Laptop Development

I’m a developer, and yes, I use a laptop.

I have a nice 17″ Sony Vaio, which is nice and fast, well built etc. Since I work from home, it’s convenient for those days when I go to my boss’s house or the office. Here’s the spec (in case you’re interested):

Sony VAIO BX297XP Notebook – Intel Pentium M 760 2GHz – 2GB RAM – 200GBHD – DVD±RW(+R DL) – NIC – 802.11b/g/BT – TPM – Fingerprint Reader – Centrino – Win XP Pro – 17″ TFT WUXGA (1920 x 1200)

We’re led to believe that laptops are supposedly slower or less powerful than desktops. Or that usability is an issue.

Jeff Atwood proposes The Programmers Bill of Rights, which includes multiple screens. One of the added benefits of a laptop is that I can hook my monitor into the monitor port and go dual-screen! Nice.

The ergonomics falls a little way short of a conventional setup, as the screen is practically on my desk. But on the plus side my company kindly bought me a Micro$oft wireless keyboard and mouse, which has made life much more comfortable as it allows me to put the laptop on something to raise it up (apart from the obivous benefits of not using the built in mousepad).

The HDDs are a little slower than you’d get on a standard desktop machine, but I have 2, and it’s configured for optimal use which balances things out quite well.

In my opinion, laptops are definately a viable solution for developers. There’s a massive flexibility gain, and the only cost I can’t avoid is when it comes to upgrades. Maybe I could’ve got something more cost effective than a Sony, but it’s in constant use and I’ve used a few laptops over the last couple of years that couldn’t take the heat…

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