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Deborah – you mentioned ‘for your needs’. What are your needs? If you are going to take photos of your designs and edit and upload on the internet, the small netbooks won’t be powerful enough.
Although I work on a very large Dell 64bit desktop and 24″ monitor, I like the Dells and HP Notebooks if you prefer a notebook. I would suggest you start with a minimum of 2G ram. Think of ram and the hard drive like this … if you have lots of thoughts going around in your head (ram) it needs lots of room for lots of thoughts. When you put the idea to paper it is now on the hard drive and makes room for more thoughts in the ram.

As I work with high res images all the time with files that must cross both PC and Mac platforms and have multiple programs open at once, I have 8G ram. Hence I would not suggest anything less than 2Gram for someone purchasing now thinking of future uses.

Also, if you purchase a PC make sure it has at least Vista Premium or Business -Vista Basic won’t work for image programs editing and is not recommended and is often bundled with the cheaper laptops. (I have Vista Ultimate for 64bit).