Monthly Archives: April 2011

The annoyances of laptops

On a mailing list I’m on, someone recently asked for a recommendation for a new laptop, based on some requirements. I didn’t have any good input to give, but it made me realize that there are a number of things about laptops that annoy me:

  • Vents on the bottom. And getting hot on the bottom in general. Perhaps this is why they market them as “notebooks,” so they don’t need to answer for this stupidity, even though most people use them a part of the time on their lap. As far as having to dissipate lots of heat, I don’t buy a laptop for gaming or anything particularly resource-intensive. (Possibly this is why I don’t mind integrated GPUs.)
  • Trackpads that don’t work like Apple ones do — having to move your finger over to the side of it for the “mouse wheel” action.
  • 16:9 displays. 4:3 is better for anything but watching movies.
  • Numeric keypads seem pretty dumb, mostly because you have to place it off-center with respect to your body as a result. I’d probably find a good USB numeric keypad if I were a traveling spreadsheet wizard.

What I currently use as a personal laptop is a Lenovo S12 — it fails most of this critera, but at least it’s about as small as they go with a full-sized keyboard. For work I have the 13″ Macbook Pro. When I buy a laptop again, I’ll probably buy the 11″ Macbook Air with the maximum CPU/RAM/Disk config. It’s the sort of laptop I always wanted from Apple, but which they didn’t make until recently (I’ve had a 2006 Macbook and 2002 iBook in the past, I am quite an Apple fan.)