Looking for some adivce...
I've been peripherally "in the market" for a laptop for awhile. I keep putting it off because I really don't need one. I have my Archos for travelling (movies, web access), although it's a pain in the ass for typing. My place isn't exactly big enough that it necessitates a laptop in another room. I don't work from home, or have any need for a laptop in that capacity.
But there are occasionally times when I wish I had one.
I'd like something in the kitchen for checking recipes, substitutions, and the like. I'd like to have an actual keyboard when travelling to write e-mails and blog posts. Hell, something that could do some photo editing would be nice too. And there's of course, times when I'd rather play poker in my living room than in the office. I wonder if anybody would be upset about me running 80ft of cable up the side of my building so I could surf from the roof...
The netbook craze got me thinking that was the way to go. Small, light, ultra-portable and with just enough power to cover the basics. But then I played around with a couple yesterday... bit of a fail in my book.
I tried out a Vaio P (Sony's don't-call-it-a-netbook offering). It's a pretty thing, with LOADS of features, but the nipple-control-thingee is slow and awkward, and the wide but short 10" screen means a lot of scrolling. I'm also not a fan the vertical viewing angle. Also, $999 for something about the size of a coat wallet. Accessories haven't arrived in-store yet either. All that said, if they'd made it a portable tablet with orientation detection, instead of a regular clamshell, it would be a winner I think.
Then I played with the Dell Mini 9, and the Acer Inspire. A more useable form factor for each for sure, but lacking some of the features I liked in the Vaio.
But overall - the keyboards! Ugh. After 22 years using full-sized keyboards, the drop to the 82-key mini versions is ugly. I was mistyping all over the place, and with the tiny screens and tinier fonts at a bad viewing angle, I couldn't figure this out until after a web page loaded or if I zoomed in, crouched low, and squinted. So that kills the mini experiment I think.
Which means a look to the slightly larger small laptops. the 12-14" screens with a fuller keyboard and better resolution.
What am I looking for? Portable, lightweight, good resolution, wireless N, Bluetooth, enough power to do some multitasking without bringing everything to a crawl, and a useable default interface (ie.- trackpad vs nipple).
Anybody have something they like? Dell's the obvious choice, especially since they've started making decent laptops again. What about Toshiba? Is HP actually making anything that isn't just pretty garbage? If I could find a cheap Vaio, would it be worthwhile?
Oh, and don't bother suggesting a Mac. Chances are good I'll just install Linux on whatever I get.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Looking for some adivce...