The product of a web developer with a little too much caffeine

Laptop Hunt (Coming To A Conclusion)

with 9 comments

The past few weeks I’ve been trying to find myself a new laptop. I’ve wanted something that was lightweight, thin, multi-core, 64 bit, SSD drive and a powerful graphics card. Basically, I wanted to have everything and give up nothing. Needless to say the search has been difficult.

I’m not really much of a hardware guy either so I tend to pick the whatever has the highest spec numbers and the lowest cost – not really a good indicator of laptop quality. However, in the process I came across a really good resource for getting laptop information. was a great resource for not only laptop information but for graphics accelerator information as well. Most of the summaries of graphics cards focused on quality settings and frame rates for popular video games — that’s a metric even I can understand!

After a lot of searching I finally found a laptop that seemed perfect Just check out these specs — all for $899.00.


  • Operating System Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit
  • CPU Type Intel Core 2 Duo P8700 2.53
  • Screen 16.4″
  • Memory Size 4GB DDR2
  • Hard Disk 320GB
  • Optical Drive Dual Layer DVD Burner
  • Graphics Card ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4650 (1GB)
  • Dimensions 15.1″ x 10.3″ x 1.14-1.46″
  • Weight 6.9 lbs.

But wait… did you see that? The USB ports? On… the… front… RIGHT?? That will be nice to have a bunch of cords sticking out right where I’m trying to use my mouse. In fact, if you zoom in closer you can see they even mislabeled the ports!


….well, not really…

In any case, as it turns out the laptop has Blue Tooth so the wireless option is easily solved. I even did a search on the internet for for a Blue Tooth powered USB hub, which I found for around $19.00.

Any thoughts? Suggestions? Feedback? Anyone have any last second warnings before I commit?


Written by hugoware

August 21, 2009 at 2:24 am

Posted in General Update

Tagged with , ,

9 Responses

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  1. Amazing what you can get for under 1K now. I’ve been looking, for what you are getting with that Laptop you seem to be getting a great deal, though SONY’s typically are a little more expensive than Dell’s or HP’s.

    I’ve had good luck with HP’s, not so much with Dell’s. No experience with the SONY’s. Obviously get the extended warranty.

    Some Random Dude

    August 21, 2009 at 7:03 am

  2. Thanks, it really threw me off to find a Sony for so little. I’m not sure if this is a sale or what (it is $170 “instant savings”) but it seems like a solid one.

    Thanks for the info


    August 21, 2009 at 7:10 am

  3. I have a very similar laptop, made by Sony.
    The power adapter on the left side broke off 1 week after i started using the laptop, so if you do buy this model, make sure to be very careful when handling it, because it’s very very fragile.


    August 21, 2009 at 9:53 am

    • That’s horrible – How did you end up getting it fixed?


      August 21, 2009 at 10:23 am

      • I actually didn’t get it fixed yet (it’s been laying around for a few months!)
        I bought it outside the US, and the company that imported it went bankrupt. I am still in the process of having another company fix it, and having the store i bought it in pay the tab.
        It’s very irritating…


        August 22, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    • I went by Best Buy and messed around with the same laptop model and I saw exactly what you were talking about. I’ll definitely be careful — I wonder if there is anything that can be done to secure it.


      August 22, 2009 at 10:32 am

  4. Walmart had a sale on laptops – $358 for 3 GB DDR, 17 inch screen, 250GB HD, DVD Burner. Don’t have the CPU ’cause I didn’t look too close.

    For my development I use VMWare and run slices for db server AND the dev platform. That way I can keep the laptop OS clean, and re-configure development as needed. The plus is that I can take the slices to new machines if need be. Backup consists of checking into TFS then back up the VM’s on the drive. I have a clean VM that has no projects on it, and when I start a new project I copy it, then go.

    ActiveEngine Sensei

    August 23, 2009 at 11:30 am

    • That sounds like a much better system than I have now (meaning I have no system now :)).

      My only real experience with virtualization has been using VirtualBox and playing with a few different languages on Ubuntu – I really need to research it better to see what virtualization is capable of.

      I’ve heard some good stories about using VHDs on Scott Hanselman’s blog, but I never found an application for it (for me at least).

      Also, I thought I read somewhere that Sony doesn’t allow you to run virtual machines (they can do it, they just disable it?) – It definitely will be disappointing if thats true, but it won’t really affect me too much.


      August 23, 2009 at 12:32 pm

  5. Interesting about Sony. Why would they care what you did with the hardware as long as you’ve paid them? Strange.

    We use virtualization heavily at work. For the past 2 years we’ve run a payroll system for 800 employees on VM for both the web and SQL Server. A lot of the apprehension that the dev’s have concerning VM and SQL are off base. You need to run defrag more often than usual to keep the disks efficient, but it’s no big deal.

    ActiveEngine Sensei

    August 23, 2009 at 7:04 pm

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