Living in a laptop world

I’ve resisted owning a laptop for years, mainly because I don’t really have a desire to sip a latte, sitting outside Starbucks while browsing myspace (that IS what you do with a laptop, right?).

Most laptops I see are huge, with ginormous screens, really stretching the ‘lap’ in laptop.

I have a desktop, and no laptop will ever replace the performance, comfort, and ergonomics of sitting at my desktop with my 30-inch monitor and surround sound.

I’ve considered getting one of the new 13-inch laptops, mainly as a convenience for that every-once-in-a-while time that I’d like to be somewhere other than my desk, but need to do some computing.

The problem with having a laptop which is not your only/main computer is the need to maintain two systems.

Most laptop users get over this problem by separating their environment; games on desktop, work on laptop; photo editing on desktop, email on laptop.

I’ve yet to find anyone that has maintained (for any significant period of time) a desktop and laptop with exactly the same state.

So, either I decide to make the jump to a laptop-only computing life or I live a dual-life.

Neither option makes sense to me.

I’m probably not getting a laptop, but I went through the process of comparing the latest 13-inch’ers from Apple and Dell. I’d drop a Linux boot partition on both, so I’m really only looking at hardware specs, not software.

Basic Options (configured to be as similar as possible)

Dell XPS M1330
Apple 13-Inch MacBook
Color
red, white, black
white, black
CPU
2.2GHz/800Mhz FSB, 4MB Cache
(Intel® Core™ 2 Duo Processor T7500)
2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
Mem
2GB (667MHz DDR2 SDRAM)
2GB (667MHz DDR2 SDRAM)

HHD

160GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM)
160GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM)
Screen
TFT 13.3 inch / 1280×800 / WebCam
TFT 13.3 inch / 1280×800 / WebCam
Video
128MB NVIDIA® GeForce™ 8400M GS
Intel GMA 950 64MB shared with main memory
Wireless
Intel Next-Gen Wireless-N
AirPort Extreme Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n)
Weight
3.9 lbs
5.1 lbs
OS
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium Edition
Apple OS X
Warranty
1 yr
1 yr
Price
$1,999
$1,898

Max Options

Dell XPS M1330
Apple 13-Inch MacBook
Color
red, white, black
white, black
CPU (max)
2.2GHz/800Mhz FSB, 4MB Cache
(Intel® Core™ 2 Duo Processor T7500)
2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
Mem (max)
4GB (667MHz DDR2 SDRAM)
2GB (667MHz DDR2 SDRAM)
HHD (max)
64GB Solid State Drive
200GB SATA (4200 rpm)
Screen
Slim and Light LED 13.3 inch / 1280×800 / WebCam
TFT 13.3 inch / 1280×800 / WebCam
Video
128MB NVIDIA® GeForce™ 8400M GS
Intel GMA 950 64MB shared with main memory
Wireless
Intel Next-Gen Wireless-N
AirPort Extreme Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n)
Extras
Biometric Fingerprint Reader
None
Weight
3.8 lbs
5.1 lbs
OS
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium Edition
Apple OS X
Warranty
1 yr
1 yr
Price
$3,649
$1,998

Dell wins for me, especially with all the additional upgrades which are not available from Apple.