I was shopping for a budget notebook not for myself but for my other half. I was "given" the liberty to decide on the spec. The budget? Around RM2,000 or less.
The Lappie Hunt
So came PC Fair 2008 in KL last weekend and my plan was to get the new lappie there. I went to the venue on Friday but alas, all the car parks around the area were full!
I could have queued in line but I didn't have the luxury of time. I had to get the notebook that very day as the following day I had to head to Ipoh to "deliver" the new lappie.
In the end, I settled for an Acer Aspire 4715z for slightly less than RM2,000 at an Acer roadshow at MidValley Megamall. I believe it's a good deal and the specs are as follows: Pentium Dual Core 1.86Ghz, 1GB RAM (upgraded to 2GB), 160GB HDD, DVD Writer, WiFi ready, webcam (super clear!), Windows Vista Basic, 1-year Acer warranty, and a host of trial-wares (McAffee anti-virus, Office Home and Student 2007, games, etc.).
3G-ing with Celcom Broadband
Coupled with a Huawei 3G USB modem (on Celcom 3G broadband), the Acer-Vista combination worked beautifully. From Ipoh, I was able to get 300-400kbps on the downlink and 80-90kbps on the uplink. Ping times to local servers were in the 200-400ms range -- a little big on latency but not surprising for a wireless broadband technology.
A day later, we were in Teluk Intan. 3G is achievable there but the connection is not as fast as what we got in Ipoh. However, there is no 3G reception in a remote village in Bagan Pasir (quite expected); nevertheless, GPRS is still available.
The weekend hunt for a budget laptop ended well. My other half was happy with the buy. Now she can boast that her notebook is better than mine. I'm full of envy!