Need laptop/wireless internet advice, please.

I will be starting grad school soon and will need to purchase a laptop computer. All I really care about is wordprocessing and whatever else might be needed for such an endeaver. (Not really interested in games, movies, etc.) My buget is under $1,000. An suggestions?
Also, is wireless high speed really high speed? I cannot afford cable plus wireless but am interested in the flexibility of wireless.
Thanks in advance.

What do you mean by “cable plus wireless”? Sounds like you’re confused.

“Wireless” generally means that the internet is available from a wireless router attached to a cable or dsl modem. If you wanted to set up wireless in your home, for example, you’d pay a monthly fee for your cable or DSL internet connection, then you’d spend ~$50 for a wireless router that you’d attach to the modem that the cable/dsl people gave you. There would be no additional monthly charges for the wireless versus just the cable/dsl.

Other than that, I think you can definitely pick up a laptop that will do what you need for under $1000.

I probably am. I was looking at this website.

It seems like this a stand-alone internet access. But as you said, I may be confused. I am from the “computers work like magic” generation.

Yes, that is stand-alone wireless. In that case, you just pay for the wireless as long as you live in the right area.

Unless you have a weird setup, you will never have to pay for both cable/dsl and wireless.

Does anyone have any experience with Clearwire? Any laptop recommenndations?

Do you plan on taking it to the class/library often?

How do you feel about using a tablet for note taking?

Every day, I imagine.

That’s interesting. I’ll look into it. Whatever I get will be my only computer.

Hmmm. Seems to be out of my price range. Really slick, though.

I just picked up a nice VAIO for $878* at Wal-Mart. It has an integrated wireless NIC. I was originally aiming for one of the el-cheapo brands in the $500-$750 range but in the end I decided the VAIO stamp was worth the extra $120.
*Final cost about $950 after shipping charges, but I think I sepected a more expensive & faster delivery method.

Integrated wireless NIC? Computer idiot here.

The price is right. I’ll look in to it. Thanks.

Sorry. Means the thing has a network interface card with wireless capability. If you’re within range of a wireless hotspot, it’ll find it and let you jump on.

Ok, then you are looking for mobility over power. In general that means you want to stay far away from the Celeron line of processors, and probably even the regular pentiums. Go with a Centrino or AMD mobile (although I don’t have experience with the AMDs). To me this is critically important. I had a Celeron in my old laptop, and it was loud and hot. It was too hot to use comfortably on my lap, and the fan drove me crazy.

I wouldn’t rule it out quite yet. You would have to get a factory refurbished one instead of a new one, but those are just are good. I got mine through ebay for 960 dollars last summer.

I have a HP TC1100, and I absolutely love it. I used to lose my notes, have pages rip out of notebooks or binders, etc. Now they are all safely stored on my hard drive. Plus they are a lot neater becuase I can easily erase mistakes. I don’t know what you are going to Grad school for, but ever write out an equation and run out of room on the page and try to squeeze the last part in? Not any more. I simply lasso the text and move it, or extend the page and give myself some more room.

Plus, there is just something about unzipping the portfolio, unfolding the laptop, rotating it into laptop position and hearing a satisfying thud. Major geek points if you are interested in that.

Forgot to add, here is a refurbished TC1100 for 1050. You can get a better price if you go hunting on eBay, if you are so inclined. I don’t know how comfortable you are with eBay, but make sure you only buy from someone with a good rating. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.