Early birthday gift to myself

Small photo of the Darter Ultra from System76

Day before yesterday, I bought a brand new laptop. This will be the first brand new computer I’ve bought in 7 years. My venerable Inspiron 3800 ran Win2k, XP, Redhat 7, Knoppix 3 and Ubuntu 6. I upgraded its RAM, upgraded its HDD, gave it 802.11g and replaced a cracked screen. Its DVD drive is broken, its USB port is sketchy and the battery is unchargable and exhausted but it has served me well. Seven years is a mighty career for a laptop! But now, I must move on.

Now, I know that some of my tiny audience out there will look over the specifications and the price for my Darter Ultra and say I got a bad deal. For example Dell’s offerings appear to be cheaper but this is rather deceptive.

Looking over the specifics, a similarly equipped Dell laptop($1,284.00) in comparison to the one I customized from System76 ($1,428.00) are reasonably close in price.

  • They both have the same CPU and RAM
  • They the same GPUs
  • They have similar optical storage
  • They have the same harddrive
  • They also have similar support and warranty
  • The Inspiron’s screen is about 5 cm longer in the diagonal than the Darter but they both support the same resolution depth
  • The System76 masses half a kilogram less, has a built-in webcam (I don’t think I’ll need it.), supports megabit ethernet and a slightly longer battery life due to the smaller screen. I think this is what I’m paying for.

I can already hear the smirking from Bakafish: “But you can get all that in a similarly equipped Macbook for a similar price ($1,674.00)! And duh, it’s a Mac!” To which I reply, if I get Apple hardware at all, it’s gonna be the cheapest they sell. What–600 bucks for a Mini? As far as toys are concerned, Apple is way down my list.

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2 Responses to Early birthday gift to myself

  1. Pace Arko says:

    Yeah, it’s a thrill, ain’t it? I was expecting it to be delivered to my job today but the courier didn’t show before I had to leave for the day. The tracking site doesn’t say if they attempted to deliver or not, just that it’s at the warehouse in Bothell. Maybe they’ll try on Monday.

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