The other night I was going through my blog stats and found these search terms: “jennyo laptop” and “jenny ortuoste netbook”. Or something like that. Point is, someone seems to be curious about what laptop I am using, if any.
Since I am all about ibigay ang hilig (give what’s wanted), then here’s a rundown of the portable computers in my life.
WARNING: This post contains many photos of laptop porn that will be of interest only to gadget geeks.
PROCEED ONLY if truly interested in hardware.
I got my first laptop in 2005 – this Stormtrooper white Ebox made in China. At the time it was quite expensive. It served me well for a couple of years and I was happy with it. It had a PENTIUM M processor! Centrino technology! It even had a – gasp! – DISKETTE drive!
(For young people, old people, and people who have been living under a rock since 1985 who do not know what a “diskette” is, click here.)
Even back then, laptops already had a track pad and two buttons that were the equivalent of the right-click and left-click buttons on a mouse.
But this Ebox is heavy and I used it as my work computer, keeping it on my desk at the office. In time, models with bigger and badder specs emerged, and this guy was relegated to the kitchen, for my helper’s use. (Facebook, mostly.) It still works, and she says it’s a whiz at picking up wifi signals. (Yay, Intel!)
Then in 2006 my sister gave me this powerful Acer Travelmate 6292 installed with Windows Vista and that same bad-ass Centrino tech, but “Duo” this time, and with a Core 2 Duo processor. It has a fierce number of ports – USB, Firewire, you name it, it’s got it.
It also has a DVD writer and a built-in card reader, very handy for uploading photos and files from different storage media. It can be connected to a projector for presentations, and to video cameras for editing. One of my video editor friends told me, “This rocks, it’s got everything we need for video and photos. Don’t give it to your kids!”
Since I prefer having other people do video editing for me than doing it myself (mainly because I can’t video-edit), I ended up giving this Acer to my kids. My eldest still uses it, not only for video editing but for a whole lot more besides, like downloading Korean pop music videos and other important stuff. This is one good puppy of a lappy. However, it now runs Windows 7, because as the whole world and his aged grandmother know, Windows Vista is one of the crappiest OS’s ever to come out of Microsoft.
I realized I didn’t need a monster lappy powerful enough to run black-ops by itself. In the dark. Without backup. What I really needed was something simple – the electronic equivalent of paper and pen – in short, a gadget running just Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and an Internet browser would be enough.
Then netbooks were invented. (Insert “Hallelujah Chorus” sung by divine celestial beings here.) Around 2008 I got this wee cute little pink Acer Aspire One. What sold me on it was the fact that it was pink.
The bad thing, the EVIL thing, about the Acer Aspire One models, was their batteries. My sister also has one in black – she bought hers in Dubai – and both our batteries gave out after only a year or so of use. Of careful use. I had to ask a friend in the US get me a new one, and he did in grand style, getting me the largest he could find on eBay. It is so big, it functions as a stand. It also lasts for nine hours of regular netsurfing and Word use.
Being so tiny, the Acer did have one disadvantage for me – the keys were all cramped on the keyboard, and it was difficult to type. I ended up not being comfortable using it to write, a defeat of purpose because that was the reason I got it. I did like the design of the trackpad, with the right- and left-click keys placed on either side of it, instead of below.
This pretty baby has no DVD drive, but it has several USB ports, a card reader, the usual jacks for mic and headphones, and a port for projectors and LAN connections. I’ve used it successfully for Skype/Yahoo! Messenger and projector presentations. Like the Acer Travelmate, it has a built-in webcam at the top of the screen, now a standard feature for these gadgets. It’s still heavy, though. Especially with that gargantuan battery.
So I was happy when the office issued me this delightfully slim and elegant Sony Vaio.
It’s still not as light, as, say, an Apple iPad 2, but then those thingies are tablets, which are a whole different animal altogether. The Vaio possesses decent specs, and runs like a charm. It’s got Windows 7, one of the least crappy OS’s Microsoft has come up with (showing that some people do learn their lessons, although for some it takes a while), and an Intel Core i3 processor that is frakkishly fast.
I like the Vaio’s chiclet keyboard. In overall size the Vaio is larger than the Acer Aspire One, but as a person gets older (I’m not speaking from personal experience, I can just imagine), it’s more comfortable to work with a decent-sized screen and keyboard. Squinting is so not cool.
The Vaio’s trackpad is sensitive enough, made of plastic with the click-keys below it. It’s fairly responsive, and I hope it’s not that way just because it’s new. I’ve already used it for a Powerpoint presentation, hooking it up to a projector with no problem at all.
The gold standard in laptops for creatives is still Apple. I want one, but I can’t decide yet between a Macbook Pro or a Macbook Air. In any case, it might be cheaper to buy abroad than in Manila.
I’ve become increasingly dependent lately on my Samsung Galaxy Tab for media consumption – surfing the Net, using Facebook and Twitter, reading ebooks – that I can’t leave home without it. Still, it is difficult to create content upon it – the touchscreen sucks for typing. Tablets are not the gadget of choice for writers. Laptops and netbooks are.
The babies I’ve featured here are good and reliable workhorses; in terms of function and utility, they get the job done with a minimum of fuss.