So I answered, SURE! I would love to... but was thinking, I guess we will see if it REALLY comes. They gave me a choice between a Toshiba and an HP. After reading all about both of them, we chose the HP. Then they emailed me and said the one we wanted was out of stock, would we accept the upgraded version? I calmly reply that that was acceptable, but inside I was like SCORE!!!!!! WOO HOO!!!!
Okay, so Ben and I have been really poor for almost 9 years. We never get super nice things, hardly ever, and when we do it's because either someone gave it to us, we bought it used and abused but working, or we had some kind of super duper discount. I had a laptop in college back in the 90's, but it didn't last through Sam's toddler years. And I haven't had one since. I have dreamed of having one so I could work on my writing on the road and all that. But we just could never budget it and the money was needed elsewhere.
So having this AMAZING opportunity makes me feel so blessed and grateful and I think that even if the HP was total crap, I would STILL love it.
That being said, I waited like a stalker for the UPS man for the next few days, and low and behold it came!!!! As I took it out of the box, with all the boys and husband hovering, I had to actively smack little hands (and one big manly one) off my new laptop. For some reason, Ben thought it was going to be his, and the boys thought the same thing. "HELLO! I EARNED this!! I have been writing my blog and working hard for 5 years!! This is mine! I am willing to share, within reason, but I get this, sorry everyone... well, actually I am not sorry at all."
This is what they sent me:
HP Pavilion 17. And I LOVE it!!!
If you want to read all the specs and other reviews click on the link above. If you know me, I don't review like other people, I like to relate stuff to me and my family and how we use and see things. So here are the things that are important to me:
At first I thought it was kind of big. It is light, thin, and seems super durable (It's lasted a week in the Nutshell already!)... but it seemed kind of big. It IS a 17 in screen after all.... BUT then I discovered a few AWESOME things about larger laptops:
1. I can set it up anywhere around the kitchen and watch a Netflix while I clean. No matter WHERE I set it, I can see it GREAT!
2. It's nice to have the larger screen when I am in bed at night and tired. My eyes get achy with the small stuff, so having this has been great!
4. It also hooks up nicely in our new van to a monitor so the boys can watch movies. (Note: our "new" van has a dvd system but the dvd player is broken... but the monitor works and has hook ups for a laptop or reg dvd player.) The kid in the back can SEE the laptop BETTER than the little car monitor. SCORE!
5. It is too big to fit in the toilet.
So all and all I really DO like the bigger screen!
Other things I like about it:
1. I love the cord. I know I am weird to think this, but with kids, having the cord be coming out at a side angle instead of straight out will make this cord last MUCH longer than our other ones did that kept getting bent.
2. The cooling system is AMAZING!! My old laptop from the 90's got so hot on my legs that it would burn me!! My husband has a 5 year old Laptop he bought for college and it heats up super hot too. This one does NOT. It's great!
3. Windows 8 scared the crap out of me the first couple days. It was so different and so new and since we don't keep updated on this stuff because we don't have the money, I understood what techy-challenged senior citizens felt like. I actually almost had a panic attack when I couldn't find the "start" button. I had to Google how to shut down my new computer!!! I felt like a tool. But then it turns out that everyone had that issue when Windows 8 came out so I didn't feel so bad :) Then once I got used to it, I LOVED it. I thought it was so awesome that I could run my favorite apps on there, or I could just use it with a desktop I felt familiar with.
4. The webcam is a BLAST! Now, I have to say that we haven't really had a real webcam before... so this was really fun for us to play around:
5. Battery life is AWESOME!
6. The sound is great. I love all the plug in areas. And it's SUPER fast.
Now, some cons:
1. Like every parent, I am SO AFRAID my kids are going to step on it and bust it. They haven't yet, but you never know.... And I am sure ALL laptops are subject to damage from being jumped on. So I need to be super careful not to leave it out.
2. Even though I put Windows 8 as a "pro", it also is a "con" because it really does take some getting used to. It is so different than anything I have tried to use before.
I really don't have much to compare this laptop to, and I am just grateful to get to have one, that it really is hard for me to find fault in it.... but I am sure if you search around the internet you can find lots of techy people who know more about it than me. But honestly, from a mom's point of view, it's great. It's fun. And it get's the job done.
A HUGE thanks to Staples.com for giving us this amazing opportunity!
Full disclosure: Staples.com