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Reader Feedback On Dell's Latitude X1

I've been reading Tom's Hardware Guide since before it had its own domain, and was stuck somewhere like http://sysdoc.pair.com. Back then I was overclocking a then current 100Mhz Pentium box to 133MHz using Dr. Pabst's advice. A couple years later that same box became the original alamo.satlug.org, where it served up our San Antonio Linux Users Group website for years as www.alamo.satlug.org (now http://alamo.satlug.org) using only 48 MB of RAM on 72 pin SIMMs.

I enjoyed your article comparing the Dell Latitude X1 to five other computers and want to give you feedback on my real world experiences.

I got the Army to issue me an X1 several months ago, as I'm the lead UNIX system administrator for a DoD wide program linking laboratories and users for the active services, National Guard Bureau, and the Coast Guard. The other folks on my team are all Oracle developers who use huge Pentium 4 based laptops with 2 GB RAM and displays wider than the Mississippi River.

Their laptops work great for them, and I've been helping them do applications testing using VMware and various operating systems and applications packages - they certainly have the capacity.

I didn't need a desktop replacement laptop to do heavy lifting like my teammates use. I needed a light, easily transportable WiFi laptop for use as a server console, and the X1 fits my needs to a T. I don't need the ancillary DVD/CD burner on the job site, but do use it occasionally to make patch clusters for servers prior to placing them on the network. I did have to buy a USB to Serial dongle, but it works fine for my needs.

The aging Gateway Solo laptop I had before was a pain to haul through airports on my way to various laboratories around the country. It was hobbled by even shorter battery life than my X1, but I carried spare batteries. The spares I have for the X1 are a lot lighter than the Gateway batteries I used to lug around.

The display on the X1 is sharp and clear under the fluorescent lights in our various server rooms, and gives me plenty of real estate for running VNC and Solaris 10 as a VMware guest OS.

I got the chance to take the X1 on a trip to Chicago shortly after receiving it and couldn't believe how much easier it was to manage than my aging Gateway Solo.

The desktop replacement laptop I was offered weighs 5 kg (11 pounds) with its power brick and I'm glad I went with the X1 instead.