I went and did it. :)

Okay *takes a deep breath* We bought a laptop computer. *screams* It cost a little under $1,500, but it will be well worth it because we plan on keeping it for a long time. I went with HP because I am scared to use any other PC manufacturer. That sounds really uneducated, but that’s the power of brands for you. It is an HP dv9700t series notebook and I started with their recommended configuration. I really didn’t even look too much to reviews for this laptop and I’m only finding out about it. Talk about an impulse purchase, but honestly I would not call it an impulse purchase because there is a need for a second PC at home and compared to the specs of my former dream laptop, this dv9700t blows that dv6700t right out of the park for around the same price (~ $1404 for the former dream laptop versus around $1440 for my new dream laptop)! Check out some of the specifications:

Operating system: Upgrade to Genuine Windows Vista Ultimate with Service Pack 1 (64-bit). Note: This was the best case scenario because as you will see in my previous dream laptop specifications, I was willing to settle for Vista Home Premium. The major thing about Vista Ultimate (for me) is the Bitlocker hard drive encryption i.e. no one can steal anything because you can be sure I’ll keep the data encrypted. Ultimate is pretty much a merger of Vista Home Premium and Vista Business. Visit the Microsoft comparison site to see the differences between the Vista editions. Clearly, Vista Ultimate was part of the dream laptop configuration so I’m happy with my choice. See the priceless quote: “In my dream HP laptop, I’m running Vista Ultimate with 3GB of memory …” I got my wish and more. 🙂
Processor :   Intel(R) Core(TM) 2 Duo Processor T8100 (2.10GHz)
Display: 17.0″ diagonal WXGA+ High-Definition HP BrightView Widescreen Display (1440 x 900). Note: This laptop is just shy of 7lbs. M & I both wanted something that we would not have to peer at so the 17 inch monitor was definitely a need. My current monitor for the desktop PC is a 17-inch HP Pavilion f1703 and I think we will be able to cope with the size of the laptop. However, since I’ve looked at actualy 17″ laptops, I have to say they are HUGE. lol. Definitely not a mobility laptop, but that’s fine because I’ll be too scared to tote it around anyway.
Memory: 50% OFF 4GB DDR2 System Memory (2 Dimm) Note: Previously, I said I was fine with 3 gigabytes of memory. Well, as you can see, there was a promotion so we went with the maximum memory i.e. 4 GB of RAM.
Graphics card: 50% OFF 512MB NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GS Note: Again, another best case scenario. In the previous dv6700t configuration of mine, I selected a 256MB Nvidia GeForce 8400M graphics processing unit (GPU), but the promotion offered half of a newer Nvidia GPU model. This Nvidia graphics card will provide support for viewing high definition video files so I’m definitely looking forward to eye-popping graphics on the web.
Hard drive: 250GB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive
Personalization: HP Imprint (Radiance) + Microphone + Fingerprint Reader + Webcam
Networking: Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 4965AGN Network Connection and Bluetooth(TM) CD/DVD drive: LightScribe SuperMulti 8X DVD+/-RW with Double Layer Support
Battery: High Capacity 8 Cell Lithium Ion Battery

Now, I had a little bit of buyer’s remorse because I went PC shopping with my father-in-law and he is really frugal. I definitely hope to emulate him in that respect, but I got my decision to get that laptop affirmed by a really knowledgeable associate at Office Max. 😀 Now, after purchasing the laptop, I immediately realised that I had skimped on a really cool part of the laptop i.e. getting an HP ExpressCard Digital/Analog TV Tuner. There was a promotion running for 40% off the price and I don’t recall why I decided that the TV tuner would have to go. Well, I’ve since been racking my brain for a way to get this TV tuner and I am happy to say that I’ve found a solution that I can live with. I will let you know how it turns out because I don’t want to jinx it. lol.

Now that I’ve scratched my itch to get a kick-ass laptop, I’m still convinced that this is not the laptop that M needs to be lugging around. In fact, today is the 3rd day in GA for the no sales tax weekend so I’m definitely leaning towards getting him a lower-end laptop for under $600 because he will be away from home when his classes start in the fall. I don’t think I can let my “baby” i.e. the laptop out of my sight for that long. lol. I should have listened to my sister-in-law’s husband who was sceptical about whether I would truly let M use my computer. Well, I’ve got