"… many users — college students among them — still need laptops that survive away from desks and power outlets. Neither heavy "desktop replacements" nor ultralight netbooks with tiny screens and cramped keyboards work in that scenario.
"This piece is for those shoppers. What should they consider when looking for a new laptop?"
A good article. (Update: Per Rob Pegararo's tweet, I'm including a link to his original article in the Washington Post (other coast)at http://bit.ly/LQkOR, and his accompanying blog post at http://bit.ly/eoAX0.)
In addition, I offer some additional information, recommendations and colour commentary in my recent post "It's nearly back to school time: here's info on buying a new PC"
But I don't agree with Rob's assessment WRT upgrades…
"Both releases look promising, but history suggests that Apple's upgrade will be easier than Microsoft's."
Hmmm... I just completed the upgrades of a couple of machines this weekend to Windows 7 RTM and it went flawless. Many new PCs you might purchase today may also come with a free upgrade to Windows 7 once it ships (aka: general availability or "GA") on on October 22.
(Added 081609) Also, after reading Rob's blog post, I disagree with his assessment on the crop of PCs out there..
Once again, the Dell was boring, clean and affordable; the H-P looked stylish but suffered from a high price and a lame set of add-on software; the Toshiba was not so stylish and had an even worse software bundle.
Wow. I agree that the really low-end machines may not win any style contests, but I've been pleasantly surprised by many of the new, fairly sleek machines. In the mini notebook category, the HP 2140 mini notebook, and the new crop of laptops from Toshiba (like the PC Mag's Editors' Choice Toshiba mini NB200 companion PC) take the cake, as do the newer models from Acer, MSI and Dell. Plus the sleek new Toshiba Portege R600 is quite nice in the more expensive ultralight notebooks, Not to mention new PCs from Sony, Lenovo, HP and particularly the new Dell Adamo.
I agree with the comment that Rob should revisit this post later in the year after a few models ship with Windows 7… say, around late October. 😉
For more on upgrades to Windows 7 once it arrives publicly, I also offer Ed Bott's update to the Windows 7 upgrade chart. A good read.
Want to find out more about what laptop is right for you? Check out the Microsoft Windows Laptop Hunters site where you'll find more information on choosing a new laptop computer via the "PC Chooser" wizard, as well as links to our Windows Laptop Scout site.
Also available @ http://bit.ly/4tRwkt