[Nottingham] Portable computing choices [was: Nottingham Digest, Vol 453, Issue 5]

James Moore jmthelostpacket at googlemail.com
Sat Jul 21 03:11:28 UTC 2012

On 20/07/2012 10:14, Jason Irwin wrote:
> On 20/07/12 09:09, Nigel Page wrote:
>> What to buy, down at Carphone Warehouse there is such an array of
>> mobile computers to buy, smart phones, tablets medium and larger,

For the past year+ I've been merrily pootling along on a Toshiba L755D, 
which I got at a nice discount from PCWorld. OK, it's not the fastest 
machine in the world, and comes with Win7 Home Premium, but it does come 
with a dual core 64-bit processor and HD graphics (though the native 
screen is only 720P) with HDMI output, and 6GB RAM (more than enough to 
run a VM or four(!)), and fairly average 500GB HDD. 
Currys/PCWorld/Dixons do have these around still, for around £330 refurb 
- not much less than what I paid for it new.

The keyboard is lovely. I have large hands, and am as much at home on 
this thing as I am on a Microsoft Comfort 2000.

Oh yeah, and it comes in lacquered, easy-clean Modena Red. Gorgeous.

For more portability, I'd go with a netbook. I've got one, because I do 
like to surf on the go, and you just can't surf on a 2.8 inch screen. 
What I got was an EeePC 1008HA, at ridiculous discount (£35 boxed, 
private sale, guy couldn't figure out why the trackpad wasn't working 
but I fixed it). As hardware goes, I'd say it's worth even £280 if I'd 
paid retail. Atom HT, 1GB RAM, 160GB HDD. It even clocks faster than the 
Toshiba on full load (smashes it by nearly 10% on PCMark), but due to 
the screen size it's not my main machine.

Tablets are OK if you don't want moving parts, but I've started coming 
across people who've reported screen damage around the onscreen keyboard 
area (scratches and chips to full-thickness cracks, and yes we're 
talking about budget Android devices here not the exceptionally tough 
iPads), right up to hardcore typists who have suffered all sorts of 
injuries from blisters to RSI. Keyboards that don't react to strikes are 
not good for you, it seems. If you're really stuck on the idea of a 
tablet, look for something with gorilla glass. That stuff is practically 
indestructible, but you pay through the nose for it (quite possibly why 
i-devices are so expensive, they're all coated with the stuff).

Hope this helps you a bit, or at least doesn't confuse you too much.

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