Friday, June 24, 2005

Laptop specifications (wishlist)

In order of importance:
  1. Long battery life: in excess of 3hrs under load (if you need to give me an extra battery for this, fine, but why not make the first one last longer?)
  2. Large, easy to view display aka screen, even in bright light (quite a few models now seem to have ~1400*900, good to see)
  3. Decent keyboard
  4. Quiet operation
  5. Fast DVD/CD-ROM drive - so I can run LiveCDs at more appreciable speeds. Some laptops now ship with 40 times drives, and my current laptop has already got a 24 times one!
  6. Fast hard drive so GNOME can load faster.
  7. I used to think CPU speed was important. I'm beginning to accept the idea that I need a separate headless machine to run big simulations on. However, with Linux, processing power really matters at the moment, because you've got a lot of cool Python apps on that platform, but Python is very slow. I haven't tried Mono yet. Leaving aside the question of whether we should use Mono, it will be interesting to find out how fast it is. And of course - fast memory and front side bus. So I guess I'll have to watch the benchmarks in the magazines.
  8. A high-quality microphone, or preferably just microphone and headphone jacks that don't suffer from interference (like my current one, sadly, does!).
  9. Enough USB ports for my keyboard, mouse, printer and either a PDA or digital camera. How about another one for an external HDD? That makes five. Hmm, maybe forget about the printer, don't seem to use it much lately. So four USB ports.
  10. Weight: not that important to me, but sure, I prefer them lighter if I can have them.
  11. Graphics cards: leave me alone - I'm not a gamer! So long as any variant of X and window manager run on it without noticeable lag, I'm happy.
Technical specs:
  • at least 512MB RAM, I guess extensible until 1.5GB would be nice
  • no inbuilt speakers (headphones are the way to keeping friendships at the office), no wireless (too insecure)
  • 80GB+ hard disk
  • Dual-layer DVD writer, hmm... is 8-speed asking too much?

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