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

01.12.2010

Buyer: Should I wait for those? I wanted something before the holidays...

Me: I think those chips are pretty cool, and worth it, but it doesn't mean the laptops will have a good screen, or keyboard, or touchpad... and something better is always right around the corner. At some point you have to put a stake in the ground a just buy whatever is closest to what you want.

How do these buying advice sessions end up? Again, it surprises me how often the situation repeats itself. Half the time, I see them with a system we looked at early in our search, a system they had considered too expensive. They'll say, in a long-winded and over-justifying way, "I decided it's worth paying more to get something I really like." The other half of the time, I see them toting around a new system that doesn't meet their criteria; it's bigger and heavier than they wanted and the battery doesn't last as long as they hoped for. "It was on sale at for only $499!" they'll tell me. I'll spend the next several weeks listening to complaints about it.

Every time I go through this process, it reaffirms three major opinions of mine about the current laptop market:

1. The average person buying a laptop is on a budget, but it's often not quite as tight they say it is. Everyone would rather pay less, but they want quality.