Monday, August 13, 2012

Electronic Agonization Part 1

How dependent we are on our little gadgets.

Saturday, after trying to limp along a laptop with a cracked case (caused, according to my son, by a loose screw!) the hinge broke.  I knew this was going to happen, but was still not totally prepared for it.

So I am going to ask you, my reader, for some help. (No contest, no prizes, just the satisfaction of helping a fellow blogger). 

I need a portable device I can comfortably blog and email on. It has to have a screen big enough for the eyes of a 60ish nearsided person.  It needs to have some keyboard device that an excellent touch typist can comfortably use.  It's as simple as that.
This is what I've done so far:

Brought to where I bought it (a computer store). Find they are now closed on weekends.

Took to Staples.  Quoted $349.  No way.

Now what?  I am going to check with the computer store above later today-actually my long-suffering spouse will, while I am at work.  I also have the phone number of someone who repairs computers and did work for my guest photographer.  But I fear the price will not be right.  I am lucky right now - I can blog and email on an old desktop.  But I already miss my laptop terribly.

When the crack in the case first appeared to be fatal, a neighbor let me test-drive his new Google Tablet (officially called an Asus Nexus 7).  He showed me the on/off switch, and how to charge it, and left me to check it out.  Trusting man, him. (yes, I did return it.)

I'll report on the Nexus 7 later.  (I also got the chance to test-drive an iPad last week).

In addition to my main needs above, this device needs to be able to:
1.  take pictures off my camera (yes, I have an iPhone but I still use my camera. A lot.) for my blog, and general emailing purposes;
2.  Email (yes, I still use email), Twitter, and (sigh) Facebook.
3.  I would like to be able to read Word documents.  I use Excel, but not that much, and I am not that good at it.  But I do use Excel sometimes to keep track of financial stuff.
4. Good battery life. I've already lived with my present laptop's 2 hour battery life.  I need better than that.
5.  Weight.  Yes, lighter would be nicer.
6.  Last  (but not least) price.  I'm afraid if I get a tablet, the "add-on"s will add up to as much as a new laptop.  (but would I be happy with a $500 laptop?  Maybe.  I don't game, except for FarmVille.)

There's the part of me that rebels against even starting this exercise.  My almost 60 year old mind, dragged kicking and screaming is shouting "leave me alone!  Can't you just curl up with a good book?"

No, I can't, and, come to think of it, a tablet would also make a good eReader, as long as I didn't have to read in the sun.

So, I am asking you, my readers, to help me make this decision.  What should replace my PC laptop?

PC laptop? (what I use now)
Mac taptop? (probably not but it is in the back of  my mind.)


  1. Here's what I would suggest: Back away from the retail stores!! Contact a local computer guru and see what they'll charge to fix your laptop and invest the difference in an iPad. I have a friend that does those types of things and he is very reasonable with his rates. For a hinge fix, he'd probably charge around $30 or so. Reason: You have an iPhone and you need a laptop but your iPad will be good for travel and the apps (like Evernote) work harmoniously with all three. Syncing things should also be easier between Apple products because they are made to work as a team. Just my suggestion.

    1. Thank you Jo (and others who gave me advice via email or Facebook.) I was given the number of a repairman a friend knows and his minimum charge for work is $65. The computer store I bought the laptop at quoted $99 labor plus the new case etal will be between $50 and $100 (they should know tomorrow). I think I will get it fixed where I bought it-they have a good reputation-for that price and look at tablets. I don't have a Mac laptop, by the way, but a PC. Interesting, two people I know who own and use Macs told me to stick with PC's.


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