Wherein the curmudgeon cogitates out loud, and solicits suggestions.

Recently, my business (HyperSpace Express) checking account's balance has gone up considerably thanks to a writing gig. And the keyboard on my favorite laptop, a Lenovo X120e netbook called Cygnus, has been giving me trouble recently. It's developed a habit, which I think is thermal, of shutting down mid-boot. And last week random keys stopped working. I fixed that one -- nothing but a loose cable, (this time: it's on its second replacement keyboard) -- but not before I started looking at laptops again.

For quite a long time, the laptop I'd been considering lusting after as an upgrade has been the Lenovo X230. (The pointing stick and middle mouse button are required, along with an easy Linux install, so my choices are somewhat limited.) The X230 only slightly bigger than Cygnus, but a considerable upgrade: somewhat lighter, up to 16MB of RAM, a faster CPU, USB-3, and longer battery life are the main features I'd like to have. The fact that it has a docking connector that just happens to match a dock I have sitting around is a nice extra. They're available on eBay for anywhere between $150 and $400, depending on features, and can often be obtained defenestrated or with Windows 7. (I also considered the 220, which has the old-style beveled keys, but it has little else to recommend it. Besides, I'm used to the chicklets on Cygnus and I prefer the new layout.)

A few days ago, though, I made the mistake of also looking at the X1 Carbon series. It's tempting. First the negatives: it's bigger, with a 14" screen. It's more expensive -- more like the $300-600 range. It has less I/O -- you need a dongle for ethernet. The RAM is soldered on; you get your choice of 4 or 8 GB -- the 230 is upgradable to 16. Confusingly, it comes in a six different "generations" rather than having different model numbers; each generation has a different collection of I/O ports. The touchpad is larger than the one on the 230, which is a negative for a clumsy bear. It uses the M.2 form factor for SSDs, so I can't just take a drive out of any of my other laptops and stick it in. Windows 10 is standard. If you go for the "yoga" variant, which flips over to become a tablet, it's heavier.

On the other hand, it has a larger (16x9) screen, which would be especially nice for lyrics. The "yoga" version would be perfect on a music stand. It has somewhat better battery life than the 230. It comes standard with SSD. And it is, surprisingly, about half a pound lighter in the non-yoga flavor. Even the yoga is lighter than Cygnus. And although it doesn't have all the I/O I'd like to have, it's all I'm likely to need on a day-to-day basis. (The 4th generation, or the equivalent 1st generation yoga, looks like the sweet spot for I/O; it's pretty close to the 230.)

On the gripping hand, can I really justify having yet another laptop? I currently have five thinkpads (admittedly, one is old enough vote and has the Y2K bug, and the next oldest is also an IBM; the newest is currently out on loan), two other Lenovos, and a Dell netbook. I can't find my Asus Eeee, but I think it's around somewhere. (I didn't buy them all; I'm also the household's repair depot dumping ground for old computers.) But still. And I'd have to get new stickers.

There's also the question of what I want to do with yet another laptop I don't use on a daily basis. I already keep one in the bedroom. I could, of course, keep one on the desk and one in my backpack, but I'd have to take the backpack one out to sync it every time I left the house.

Buy one of each? ... ... see above, only doubled.

Sell one? Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa...


Crossposted from dreamwidth.