Friday, April 15, 2005

Buying a laptop - the right decision?

One day or another you will come up with this question "Should i get myself a laptop or a desktop?" . The answer usually depends on 2 factors the first being your budget and the second your performance requirements.

Budget wise unless you live in the US or in South East Asia the price of a laptop can be really exorbitant. In Mauritius for example the price of an Intel Centrino 1.5Ghz , 40GB ,DVD writer , WiFi-enabled laptop can be as much as Rs44,000 + Vat thats about 800 pounds (pound 1 = Rs 55 ).The same is for the UK were prices really put the laptop out of reach of low budget consumers which is a real shame.

Perfomance wise laptops are really not as powerful as desktops , actually the more you want your laptop to be performant the more graphic cards , chips , ram you need to add ,these does help to boost up the juice but the negative points being that your laptop becomes heavier , heats up more and uses more battery life.

Laptops are useful (if you have a low budget) when:
1. You're always on the road and away from your pc
2. You dont need heavy duty equipment , a simple Celeron laptop would do
3. You will use the laptop only as a secondary unit to your pc
4. You need to regularly visit your clients on-site.
5. Want to take your work back home.

J2EE programmers and all other performance hungry programming experts , you are all cursed!!! The laptop unless being a really mighty beast will never be able to satisfy our ram and power hungry applications unless you are willing to pay the price.Here the desktop should be reconsidered as a primary option. Who wouldn't have been happy to bring back his Eclipse-tomcat-jboss application home to work on it off office hours....sniff.

Its really sad that the prices never seem to drop for laptops because it would have been much more elegant to replace our common desktops with them.

If you want to distinguish between a Pentium M , Celeron , Sempron laptops and get more additional information here is a google-group thread which explains what all these are and gives some interesting tips as to which laptop makes have the lowest/highest power consumption and performance.

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Eddy Young said...

I think I just became a millionaire in dollars with the exchange rate of the Mauritian Rupee :-)

Surely you can get an Apple iBook for cheaper (

javed said...

hahahha ...good one eddy , should have wrote 1 pound = rs55 :P . nice you point out the error .

Apple iBooks are unfortunetly not so popular here in MRU , if you ask someone if they know Mac OS X , i would say that there is an 80% chance you will end up having an empty stare at your face.

D said...

An iBook 12" is not that expensive. If you want to go with Windows, I'd choose a Pentium M and a good wide screen. Every one is constrained with a budget.