Notebook frustrations

entry has nothing to do with Visual Basic, but I need an outlet for the
frustrations I have endured while shopping for a notebook computer. Okay, maybe
it’s somewhat related—I plan to use this notebook to develop new VB features.
Does that count? Whatever…


The goal
is to purchase a machine which offers mobility but can be used as a PC at home.
Of course, I want the notebook to be portable, i.e., thin and light, within
reason. I don’t want a sack of bricks. It needs to be quiet and capable of
digitally connecting to my stereo and LCD monitor, via SPDIF (or Toslink) and
DVI-D interfaces. The display should be a nicely-sized widescreen so I can
watch DVDs on the go, and (important) so it can support widescreen external displays
with widescreen resolutions. Finally, I need a slot for reading Secure Digital
(SD) memory. 


appears that no such product exists.


I thought
I found the answer. A solid notebook with a 15” widescreen display, SD slot,
1.6 GHz Centrino, 6.5 lbs., and a port replicator with DVI and SPDIF ports. Too
bad—this particular notebook doesn’t support DVI or SPDIF even though the port
replicator does. Other notebooks offered by this manufacturer support DVI, but
no widescreen.  Some have everything—but weigh ten pounds. Argh!


I looked
elsewhere… Still nothing, not even close. Is it just too much to ask?


This is
the 21st century and yet most of us are stuck in a 4:3 analog world. In 1996,
I bought a cheap CD player in Japan that had an optical port. Widescreen TVs
were the norm—I was amazed! 1996. Six years and an eternity later, I’m struggling to find
similar features on computers, the essence of digital technology.
What went wrong?

Comments (11)

  1. Jason says:

    I know they are big, but the new HP 17" notebooks are pretty nice. I was looking into buying one myself.

  2. Jane Young says:

    I’m at looking at buying one myself.

  3. Ken Getz says:

    Love your blog. Very useful.

    Check out the IBM Thinkpad R50p. I think it has everything you need.

  4. Jeff Gilbert says:

    I’ve got the HP zt3000, 15.4" display…it’s got alot of what you’re looking for. I love it.

  5. I thought the same until my Sager came.

    onl 1 gig of 3200 ddr its doin pretty well

    with 17 inch monitor (thhey start under 2 g’s

  6. Ben says:

    Check out the tecra line, they are fully customizable – but no widescreen (i use a tecra 9100, an older machine with a 1.7 p4 but its been great) they are more expensive then a lot of consumer grade laptops – but they arent’ consumer grade.

  7. Jeff L says:

    Have you checked out the VPR Matrix 220a5. It’s made by a brand owned by Best Buy, but it includes all of the above features and it’s got a slick design. I just got mine off Ebay for $850, wo it’s a pretty good deal too.

  8. CKK says:

    Have anybody found out which notebook has SPDIF?