Every Talk I Have About Buying a Laptop Goes Like This…


What follows is inevitably a search of our own , other site's reviews, , , vendor websites, and more. Everything has a glaring flaw. This one doesn't have enough RAM or CPU power, and upgrading those makes the system too expensive. That one has enough power and a great keyboard and touchpad, but is far too big and heavy. This other one has everything they want, but the battery doesn't even last 4 hours. The prospective buyer and I both agree that there are way too many models with confusing names and model numbers, many of which aren't really very different from one another.

After half an hour of searching and discussing options, we find that there are no systems that meet the criteria everyone, and I mean everyone, seems to be looking for: $700 or less (usually they want lower prices), around 4 pounds or less, attractive, good keyboard and touch pad, and powerful enough to do "everything" they want to do, including running tomorrow's apps well enough that they won't want to go through this process again real soon. And they still, for some reason that makes me bang my head against my desk, think they want an optical drive even though they can't come up with an example of why they'd need one.

That's when the question inevitably comes: "Well, is there anything coming out soon I should wait for?" Of course there is. There's always something better, just around the corner. That's why you haven't upgraded your laptop for four years. I tell them about those upcoming AMD "" chips that should end up in systems similar to today's netbooks, but offer more CPU and graphics power. I tell them about Intel's upcoming CPUs (code-named ), which will offer better battery life and far better graphics and video performance than the typical Core i3 or based laptop of today, but probably won't be in the really tiny netbook-sized systems.

Buyer: When are those coming out?

Me: Early 2011. Like first quarter, probably. But I don't know exact models and how much they'll cost.