Okay, I’ve been using a Dell laptop heavily since I got it about 2 1/2 years ago, as a gift. I use it daily for several hours total. It’s used for notetaking in class at college, for IM (which is my phone, since I can’t really use the phone), for burning CDs (legit ones, from iTunes), working on my many books and stories that I hope to publish eventually, and for everything related to school. So, it is a very crucial piece of equipment for me, and I take it many places with me in an (expensive but worth it) laptop backpack.
But it is wearing out–showing signs of it–both physically and computationally. The case is coming apart slightly. I’ve already had to replace the keyboard. Randomly it will give me the blue screen of death, and the graphics driver had to be reinstalled, and about 1/3 of the time it will refuse to shut down properly. Dell support is not very good, either, and if it dies, then I will have to ship it off to get it repaired, meanwhile, what if it is finals week?
I do have an external hard drive, but I have to back up stuff manually, and I don’t always have time to do that.
However, it is under the Dell warranty for 4 years total.
I did get a loan refund–unsubsidized Stafford loan money that I didn’t need to use for school this summer–to the tune of $2000. (it’s for other school expenses, too, but I live at home, so…) Right now it’s just sitting in my bank account, since I won’t spend it on frivolous stuff. I want to use this money to get a Macbook–it has a DVD burner which I had been hoping to have for the classes I’m teaching homeschoolers (a DVD of some of the performances). A Macbook has better photo editing capability, lasts longer, runs faster (Dell is driving me nuts, after trying out other Macs), and generally won’t act up on me. Also, we have a Apple store in town, so I can just take it over there to get it repaired quickly, under warranty.
The tricky part. My parents. It is my loan money. But Dad’s getting the pinch at work–not allowed to teach so many classes for extra money anymore–Mom said he wouldn’t be able to help me very much. But to be honest, I’ve been paying school costs myself already. I’ve got about 2,500 in loan money left over after all other school expenses, from this last year. And I will be getting even more loan leftovers this school year. Mom said it’s my money, so I can do what I want, but I won’t be getting support from her, and less so from Dad, if I get a laptop, let alone a Macbook.
It does have warranty time left, but I can’t really spare it for so long to mail it in for any repairs. And the warranty doesn’t cover everything, just the basics. However, their argument is that it’s still under warranty. I had planned to give my Dell to my younger siblings so they can use it for schoolwork, and they can use the warranty remaining, and that way I don’t have to worry about it crashing on me. I’d have a new laptop, and save myself worrying during the school year about “is it going to act up on me”?
I guess my question is–sorry for the post being so long–is, is it worth it to get a new laptop with my unused loan money for peace of mind, or should I wait until I have my parents’ full support for spending my money? (which would be only after a serious crash).
I’d appreciate opinions, please Thanks!