my HP nx8220 is as reliable as a Mercedes W123 and as sexy as a W115

Two different persons approached me earlier last week, telling me about their plans of buying a new laptop. Knowing that they’ll be fine with a simple, stationary system (= forget about battery runtime) and a good cost/performance ratio, I told both of them to go for an ACER 5220 / 80 GB HDD / 1GB RAM + WinXPP for something around EUR 500,-.

I took this opportunity to also inform myself about current models and trends and came to the conclusion that I am just (still) VERY HAPPY with my HP (Compaq) nx8220. I’ve seen a lot of other equipment in the past and also lots of crippled corp. IT gadgets and then I always come back to my beloved nx8220 and think: Ahh, well done, JKE, it was a good deal back then. :-)

Really, I don’t care about fast CPUs or the latest gfx board if the machine does not provide a decent battery runtime under normal conditions and, most importantly, has a matt display, a real keyboard, an internal microphone, a lowered trackpad (see Sony VAIOs – horrible) and enough USB ports on each side.

So why not this dead cheap HP 530 running on Linux? Because it has its USB ports on the left side. Now imagine fixing your USB mouse to that port, pulling the cable once around the back of the machine to the right side. Or headset sockets: nice for fixing a headset – but given the (stationary) Celeron CPU, most users will keep this machine at home and may want to connect it to their stereo system. A cable in front just sucks. My colleagues in Mali are using such a HP 530 and again, I wonder how it performs under the heat…

Been standing in front of an MacBook Air ad tonight, explaining my Indian colleague the disadvantages of such a notebook and I would never go for it. He’s into Apple products big times (is there any secret or subliminal Apple advertisment in Google Talk or Orkut?? :-) but me, mimi I could nevaaaaa go for an Apple computer. (I’ve grown up on an Atari 1040 STF which should still exist somewhere in Nairobi so I’ve paid my dues to the UI on that platform…). I wonder why Apple assumes that most customers who are able to cough up enough pesa for a MacBook Air are also those who are frequent flyers and will be in such situations when this gadget actually plays out its advantages (light weight, energy consumption, data exchange limited to network connections, illuminated keyboard).

If my nx8220 dies one day, I’ll hopefully manage to buy another HP or, if they eventually switch the Strg and Fn key positions, maybe also an IBM/Lenovo thingy. But then, I’d prolly fix it and buy spare parts from eBay…

@M: are you still on that Toshiba?
@MB: what about your FSC Amilo – working again?
@CG: wie geht es Deinem DELL und wie oft nutzt Du Dein ThinkPad?
@Zed & CK: kommt mir jetzt nicht mit dem Apple! :-)

(vielleicht sollte man mich mal 1 Woche lang mit einem Apple PC einsperren, damit ich für das OS mehr Sympathien entwickeln kann…)

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Hi, I am an engineer who freelances in water & sanitation-related IT projects at Saniblog.org. You'll also find me on Twitter @jke and Instagram.

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