Liam buys a new laptop (Part 1) – Which one to buy?

Just over month ago I finally upgraded from my aging HP nc6000 laptop.  Equipped with a Pentium 1.6M and 1.5Gb it wasn’t an ideal platform for Windows Vista, Visual Studio 2008 or virtualisation engines. I was also really feeling the lack of dual core CPU oomph compared to my desktop setup.

I had been tracking a candidate for a replacement laptop for some months, a HP 6910, although I nearly bought a Dell Latitude D630 (but a waiting time of more than 60 days put me off).  I knew I was in for a world of pain, as my nc6000 and nc4010 laptops all use the same power supplies and docking stations, all of which would be rendered obsolete by buying a newer model 6910p.  Not only would I have to factor in the cost of the actual laptop, but all the 'bits' which I consider **essential** additions...

Why a HP 6910p? I have had nothing but good experiences with my previous HP laptops. I wanted one of the corporate models as they have longer warranties, more robust screen protection and can use docking stations.  I like docking stations, at home, at the office; I even like them so much I drop spare ones at client sites, even if I only visit one day a fortnight.  It's such a relief not to have to take a power supply with me everywhere I go, never mind the grief of connecting all the various network/monitor cables. 

Corporate notebooks also tend to include a trackpoint as well as a trackpad.  It’s a very subjective issue, but I can't get on with trackpads.  As a touch typist you can tap them really easily with your thumbs, which means random cursor madness in Word. Not fun. 

My other requirement is that the laptop should by under 2.5Kg in weight and fit my standard leather briefcase which is only about 5cm wide.  I care about that more than having a large screen.

Finally, the HP scores on a few other points

  1. The parts are easy to get and relatively cheap (compared to, say, Sony or Apple)
  2. They support a wide range of drivers for your o/s (unbelievably this includes Windows 2000 Pro)
  3. They are bulk bought by corporates with more money than sense, so there are lots of cheap spares available on eBay*

So that’s a decision - a HP 6910p laptop.  It has some good reviews from various sites, while not managing a ‘best buy’ or ‘A-list’ award, it generally gets a solid ‘recommended’. Very HP, worthy rather than exciting.

Liam buys a new laptop; 

Print | posted on Tuesday, July 8, 2008 2:26 PM

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