August 26, 2006

I feel dirty…

Filed under: Apple/Mac, tech — Brian @ 1:30 pm

My old laptop at work finally expired, and I got a new one, fresh from the IS folks.

It’s a Dell Latitude D620, with a 2GHz core Duo and 2Gig of RAM, running Windows XP.

And I really like it.

I feel awful.

I’ve been a Mac user since 1985 – I still have my original Mac (the 128K) in the basement. I have poked my share of fun at Windows and Windows users for the better part of 20 years, now. I use an iBook at home, and I easily converted my wife away from the dark side soon after I met her. I use Windows only when forced to. And, actually, this isn’t so much about Windows as about the hardware it’s running on.

This new Dell feels so nice. With Firefox and Vim and Cygwin and a bit more self-installed geekery, it’s *very* comfortable. I’ve never had a Windows machine before that felt good to use, but this one does.

I must be clear; it’s not Windows that’s surprising me – Windows XP is as blandly usable as it’s always been. What I’m surprised by is the hardware. The built-in keyboard feels amazingly sturdy. Every keypress gives a nice firm-but-silent clicky feedback. The iBook (12″ G4, 800MHz, 3 years old) keyboard feels cheesy and plastic next to it. The display is wide and clear – showing almost twice the real-estate width-wise as I can get on the iBook. The power adapter is about half the weight of the one it replaces.

It would be cool to see how Linux handles something like this.

Now it’s certainly an unfair comparison. A 3-year-old, well-used, cheapest-they-made-at-the-time laptop to a brand new, mid-range one. But I’m used to it being unfair in the other direction; the new Windows machine wouldn’t be as nice as the old Mac.

Have they really caught up to being less than three years behind Apple now?

I must go to the Apple store and try out the keyboards on the new MacBooks.

(Oh – and I checked: the Dell battery isn’t on the recall list. But the iBook one is! Yay, free battery!)


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