I like them small, and strong. Laptops, that is. And mine is not so strong anymore. I currently write this post from an Asus EEEPC that I bought in December 2009 for around $450. No, I don’t have a spreadsheet with the exact cost, I am a bad PF blogger, I know…
Anyway, I have been very happy with my little laptop who has endured about 18 months of traveling to over 30 countries, he was stored in the panniers of my motorcycle, taken out every day after miles of bumpy roads, and never complained. I thought it would die when we got to Reno and rented a room to a family with a virus on their wifi but their neighbor came to fix it and a few weeks later we ended up staying with an IT professional via Airbnb who added some RAM and gave it back to me like new.
Not it bears the Guatemalan sun, the humidity, but I feel it is about to die.
And this laptop is one of my most valued possessions. It is my office, my source of income, my phone, my entertainment system, my daily source of social interaction, the heart of this blog… I call my family, chat with friends, check my investments, transfer money to live, find out if my rents were paid, watch movies, read books, and much more.
If it suddenly dies tomorrow, I could go to the next town, buy an overpriced laptop and mainly have a choice between two or three laptops that fit my size and strength criteria. I can’t really spend more than a couple of days without a connection unexpectedly, my family has to be able to reach me unless I warn them beforehand that I will be out of reach for a week. The urgency of replacing the laptop would certainly lead to a bad rushed choice.
Or, I can buy a new laptop next month on my European/maybe US trip. Better quality, better price, free delivery probably, no import taxes on the way back. I hate waste, so would I use the old laptop until it dies, and then risk opening a brand new laptop to find it faulty after weeks in the humidity? I could keep using the old one to download movies (not good for your hard drive) and the new one for text and internet. Or have BF sell the old one to recoup my costs, he is really good at selling and bartering stuff.
Or, I hope that it doesn’t die so soon, and by the time it eventually passes, go and buy a new laptop from the nearby town. What if I am screaming wolf and it really has a year more to live? If that happens twelve months from now, I would save my cash from twelve months, and get a better laptop than I would right now. Those things change so fast. I have a 120Gb drive and I think the norm is 500Gb now. Maybe in a year it will be 750Gb.
Do I really need all that? Not really. Rare are the people who use their computers at capacity. I am pretty sure we could all have 10 year old laptops and be just fine, but we want bigger, faster all the time. And companies would have nothing to sell us if they admitted we don’t need half the stuff our computers can do.
Bearing that in mind, I could take my laptop to get a quick clean and fix at a local store. How much longer would that buy me, no idea. How good would the job be, another unknown parameter. It would be better to do it before a problem occurs, have a little spring cleaning and see how long it lasts performing fast.
I have a theory that the first generation of items is the best and sturdiest. Brands want a good, flawless image. My EEEPC is first generation and friends who bought a year after me have problems with theirs. Keeping it would make sense.
What would you do? Any brand you recommend if I buy a new laptop? Have you made a backup recently?
This post was featured in Outlier Model, thanks!