Monday, 9 April 2012

My New Laptop!

Having recently come into a sum of money, I needed to get it spent before anyone could ask for it back. My first thought was to buy a tablet; but then I decided that it would be nice to have a proper keyboard -- touchscreen keyboards are tiring to type on. Of course it would be possible to have a Bluetooth keyboard, but then that means extra stuff to carry (and roll-up keyboards are no better than touchscreens). So in the end, I decided to treat myself to a nice new Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 15.

The first thing I did, of course, was to get rid of Windows! Though I generally use Debian, for this machine I wanted to get a desktop environment up and running as quickly as possible and so I have installed Ubuntu. Version 12.04 ("Precise Pangolin") is going to be a long term support release, but this is still in beta at the time of writing. The newest 64-bit release the installer offered me was 11.10 ("Oneiric Ocelot") and so I chose this (I've upgraded Debian enough times; and on my main home desktop I use Sid, which you have to upgrade every so often as packages update their dependencies).

"Oneiric Ocelot" is based on the Unity desktop. I have always used KDE in the past, but this laptop has a widescreen display and the default configuration of KDE, with its bottom bar, would leave precious little "real estate". The default here is to have a sort of application dock down the left hand side, and a status bar at the top which gets replaced by an application's main menu bar when you mouse over it. This makes sense -- after all, you don't need to have the menu bar there except when you need it, and it saves on vertical space.

The machine itself has a comfortable keyboard, and features both a trackpad and the usual ThinkPad "nipple". The keyboard does not have a number pad, but all the extra functions that used to be shared with the number pad -- home, end, insert and so forth -- are present as dedicated keys, and I don't actually miss it. It's lightweight, it holds its charge for nearly 4 hours, and it charges up quickly. Networking is wireless B / G / N or wired (up to 1 GB). Ports include VGA, HDMI, headphones (no audio in, but USB adaptors are available), three USB and one combination USB / SATA port which will accept either a USB or a SATA connector.

I'm as pleased with this as I was with my first proper cleavage :)

************************* ..... More stars than in the whole universe in fact!


  1. That’s true. Touchscreen monitors are cool, but not much when it comes to typing. It’s way faster and more comfortable to type on conventional keyboards. I’m glad your ThinkPad has a comfortable keyboard. It matters a lot, especially if you’re using it for doing work materials. Well, that’s one thing I know Lenovo has focused on with their ThinkPad Edge series. And I think they did the right thing.

  2. Congrats on having your that laptop, Julie! I'm pretty sure you can do your work easier with that widescreen display or even play your favorite games with more excitement. :) Anyway, it's a good move that you opted to buy a laptop and replace your touchscreen keyboard. Those types of keyboards may be too harsh for our fingers, but it’s a good and handy gadget, though.