Help choosing a budget laptop for international work?
April 25, 2014 12:20 PM Subscribe
I need a new laptop but have no idea where to begin. Reading reviews at CNET and PC Mag only confuses me more. I would really appreciate help from the MeFi community!
posted by philotes to Technology (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I’m currently in graduate school, my career is in international humanitarian and human rights work. I’ll be working in South Asia this summer and likely the MENA region in a year when I graduate, so that factors into some of my ideal-laptop qualities below:
Lightweight (strap it on a bike, carry it on a plane, haul it to my internship every day)
Must run Microsoft Office Suite (PowerPoint rules my life right now and for the foreseeable future)
Inexpensive, in the area of $500 (I know I’m asking for the moon here but I am willing to make compromises in other areas in order to keep costs low)
Ethernet port (some countries I work in have limited/no wireless internet access, I must be able to plug in)
Longevity (would really like it to last at least two years, better yet three – I know this is possible, my old $300 netbook was a champ for 3.5!)
A Kensington lock to secure it while traveling would be nice, but is not a deal breaker
Things I really don’t care about include:
Screen size (netbook size or slightly bigger is good enough for me)
How pretty it is
Keyboard feel/layout (I’ll adjust)
What I will use this computer for:
Watching language-learning DVDs (I have an external optical drive)
Metafilter (this probably should have been first on this list) & general internet surfing
Watching Netflix, if I can afford a computer that’s up for it
My brother says I have to get a new computer because Windows XP is no longer secure, and apparently waiting 45 minutes for my current netbook to start up is "unacceptable." I’ve looked at those new tablet-type things, some older ultrabooks from 2011, and other options but I can’t really tell what’s going to be right for me.
Thanks in advance for your advice!