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The Little Stick

In the end, that was what made the difference. I was typing along one night on my spare Acer and the cursor kept jumping. I was getting too close to the touchpad, and it kept picking up my hands, jumping the cursor. I type rapidly, and it kept causing me to get text in different places in the document, which is really frustrating. It slows me down while raising my blood pressure.

So in looking at laptops, that got me thinking that I want a 15” machine again, not a smaller one. Having more space for my hands to work on the keyboard was important. But I remember having issues at times with the Toshiba, especially as I work in bed quite often.

I was debating between the Lenovo and the Dell, spending more time than I needed considering things, but then I noticed the little sick in the middle of the Thinkpad keyboard.


I had a Thinkpad years ago when it was IBM, and I really liked the trackpoint pointer. I know lots of people didn’t, but I found it handy. So I was sure that a Lenovo was the way to go. I could use the Trackpoint and turn off the touchpad. That will help me be much more productive.

Then my wife said she had a trackpoint on her Dell. Sure enough, she does, though she’d lost the rubber cover and never used it. I checked for other machines, and there are a few that have them, but not many. So I chatted with a Dell rep and found that they have a few Lattitude models with them. Unfortunately those seem to be older technology, with DDR2 memory and limited options. I’m not an extreme performance person, but I want to be sure that I can process video and I didn’t want to go with older technology if I’m spending $1500.


So I decided on a Thinkpad W510. It’s got the trackpoint and plenty of power, and the same price as the Latitude or the Thinkpad T510.

Because of the little trackpoint.

The Voice of the DBA

Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest


Posted by Glenn Berry on 29 January 2010

How are you liking the little Acer as a spare?  I still have a 2GB stick of RAM if you want to get it up to 4GB.

Posted by Steve Jones on 29 January 2010

It works well, although not so good in my lap. Too small still. However it runs quick and does the job, long battery life, and the tablet is interesting.

Haven't put SQL on it, but I need to soon and then I might be looking for more RAM

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