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Should I buy a new laptop?

Should I buy a new laptop?

In eager finger-licking/drooling anticipation of Civilization 4 coming out and watching most of my social life disappear in a haze of “go on, one more turn…”, I’ve been gradually upgrading bits of my PC. The RAM’s gone up, and I bought a second-hand Radeon 9800 Pro card via eBay.

Unfortunately, this card has reminded me just why I shouldn’t buy electronic goods off eBay. With the help of codmate (get well soon!), I’d got the card working enough to play the Call of Duty 2 demo, so I thought all was fine and dandy.

But no. The card freezes up after 10 minutes of play. Of Civilization IV, not only the most important game of 2005, but it’s not exactly a Doom 3 or a Quake 4, is it?

This combines itself with the realisation that in the future incarnation of my life (next year), I may well be spending a lot more time on trains and at the parents’ house, and could really do with a portable computing solution. And next year, I’ll need to edit a friends’ wedding video footage into some semblance of linear storytelling for their DVD.

So the question is, do I spend £100 now on a new graphics card, or decide to go for a gorgeous new laptop?

And if I do go for a laptop, do I go for a power-hungry one with all the bells and whistles that might only last an hour on a train or break my shoulders with a huge battery, or a small and sleek one that’ll last forever but I won’t be able to do much more than emails on it?

And if I do buy one, do I buy one here, pop to the USA for a weekend to get one that’ll be cheaper, or wait till I’m in Hong Kong for one gloriously busy night and see if i can find a bargain there? Because I’m all about the bargains.

Never mind the fact I’m not sure how I can pay for it all in the long run!


  • I'd go for Hong Kong. You can pick up some great bargins there, particularly in Mongkok, and other parts of Kowloon. Plus thigs are cheaper over there in general, and as the HK$ rate is linked to the US$ things should be even cheaper. Everything may be in Cantonese though.

    And Civ 4 is truely worth splashing out on.

  • Skarlett

    Couldn't you get the $100 upgrade now, and then when you have your night of adventure in Hong Kong get the laptop?
    At least that way you have SOME distraction for the time being 🙂

  • I'd go for the US!

    But more to the point… why will you be spending more time on trains and at parents? Are you giving up the bachelor pad?

  • Seems everyone's assuming there's going to be a new laptop. Me too. As for whether you want power over stamina, that'll all depend on when you expect to use it.

    I'm very happy with my HP widescreen laptop (dv1139ea) but then I don't use it for gaming (I don't think the onboard graphics are up to much). The three hour battery life and (relatively) light weight makes it great for travelling, though.

  • You'd really get along well with my husband! LOL

  • DAMN! I'd completely forgotten about Civ4 … mmmm Civ.

  • Adrian

    Ah, for the joy of having an excuse to buy a new computer…

    I do love the idea of a shiny new laptop, and would probably go middle of the road ie 14-15" screen – big enough to do video editing, not too big to use on the train or carry about.

    But if I wasn't doing that much travelling, I would much rather have a gorgeous desktop. I hate the cramped keyboard.

    Personally I'm a mac man, but since you're into games you have to think Vaio.

  • Hi, if i buy a laptop here in the u.s will it still work as normal back home in the U.K? Or willl the power converstion from 110 to 240 be different?

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