Going Mobile :: Looking For A Laptop

by derek on April 3, 2008 · 32 comments

With my first blog conference coming up in May, I don’t think it would be very convenient to try and lug my current desktop system to the conference.

Given that SOBCon offers a good deal of hands-on interaction within the mastermind groups, I would really like to have a machine with me to capture my work. Therefore, I am looking to purchase a new laptop that can be used at the conference and when I travel in the future.

What Do I Need In A Laptop?

To be honest, I really do not need a state of the art machine as I will use this at the conference and the few times that I travel each year. In addition to that, I imagine it will be used from time to time to write blog posts or surf the Interweb from somewhere other than my office.

There are no plans to have the new laptop replace my existing desktop as my primary machine. With that said, there are a few options that I would prefer not to skimp on such as memory since insufficient memory can really turn a machine into a dog.

Based on this criteria, I have been looking at relatively inexpensive machines and would ideally like to keep it under $1000 or as close as possible. Thus far I have narrowed it down to a few machines, although I always welcome additional feedback.

Apple MacBook

Apple MacBook

Being a lifelong Windows guy, I have always believed (and might have said but nobody can prove it) that I would never own a Mac.

However, I am beginning to question myself on this opinion and believe it could be a great machine for my purposes. Macs have a great reputation and there are quite a few bloggers using them, so I can see this being a viable machine.

Coming in as the most expensive of the machines I am looking at is the MacBook with the 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2GB RAM, and 160GB hard drive @5400 rpm. This machine comes in with a price of $1299.00.

Dell Inspiron 1525

Dell Inspiron 1525

The other night I spec’d out an Inspiron that was pretty loaded for a price around $750 – I’m kind of regretting the fact that I didn’t pull the trigger as there was a discount code in effect until 5am the next morning.

As you can imagine, the price is now a fair amount higher for a similar machine but I wasn’t ready to make the purchase at the time. At work we use Dell machines and I have two Dell machines at home, so I am very familiar with Dell.

The cheapest of the three machines, this Inspiron 1525 has the 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 3GB RAM, and 320GB hard drive @ 5400rpm. One feature that this machine adds is a built-in webcam, which might be nice for making a few video posts on the blog. This machine comes in with a price of $899.00.

Lenovo ThinkPad T61

Lenovo ThinkPad

A friend of mine mentioned that he has a ThinkPad for work and has been quite impressed, although he uses a Mac at home so what does he know. 😉

I’m not very familiar with the ThinkPad, having never actually used one myself. The specs appear to be fairly comparable and I have read a few positive reviews of the this line of ThinkPad laptops.

The ThinkPad has the 2.1GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2GB RAM, 160GB hard drive @ 7200rpm. This machine comes in with a price of $963.00.

Other Considerations

Initially I was contemplating an Asus Eee PC but the small screen size and really low resolution are cause for concern. Even though this isn’t going to be a primary machine, I am not sold that these issues will not become a nuisance over time.

With the need to make a decision relatively soon, I feel pretty confident that one of the machines mentioned above would make a suitable choice for my purposes.

Since I have been a lifelong Windows user, I kind of like the appeal of entering into the world of the Mac – although it might take some time to get used to the machine. By the same token, I am much more familiar with a Windows machine and would likely feel more comfortable using one at the beginning.

I’d like to turn this over to the community to get some feedback on what laptop you would purchase if you were in my situation. As a reminder, my goal is to spend under (or close) to $1000 and I don’t need all the bells and whistles – just a solid machine for blogging related work.

Which laptop would you buy?

  • Dell Inspiron 1525 (30%)
  • Lenovo ThinkPad T61 (30%)
  • Apple MacBook (23%)
  • Other (17%)

Total Votes: 30

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