October 26, 2005

Confederate Yankee Blog Drive: I Can't Beleive It's Not Butter!

I want to start out by thanking everyone who has generously donated to what I should probably call the "Buy Bob a new computer once he jump starts a charity (if needed)so he can sleep every now and then" fund. I plan to run this drive periodically until my Nov. 5 first "blogiversary," but thought it might help if I had a specific target in mind.
For that, I turn to you.
I'm looking for a notebook computer as my replacement computer, for a couple of reasons, the primary reason being I'd like to be capable of mobile computing, especially as I might have the opportunity to do some on-location blogging in the not-too distant future. But while I'm comfy in my desktop knowledge, I can hardly claim to be anything approaching an expert on notebooks, with my only real experience coming from work-issued Thinkpads at several of my last jobs. I liked them, but they are all I know. What are my other options? I know I'd like:

  • something with a quiet keyboard.
  • something wireless.
  • something rugged.
  • enough "horsepower" to run multiple applications at once, including some memory hogs.
  • to burn CDs and DVDs here and there.
  • long service life.

So what do you guys think? What notebooks will meet these wants, and which (remember, you guys are helping pay for it) can do it economically?
Once I've got that narrowed down, I'll know what my target fund-raising goal should be.
And yes, I'm still accepting donations.

P.S. -- That "Santa's Slays" movie in my last Blog Drive post? I actually watched it, well, subjected myself to it, last night. Let's just say it was everything you would expect in a holiday-themed horror/comedy starring a professional wrestler.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at October 26, 2005 11:19 AM | TrackBack

I'm not sure how inexpensive they are but I have a Fujitsu C2310 that I use as my primary system and it has no problems. I can run the entire Office suite, Photoshop Elements, a media player and Firefox at the same time with almost no noticable lag. They are wireless ready, have DVD/CD-RW drives and built in SD cards readers...mine fits my lifestyle perfectly. The monitor technology they use virtually eliminates "ghosting" and the lag found with other LCD screens. Now I only use my desktop for video editing and high detail photo editing, or when I need the 21" monitor to relax my eyes. They don't make the 2310 anymore, but the 2340 is better as far as processors go, and the price came down since I got mine.

If your thinking about carrying it around a lot, you may want to consider something else, though, since battery life leaves something to be desired. About 2 hours max.

Posted by: Josh at October 26, 2005 12:29 PM

I've had great service from Dell Inspirons. Build them the way you want. I think Dell is still the leader in customer support/satisfaction. They can get pricey depending how you spec them out. Check out their website.

Posted by: Old Soldier at October 26, 2005 01:13 PM

One other thing I didn't think of before - if you were comfortable with it, you could always get an iBook series notebook. Of course, you may have some compatability issues with your home system.

And if you want rugged, you could always get one of these:

Posted by: Josh at October 27, 2005 06:53 PM

Stay with the IBM Thinkpad. I manage a technical service group. A laptop is used to connect to machines in industrial environments. We have used several brands over the years. Often suprised by the results, the IBM has never failed to deliver.

Posted by: Barry at October 28, 2005 12:15 AM

I work in IT, and we have gone to being an almost completely Dell shop. That said, I would go to your nearest Apple store and look at some of the new iBooks. They really are wonderful pieces of hardware engineering.

Software expenditure shouldn't be an issue -- if you're going to be legal, you'll need to buy new applications anyway.

The biggest issue is probably compatability. If you want to exchange data with other computers in your home network, you're pretty much locked into a PC -- in which case I'll unreservedly recommend Dell. If interoperability isn't an issue, though, take a look at the newer Apples before making a decision.

As always, your mileage may vary.

Posted by: Kirk at October 30, 2005 02:44 PM