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Good Enough vs Top of the Line Writing Tech

I love technology.  There is some sort of undeveloped engineer somewhere inside of me.
In yesterday’s post I wrote about my recent experience with process of computer repair and replacement, the importance of protecting the technology that supports my business from pets, and the need for having a service and equipment providers you trust.
There are a few more aspects of the process that I would like to highlight as potentially informative and instructional to other small or micro business owners who are struggling as a start up or just dealing with the less than optimal economic environment for small business.

Photo credit: imelenchon from morguefile.com

What I Learned

  • Zero interest consumer accounts  can help a gal out when she starts a business on a shoe-string .
  • A generous return policy allows for assessment of products and the likelihood that an unacceptable product will be replaced by a different, often more expensive product that meets the needs of the consumer.
  • Tech reviews can emerge from trials and tribulations.  I have experience with Windows 8 and with the Chromebook because of I tried them and found them to not meet my needs.
  • Open Box, or returned,  items rock.

The Chromebook

Many people, including sales reps in computer stores do not care for the Chromebook because it is not really a computer.  The Chromebook functions as a vehicle to connect to the internet.  It may work very well for writers who are looking for a portable tech product for working on cloud-based apps, Google docs, and websites.  I found that I was pleasantly surprised by the number of things that I could work on and with while using the Chromebook.
For the record I was using a Samsung Chromebook.  It had a good battery life, could connect with my WordPress sites with no problem, was just fine for accessing and altering my Google docs.  I was pleasantly surprised by the number of applications within Google Play, the equivalent of an app store, that allowed me to do many things I did not anticipate that I would be able to do.
I happen to think, overall, that the Chromebook, at $250 or less, is a great option for bloggers who are working with very limited funds.
The two major things I did not like about the Chromebook were:

  1. the less than accurate cursor tracking that made graphic manipulation  and game play (even simple Facebook or Zynga games) exercises in frustration.
  2. the low quality resolution of the screen that left my astigmatic and presbyotic eyes tired unless I was very disciplined about taking a break from the screen every half hour or so.

The Chromebook is good enough for my basic needs.

Upgrading to a MacBook Pro

When my MacBook Air was deemed irreparable I had to determine whether I would just work from the Chromebook which I had purchased while the MacBook Air was in the shop, or whether I would replace the Mac with another Mac.  My reasons for choosing Best Buy have been stated before in yesterday’s post and above in today’s post.  The specific equipment decision rests elsewhere beyond store or brand loyalty.
The first question I asked after being told by MacBook Air was junked was, “What open box Macs are available.”  I had not anticipated going top of the line, especially since having my iPad stolen via a pickpocket  this summer and realizing that I could not always afford to replace stolen equipment.  I had the funds from the MacBook Air return, the clerk let me know I could also return the Chromebook with no problem,  The Chromebook protection plan would also be refunded to my account.  The only open box item available then and there was a retina display equipped  MacBook Pro.  I looked at the new MacBook Air models in stock, but they were close to $350 more than what I had paid for the open box one.  I wasn’t sure it was really worth the price.
I think the retina screen is what won me over in the end.  The resolution is so crisp, even for document editing that I can not wear my progressive lenses and work on the laptop.  My eyes become strained when I wear progressives and the change in focus from keyboard, to bottom screen to top screen stresses my eyes with the constant shifting and refocusing. The Mac retina display is so much better than most screens that I can work without glasses and read everything n the screen.  This is a personal constraint, but less eye-strain is a good thing, even if you still keep your glasses on.  The resolution also allows me to work with detailed graphics and there is no tracking problem I have ever encountered on a Mac.  The increased storage and the ability to play games are nice features but not deal makers or breakers.   The lesser price of the open box item made the Pro fall within a price range I could afford.  A new one fell outside of the range I could justify.
I am still perturbed that my cat started this whole saga with her fur-brained actions, but it turned out well.  And it turned out in a way that allows me to have a great amount of confidence that I made a good choice among the options open to me.

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