Howdy from the couch. My long search for a laptop computer has ended, and not exactly in the way I'd anticipated. I set out looking for a small-and-light "ultraportable" computer, and I wound up buying a laptop that's thin, medium-light weight, but wider than a Ford Excursion. Andy pointed out this deal at Best Buy to me, and after a few days of agonizing over what to do, I decided I couldn't pass it up. When I bought it, the system came out to $849 after rebates, which is just scary cheap for what you're getting. I seriously considered ponying up well over twice the price for Sony's sweet, sweet Vaio TR2, but in the end, I couldn't bring myself to do it. The Compaq's killer wide screen, Radeon 9200 graphics, DVD/CD-RW drive, full-sized keyboard, relatively light weight (6.5 lbs) and solid reviews were too much to pass up. And the scrolly thing on the side of the touchpad. Oh, the wondrous scrolly thing! That was the last straw for me. I don't even need a mouse to use this beast.
So I chucked my "ultraportable" goal out the window. This Compaq X1000 technically belongs in the "desktop replacement" category, but it's thin and light enough to travel very well. And, I have to say, the experience of putting together this article in a San Jose hotel room helped ease my decision. Graphics and spreadsheets are much easier to manipulate at higher screen resolutions.
Naturally, I picked up a 512MB memory upgrade and an 802.11g router to go along with the system. Now I'm liable to post news from the loo. You have been warned. So far, my preferred method of computing from the couch, kitchen, or crapper is Windows' Remote Desktop Connection, via which I can simply control my main PC in Damage Labs. With a 1280-pixel-wide screen, I don't even have to resize the windows horizontally.
I'm curious. How many of you folks have wireless networks and laptops at home? The transition to mobile computing around the house took me some time, because I'm just not very comfortable, I suppose, buying a computer pre-assembled. Something like that. I'm also horribly cheap, which is a big part of that dynamic. But I had to have a laptop for covering various events. Also, I told myself that I needed to get into some of these things, in part just to keep myself tech-literate. Not everyone has a well-stocked computer lab at their disposal, and not everyone uses an ATX-sized desktop system for their do-it-all computing/gaming/multimedia platform, as I generally do. Mobile computing, HTPCs, and the like are a big part of the future of our little hobby here, in my view. Then again, when I pick up an issue of PC Magazine and try to read the endless stream of digicam/laptop/inkjet printer/USB peripheral reviews, my eyes glaze over, and I pine for the joys of dually Opterons...
Oh yeah, and we caught Saddam. Yet another failure for the Bush Administration, I am sure.
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|10. dkanter - $100|
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