Death to Dellatron. What kind of computer should I buy next?

I think my computer may be headed to the electronics graveyard soon. The ole Dellatron (my nickname for my laptop) runs slow, the battery is totally dead (so it always has to be plugged in) and the fan makes funny noises. I’ve deleted all the programs I don’t use anymore – like Matlab, the last remains of my days of a grad student, and cleaned up my music and pictures, cleaned the fan and air vents out, but nothing has really helped. I’m afraid one of these days it’s just not going to start up. I imagine that’s probably every blogger’s worst nightmare though.

Even though I don’t like the idea, it looks like I may need a new laptop soon. It’s been 5 years since I bought Dellatron, so I guess she’s had a good run. If ole Dellatron can hold out until I get my tax refund back, I’m thinking I’ll use my refund to buy a new laptop instead of dipping into my savings. If Dellatron doesn’t last that long, it won’t be the of the world, I can cover the cost of a new computer with what I’ve got saved up. There’s no way around it, if Dellatron dies, it has to be replaced, so I’ll suck it up and shell out the money. First world problems huh?

I still have to figure out what kind of new computer to get. I use my computer primarily to:

  • Store photos (many), music (some), and movies (a few)
  • Blog of course
  • Do all my financial stuff. I love me some spreadsheets.
  • Do office work (presentations, document processing)
  • Do other random stuff like keep the family tree (1200 relatives and counting!), google sketchup designs and some photo editing. Now that I have a fancier camera, I have bigger photos and I’m really interested in maybe getting Photoshop or Illustrator and doing more graphic design stuff, so it would be nice to have a computer that could handle that stuff too.

The big decision is of course: Mac vs. PC. I’ve used PCs all my life, so I’m really familiar with them, I don’t hate Bill Gates or Microsoft, and they are cheap. Macs, on the other hand, are pretty slick looking machines, less prone to viruses and the effects of crap software, but are significantly more expensive. I’m going to have so start researching a little more, but I’d love to hear your opinion. What kind of machine do you have? What would you recommend? Any brands out there you wouldn’t even buy for your cat to sleep on?


Categories: Spending, Unavoidable Costs | Tags: , , , | 12 Comments

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12 thoughts on “Death to Dellatron. What kind of computer should I buy next?

  1. Not sure about a new one but mine has similar issues…slow, funny fan noises, can’t really leave it unplugged but I just did a defrag and it improved the speed quite a bit. If you haven’t already tried that, it could be an option. 🙂 Good luck.

  2. Vanessa

    I think that you should get a Mac (this from a pc user!) since I hear they’re better for editing/graphic design etc.

    The cost is something to consider though. How much are you willing to pay for sleekness/fewer problems? There’s a lot of MacBook crime in my area but if I needed a desktop it would most probably be a Mac.

    • Yup, Macs are expensive. I’m hoping the higher cost will equal a longer life. I’m not too concerned about crime out here in the boonies, but that’s something to keep in mind if I take it traveling.

  3. I like Lenovo Thinkpads. But if you want a Mac the Mac Airs are quite sleek.

    • I’m a little hesitant about Lenovo’s because that’s what we use at work. My work computer constantly boots itself up after I’ve shut it down. I often wonder if it has gremlins inside.

  4. Megan

    I would’ve recommended Mac before I setup one for my sister. I had it for 2 weeks and still didn’t know how to do everything.
    And a friendly suggestion from IT, please backup! Even if it’s just using Dropbox (free online) for the critical files, you never know when it will die. (My laptop died after 18months, I almost cried)

  5. SWR

    I love my MacBook Pro. I am on my computer most of the day (notes for class, projects, etc.) and it still runs like it’s brand new, even though it’s almost two years old.

    My partner has a PC that’s just as old that he only lightly uses (occasional movies and music, email at home..etc) that’s just now starting to slow down.

    I’ve had a PCs in the past – a Dell and a Sony. The Dell was just fine; used it all the time like I do my Mac. I HATED the Sony. That thing was always freezing/shutting down/randomly in the shop for strange problems.

    • I’ve had two Dells, both of which I haven’t had any problems with except a bad battery and the usual PC slowdown after a couple years. I’m leaning towards a Mac because they don’t seem to get so clogged up. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

  6. fupher

    Oh wow, so I googled “I’m afraid I’ll buy a laptop I hate” and a link to this post was 4th. I too have a 5 year old dell, with a dead battery (that I’m sick of replacing) that is always plugged in. I call mine “dellapidated.”
    I’m staying away from Dell because of the battery/power supply issues. I suppose of all the things to replace, these are the easiest/cheapest, but it’s still a major annoyance.
    Right now I’m looking at Toshiba and Samsung. (No macs right now due to pricing). I’m also curious, as this post is a month old, if you’ve replaced yours yet and if so, what you decided. I’m also realizing that you may have done this and posted about it making this comment moot, but I’m going to post anyway. 😀

    • ‘Dellapidated’ haha, that’s awesome. I still haven’t replaced mine yet, I’ve decided to wait until June or July before I buy another laptop. I am leaning pretty heavily towards a Mac though, because I want something that will handle my photography hobby. I’m hoping too that I’ll be able to use my sisters education discount to help bring down the price.

      A friend of mine has a toshiba and it’s a solid little machine. She’s had it three years now without a problem.

      • Renee

        I’ve heard that’s a good time buy with going back to school specials and whatnot, and an extra discount will be sweet!! Macs are definitely starting to tug at me, but I’m in that “I need to be a cheap ass” category, lol. 😀

        But that’s awesome, thank you for the toshiba recommendation.

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