For your purposes & with your skill level in mind (with computers) I'd suggest that you stay away from used hardware
. Any low performance laptop
should be able to handle your data transmission
requirements but you'll need to consider what you're running software
1) Will Office XP be necessary or can you get by with O2k or even O97 or will you go another route
entirely (say, Star Office) ... your software
& compatibility requirements will dictate your hardware
2) I'd suggest that you look into business leases, Gateway, Compaq, IBM & others offer attractive options here & that expense (or at least some portion of it) should be deductable. Further advantages would be reliability
to begin with & strong service
options (including replacement) should the unit fail you.
I will personally recommend IBM ThinkPads, they do carry a higher initial purchase price
if you buy one with cash but leasing, tax deductions, overall reliability
, great service
in/resale value can drive your total costs right down into or below the range of many lessor machines.
IBM isn't just a label, ThinkPads set the standards by which all others are judged. My first laptop
was a 1mb 286, I've upgraded to higher performance examples regularly & I've never regretted using ThinkPads.
The following URL should be of some interest to you ...
"Under good conditions you can transmit 4000 characters in less than 2 minutes with PACTOR
That's a tolerable rate & you're talking Pactor III ... bandwidth shouldn't be a problem until you start getting 'cartoon of the day' faxes.