A blog/portal of web sites and things of interest to Monty

Monty's Muse

Monday, June 23, 2008

Monty's Search for a New Laptop

For last several months I've been closely watching the growing popularity of Ultra-Mobile PCs. Leading the way in this recent race is the little Asus Eee PCs starting with the 700 series with their minature 7" displays and most recently the 900 series with their 8.9" displays. Athough I've had my eye on these, admiring the appeal of their "Ultra" small size and Linux operating systems, I've been hesitant to jump in and buy one. One issue is the extreme small screen size with the 7" machines only having a screen resolution of 800x400. The 900 series improves on this with the 8.9" display and an acceptable 1024x600 resolution display. The second issue with both machines is the extremely compact keyboard. I've got large hands and could not display imagine trying to browse, yet alone blog with a machine with such a small keyboard. Price was suppose to be a major positive for these machines and with the 700 series they were price at an attractive $300 to $400 depending on storage size and whether the webcam is included. Price on the 900 series is no where near as attractive at around $550 so I went looking for other options.

I started looking for smaller, more traditional laptops. Most had 15" displays and those with the smaller displays were quite expensive, considerable more than the Asus 900 series. I had about given up my search for a sub-compact laptop, at least with the current offerings and then I stumbled onto the off lease part of Dell's website while trying to find the 14.1" Vostro 1400 that is apparently discontinued. I quickly moved to the laptop/notebook section and went for the "Display Size" option. There were the listed the normal sizes, 17", 15.4", 14.1", 14.0" and then what really caught my eye, 12.1". Two models were listed, the D400 and the D410. A little quick research showed the D410 to be the prefered of the two and it was available for what I felt was a very reasonable $365. It seemed to be exactly what I was looking for, not to small but still portable, not too expensive but decent specifications. What the heck, I clicked the "Add To Cart" button. Noooo!!!!! "The unit you selected is no longer available." Disappointed but refusing to be denied (and also knowing an individual can only hold an item in their cart for 15 minutes without purchasing it) I decided to wait, attempting to add it to my cart again every few minutes. Finally after about the 5th or 6th attempt, success! An extra $17 for ground shipping and my new sub-compact laptop was on it's way.

No comments: