To Have a Laptop

Our company recently offered to package laptops into our remuneration. Yay! I finally get to own a laptop, or notebooks — as it is called nowadays by the manufacturers. I’ve always dreamed of having one myself. Actually, my Dad gave me his laptop (an archaic x386 laptop) back in the early 90s during my time in university, so, I could say I already had one. But, what I mean is that I want to have a new one.

Well, here’s my chance — thanks to our company’s new policy. I also get to pick the laptop I wanted, which was great. But that doesn’t mean we get to choose the most expensive one on the market. If it’s too dear, some of it will come out of my pay.

Anyway, I did a lot of research in deciding which laptop to go for. In the end, I went for a Dell Inpsiron 6000 which can only be ordered on the Dell website. I don’t like ordering expensive equipment online. On the plus side, I was also able to customize it online. I ended up with the following specs: Pentium M740 1.73GHz, 2MB Cache, Intel Media Accelerator 900 up to 128Mb shared memory, 15.4″ wide screen, 512Mb SDRAM (should I have gone for the 1GB SDRAM for an additional $200?), 80GB hard drive, DVD dual layer burner and 9-cell 80WHr Lithium Ion battery (supposedly lasts for over 5 hours when fully charged even when the WiFi is in use).

Some might say that I should’ve went with a laptop that had a better graphics card. This time round though, I don’t intend to use the new laptop primarily as a game machine. Sure, I’d probably still play Half-Life 2 or Unreal Tournament 2004 on it on occasion. However, I don’t think that that justifies getting a more powerful and dearer machine. I will probably use this more for typing/writing, digital drawing/painting, programming, Internet surfing and DVD watching. I could always just turn on my Playstation 2 if I want to play anyway.

I also compared the Inspiron against a Toshiba Satellite M50 (my ex-first choice) and a Compaq Presario V4004 but the Inspiron still came out on top. The Presario, in this case, was a less powerful machine than the Inspiron I customized. The Presario had the same processor, same memory and approximately same screen size (15″ wide screen) but only has a 60GB hard drive and a 64Mb video card, has less battery life (according to reviews) and costs more by $200.

The Satellite had similar specs to the Presario except the screen on it was smaller (14″ wide screen) — this is an advantage in terms of portability. I wanted to have a smaller screen because it’ll make the overall machine smaller, too. I could always just plug the laptop on a 17″ monitor if I wanted to use a big screen. Unfortunately, this laptop was out of the running because according to user feedback I’ve read, the empty area below the keyboard, where your right hand will rest while typing, heats up to 45 degrees Celsius over time. Apparently, there are heating issues with the newer Satellite notebooks. I would’ve gone with the M50 if it weren’t for the heating issue. Another disadvantage it had was its short battery life of approximately two hours.

The Dell courier called me up today and told me to expect my new laptop on Monday. I can’t wait. Now, I will be able to easily bring my work home with me, if I wanted. I can also go to a cafe by the beach and type up a blog there or do some digital painting (provided I bring my Wacom tablet along, too, of course). I can go to the library and write my stories there where the reference books are easily accessible. I’m having fun just thinking of the possibilities.

It’s just too bad that I won’t get it before the weekend. It can help to have all the detailed information of the houses we will inspect (taken from the Internet) over the weekend on the laptop so we can always refer to it on the road if needed. I’ll just use it for that purpose next weekend provided everything is fine with the laptop when I get it on Monday. We’ll see then.

Published in: on August 31, 2005 at 5:24 pm  Comments (6)