Okay! So I’m taking a trip to Michigan. (Still don’t know when; the Stardock folk are probably still recovering from PAX.) It is traditional upon taking such a trip to bring along a laptop so that you can a) stay in touch, b) cram it full of your demos to show your interviewers and c) play World of Warcraft in your hotel room.
But I can’t seem to find one I like. My friend Ryan Clark (who I’ve mentioned before) gave me an old (VERY old) laptop of his called a Panasonic Let’s Note CF-T4. As you might can guess from the website, he imported it from the ancient shores of Nippon.
Now, to me, this was nearly the perfect laptop. I liked the form factor (10.5 inches by 8 inches). I liked that the screen was big (12.1 inches diagonal), was 4:3 ratio and was a standard resolution (1024×768). I liked the fact that it did not have an internal CD or DVD drive, since those things only get used occasionally while they add weight, generate heat and suck up power all the time. I liked how light it was (about three pounds) and how long the battery lasted (about five hours). I liked that it was more than capable of development – indeed, this is the machine that CrazyBump was written on.
The only, ONLY thing I didn’t like was that its 733 megahertz processor meant that it was just a little too slow to play WoW.
So basically I want a laptop just like Ryan’s, only with a slightly faster processor and maybe more RAM. And since Ryan’s is five years old, I shouldn’t have to pay too much for one, right? Right?
Well, in this case, they don’t make ’em like they used to.
Laptops at this point have diverged into two paths: either expensive, big, heavy, full-featured “desktop replacement” models, or cheap, adorable, super-light, super-small “netbook” models. Neither fits my bill. A netbook of any type would be perfect…if it were just a little bigger! I can’t be constantly backspacing to fix errors due to tiny keys and I cannot peer into one of those things’ tiny screens.
I’ve looked ’round the internet a fair bit to try to find a suitable one, but companies tend to drop older models of laptops like hot bricks once the new ones come out. I wouldn’t mind a used one as long as I could make sure everything worked…but I’d really like a new one (or rather, an unused one). At this point I’m tempted to start cruising pawn shops.
Anyone have any ideas?
I’ve been positively surprised by my compaq mini 110, which costs about 300 euros here, so you should be able to find one cheaper on your side of the pond.
I also stumbled upon this site: http://usedlaptops.com recently; haven’t used them, but at least they exist..
Here’s a machine you could use for inaria, and for your other iPhone projects. You could also dual-boot windows on it.
I’ve heard good things about the MSI X-Slim laptops. Great battery life, relativley lightweight, no optical drive, and a number of different sizes from 13 to 15 inches. The keyboard gets mixed reviews though, so YMMV.
I’ve got one of those teensy tiny tablet laptops for school, and it really was just a matter of getting used to the tiny keyboard.
Also, the tablet thing is kind of neat. I tried writing code for a project just using the stylus and converting the writing to text (I was super, SUPER bored in class), and it worked almost okay. But it is VERY nice having a virtual whiteboard at hand at all times.
Dono how much these things cost though. I would imagine not much. My jaw would drop if it was more than 400 bucks. Drop, I say.