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Buying a Laptop

Essay Topic:

There are many things to consider when making any large purchase.It is very important to have an understanding of the product you wish to purchase, as well as a realistic estimate of how much you are willing to spend.I have recently been doing research about notebook computers, and have visited many websites to weigh the pros and cons of different brands.

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Ultimately, I am looking for a computer that is the best value for what I need. Since I like to play games and watch movies, I need a computer with specific features. However, given that I am a student, I have limited funds available.

I approached this endeavor with an expectation of spending about $1,300 before tax. The most important features that I need are a fast processor, a lot of memory, and a good graphics card. All three components are essential to both gaming and watching DVDs. Portability is not really an issue for me, since I do not intend to carry it around too often. Given this fact, I am able to get a larger screen, which is a great for the purposes I need the computer for. My first inclination was to try discount websites, mostly because I anticipated lower prices.

I first visited www. tigerdirect. com and viewed some of their portable computers. Before I started to get approximate costs, I decided to view the customer service section of their website. I was immediately concerned with their 15% restocking fee for returns. I don’t like the idea of losing money if the product doesn’t work out. I also briefly entertained the idea of purchasing a computer from e-Bay. However, I decided against that since there is not much recourse if a product turns out to be misrepresented or has issues.

I then turned to www. walmart. com, and looked at what they had to offer. I like the idea of being able to go into my local store to physically see what the computers look like. Also, they carry a range of brands. Upon further examination, I discovered that the only 17″ portables available were made by HP. I looked at the HP Pavilion DV9005US; it has an AMD processor, which I am not particularly fond of. However, I am very impressed with the 1 GB of memory, as well as the 100 GB hard drive. It also has a great graphics card. It has a 17″ LCD monitor.

The price with a 3 year warranty was about $1,200 before tax, which is certainly within my budget. However, since accidental damage is not covered I was a little leery. Next, I tried www. dell. com. I enjoyed being able to customize my own computer. The model that really caught my attention was the Inspiron E1705. The computer I configured has a Intel Duo processor, which I would prefer over the AMD, 1 GB of memory and an 80 GB hard drive. I am not concerned by the slightly smaller hard drive because I can always use the CD-RW to store data.

It also has a 17″ monitor. What really pleased me was the 3 year warranty-which includes accidental damage! It is slightly over my original budget though. Before tax, the total is $1,386. The overage is of course, less than $100. So, after careful consideration, I have decided that the Dell computer offers me a better value for my money. Even though it is more expensive, the accidental damage insurance means that I can properly protect my investment. I hope to never need it, but it is nice to know that if something does happen to it I can have it repaired.

Another big factor in my decision is the fact that Dell is a reputable company. I know people who have Dell computers, and they seem very satisfied. I also like the fact that I can return the computer if I decide I don’t like it, which makes up for not actually being able to see the computer before I buy it.

Works Cited

Electronics: Laptop Computers. Walmart. 18 November 2006. < http:// www. walmart. com/catalog/catalog. gsp? cat=4070&fromPageCatId=3951&catNavI d=3951>

Home Page. Dell. 18 November 2006. <www. dell. com>

Home Page. Tiger Direct. 18 November 2006. <www. tigerdirect. com>

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