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Laptop for Disabled


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#1 MaryBet82

MaryBet82

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 10:54 PM

My sister and I are about to start looking for a laptop for her. Currently the laptop will be her 2nd computer but her Dell desktop is getting old [purchased in late 2003] and the laptop may have to function as her primary computer at some point for awhile. When it comes to size and weight we are looking at in home mobility rather than on the road mobility. Typing for extended periods is getting more difficult so the optimum recommendations for DragonNS need to be met. She'll be using an office suite w/ wordprocessor [Word] and spreadsheet, scanning in a lot of documents and also a lot of family pictures, and doing a lot of internet research. She downloads pictures from her digital camera and uses photo editing software. She also uses PaperPort to handle all the scanned in docs. Depending on price, she might like to try some video editing - that's not a priority.
She likes to listen to internet radio and play CDs on her computer. She likes to play games equivalent to Tetris or Pacman [yes I'm old and was never into games] - not high intensity games.
She'll need to connect to her desktop wirelessly and she'll need a DVD burner.
A TV tuner on the video card and capability to connect to a monitor would be nice. I like a 1394 port but an external SATA might be the way to go today [if they have those in laptops]. She won't complain if it's all USB.
She does not have a business budget - I'm hoping we can find something in the $2,500-$3,000 range. She'd prefer WinXP, even if she has to pay a bit more, and she wants a Windows OS installation disk. Neither of us know anything about Windows Vista and we don't want to.
I've also been wondering if we should look at a Mac - if there's a voice recognition program equivalent to DragonNS for Macs. Supposedly Macs will now run Word and other MS programs- I don't know how well that works but MS Word has always crashed or quit "responding" on a regular basis on my MS computers and still does today. I'm also wondering about networking a Mac w/ Windows since WinXP doesn't network well w/ WinXP. Has anyone come up with home networking software that can make "NetBIOS over TCP/IP" actually work ?
Long Battery life isn't critical, but we're in hurricane country and we have a long season of "thunderstorms" where you unplug your computers every afternoon so they don't get fried by lightning and she should be able to continue on in Word for a couple of hours until she can plug back in.
mac 10.6 on macbook pro
WinXP sp2 on Dell 380 w/ 512 MB RAM- currently dead in the water
WinXP tab ed sp 3 on Thinkpad X41 w/ 1.5 GB RAM - lemony flavored
Win2K Sp4 on Sony VAIO GXR600 w/ 512 MB RAM - currently blue screening

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