Thursday, 17 July, 2003

A new laptop!

It's like Christmas in July.  My employer today gave each of us consultants a new toy:  a Dell Latitude C840 laptop.  It features a  2.4 GHz processor, 512 MB of RAM, 40 GB hard drive, built-in Ethernet and 802.11b wireless card, and a display that provides a crisp and clear picture at 1600 x 1200 resolution.  They even pre-installed just about everything we need on them.  The thing runs like a scalded cat!  Visual Studio .NET is much more usable on it than on the 440 MHz Pentium 3 I've been using for the last four years.  They even included a real good video card so I can play SimCity 4 the next time I need to go on a long trip.

I was kind of surprised to see how well this display does 1600 x 1200.  I've been looking for a reasonably-priced flat-panel display to replace the monster 21" CRT I have at home, but it absolutely must support 1600 x 1200 or better resolution.  Seeing the laptop's display, I would have expected to get a good desktop model for a lot less than I've been able to find.  I've seen some models under $1,000 that say they support this resolution but their "optimum" is usually 1280 x 1024, and the higher resolutions look terrible.  I'm willing to pay a bit of a premium for a flat panel display, but certainly not a 150% or 200% premium.  I really like the Viewsonic VP2xx series products, but not for that price.