For some time now, I have been resisting this trend, but events lately have finally convinced me to cave in. Having a laptop to tote around work can actually be productive, especially when you are outside your office, inside a lab complex, and need to stay in touch with status as you try to debug various breaking issues.
I cannot count the number of times I made the trek to the remote lab complex to look at some setup-related issue (no networking is available at that point of Windows setup), and I needed to either fetch a file or email from my machine, or send an email/IM... and I had no machine to do this with. I would try to batch issues up such that I would walk back to my office, touch base, and then trek back to lab again, but ugh, what a timesink.
Now, the main reason that I resist having a laptop at work is because most of the time I see them in use, it is used to distract the laptop user from the task at hand. For example, when eight people get together for a meeting and six laptop screens are open, weird things happen. To me, I would just not bother showing up to the meeting if most of my time is spent checking email during the meeting... but I have seen it happen frequently enough. Also, I question whether that meeting needs to happen at all if most of its participants are not engaged nor parrticipating. Yet more questions...
Just some random rant of mine... ;-)
Anyways, I am looking at laptops now. Out of all the form factors, I have to say that ultraportables make the most sense for me. I do not want a luggable, nor do I want a tiny hand-held. And since mobility, connectivity, and access are key, I thought the choice is clear. Plus the ultraportables just fit the profile of what I consider to be a "laptop" - something lightweight yet functional, and definitely not too big. 3D graphics for games, CDRW burners, and high resolution LCDs are not really necessary - it is the business task at hand.
A couple of review websites seem to put the Dell X1, IBM X41, and Toshiba R200 in the same category for comparison, so I have been looking at them. I have not found a clear winner, though. For example:
Now, I did wonder onto Apple.com on a random whim, and I have to say that those guys know marketing because they made the run-of-the-mill iBook components sound amazing. A+ for marketing, B for components/value. Not having too many choices and emotional sound bites can be effective... but I am not an impulse buyer nor do advertisements "convince" me of anything. I look for the raw facts and make my own decisions, darn it. :-)
So I guess I am that picky customer...