I have been reading some of the thread of "the old pro" and am a bit overwhelmed with the information. I have a 5 year old Acer that is officially dead. I want to replace it and don't know what factors to consider in making my next purchase. I basically use a laptop for surfing the net, e-mail, downloading pictures and occasionally Word documents. I don't play games or download music. What is the best choice for me?
Toshiba Satellite C655D-S5126 @$ 389
AMD E-240 Zacate 1.5GHz GPU, 3GB RAM, 320GB HDD, and 15.6" 1366x768 LCD w/ Radeon HD 6310
It's a low power, low performance long battery life laptop. It will do all those things you mentioned - maybe not all at once though.
Acer Aspire AS5736Z-4801 @ $400
Intel Pentium T4500 2.30GHz dual core CPU, 3GB RAM, 250GB HDD, 15.6" 1366x768 LCD w/ GMA 4500M graphics.
This is fairly fast general purpose laptop.
I know I could get a MacBook for under $1000 but don't think I need that nor do I need to spend that much. What I have heard about Apple that appeals to me is that you can have them for years and not have repair worries and that they seem to be virus proof. Again just what my novice ears have picked up. So to answer your question I would like to spend no more than $400 or $500. I would appreciate any feedback regarding Apple value versus a PC. I haven't ever owned an Apple but would be willing to make the jump if it is the right thing to do. Thanks.
You are not going to find a 13" Macbook for $500. $900 maybe. If you want to go by a reliable source like Consumer Reports then all laptops have the same reliability. Apple releases security updates for MacOSX and Safari just like any other software vendor. It still crashes like any other OS. The touchpad is very nice. The screen is better than most. You pay a premium for that not value.