So a funny thing happened the day after I ordered my Dell laptop. I guess I was in such a hurry to secure the discounted price that I missed one of the digits on my credit card. As a result, the order has not yet been processed.
This gives me the opportunity to consider another cheap notebook computer from Lenovo (the Chinese company that bought out IBM’s PC business last year), currently on sale at an honest to goodness brick and mortar store. I checked it out yesterday and it does look considerably less hideous then the Dell, especially around the keyboard area. Feature-wise the two are very similar, and though the Dell has a widescreen display, dual-layer DVD burner and the all-important free carrying case, the Lenovo has S-Video out, FireWire in and a free multifunction printer thrown in for free to sweeten the deal. Or, I can forgo the hassle of mail-in rebates and buy it direct from the Lenovo Canada website.
And if I do that I can also get a matching Lenovo carrying case, just not for free.