The Tools Do Make a Difference OR How to Justify a New Laptop to Your Wife!

It doesn’t matter how good you are, the tools do make a difference.  That is not to discount the skill of the person that is using the tools.  That is not to say that the tools are more important than the person. The most important thing is still the abilities of the person. 

I recently got a new laptop with SSD. I can say this is the nicest thing I have ever had for a laptop. I can also say that I am definitely enjoying what I like to call “instant” Visual Studio. It’s not really instant, but it loads a solution in less than 4 seconds. It itself opens in about 1-2 seconds. I haven’t even optimized the laptop yet (and I won’t until after I install Windows 7), so I’m not really for sure how fast it can be yet.

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I got a Dell Studio XPS 16. The features are amazing! And there are plenty of reviews that gave the laptop high marks! Plus I really liked the look of this laptop. I looked around at a bunch of laptops. I even looked at Macs. For the money and the features, I found this was going to best meet my needs in a laptop.  Some reviews even compared this to the looks of the Mac Book! Of course they considered it a knock off and a bit cheaper, but it also didn’t cost me $4K+ to get a MBP with the same features!

I got this for just under $2K. This is also the first time I have spent over $1K on a laptop. Heck, this was even more expensive than my first ever computer (Gateway POS Windows 95, Pentium I 133, 32MB RAM, 4GB HDD) that cost me nearly $1900 dollars! My justification for the cost is that I am a developer and I should have better tools to work with. Now I can get things done closer to the speed of thought. I find myself waiting less on the computer and more the computer waiting on me now. So like I was saying, the tools can really make a difference!

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Specs (for the 2 people that are actually still reading this):

  • Display - 16in RGBLED LCD (1920x1080) – This display gives you 100% of the color gamut and 130 degree viewing angle!
  • Processor - Intel Core 2 Duo 8600 (2.4GHz) – I didn’t really upgrade the processor as much as I probably should have.
  • Memory - 4GB DDR3 SDRAM at 1067MHz – I didn’t see much need to buy more RAM yet. It’s cheaper to get from other sources anyways.
  • Hard Drive - 256GB Samsung PM800 SSD (Solid State Drive) – Yeah. I splurged here. It was much cheaper than full price!
  • Video Card - ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3670 (512MB) – It was the only option at the time. Now they have the 4670 (1GB).
  • I didn’t get the BluRay optical drive. I am not sure if I should have or not. I just looked at it and didn’t want to spend more on it.
  • I got the additional 9 cell battery. It lifts the back up a little more, but it fits in pretty snugly into the laptop. 

All in all I am very happy with the laptop so far and will really enjoy it once I move to Windows 7! I’ve never really been a fan of Vista, but I don’t mind spending another month with it.

Print | posted @ Wednesday, July 1, 2009 11:18 PM

Comments on this entry:

Gravatar # re: The Tools Do Make a Difference OR How to Justify a New Laptop to Your Wife!
by @imerickson at 7/24/2009 1:05 AM

What about the heat? Or do you not use it on your lap? The reviews indicate it can get hot, but none reviewed it with the SSD?... I'm looking hard at this one, with 256GB SSD & 8GB DDR3 for $2.3k it's hard to say no...
Gravatar # re: The Tools Do Make a Difference OR How to Justify a New Laptop to Your Wife!
by Robz at 7/25/2009 6:09 AM

Heat is bearable. I do use sometimes on my lap. Since having a baby, I don't get much time with my laptop anymore though.
Gravatar # re: The Tools Do Make a Difference OR How to Justify a New Laptop to Your Wife!
by Robz at 7/25/2009 6:14 AM

Heat is bearable. I do use sometimes on my lap. Since having a baby, I don't get much time with my laptop anymore though.
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