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Laptops - Best Practice & Best Buys
Laptop/notebook what must we have and use all its full potential?

 7:51 pm on Jul 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

At the end of this year my current laptop will be retired and used as a back up etc.

I currently have a main work station at home which I run linux and windows xp including Apache, Mysql and Php.

I use this for all development work and has 120GB hard drive which enables me to archive everything nicely.

My question is what should I or any web developer look for in a laptop/notebook.

No need for brand names or dealers just what are the essential tools and what do others here do to manage all the data whilst mobile.

I will be working at home and at the office as in house SEO and web developer

Things I see important are:

- Good Battaries
- Wireless Card
- Bluetooth?
- Dual Monitor(laptop uses another monitor side by side)
- 15" 16" display
- Dvd-rom
- 30GB to 40GB hard drive

With these tools I can work at home or in the office but being 50%-50% occasionally I have something on one computer and not on the laptop.

I know I can synchronize my laptop and should as a form of good practice however some times I don't have the time or forget.

Another good way is to have my Home Workstation connected all day and use the remote access to reach files ( if I have a static IP address that is). Is this good practice?

Anyone have any tips or advice on how to go about buying a good laptop that covers our daily requirements including future technologies plus manage all the data easily between the two machines.



 8:41 pm on Jul 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

IMHO, integrated wireless is much better than a card.


 2:35 am on Jul 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

Speed, speed, speed! Get the fastest processor you can for your price range. :) The last thing you want is for your laptop to be s-l-o-w.


 5:08 am on Jul 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

I picked up an hp pavilion laptop, it has a 17" widescreen display, 80 gig hd, 1 gig ram, 2ghz p4 cpu, built in 54g wireless, 128 meg video card (NVDIA). I think I paid around $1700 for it. That was a few months ago, maybe prices have dropped.

I use it for web development and programming. Only thing is, batt life sucks ass. I barely make more than 1 1/2 hours with it. And it weighs 10 lbs. Since I use it in the office or at home, the batt life isn't an issue for me.

Also, the video card has video out, and dual monitor support. It works well.


 7:06 pm on Jul 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

I've heard centrino cards by Intel double the battery life, but you sacrifice speed in order to do it. The integrated wireless right on the processor seems to be a real upside to it as well.

Laptop I currently run is a P4 2.66 gHz, 512 DDR, 64 MB ATI Radeon Go, 60 GB, 802.11b wireless. Does everything I need to it to and no major headaches as yet(except when the girlfriend tries to play counter-strike on it*grumble*)


 7:07 pm on Jul 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

While we are at it, what battery life is the best to expect?


 7:11 pm on Jul 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Nice to see this pop up as a topic as I am in the market as well.

<I've heard centrino cards by Intel double the battery life<

Anyone have real world experience with this?


 7:37 pm on Jul 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

In my experience, speed and batt life are inversly proportional to each other. You just can't have both. My P4 Compaq is FAST. Batt life is about 90 minutes max. Had an older Toshiba with a mobile Pentium that I could get close to 3 hours out of. It was like driving an old VW. It chugged along pretty well, but certainly couldn't carry a full load up a steep hill and maintain its speed.

Get a good power inverter. It is seldom that you will be more than a couple of hours without access to some sort of power whether it be trains, planes, busses or waiting around in terminals.



 10:00 pm on Jul 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

There's also the option of just purchasing a second battery to switch with your floppy drive. Longer recharge when you do manage to plug it in, but you do get the extra time.(Batteries aren't terribly cheap however)


 10:24 pm on Jul 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm not sure if this is any good, but you might consider getting a huge amount of RAM, setting up a RAM Drive and working from that rather than the hard drive. It should make having an up to the minute processor slightly less important, preserving battery life somewhat :)


 10:54 pm on Jul 29, 2004 (gmt 0)


* gig of ram
* mobile processor (the new Pentium M's)
* fast hard drive (7200 RPM if possible)
* hi-res screen (but usable at native res)
* re-write drive (dvd if large log files)
* additional battery (if modular option)
* laptop lock (better than nothing)
* notebook cooler (if it runs hot)

My laptop feels 4x-6x faster than my desktop with a similar clock speed, yet the mobile workhorse still gets 4-6 hours of primary battery life. Tell yourself whatever is necessary to justify such a purchase. :-)


 11:56 pm on Jul 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

I got a laptop from Dell - P IV Mobile, 3.06, and 1 GB of RAM, 15" monitor, integrated wireless.

It is heavy, but it has a decent battery life (2 hours on non-conserve mode, 4-6 hours on conserve mode) and runs like a dream.

Just remember that more RAM and less Processor will give your more mileage than more Processor and less RAM.


 3:35 am on Jul 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

Toshiba Satellite P4 3.2 1gb Ram with external firewire drives. 3 hours on battery.

I used to be all HP Laptop guy until I had a string of problems.

Just my views though.



 3:45 am on Aug 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

HP just introduced a Linux laptop [newsfactor.com] for the developer on the go.


 11:21 pm on Aug 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

If it just wasn't branded "HP"....


 1:55 am on Aug 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

That's the beauty of competition in this market. Others will soon follow.


 9:16 am on Aug 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

Just remember that more RAM and less Processor will give your more mileage than more Processor and less RAM.

More mileage as in longer battery life?

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