$3K for Fujitsu's new notebook? Gimme a break!

$3K for Fujitsu's new notebook? Gimme a break!

Summary: Earlier this month, the folks at the Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet and Society interviewed me via e-mail to find out what it was about mashups that has inspired me to write about them so much and ultimately, to take on Mashup Camp as a side project (Doug Gold and I are the organizers of Mashup Camp and Mashup University).

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TOPICS: Reviews
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Earlier this month, the folks at the Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet and Society interviewed me via e-mail to find out what it was about mashups that has inspired me to write about them so much and ultimately, to take on Mashup Camp as a side project (Doug Gold and I are the organizers of Mashup Camp and Mashup University).  In my answer, which appeared in the July issue of The Filter, I questioned the bill of goods that the "technology establishment" has been selling us for so long:

For as long as I can remember, the potential for thin-client (or browser-based) computing to dethrone the desktop as we know it has fascinated me. I often wonder to what extent everybody has been hoodwinked into believing that technological evolution requires bigger, more powerful and complex operating systems, applications, and computers. To this day, we buy this stuff, spending billions of dollars, and rarely ask whose best interests it's in to constantly refresh our technology with stuff that's harder to manage and often times just as or more expensive than what we had before. Today, you can buy a decent notebook computer for less than you ever could. But when you ask that computer to run the new generation of operating systems and applications you're back on an expensive technology treadmill that, quite honestly, would be a conflict of interest for certain vendors to stop.

Today, CNET Reviews has a review of a new notebook -- Fujitsu's Lifebook Q2010 -- that epitomizes the idea of that expensive technology treadmill, if you ask me. Wrote Andrew Gruen fo the ultraportable:

The Fujitsu LifeBook Q2010 ultraportable laptop is small enough to fit in even the most cramped coach seats, but at more than $3,000 for a well-configured model, anyone who can afford one is probably flying first class anyway. It's lighter than other ultraportables, such as the Dell Latitude X1, the Lenovo ThinkPad X60s, the Panasonic ToughBook W4, and the Sony VAIO TX. If you demand the utmost in portability--and are willing to spend quite a bit to get it--consider the LifeBook Q2010. Otherwise, look to the Editors' Choice award-winning ThinkPad X60s, which is only a bit thicker but much faster and more than $1,000 cheaper.

I happen to be in the market for a notebook right now. Not only does the cost drive this machine right out of any possibility of contention, the fact that it has no pointing stick (a Trackpoint in Lenovo's parlance) eliminates it from my list as well.  I know it's a matter of personal preference but I find that having to move my fingers away from the keyboard to move the mouse-pointer is a productivity killer (yes, I know that some people can do this with the their thumbs.... but I can't and I rarely see people using anything but their index fingers).  

Stop the treadmill.  I want off. 

Topic: Reviews

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9 comments
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  • Getting off the treadmill

    At some point the technology that you have is exactly what you need. After that any upgrade (other than security patches) is a complete waste.

    Many businesses wouldn't have moved off of Win98 + Office97 if it they hadn't been pushed off of it. And the kicker is that the newest high-powered machines running the newest high-powered software don't deliver a perception of performance that's appreciably greater than we had 10 years ago.

    I know the technology does a lot more today, but that's not really the issue. The issue is, "am I doing more with it?" If the answer is no then you may as well have just set fire to your money.

    I invest in one good system for perimeter protection. I upgrade the others when I see a need. I invest in application software upgrades only so long as they don't "jump the shark" ("upgrade" themselves out of my market). And I use open-source where it makes sense so I don't have to get burned financially when upgrades are necessary.
    dave.leigh@...
  • carts & horses

    I have always thought buying new hardware just to run the latest version of a program when the version you have still works for you was a little strange.

    I have never changed hardware to run a new OS, I have always upgrade my OS because it was no longer compatible with my new better hardware I bought to replace my old worn out hardware.

    Technology is a tool, it is useful for accomplishing certain tasks, new hardware (usually) allows you to accomplish those tasks quicker with less wait time. Unless it has new features you actually plan on using, upgrading software just slows you down.

    You expend time learning to navigate a new interface, you lose time to figuring out how to perform the same tasks with different tools or what if anything useful the much touted new features actually do for you.

    Avoid the treadmill, leave the laptop at home and take a relaxing walk.

    Bjorn A Freeman
    bjornafreeman@...
  • Umm what you have probably works just fine

    so stick with it if it isn't broken. My main desktop PC is an AMD Duron 1.2GHz, 1GB PC2700 SDRAM with a 64MB nVidia video card. I have been running this system since 2000. It runs the latest Linux distro just fine. Other than 2 hard drives and the addition of a DVD burner and a new power supply, the system is pretty much as is and I have no plans to replace it until it's dead. It runs fast and stable so why replace it? Total cost to me = $973.36.

    Same thing, my laptop is a Toshiba A15-S129 Intel Celeron 2.4GHz, 1GB PC2700 SDRAM built in Intel 855 GM with 3D enabled 32MB shared memory. It also runs the latest Linux distros with no problem. Had this system for about 3 years. Other than an upgrade to a 7200RPM 80GB hard drive and a new battery system runs fine. Again it does what I need it to do. Total cost to me so far = $1,685.23

    The question is what do you really need to do that requires you to have the latest in software and hardware? Seriously. a lot of times newer is not always better and from what I have been seeing, the newer and more complex it gets the more time is wasted to get simple thigns done in a timely fashion. And I am not the only person that is seeing this trend.

    Computers were created to simplify our lives and reduce the amount of time we spent in the office and yet I am seeing the complete opposite occuring. Our lives have become far more complex AND people are spending longer hours in the office. Why? I have my hypothosis but I think you and many others here know why.

    Bottom line, that neato light weight laptop probably really isn't all that when you get right down to the core of what you really need. ]:)
    Linux User 147560
  • $1099 - BASE mACBOOK

    Good for years to come, runs EVERYTHING!
    problem solved!
    Reverend MacFellow
  • I remember when laptops came with much less for $3k.

    No doubt the laptop is built of quality components, so it doesn't break readily.

    Still, poor battery life when there's no internal optical drive and small LCD monitor seems lame, but then again it is a higher performer...
    HypnoToad
  • NO Mac run everything.

    1% of thee software is available for the mac as compared to the pc. Apple needs to drop the misleading advertising campaigns.
    Protector
    • The MacBook & Pro

      Can run any w32 appliation any other Intel laptop can without emulation. More software can run on a MacBook than any other laptop, dare I say, in the world.
      People
    • Intel Macs can run everything

      Granted the current Apple ads are a bit misleading in terms of the PC's functionality.

      However, the Intel Macs can run BOTH Windows and OS X software. This is far from "1%". Therefore, the Macs can do MORE than a regular PC.

      I'm writing this on my iMac running OS X, while currently remoting into my work PC (running Windows) from home using Parallels Desktop. Hint: The VPN client I'm using only works on Windows. If I want to play games, I just reboot into Windows.

      Therefore, the Intel Macs CAN run everything!
      ExEm2SS
  • Jump off the merry-go-round entirely

    Buy a TRS-80 Model 100 on eBay for ten bucks. Stone reliable and runs for tens of hours on AA alkalines. I expect the Amish to give the Model 100 their retro-tech seal of approval any day but it gets the job done with no "But it's last week's technology!" whining. No wi-fi? The only real loss there is that you can't get any more columns out of your problems connecting and the gain is no email popping up while you sit in the airport lounge. Trust me, the email will still be there when you get home and by then most of the emergencies will have resolved into "I guess it wasn't that important after all."
    mikewarns