I just wanted to put this out there in case people are still interested in reading about my laptop …
I have now used the thing daily for three years, with very few problems, on a grand scale. Recently, it’s started powering off very suddenly. Sometimes, it will power back up again, and sometimes I need to take more extreme measures to start it11 Things that have worked: leaving it plugged in for a few minutes, opening the case and disconnecting/reconnecting the battery, holding down the power button for a few minutes.. When it boots back up, the battery capacity looks fine, as if nothing had happened.
I have not yet isolated the problem. I’m guessing it has something to do with the battery or on-board power circuits or connectors. I’m starting to suspect the connection between the motherboard and battery is bad – whether it would be fixed by getting a new battery is not something I have investigated. For now, I have plugged the battery in slightly harder than usual, and it hasn’t died on me yet.
I’m not actively looking for a new laptop at the moment22 My incredibly fantastic fiancée suggested that I should try to wire up my desktop machine and try using that as a workstation. It has been so good. I forgot how satisfying the clicky blue Cherry switches can be, and how useful it is with a large monitor. but the market looks just as dreadful as it did three years ago. I don’t have very complicated requirements. I would like
- display resolution greater than or equal to 1920×1080 pixels33 For some reason, I feel like reading is much less straining on a high-resolution display.;
- dispay size smaller than 14 inches;
- display not glossy;
- ssd for secondary storage, size of no concurn;
- primary memory larger than 4 gb44 Not because I have a working set anywhere near that, but because I like when things are cached.;
- nic not manufactured by Broadcock55 ^H^H^H^Hcom.
- an rj45 port for ethernet;
- manufacturer warranty longer than two years66 This is a variation of expecting dogfooding: if a manufacturer is not willing to provide warranty that extends beyond the mandatory time span, they clearly do not believe their product will hold up.;
I would like to imagine that I could meet these requirements on a $800 budget.
Not so. Those requirements, apparently, describe high-end $1200 Lenovo Thinkpads.
Here’s how things change if I relax various requirements, from most useful to least useful:
- Allowing for laptops with shorter warranties gives me hits also on Lenovo Ideapads which are much cheaper. I hope I cannot be faulted for getting the impression they are Thinkpads except built to lower standards.
- If I were okay with slightly lower display resolution, there are some Thinkpads in the $1000 range that become available.
- Removing the requirements on both warranty and rj45 gets me into the set of cheap, hard-to-know-what-you-get non-technical consumer-oriented laptops. Well within budget, but at greater sacrifices.
- Something I didn’t expect: relaxing the rj45 requirement actually does not help at all. The set of laptops that have three-year warranties apparently overlaps strongly with the set of laptops that have rj45 ports.
- Another somewhat surprising discovery: allowing for laptops with larger displays does not decrease the price significantly. The explanation I can guess myself to is that the big-screen laptops-cum-desktops are also more computationally capable and thus, more expensive. So while it increases number of options, the additional alternatives are mostly more expensive.
So that’s that. At the moment, my requirements cannot be satisfied within budget with the mainstream models. So my options, when/if this laptop gives in entirely, is to either
- Get an Ideapad and hope it doesn’t suffer from mechanical failure;
- Get an expensive-ish Thinkpad and hope it’s an investment that pays off;
- Look into non-mainstream options.
But that! Is an adventure for another day.