I am looking for a new computer since my gifted laptop from the 90's died.
I need something to check email and COTH , write lab reports, have an itunes library and maybe Skype. That's pretty much it. The only thing I know about computers though is using one, I have no idea how to pick out a good one since I have never had to. I'm also on a somewhat budget.
At the under $500 pricepoint they're all pretty much garbage. Cheap hardware crammed into a hot tiny space... you get what you get and are glad for everyday that you have it.
That's a pretty mediocre rig (the CPU choices are all bad), 2GB RAM isn't really a lot for Win7, the video card is a garbage GPU. Depending on your lab reports (lots of graphs and stuff?) I would actually not get this. You will probably cry while it grapples with the load.
A big chunk of the expense is the Win7 OS... but you want to use ITunes, so you're kind of stuck there.
If you don't HAVE to have a laptop, get yourself a desktop. Your dollars go farther.
In fact, to make your dollars go as far as possible, go down to the local computer shop and get a custom build. Your dollars will go farther, you will get GOOD hardware (not the garbage they shove into production line PCs- yes it has the "brand name" but it is not the same hardware)
Just so you get an idea of how much farther your bucks can go, for $650/machine I built what would have cost $2,700 from Dell/Alienware. And the machines are far, far, FAR better quality.
I own my own business (10 employees) and do "everything else", and we save BIG money with me building our rigs in my office. Yeah, I don't like doing it, but I can, so I do. Price aside we've had constant quality issues with the production line PCs anyway, so we would not go back.
"The nice thing about memories is the good ones are stronger and linger longer than the bad and we sure have some incredibly good memories." - EverythingButWings
Here's what I did with one of mine. I got a used Dell desktop, then took it to a computer guru, had him strip out everything I didn't want or need, then load it with the programs I wanted. It was cheaper than buying a new computer, I LOVED it, and with occasional cleanings done by the guru, it is still working for me years later. Currently I am posting on an iMac. It's not as custom, and some things used to frustrate me. I changed over to a different wp and am now happily living with it. ITunes is nice, but my favorite music station has become Pandora.