narrowing down the contenders (part 2)

I took a look at two more configurations today before my patience, or rather impatience, got the better of me. On a side note, I’ve been doing a lot of personality surveys over the last few days as part of work and I realize that while I’m kind of analytical, etc., I’m still kind of spontaneous when it comes to making decisions. I’m sure my parents can vouch for this–when I was a kid and I wanted something, I usually wanted to get it from the first shop we visited. All the price comparing, looking for the best deal, etc. just came in the way of me getting the toy. Not much has changed–just the toys are more expensive, now (and I’m buying them). 🙂

So the two computers I added to my list were the Dell Latitude E6400 and the Apple MacBook. Here’s a short summary on each one’s spec:

Apple MacBook

Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo P7550 2.26GHz
RAM: 2GB DDR3
Screen: 13.3″
Weight: 4.7lbs
Battery: “7-hour battery life”
HDD: 250GB SATA 5400RPM
Warranty: 3-years AppleCare
Price: $1,248 + taxes

The things to note here are that this uses an old processor (didn’t look to closely at the benchmark) and a slow hard-disk. I was also surprised that I had to pay about $350 for the 3-year AppleCare warranty; for some reason I was under the assumption that that was included in the premium price (my mistake). Given that this computer is pretty expensive, pretty crippled comparatively and is a Mac, it’s not high in my prioritized list.

Dell Latitude E6400

Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo P8800 2.66GHz
RAM: 2GB DDR2
Screen: 14.1″
Weight: 4.3lbs
Battery: 9-cell
HDD: 250 GB SATA II 7200RPM
Warranty: 3 years
Price: $1,071 + taxes

I looked at a couple of Latitudes since they seem to be the business machine of choice (NI business laptops are usually Latitudes, although interestingly they are not available on the Dell EPP page). Unfortunately, they haven’t refreshed their line yet, as they still have the old-school Core 2 Duo’s and only DDR2 RAM. Isn’t a big deal, but not really future-proof, considering that I am getting a 3-year warranty.

Needless to say, I’m not going to be buying either of these configurations.

In fact, I have pretty much decided on the Sony VAIO CW Series. I’ve spec’ed out a couple of configurations and it seems to have the most power for the best price. The only downside is that the machine is 5.3lbs, which is only about half a pound lighter than my HP dv5z, but then again it is only half a pound heavier than the Apple. I was strongly leaning towards the EliteBook 8440P, which has so far got lots of good reviews. However, it made more sense to go with the VAIO: (1) Double the RAM (4GB vs. 2GB) and using only one slot so upgradable, (2) 70GB more of HDD space, (3) cheaper by $70 and (4) I can engrave something into the bezel (currently I have decided “sohummm”). In fact, I’m so sure about getting the VAIO that I already applied for financing and was approved for $3,500 of credit with 6 months on 0% APR. Given that I’m looking to pay this out over 3 months max, I don’t know how I can let this deal go (not to mention the credit approval makes me lean towards looking at one of the more expensive lines, too).

Anyways, that’s it. Looks like VAIO is going to re-enter our family after my Dad had one of the ultra-portable models back in the day.

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