Dell Demension D620
Recently at work we got a new batch of machines in, including some Dell D620s. I have to admit that I’m impressed with these little machines. I’m in fact typing up this entry from one of the machines. Sadly I don’t get to keep them, I have to give them to the developers — but I have one for a little while to try out. The specs (at least on the ones we have) are a 14” screen, 256MB nVidia Quadro, 2.0 Ghz Core Duo, 1GB Ram (Upgradeable to 4GB!), Wifi A/B/G, Bluetooth, Gigabit Ethernet, 100GB 7200RPM HD, CD-RW/DVD, Nub & Touchpad. They also support EV-DO and a couple other wireless broadband cards, which is purdy awesome.
Regardless, I was rather surprised to see a 256 MB gfx card in a workstation, if you’ll note the Quadro series is their workstation series of cards. They aren’t super uber powerful, but they do run decently. I’ve played Half Life 2, Counter Strike: Source, SecondLife, Oblivion & GuildWars. Now I’ll note that Oblivion really doesn’t run that well (not surprised) but the rest of the games run rather decently. HL2 suggests about midrange graphics settings, though I turned them down to keep the FPS reasonable in the “busy” areas.
Obviously games are most important, but if you intend to use this machine for other stuff — there are some nifty features. With the “large” batteries we got, these D620s will run in excesses of 5 hours, probably more if you close the screen and only use em for MP3. I’ve played CS:S for 2 hours while on battery — and still had room to spare. Also there is a built in ambient light detector, to control the screen brightness — but I have yet to see it really work…. at all. For all you security concious people, there is a built in biometric device (read: Fingerprint scanner), though I haven’t tested it.
Combine the units length battery life, with the ability to run a second battery in place of the optical drive, the machines small form factor and extremely lite weight (for its power, features, etc) and I think you actually have a wining combo. I haven’t been this impressed with a laptop in years. Now the machine maybe built like crap and fall apart in 6 months — but I wont have it then — soooo oh well.