Saturday, May 26, 2007

Alternative laptops

My laptop shutdown on me 3 times today due to over heating. The thermal sensor isn't working properly so I'm forced to run the notebook at 500MHz instead of the 1.6GHz it is capable of doing, just to keep it cooled with passive cooling. This is probably a sign that I should start looking at alternative notebooks.

So, I went looking for alternative notebooks. I used the cheapest MacBook as a benchmark. My main criteria are (1) weight (2) processor (3) memory (4) built-ins (5) aesthetics. The MacBook costs only 600 quid, and that was the cut-off point that I used. Surprisingly, I came up with a few possible alternatives to the MacBook around a similar price. One that stood out above the rest was a Sony Vaio. The feature that set it apart from the rest is the weight. It is advertised as 2.9kg including the battering and DVD drive. Although, the processor is less powerful and the memory slower, it has a DVD writer, memory card reader, larger harddrive and VGA output with a 15.4" screen. It is seriously a viable alternative.

So, the question is which features to trade-off. I won't use the Mac's built-in camera. I will certainly need a VGA output to connect to a second monitor. The media card reader will certainly come in handy for my camera. The built-in media card reader only supports MemoryStick though. It's a Sony! The biggest question is just the DVD writer. The cheapest Mac with one costs an additional 100 quid. The fact that you can just get this from Tesco certainly makes it an easier purchase/return. The only question is whether these babies run Linux or not. At first glance, it should not be a problem as it doesn't use any exotic hardware.

Who knows what other interesting notebooks will be available when I make my purchase. Other notable mentions are from ASUS and Samsung.

UPDATE@2200: I just visited trusted reviews and it seems that there's a whole new line-up of notebooks coming out for the summer that use the new Santa Rosa platform. Interesting times indeed to go notebook shopping!

No comments: