Monday, April 4, 2011

Laptop Wish List

Since my 10+ year old Toshiba laptop gasped it's last breath after a trip to New Orleans last year, I've been saving and searching for my next laptop. Along the way, I've begun to use user's online reviews on sites like and to get an idea of how good a model is. I also make note of which ones are sold refurbished. It seems to me this means there are a lot of returns on that model (for whatever reason!).

I found an interesting thing occur on Two Toshiba models that had many bad user reviews came and went quickly on their site and so did the bad reviews. When a model is no longer sold, it's bad press is no longer seen!

Friends had warned of HP models freezing so badly you had to remove the battery pack for 30 minutes before it would start up but since they seem to offer the most models with a keyboard and mouse pad centered on the laptop (instead of shifted to the left), I am still considering this brand.

Sony desktops couldn't handle standard replacement parts because they had their own specialty upgrades which standard replacement parts did not fit. The recovery software was so rigid that upgrading to a higher capacity hard drive was almost impossible. Graphics cards had so many compatibility issues I gave up playing video games on pc's and just got a video game system.

As I spoke with others, I found complaints for most brands. To the point that I am still searching for a laptop 6 months later. Anyone notice the Intel I7 models get pulled recently? Kinda disheartening when even the CPU's are having problems!

It seems that the manufacturers develop their models in a vacuum, with no user feedback/suggestion button to be found. You can often send email to some generic address but it seems an idea/suggestion/wish list button would be a great way to get some free ideas from the folks most likely to know what they want - THE USER???

So here is my Wish List for a laptop:

1) Keyboard & mousepad centered

Alleviates my over-extension in my right-shoulder from the addition of a numeric keypad that is rarely used. Just because we have wider HD screens now does not mean you have to have more keys!

2) Curved keys

My fingers are curved, not flat. What's up with these flat keys?

2) Back-lit keyboards

I suggested this to Toshiba many years ago. It is just now catching on. Even touch-typists usually don't know where the special keys are on a keyboard. And being able to change the backlit color would be nice too!

3) Touch screens

Seems way overdue as a laptop feature. They also need to work as well as they do on i-Stuff.

4) Recovery discs

You do realize this is not included on most laptops nowadays?

5) No bloatware killing performance

Don't you hate getting a brand new processor with no noticeable improvement in performance because of all the proprietary crap pre-loaded on the system? Give this as an installation option instead. We're not all THAT PC illiterate!

I am sure I could go on for quite sometime but I'll leave room for others to comment. I doubt anyone with any influence will see this but I can hope (and as usual, I feel better having Ranted). For now, I am limping along on my old Pentium 4 and thinking I'll just go for something cheaper and less than ideal for now. Blu-ray, 3D, and hand-motion control will just have to wait for my next 10 year upgrade...

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