If you aren't sure if you need a portable option or not, consider what you want to do with your new technology. Sometimes the fastest and newest isn't what you really need. If you can determine your needs you can figure out what you can get away with; to buy just a little bit better so you can expand your new technology in the future if you need to, or have it already that little bit faster so you can move with your needs without having to pay for upgrades.
Let's take a look at basic functions: home, business, pleasure, and research. Usually for home, business and research, you may need to be able to print. That narrows down many of the portable options available today. For example, an Ipad 2 is a powerful machine but you really can't print from it. If you need the option to print, then you need a desktop or laptop. If you want a machine for pleasure then printing may not be an issue and you have to determine the type of pleasure you want.
Music, games, social activities, general internet and communication can all be acquired from a notepad or notebook, at which point an Ipad 2 may be the perfect choice. My only concern with these machines is you pay for the applications and for their use. If you are trying to buy within your means having an additional monthly expense may not be in the budget.
To be honest, my experience with the new technology coming out is very limited. I am doing more research as well, and I am holding off. My old laptop really does everything I want technology wise with the exception of video chats. My laptop was made before they had a built in camcorder. I know with the research I have done, I want a piece of technology that can print. That knocks out the Ipad 2 until one is made with a USB port for external devices.
There are already similar devices to the Ipad that have USB so it will probably happen with the Ipad 3. I want WiFi capability so I can get on the internet just about any where. Whatever devise I get must support Skype or Vontage and have built in video capability.
So you see, you need to put a lot of research into what you really need to determine what you really want. Then purchasing it may be as simple as an AD search on Craigslist or bidding on Ebay. Which, by the way, is a viable means to an end. My last laptop I purchased bidding on Ebay. I still use it to this day and I have had it for over 6 years. Other than no built in video, it still meets my needs. What would meet your needs? You may find it liquidated at BestBuy or Office Depot.
By Suntydt from Tazewell, TN
My advice is to find a local repair person that you feel you can trust; not hand it over to a company that will send it to their repair center. Who is working on it, and will they invade your privacy? At least if you deal with an individual, you have a better chance of not being invaded. If so, at least you have a 'starting source'.
By cajun62234 from Collinsville