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Aug 07, 2005


Mike Maddison

Hi Arjun,
In any search for a laptop these days, I would encourage a DVD+RW drive as a standard feature to look for. DVD's have come on a little more slowly, but with the sizes of drives increasing drastically (such as 500GB drives!) CDRW's are becoming like floppy disks... just too small to hold sufficient data.

"Long Battery life:
A laptop is not a laptop unless it offers at least 3 hours of battery power. Anything less is a mockery of the name."

I have to disagree with this statement. I use my laptop all the time, and most other laptop users I know rarely seem to use it without the power adaptor plugged in. Myself, I purchased the most powerful processor, RAM and Hard-Drive performance machine as a desktop replacement knowing my battery life would be very short. I've never regretted it.

Jason Johnson

Arjun, what's your opinion about Dell, Toshiba, and Mac Desktops?

Mike K.

Don't forget Apple laptops. iBooks are particularly affordable and offer long battery life - especially in sleep mode. I can put my laptop to sleep for days and still have a good charge on the battery.

Speaking of sleep mode, you also get *very* quick wake-ups from sleep on Macs, for whatever reason. Beats my shiny HP laptop every time.

Also, no worries about viruses or spyware. All the typical "productivity" software is available, and it's got Unix under the hood to boot. :)

(and despite sounding like a Mac fanatic, I do run PCs too... it's just that for portable work, I really prefer the Mac)

Mike K.

Almost forgot: I wanted to follow up on Mike Maddison's comment re: battery life.

I'd have to agree with Arjun on 3+ hours or more of battery life. My notebook goes with me wherever I go: to a client site, to the TRU campus, a cafe, the airport...

If you are the type of person that buys a notebook to tote around home and the office, then yes, perhaps you never will run it on battery. But if you're mobile, you never know whether there will be an outlet where you're going.

Case in point: TRU's Campus Activity Center is sorely lacking in AC outlets.

I like to pop over to campus, find a good spot to sit, and work on my web development contracts... I get approximately 4 hours on my Powerbook, and some days use every minute of it.

Vicki Smith

The other issue that can come up with laptops is durability. My husband recently bought what are called "ruggedized" laptops for use in the oilfields--well actually for use in the trucks that are in the field. They are monstrously expensive, but if the conditions for use are not terrific, having a ruggedized machine can make the difference between having a working machine, or not.




I'd like to suggest that people working on a budget in which to fit their laptop purchase consider both a used laptop and a lightweight Linux OS distrobution. It saves cost on buying WinXP and the machine won't need a ridiculous amount of horsepower to run a skinny Linux OS.

Something with a P3-600 and 256MB RAM will run distros like Beatrix, MiniSlacks, Vector & MepisLite for example - quite well.

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