simon-may.com

April 26, 2009

Choosing a new laptop

Filed under: How I Use...,Windows 7 — Simon May @ 12:26 am

I recently started a project that meant it was time I needed a new laptop.  My previous laptop, which was a couple of years old, a Gateway laptop with 15” just wasn’t cutting it anymore.  Over time the battery had stopped holding it’s charge, and the processor (a Celeron M) just wasn’t capable of what I needed to do (it involves running Virtual Machines) and even with beefed up RAM it just wasn’t making me happy.

So with the above requirements in mind I went looking for a multi core laptop with loads of RAM and a good “bang for my buck”.  I don’t play lots of games on Windows but I do need to be able to multi task well to use those virtual machines and entertainment of another kind, the ability to use Windows Media Center really wel,l was right up there on my list of requirements.  One thing that bugs me about most entertainment laptops is there massive size, since I didn’t (and still don’t) intend on getting rid of the Gateway laptop, I wanted something pretty small – I though about a netbook initially, but the power just isn’t there.

With Windows 7 just around the corner I wanted a device that I’d be sure could take advantage of everything it has to offer, and from a hardware point of view that meant that I wanted to be able to use multi-touch.  This was actually a far more important factor for me than any of the above and it narrowed the field immediately.

So to recap, lots of RAM, fast processors, small, multi-touch…not too much to ask for.

imageSo a little research under my hat and it was time to hit the shops, well not the shops but the online stores.  The device that started to come out on top every single time was one of the variants of HP’s TX2 entertainment laptops.  It could have been built according the spec above.  Around the same time, Ian got a TX2 in to review, and it looked like just what I wanted….so I grabbed it!  Engadget named it “Tablet PC of the Year” so I new I was onto a good thing.

I’ve got to say that since I’ve owned it I’ve been totally blown away by it.  As soon as I got it I installed the Windows 7 Beta on it, and found the drivers for the Touch screen and got it going, the multi-touch experience in Windows 7 has to be seen, or rather touched, to be believed.  I really love being able to navigate a web page by touching it, zooming in, scrolling going back and forth is super simple and really intuitive.

It’s really quick too and I’ve have 3 virtual machines running at the same time doing all sorts.  The fact that it has a little Media Center remote built in is something that really floats my bloat, although I need to change the IR ID (it keeps firing up Media Center in the office when I’m watching TV in the lounge!) also it came with two batteries and that means a total battery life of about 6 hours!

So what’s the point of this, none really I just love this PC and want to talk about it a bit,  and with Windows 7 going to RC very soon I’m sure some folks are going to go looking for a PC that gives them a great Windows 7 and Windows Vista experience.

Posted by Simon May, follow me on Twitter or if you like email me
Simon's Blog @ thedigitallifestyle.com

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