The handwriting has been on my wall for a while.
Since April, my primary computer has been my Dell XPS 15 laptop. It has a fast motherboard, 8 GB RAM, 750 GB at 7500 HD, a backlit keyboard, high def monitor, a DVD that plays Blu-Ray, and a 9-cell battery. It weighs like a cannonball.
I use a lap desk with two fans to cool it. I treat it well, keep it clean. It’s never been dropped.
WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?
Glad you asked. The graphics card is inadequate. It’s a card with both sound and graphics on it, so I can’t listen to anything while I work in Photoshop. And even so, it locks. It used to recover and knowing the source of the problem, (insufficient video RAM), I rebooted frequently. Mostly, it was okay. Lately, it has stopped recovering. It goes down, stays down. Hard crashes and blue screens of death.
Last week, it gave me a black screen — fatal error — which told me it did not recognize its power source. It was plugged into an AC outlet, so I suspect the battery is starting to go.
For months now, it has refused to install Microsoft updates, except antivirus. I figured I didn’t really need the updates, but I’d have to be stupid to not see the warnings. My faithful laptop is getting tired. Some day soon, it’s going to quit.
I bought this computer in March 2012. It was refurbished, a year old when I got it. Buying refurbished let me buy more computer. I had gotten serious about blogging. Also, recently out of the hospital. I had (have) a desktop, but I needed a laptop. This was top of the line then, and if you look at the specs, it is still better than 90% of the new computers on the market … except it has grown old. For two and a half years, this laptop has taken whatever I threw at it without (much) complaint. What it did in the year before I got it, I have no way of knowing except that it had some mileage on it.
I could wait until it dies. Probably in the middle of writing a post. Not a smart move, especially considering the issues swirling around Microsoft. Namely, Windows 8. I hate Windows 8.
BUT WHY DON’T YOU BUY A MAC?
With all of its quirks, Microsoft never screwed me over the way Apple did. Every expensive Apple computer I bought was obsolete mere weeks after buying it. Apple always assured me the new machine would be upgradeable. They lied. In 1999, they did it again. I had barely had time to set up the new system before Apple made it obsolete.
“This is,” I said aloud, “the last time Apple is going to screw me.”
I donated the Apple to my alma mater. I bought the most powerful Windows 98 PC I could afford, which — with upgrades — ran flawlessly for 6 years. I never bought another Macintosh product until an iPhone snuck into my world a year ago.
I want nothing to do with Macs. I don’t like the inaccessibility of the operating system or the hardware. I don’t find it intuitive. I find it confusing and annoying. I want a PC, thank you. But not Windows 8. From what I’m hearing, I don’t want the upcoming Windows 10, either.
BUY NOW OR DIE LATER
Which put me into a bind. Windows 7 machines are disappearing. Even a few weeks ago, there were more choices. Despite the other issues we have, I need a new laptop. This is what credit is for … and that’s why I buy from Dell. Because when no one else would give me credit, they did.
SO WHAT DID YOU ORDER? TELL ALL, PLEASE!
Possibly for the first time, I got enough computer to do what I need to do. It’s a gaming laptop, Alienware 14. It has 16 gigs of RAM, a dedicated 2 gig video card. DVD reader/writer. High definition graphics. Heavier than I’d like at 6 pounds, but nothing lighter had all the features I want.
Here are the specs for my fellow geeks:
- 4th Gen Intel Core i7-4710MQ processor (6MB Cache, up to 3.5GHz w/ Turbo Boost)
- 14.0 inch WLED FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS Anti-Glare Display
- 16GB Dual Channel DDR3L 1600MHz (2x8GB)
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M with 2GB GDDR5
- Intel 802.11n/ac Wireless and Bluetooth 4.0 driver
- 1TB 5400RPM SATA 6Gb/s
- Windows 7 Professional 64 bit Service Pack 1, English, w/Media
- Optical Drive : Slot-Loading 8x SuperMulti Drive (DVD/R/RW)
- Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 @ 5GHz + Bluetooth 4.0
- Backlit English Keyboard
- US 110V Power Cord
- Battery : Primary 6-cell 69W/HR
- Power Supply : Alienware 150W AC Adapter
- Alienware 14 Silver Anodized Aluminum
It won’t be here till the beginning of November, but I think I’m good until then. I sure hope so!
Oh, they threw in a free 7″ Android tablet. I don’t know what I’ll do with it, but I guess I’ll figure it out. And a $150 gift card. For accessories.