Impossible Laptop

Paul Seamons paul at
Tue Nov 22 08:49:33 MST 2011

On 11/18/2011 12:45 PM, Stuart Jansen wrote:
> I'm looking for:
>    - Matte screen
>    - More than 1080 vertical pixels
>    - A keyboard that doesn't suck
>    - Good Linux compatiblity
>    - High quality construction
>      (able to withstand constant travel)
I'm going to echo Doran here and vote for a business class Dell Latitude.

Two years ago I got a Dell E6500 that I still use today.  It is still 
better than most new laptops today.  I've been very happy with it.  It 
is a core 2 Duo with a 128GB SSD and a 15" 1440x900 matte LED backlit 
screen.  I've carried it to and from work everyday and on all business 
trips and vacations for the past 2 years and it is still in great shape 
(I use a neoprene sleeve in a typical backpack).  The only thing that is 
starting to feel dated is the NVidia Quadro NVS 160M (which is still a 
great card, just not quite so modern anymore).  At the time I got it I 
had them install XP on it rather than the standard Vista - I think there 
was an option for FreeDOS, but I do like being able to use some legacy 
Windows only applications.  I also always buy an extra battery and an 
extra charger with my new laptops.  I always leave a charger at work and 
one at home to cut down on their wear and tear.  One of my batteries is 
only at 60% of original capacity - but the other is just fine (I swap 
dedicated usage of them every couple of months).  One more plus is that 
Dell so far hasn't messed up the location of the left control key 
(unlike Apple and several other manufacturers) -- this is important to 
me as an Emacs user (yes we still exist) that doesn't like using the 
capslock as ctrl.

My biggest complaint with it is just that it is a bit of a brick.  But 
it is a solid brick with metal hinges and chassis and a nice bright screen.

According to your specs - the only thing missing is that 1080 - but I'm 
sure the new models will be at that or above.  Back in 2000 the laptop I 
was using was 15" 1600x1200.  I loved it and really hate how we've 
regressed to "HD."   But at the same time the pixel resolution on the 
1600x1200 was actually pretty small and I had to custom tweak font 
settings and icon settings to get things up to a non-micro size.  I've 
never really had any issues with the 1440x900.

So, when I shop again - I'll go for a business class Dell.  My specs 
will be - as good as what I have now but including:
LED backlit, 15" or greater, 1080 or greater
SSD - faster is better
I'm not concerned with memory or CPU as long as it isn't the bottom of 
the pool because whatever it is will likely be as good or better that 
what I bought two  years ago.


More information about the PLUG mailing list