I was tempted by a $300 laptop on sale this weekend. I finally decided not to, because it didn’t have a web-cam, and my laptop is still working, though with one broken hinge I can expect it to give up the ghost at any time. Or it might putt-putt along for years. It’s fine for couch web-surfing, but I’m hesitant to actually take it anywhere for fear of abruptly causing the inevitable. Since I replaced the hard drive and re-installed Windows XP it’s also running so well that I don’t even bother booting into Ubuntu Linus any more.
The other reason that I didn’t buy, besides being terminally broke and having a transmission replacement looming over my head, is that the release of Windows 7 is on the horizon. Most computer purchases will receive a free upgrade, but not computers with Windows Home Basic. From all reports if you have the choice it’s better to wait for Windows 7, which will ship on all new computers in a few months. Most users can pre-order an upgrade for only $50, depending on the version, so if you are the least bit unhappy with your current version of windows it’s definitely worth looking into.