A Fresh Cup is Mike Gunderloy's software development weblog, covering Ruby on Rails and whatever else I find interesting in the universe of software. I'm a full-time Rails developer and contributor, available for long- or short-term consulting, with solid experience in working as part of a distributed team. If you'd like to hire me, drop me a line. I'm also the author of Rails Rescue Handbook and Rails Freelancing Handbook.

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Tuesday
Sep112012

Project Sputnik Report #2

I just spent an hour using the Project Sputnik laptop with a Verizon 4G MiFi while my daughter was at her tumbling class. A few random observations:

  • As far as speed goes, it's fine. My fears about 4GB not being enough RAM are so far overblown (of course, I don't run nearly as much on it as I do on my desktop). But for the development I was doing - editing in Sublime Text 2, running tests from terminal, examining the site in Firefox, working on a Rails app with MySQL running - it was plenty fast enough.
  • The keyboard is acceptable for coding work. It doesn't have as much tactile feedback as I prefer, but these days my arthritis is forcing me away from the more tactile keyboards anyhow. I couldn't overtype it, didn't get doubled characters, it didn't feel mushy.
  • The trackpad on the other hand…meh. I get random jumps from my palm brushing it despite the driver doing its best to ignore the trackpad while typing, and I can't find a sensitivity setting I like. I've tried, but I'm sure I'm going to give up and just toss a cheap external mouse on.
  • After 1 hour of use, the battery meter said I had 2:01 left. So either the meter is wildly inaccurate or I'm not getting nearly the battery time that it promises.
  • The screen is nice. No complaints, except that I'd like more pixels. Then again, I'd always like more pixels.

Overall, the XPS13 is a machine I can kick back with for a coding session when I'm away from my desk. The next question is whether it'll end up being one where the bits don't rot, thanks to developer profiles.

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