Pros: Fast, slim, and light
Cons: Cost may be prohibitive
When I began to work more from outside the office, I looked at a few options for a home machine.
I knew that I needed the freedom of a laptop, but I wasn't sure which one. I had already been through the trials of the Sony Viao (great looking machine, but it has an annoying habit of losing everything at the worst time).
The laptop needed to be small and light. Sometimes I need to take the train into the city -- and bulky laptops are an impediment. It also needed to NT compatible, which knocked many laptops out of contention.
I talked to many of my friends and read many epinions about laptops and came to a solution -- I would try the IBM T20, which was the latest model. I was not disappointed.
Here are the specs of the machine:
The machine is small and light. It is just 13.1 in (W) x 10.6 in (H) x 1.8 (D) in and weighs 7.5 lbs.
The display is large -- 15 inch screen! It does have an active matrix display, though.
Keyboard and Mouse:
The IBM's keyboard is normal size, so you won't have the annoyance of your fingers not being able to find the right keys. Numbers and frequently used characters are hidden though...and you need to hit your function key to type these.
One thing that you may have to get used to is the fact that all IBMs use the patented 'nipple' touch mouse, which can be an experience getting used to. I still prefer this over a glide pad or mouse-ball option.
Clock Speed and RAM:
The machine is powered by a 700 mHz Pentium III processor. It really moves and can double or triple task with no problem. As I configured it, the t20 has 128 megs of RAM, and this could be increased to 256, more than enough for standard applications like word and excel. And enough for apps like photoshop, too.
An amazing 20 gigs!
Color (Just like Henry Ford said):
Any Color, Just So Long As It's Black.
The Rest Of the Package:
It comes standard with a 56 K modem and some ordinary graphics and sound cards. If you want a machine to play games on -- this is not it! The machine also ships with a swappable CDROM and 3" disc drive.
HINT: It's important to have that 3" around, as you'll never know when you'll need it..sometimes the easiest way to transfer a file is still the old way.
All told, the machine retailed for 3,400. I got it from CDW.
Also, the machine came with no software installed. Since installing NT (and upgrading to Win 2000) are not easy, novices may need to purchase the machine with the OS and Windows tools installed, which will increase the price.
As an aside, when you purchase computers or peripherals, you need to understand that your model is immediately worth less once you take possession of it. It's like driving a new car off the lot -- you lose 30% of the value straightaway. So my ultimate advice for anyone buying a notebook, desktop, printer or a scanner? Make sure you like what you've got, because the next best thing is already out there...that's just the nature of the market.