The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

3 June 2005

Considering a notebook?

If you're about to run up your MasterCard to get a new laptop computer, Syaffolee knows the questions to ask:

If you want to get a laptop, definitely consider what you're going to be doing with it. Are you going to be using the laptop for everything or just traveling? Do you really need all those doohickies when a five dollar LAN cable will work? Is size and weight a factor? What are other people's experiences with the particular laptop you're looking at? Does it break down all the time?

My own little Road Warrior, a Toshiba Satellite, vintage 2002, gets more use on the road than it does at home. It has a CD burner/DVD player. I carry a PC Card with a Wi-Fi adaptor and, well, a five-dollar LAN cable. It's not too light, but not too unwieldy either. Battery life is an unimpressive two hours, which declines markedly with use of the optical drive. It's never given me a bit of trouble, though 42nd and Treadmill bought two of the same model for its traveling staff, and the troglodytes therein managed to kill them both in less than nine months.

Posted at 9:33 AM to PEBKAC


No discussion of laptops is complete without my shilling for IBM. They're not for everybody cause they're more expensive than the competition, but if they are *tough*.

Posted by: R. Alex at 10:37 AM on 3 June 2005

The ThinkPads we bought here have held up distinctly better than the Toshibas or the off-brands.

Posted by: CGHill at 10:49 AM on 3 June 2005

My fiance has a Toshiba... and she will never have a Toshiba again.

Posted by: R. Alex at 3:00 PM on 3 June 2005

Mine travels only about the abode. So weight/size was not really a consideration. I just wanted to say I could blog from the backyard, yanno?

That being said, my laptop seriously qualifies as a desktop replacement -- and I love my HP.

:)

Posted by: Margi at 3:12 PM on 3 June 2005

The only complaint I have about the Dell I'm using on our trip, is that sometimes plug connecting the wall plug to the power converter that plugs into the laptop, doesn't hold the connection. We may need to replace those parts, but so far (knocks on wood) the rest of it is doing fine.

Posted by: McGehee at 6:45 PM on 3 June 2005

I might assume this was prompted by the recent news that notebooks have surpassed desktops in sales for the first time:

http://apnews.excite.com/article/20050604/D8AGSGO80.html

Personally, I'm been on notebooks at home for something like 8 years, and I don't see myself ever going back. I'm on a five-year-old Toshiba Satellite, and, aside from a major hard drive failure only a year after getting it (which turned out to be not a bid deal, as I upgraded from a 4G to a 20G drive), it's been just fine. I've had to buy a few add-ons, of course: A FireWire card (for syncing my almost-as-old iPod), an Ethernet card, and a wireless card.

It is showing its age, so I'll have to upgrade soon -- and I'm seriously considering a Mac PowerBook.

Posted by: CT at 3:09 PM on 4 June 2005

my laptop travels the country with me in my truck, 10,000 to 12,000 miles per month. Can't count how many times this thing has flown out of it's resting place and crashed to the floor after particularly hard braking to avoid killing moron drivers. Still works even though its kinda bent and won't close up right... ;-)

Posted by: Greeblie at 3:10 PM on 4 June 2005