP550P7C.
Before this week, I wasn't even aware Samsung made computers so I wanted to check out a few reviews before making the purchase. It wasn't easy as it's not a common model and of course as I knew already, there are many differing specs depending on the country and even the store. As far as I could see, the specs on Samsung's own site was pretty close to the one I saw in the store except it came with 8Gb of memory which was one of my spec criteria.
Based on the few reviews I could find, I decided to buy it and returned to the store yesterday to do so. It cost more than I'd initially wanted to spend but there is a mini story behind that too.
I never had any wish to get a tablet before my laptop 'broke' last week but for some reason having Daphne's iPad changed my mind. I didn't NEED one, but I wanted one. Go figure. My idea was to get a medium powered laptop plus a Nexus 10 tablet for mobility. As Nexus 10's had been out of stock for weeks with no sign of any coming in (they can only be bought from the Google Store in the UK), I was just checking the site daily but was resigned to not having one for many weeks.
Whilst in PCWorld I looked at all the tablets and liked the Nexus 7. I knew all about it from reading numerous reviews but to have it in my hand made all the difference. I wanted one. At £200 less than the Nexus 10, I couldn't resist and decided to put that money towards a more powerful laptop. Hence the Samsung.
I got the Nexus 7 there and then and the Samsung 24 hrs later so right now I'm in geek heaven setting them up. Getting to grips with Windows 8 has been an issue but like breaking a wild horse, I'm slowing getting it tamed and it's not quite the beast it was on first power up.
One point came up pretty quickly; it's all very well getting Facebook and email notifications on the smartphone, tablet and laptop but after a cacophony of sound for a few hours, I had to mute the sound on two of them ! Syncing isn't always a good thing. Just ask Jack Dawson !
Titanic joke there.
It'll take weeks to get the Samsung to the point where it has most of the programs that were on the old one. That's always the case and a bit of redundancy will be a good thing as I had a lot of rubbish on the old one. Time for some downsizing I guess.
But at least I can blog using a full keyboard and of course that's the main thing !!
Finally, mention of a d'oh moment from last Wednesday. Having bought the Nexus 7, I came home and as the loaner iPad browser was still on the Google Store site from earlier on, I hit reload and couldn't believe my eyes when it showed the Nexus 10 was now in stock with a delivery of 3-5 days. Arrrrggggggggg.
As it was still in the box in the bag, I knew I could take the Nexus 7 back for a refund but after thinking about it for a short time, I decided I liked the 7 better as it was almost as good a product and its handy size was just what I wanted.
Time will tell if I've made 2 good choices but so far, so good, although the Samsung hard drive is quite slow and undermines the awesome power of the processor and speed of the graphics chip. A new drive may be needed but that's for the future.
It'll all be documented in my Amazon review ;-)