I need a new laptop. I was going to start this post with a picture of my current laptop, and then I realized that I do have some shame and that you don’t all need to see actual photographic proof of the fact that my laptop screen is currently attached to the laptop body by packing tape. It’s been like this since yesterday, when I made a sudden movement (or, you know, let the screen tilt) and suddenly the screen frame cracked and I was looking at two pieces only held loosely together at one hinge.

This has been coming for a while. The screen’s frame cracked at least a month or two ago, but things only got serious in the last few weeks. I’m tough on computers – I’m not THAT clumsy, but I still seem to drop my laptop or knock it off the stand I put it on to hook it up to the TV more than I ought to. This one has made it almost four years, and besides having to reformat it once or twice due to viruses, it was a pretty solid laptop till it started disintegrating before my eyes. The hard drive still seems to be doing okay, even though I don’t turn it off nearly as often as I should.

All this to say, I may get myself another HP. I’m never getting a Toshiba again – my first laptop was a Toshiba and it broke (I think both externally and internally, but it was eight years ago so who knows) maybe a year after I bought it. My second laptop was a Sony VAIO that was white and kind of looked like a Mac. I think this HP is only my third laptop, except for the ancient Mac I borrowed from my roommate after the VAIO bit the dust.

This is the moment when all of you Mac lovers will be rushing down to the comments to tell me I should get a Mac. Yes, yes, I know. It will last longer, it won’t get viruses, blah blah blah. In the long run, the fact that it costs more won’t matter, yes, I get it. This time around even my usual “I’m set in my ways, I don’t want to learn a new way to right click!” excuse is a bit hollow, since Windows 8 looks TERRIBLE. But Windows 10 is supposed to be here soon, and not be terrible, so as long as I can figure out in Windows 8 (which I assume will be installed on the PC I will buy very soon) how to download Windows 10, all will be well. And look, I’m not anti-Apple or anything  — I’ve owned iPods for about a decade. I’m just as hard on them as I am on laptops – I stepped on my iPod Touch when I’d already had it for three years, and two years later, it still works, even with a cracked screen. But I’m a PC girl at heart.

So with that in mind, dear techie friends among my readers – if I want a laptop that’s great for word processing, photos, and web browsing,  and not too much over $500 (under is good!), what should I get? I’m leaning away from a Chromebook since I like having documents saved to the hard drive, and as mentioned, I’m not interested in a Mac or a Toshiba, but I can be convinced to check out almost anything else!