[thelist] laptop

Ian Anderson ian at zstudio.co.uk
Fri Jun 23 04:10:35 CDT 2006

Paul Bennett wrote:

> What should I be looking for? Anything to avoid (apart from the
> exploding Dell syndrome..)?

Well, not an Intel Mac, for reasons I have previously outlined. But it 
sounds like you means a Windows PC.

I commute every day with big heavy horrible computers - the reason they 
are big and heavy is the display - I like large, hi-res displays because 
I like to run Dreamweaver with the page area at around 1024 plus another 
few hundred pixels worth of palettes down the right.

The Dell Inspiron 6400 was one that offered the sort of large display I 
wanted. The 15" Macbook Pro is the one I take in most days presently. 
Both weigh the same, and it really bloody hurts your shoulders.

thing is, as well as the weight, the larger the screen the shorter the 
battery life. Also, keeping wireless and bluetooth off, and turning down 
the brightness to the lowest you can stand, gives you the best battery time.

The Fujitsu Siemens lifebook series includes A5 sized notepad computers 
that are absolutely gorgeous. Sony VAIO includes a similar profile one.

For the train I think these are great, but you wouldn't use it on your 
desktop for eight hours.

I think your main consideration has to be, is this machine for an hour 
on the train and an hour in the evenings, and maybe four at weekends; or 
is it going to be on your desk at home and work for eight hours plus a day?

If the latter, I think go for an IBM or Dell with a big display and a 
full-size keyboard. And consider wearing a backpack with both straps, 
because it will damage your back carrying the big lump on a single shoulder.

My other pet hate is crap keyboard layouts - the Dell Inspiron was at 
the time I bought my original one, one of few that had a full height, 
full width return key.

Anyway - I'm sure whatever you get will be great - laptops all have 
their strengths and I get a kick out of using all of mine, for various 

Final note - someone I know got a new laptop with the biometric security 
- a finger print scanner that is meant to log you in like in a Bond 
movie. It was really funny watching him rub his finger on his leg to 
clean it, blow on the scanner to get the dust off, wipe the scanner over 
and over, and sit rubbing his computer for about a minute trying to get 
the damn thing to let him in. Personally, I might not turn that on if my 
new computer had it. Does anyone remember Gan's words to the guard in 
the hold of the Federation starship in an early episode of Blake's Seven?

"We only need his hand..." Priceless.

Let us know what you chose in the end and why



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