A New Toy

For the first time in around 20 years I’m about to be un-employed. Don’t worry, its not quite as radical as all that – I’ve already signed a contract and am looking forward to starting a new position on the 10th December. But since I finish with my current employer on Friday that means 1 week of un-employment. I am so looking forward to that!

To celebrate the occasion my wife decided we needed to go on holiday. Low stress – so no driving, no busy schedule of activities, no rushing… hmm… in other words just about the opposite of every holiday we’ve ever taken. So she’s picked somewhere fairly remote – with no cars or shops, just beaches, pools and food. Sounds great, “but does it have broadband” I ask?

So last weekend I think about packing and get out my trusty old Toshiba laptop. Now the only time I ever use this thing is when we go on holidays. With horror I discover that the backlight has failed. Now I have a very slow, fully functional notebook with no screen.

I’m still waiting for my .NET Rocks Brain Bag and Monitor so surely a new toy to keep me going isn’t too much to ask right? The wife is in full agreement – at least I think that’s what she means when she rolls her eyes that way? So I’ve spent the past few days looking for a notebook that meets the following criteria:

  • Is fun – this is a toy remember – I’m not planing on doing anything remotely serious (like development) on it
  • Is relatively small and light and doesn’t generate to much heat to use on your lap
  • Powerful enough to run Vista Aero and still feel “snappy”
  • WiFi 802.11g – cause who wants cables
  • Gigabit Ethernet – cause when it needs to be done moving 100Gb over WiFi is tedious. [Why aren’t all Ethernet ports these days Gigabit? Now maybe the difference is less obvious with a laptop hard disk but there is still a significant gain over 100Mb even with just Cat 5e cabling.]
  • Card reader – to backup the holiday photos

I had quite a few contenders that went through consideration.

  • Dells XPS 1330 – great performance, good price and not a bad looker, but I’ve only got 3 days to get my hands on one – bzzz!
  • Toshiba Protege R500 – tiny 1kg notebook with solid state 64Gb hard disk, LED backlight, lots of Vista features but poor performance using ultra low power processor and doesn’t come out till December/January – bzzz!
  • Fujitsu LifeBook T4220s – tablet PC (that’s gotta be fun?), good performance, good specs although a bit chunky, no firewire and low res 1024 x 768 screen. Do we have a winner?

As luck would have it an existing Fujitsu Tablet PC owner contacted me this morning as I was deliberating. He seemed pretty happy with his choice and recommended Hugo Ortega from www.tegatech.com.au. Now it turns out Hugo is in the wrong game – as far as I can tell from the phone and e-mail conversations I had with him he’s human. So why is he selling computers? Beats me – but (pending arrival of my machine on Friday morning) I wholeheartedly recommend him! He’s even a Microsoft MVP – oh turns out he’s the legendary Tablet PC Guy!


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