Sorry for posting this here, but I didn't know where else to put it. This site could really use a Technology forum.
Anyway, I'm graduating from college in the spring and my Dell laptop (4 years old) is starting to putter like an old man and I have to keep it on a cooling pad all the time to have it run semi-normally. It's a decent computer (Inspiron 6000, 2 gigs of RAM, 128 Radeon X300 GPU, 1.86 GHz, WSXGA +1 screen: 1680 x 1050) and I've used it as my main computer for years. I've had a few things replaced because my warranty covered them but it expires in December and I think it would be smarter to think about a new computer than to spend another $100 to extend the warranty.
I recently bought an Asus Eeepc 900 which I love and have been using for school and on the go browsing/email. I am extremely comfortable with using it on the go. (Netbook + Ubuntu Karmic NBR = :-D)
Enough with the introduction. I've decided that my next computer could either be a desktop or a laptop. I don't want to want to take a step backwards in computing power unless the value is just unbeatable (i.e. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883103228&...
) What I'd like from you all is a bit of help finding a new computer. I consider myself knowledgeable, but am always open to advice.
What I use my computer for:
I don't game that much anymore, but I do watch videos on Hulu and sometimes HDMI video files. When I do game the most taxing game is probably counter-strike source, but I mostly play RTS games like Starcraft or Civ 4. Naturally, I also do a lot of web browsing and basic word processing/powerpoints for school/work. Also, there is a good chance that my new computer would run Ubuntu or at least dual boot it with Windows.
1. I want a new computer that's as good or better than my old one unless the value is incredibly good. Old specs: Inspiron 6000, 2 gigs of RAM, 128 Radeon X300 GPU, 1.86 GHz, WSXGA +1 screen: 1680 x 1050
2. It can be a laptop or a desktop. (Do not already own a monitor)
3. Price is a big consideration. I'm a stereotypical college student who is always looking for disgustingly good deals because my funds are limited.
Thanks for any help you all can provide. I usually receive helpful responses from this site.
Edit: Deanna made a good point about me not listing a price. I didn't list one intentionally because I wanted to see what people would generally suggest and because I really don't know what I want to spend. I could say 500 dollars but if there was a great value for more I would probably look in to it. I'm not looking for a particular price as much as I'm looking for a really good value to dollar ratio... so mac people, even though your hearts are in the right place, I highly doubt I'll get a mac unless I pick one up off of Craigslist.