Jaguar Portrait
Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional

Sony Vaio

Jim Carter, 2014-03-14


Last year (2013) my laptop died. I tried replacing it with an Android netbook/tablet, but that required a major change in the way I use the machine, and I've finally decided that the change has not been successful. The new machine is good doing netbook and tablet things, but for a software developer and system administrator, it's not working out. Therefore I'm going to get a real laptop.

What are these activities that gave the netbook so much trouble? Here is an example from one day, which is a little bit extreme but illustrates what the new machine will be expected to cope with. I had simultaneous sessions doing the following activities:

So to summarize: I use a lot of windows working together, but not a lot of specialized software, and multimedia happens on a machine other than the laptop. In truth the Android machine is able to do every one of these activities individually, but teamwork among the windows is the killer that Android does poorly. To say it another way, Android's window manager is designed for a cellphone or a tablet. I gave it a good try, but it could not handle the desktop replacement role I threw at it. I have made some progress toward installing a real Debian distro on it, but I've decided that pushing the netbook to the bitter end into a role it's poorly suited for, is not the best use of my time.

We have an idea of what the laptop will be used for. What hardware is required to support these activities?

Ben's Surplus Laptop

It turns out that Ben has a surplus laptop. This information is from Amazon's product page, from a review on Amazon by Booshi (2012-12-29), and from Intel's product page on the CPU.

Comparison with jimc's requirements:

Vendor Product Offerings

Ben's laptop looks like it closely matches my requirements. Nonetheless, for completeness I'll quickly review other product offerings.

We prefer reputable vendors that sell through Amazon. Here's a list of the first few items of Amazon's 45,000 hits, with these selection criteria:

A few hits with these criteria:


It looks like the selection process has concluded early and successfully by the appearance of Ben's laptop.

Jaguar Portrait