November 12th, 2009

supernatural dean huh?

Calling all techies! :) Help! Help!

OK, so a) I am up for a new phone on my new every two plan from Verizon, and have no idea what to get, and b) after seven faithful years, I think this laptop is really due for replacement. Or a solemn burial. And now, I need adviiiiiice! :) cleolinda gave me some really good tips gleaned from her experience during the Compocalypse '09* (which will hopefully be ending soon when she gets her Dell), but the more info the merrier, considering the last time I laptop shopped was 7 years ago via my law school saying, "Here. Everyone, you get this. It's a Dell. $3,000, please," and the way I generally phone shop is calling up my best friend from home, whose contract typically renews about a month before mine, and going, "Hey, what did you get? Do you like it?" and then getting the same thing. I may do that anyway, but maybe I should step it up a little and actually look around.

So. Here's what I'm looking for (and please don't laugh at me! Yes, I know I taught myself to code in HTML and Javascript and yet I don't know how you tell if the phone I want to buy can get the Internet. Shutup).

a) PHONE. With New Every Two's online discounts, I can pretty much pick any phone up to $150 or so and get it free. So I have A BUNCH of choices. I have the LG enV right now (in army green! It is cute!). To date, I have never not had an LG phone, and they seem to hold up really well; but I'm always interested in hearing other opinions. Before I got the enV I almost never texted, and when I got it I was all, "WOE, it's not a traditional flip phone and it's bigger than my last one b/c of the keyboard!" but now I am spoiled, and I text people a lot (ESPECIALLY PEOPLE IN ENGLAND O HAI THERE BRITISH FRIENDS) so I want my new phone to have the QWERTY board. My current one has a 2.0 megapixel camera/video, so that or better is another thing I want. I like small phones. And I...might want to get a data plan, i.e. The Internet. Is that only practical on a BlackBerry or the like, or are there phones where it's not too annoying to use? Is it really, really expensive? Is it usually a flat rate, or by use? Is it supported on my current phone? I don't even know this. I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING, PEOPLE. MY TECHNOLOGY HAILS FROM THE DARK AGES. ALSO, GET OFF MY LAWN.

I see they have a new enV (enV3), so I could always go with that.** And there's the LG Chocolate, but I have an iPod Classic I don't plan to give up, so I don't know if that's the best choice. And then there's the LG Versa (is that a touch screen one? It looks like it. Not sure how big a fan I am of the touch screens, but I've never really used one...). There's a Motorola Rival with a QWERTY keyboard. In "PDA & Smartphones" I can get either the HTC Ozone or the Samsung Omnia (another touch screen) for free. AND THEN we have the BlackBerrys: BlackBerry Curve 8330, Storm 9530, 8830 World Edition, and 8703e are all free under my contract. DO YOU SEE WHY I AM CONFUSED?

So...um...thoughts on phones?


b) COMPUTER. Since I can only really afford one computer, my new computer is going to be a laptop. And since my Dell has held on (granted, with repairs, but still) for SEVEN YEARS, I am going to start by deciding to get another Dell. I have done *some* research, and have decided, like any sane person after seeing the comparison tests, to go with Windows 7 over Vista. That's as far as I've gotten.

NOW COMES THE HARD PART. You guys, have you looked at the Dell site lately? There's the Latitude (my current laptop is a Latitude D600), the Vostro, the "Precision Mobile Workstation," the Inspiron, the Studio, the XPS, the Studio XPS, the Adamo, and "Gaming Laptops." I don't even know where to start! (I could do what I do with phones, and go, "Hey, Cleo got this one, maybe I'll just go with that since we do a lot of the same computer things!" But I think that is not, perhaps, the best way to decide how to spend upwards of $1000. So. Here's what I want:

1) Speeeeeed. I am SO over having a laptop that is slow as all get-out. Plsgivemenewfastcomputerkthx. I multitask, and I want a computer that can handle the internet, MS Office, Photoshop, Illustrator, iTunes, and a million other things all going at once without either choking or slowing down.

2) Good graphics/strong video card and all that jazz. Because I do graphic-y things a lot, I design websites, I edit photos, I watch movies, and heck, I may even play a game now and again.

3) A CD/DVD player and possibly (if I can afford it) a burner too. What's this I hear about Blu-Ray? How much does that cost?

4) Right now I connect to the internet with a USB thingie. Do they build that stuff in now? I feel like maybe they do. Am I crazy? *shakes cane at the kids on the lawn*

5) Not too heavy, if possible. Also, long-lasting battery. Also, enough USB ports that I can plug in my mouse and my external drive and my camera-thingie and my wireless (if needed). If that is even possible. Also, good customer service and warranty with replacement parts if needed.

6) BIG storage and memory and a kick-ass processor. What's the difference between duo and dual core?

7) What software does a laptop come with these days? I need MS Office, obvs. a browser (Firefox, ho!), Photoshop, and some other stuff. I think I still have my ooooold Photoshop Elements CD somewhere. I THINK. Um.

8) AS CHEAP AS POSSIBLE BECAUSE I AM SO, SO POOR.


So...computer advice, pls? :)


*Favorite Compocalypse entry title: "Compocalypse '09: Your Oxen Have Died" HEEE.

**The phones listed here are all the ones I can get free under my plan. No others.