I have been looking for a low-end laptop to use as a dedicated writing tool–lightweight and long battery life being the main criteria. It also has to run Scrivener, my primary writing software, which means Windows or Mac. The Chromebook looks promising, but doesn’t run either. Windows Surface and MacBook Air are on the shortlist–both would work–but both are expensive.
Then I ran across a review of the HP Stream. It is supposed to be a Chromebook killer and it looked like a possibility. It runs a full version of Windows, is light and the 13″ version costs only $229.
So, while out running errands today I was in Office Max and walked down the computer aisle. I wanted to hold one of these laptops in my hands to help me make a decision. They didn’t carry it.
As I was checking out at the front register I noticed a man standing at the front counter, being helped with a laptop. It was the exact model I was looking for.
The man was about 70, tall, maybe 6’4″ and broad shouldered. I was trying to look over his shoulder at the laptop which I surmised he had bought online since there were none on display. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. I leaned in and asked the store rep if they carried that model of HP. He said it was not on the shelves, but some had just come in and he had them in the back.
At that point I took a closer look at the customer. There is no better way to describe him than to say he had a kind face. Before writing that sentence I challenged myself to think about what actual characteristic made me think he was kind. I think it was his smile and something about the way his face looked soft with age. Then there was his voice. It was a calming voice, maybe even soothing and he spoke slowly and quietly, forcing me to slow down and listen closely. He had a lot of white hair and something about his slow energy made me want to take a step back and a step forward at the same time.
He showed me a review from the Wall Street Journal; he was very enthusiastic about the computer. He had been researching for some time for just the right solution and he was very sure he had found it. He was open and enthusiastic and as he told me his story he revealed that while researching this particular computer his current machine just died, completely quit.
I said, “Well, I guess you could look on that as a good thing or a bad thing, right?”
He replied, “Ohhh,” drawing out the ‘h’ and giving me a knowing look like I had something very important. “I have come to very much believe that many things that seem to be bad later on turn out to the best thing ever.”
I looked at him and he went on to say, “I know that for sure.”
We talked some more and I finally left the store and the man angel to his conversation about extended warranties. I think I am going to buy one of those HP Streams.