Back in August of 2009 Fedex delivered my long desired Dell Mini 10v. After a year and a half of near daily usage I had retired my Mini as my portable/productivity machine. Yesterday I sold it to a coworker.
I don’t regret the purchase. While I did lament some of the trials of using a variant of Linux on it I was generally pleased with the performance of the machine. It did all that I could reasonably ask of it and did it well. Dell did good on the specs and did good by offering Ubuntu as an install option.
However in the past few months I found that my desires for a portable/productivity machine had shifted outside what a Netbook could reasonably be expected to meet. It couldn’t view Hulu videos at anything higher than 288p; a problem more with Hulu’s inefficient player than anything else. Nor could it run Minecraft at a reasonable frame rate.
So for a while I was considering saving up for a proper laptop, probably something from System76. However one of my coworkers presented me with an offer I simply could not refuse. He had a 2-year old 17″ Vaio laptop he was willing to sell for about 1/4th of what I could obtain it elsewhere. Less than 1/10th of what they sold for brand new. The catch? It didn’t have a hard drive.
Not a problem.
As I write this it has been two weeks since I bought the Vaio. I was able to use it within 20 minutes of purchasing it. I simply had to find a video showing how to open up a Mini 10v. Once opened I swapped the hard drive from my Mini into the Vaio. It booted the first time without a hitch. No chance in hell of Windows allowing you to do that, let alone actually being able to do it.
The wireless worked right away, full resolution on the screen, keyboard worked, trackpad worked, audio worked. The only hiccup was that the hard drive did not have the nVidia drivers installed and my headphone volume is set to 0 upon boot. The nVidia drivers took less than 5 minutes to install. The headphone levels I can fix each boot, I just haven’t automated the process.
Hulu? 480p (the max they offer), no problem. Yotube? 1080p is a cakewalk. Minecraft? 70fps in while windowed.