Trading in the Hennin for a New Laptop

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A few weeks ago I asked readers to decide a debate the husband and I were having over spending the money on an additional laptop for our home. They have spoken. Here is our new laptop reveal, and a peek into how it has changed our quality of life for the better.

A couple of weeks ago I asked you all to help solve a debate that had been going on in our household.  We were competing for computer time (and therefore missing out on time with each other.)  I thought we needed better time management skills.  He thought we needed a second laptop.  That sounded excessive to me.  So I asked you all to weigh in.  This sums up the overwhelming response:


And this was me:

Realizing you're behind the technology curve...

Because you guys are not spendthrifts.  I guess I’m just old-fashioned.  Like one-computer-per-house old fashioned.  Which according to my math makes my opinions literally ten years old, but in our high-paced tech world, makes me a dinosaur.  Or a fifteenth century woman.

At your advice, I caved.  It really has made our lives so much better.  We can both work at the same time, which results in less arguments as we both push deadlines, and more time together as we’re not twiddling our thumbs waiting for the other to finish.

A major concern was how we were going to afford this.  Chela suggested an HP Stream, as she found one pretty cheap.  We knew we wanted to be in the $200-300 range, but we still had to save up the money because I wasn’t willing to steal from our house fund.

Then something awesome happened.  I got offered a day of work that’s rare in the summer for me.  It gave me the funds to go out shopping.  Shopping we went.  We looked at Macs, as they have an awesome student discount program, but even with the discount they were way, way too expensive.  While they’re awesome, they had a lot of features that were outside of our needs.

Next we checked out Best Buy because they also have some pretty rad student discounts, and my husband is a college student.  We ended up deciding on a HP Stream like Chela recommended.  We compared prices, and found that Best Buy’s was priced fairly.  We couldn’t find any others new for a lesser price, though some places, like Amazon, also had it listed right at $200:

I’m an Amazon Affiliate.

It ended up not being one of the models that qualified for the student discount, but it was still cheaper than most of them would have been even with the discount.  And it serves our needs.  I need to blog.  I need to get articles in by deadlines.  I need to do some editing with PicMonkey.  And I need to access Microsoft Office.

I’m pretty darn happy with it so far.  It’s cute.  Which is an added bonus I didn’t take into consideration when shopping.  It’s lightweight.  It’s functional.  And it was affordable.  There are a couple of cons to it.  It doesn’t have a lot of storage space.  BUT, something else I learned as I was emerging from the dark ages is that I can use an SD card as storage space. (They’re for more than just cameras, apparently.)  So that’s a non-issue.  Also the mouse is kind of wonky.  But I have a USB plug-in mini mouse, anyways.  Plus it gives me the motivation I need to get the thing attracting radiation waves  for wi-fi access away from my actual lap.  Doing so has also helped ergonomics.  Not that it’s a feature of the computer.  It’s just that the negative has turned out to be a positive as it forces me to get out of my own laziness that was potentially damaging my health.

Because of the negatives, the husband thinks I should return it and hit the market again.  But he doesn’t have to use it.  You guys were pretty sage with the last debate I put up to you, so I’ll ask you to weigh in on this one, too.  Would you return a computer because of a weird mouse if you already had a functional solution?  I don’t think I’m going to.  But if you all tell me he’s right again (because sometimes I am very obviously wrong,) can you recommend one that fits our budget, allows me to work on or off wi-fi in Microsoft Office, has a mouse that won’t force me to use my USB solution, and is free of any other little quirks?

Thanks for helping us solve this one.  We’ve gotten a good chunk of our lives back thanks to the decision.  And it only cost $200.  Which, in my book, is worth it.

20 thoughts on “Trading in the Hennin for a New Laptop

    1. femmefrugality Post author

      Yeah that’s where I’m at. If I didn’t already have the USB mouse, it might be another story .

  1. Kayla @ Add-Vodka

    I’m glad you decided to get a second computer. Getting a new computer last fall was amazing for me too. It sped up my work and make my freelancing much easier as I no longer had to wait on my old old old computer to get up and running. I also upgraded my internet router when I discovered it was not working up to it’s potential any more (since it was 10+ years old).

    1. femmefrugality Post author

      Too funny you say that! The old one takes about 10 minutes to boot up, so when this one took a couple seconds my mind was blown! And the cable company has been leaving me voicemails non-stop to upgrade my modem. Maybe I will. Did your rental fee go up when you upgraded?

      1. femmefrugality Post author

        For me they literally called me and told me. Which is why I’m thinking there might be an increase in the price to the router rental.

        1. Kayla @ Shoeaholicnomore

          They didn’t call me. When I called them to find out why my internet was so slow on my new computer (I had thought it was the computer), I found out it was my ancient router that couldn’t handle a speed that fast.

  2. The Barefoot Minimalist

    I’d keep that bad boy! That’s dirt cheap. We ended up paying almost a grand for our second one. The hubby always thinks we need more stuff in a computer than we actually do. Good going, Femme! 🙂

    1. femmefrugality Post author

      If we ever have to replace the other one, we’ll be spending a pretty penny, too. Mostly for picture storage, but now that I know this SD trick….
      Luckily for the second I knew we didn’t need too much! Thanks, Kay!

    1. femmefrugality Post author

      Um, that’s an amazing tip. It zooms in and out for seemingly no reason, and double clicking is kind of rough, as well as highlighting. I’ll be looking into the settings now…

  3. Chonce

    I’m glad you were able to get a second computer. We are running into the same issue in my house since I dominate my bf’s computer and we also use the computer to stream television shows for my son. Someone is almost always on it throughout the day. I’m saving up to purchase my own laptop or computer by the end of the summer or by early fall.

  4. Joyce

    Welcome to the future! JK! I’m so glad you have got yourself a laptop. As far as the mouse pad I’m assuming all the new laptop are like that because mine is and I HATE IT! There’s options in your laptop to edit it to your liking but I STILL HATE IT. 😀 So I use a mouse. So no don’t return it. Learn to love it like I did…. 🙂

  5. Chela @SmashOdyssey

    OMG!! Sorry I’m late on this!! I’m so glad you got that laptop!! I literally just got a new one yesterday, too (post coming soon), and I was torn between that exact one that you got, and a Dell I ended up getting for $250. The only real difference was upgraded memory–though I too considered a memory card for the HP. We’re totally on the same wavelength! So glad this worked out!! 🙂

  6. houseoftre

    It’s amazing how cheap computers are! We picked up a new laptop for Mr. Tre to take to class last fall for less than $250. I would use my workaround and keep the computer, but that’s just cause I’m too lazy to go shopping for a new computer again 🙂

  7. Pingback: Relocating Isn’t All Bad: Pt. 5 – Seeing Friends and Family | SmashOdyssey

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