Once you have a desktop of your own, the next thing you wanted to have will be a laptop. And these days the laptops are no more a status symbol which only hi-fi guys can afford. But I never had a compelling reason to buy one as I had good desktops at both office and home. And I knew that laptops are much cheaper and better in US than in India. So I kept telling myself that I will buy my first laptop when I reach US one day.
When I landed here few months back, company gave me a laptop to work. This was the first time I was using a laptop for my day to day work. It wasn’t that exciting as I thought and soon I started having wrist pain. The only advantage I found was the mobility (which is of course the main purpose of laptops) that helps me use my computer from any where. Now I use external keyboard and mouse to make working on laptops more comfortable. I even wear a wrist-pad to reduce pain and also to prevent things like carpel tunnel syndrome.
Now that my wife is also here, need for another computer came into my thoughts. There were lots of things to consider when I was finally ready to buy my first laptop. The biggest question was whether I should wait for Vista to launch so that laptops come with pre-loaded Vista. This was important as the Vista was much dependent on hardware capabilities and I should not end up having a laptop that cannot support latest OS. The next thing was the screen size. I never liked those bigger laptops which makes carrying them around very difficult though the screen helps in better movie watching experience. But I wanted a wide screen where the screen can accommodate all my ‘Code Window’ even though the ‘Properties Window’ is made visible in Visual Studio.
Regarding the brand, I never had a second thought. Dell was the number one choice for value for money. It had good and reliable laptops at very reasonable price. Deals2Buy (http://www.deals2buy.com) had many Dell deals displayed regularly and I kept watching till Dell started shipping laptops with Vista.
I also compared different editions of Vista and found Business as the best one that suites me. Ultimate had extra features like bit encryption which I am not going to use any way.
On 2007 January 28, Dell site started displaying laptops with Vista. So I placed the order online from home. I chose the ‘Dell Inspiron E1405’, which was smaller and had RoadReady design. The Dell site offered choosing components and I picked the best available options in each section. But the next day when I discussed this with my colleague I noticed that I missed to notice the processor type. It was ‘Core Duo’ and not Core 2 Duo’. I called Dell immediately and requested for a change and the additional cost was just 50 dollars.
So here is the final specification:
Dell Inspiron E1405 Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T5200 (1.6GHz / 2MB L2 Cache / 533MHz FSB), 14.1 inch wide screen LCD Panel, 2GB RAM and 120 GB Hard Disk, with Genuine Windows Vista Business. I have the complete details at http://wayfarer.bizhat.com/about/laptop1.html
On 2007 February 05, this laptop got delivered at my apartment here in Dallas and I immediately fell in love with that. I will write more about my usage experience later on.