Latitude E4200: One Month Later

if I haven’t mentioned it already, I own one of these. For the most part, I’m happy– but there’s definitely the list of upsides, downsides, and the quirks, that come along with having an ultraportable such as this.

I bought it to have a small, lightweight laptop running Linux that I could do normal day-to-day things on, such as surf the Internet including having the capability to decode HD Youtube videos without issue, Skype (with webcam) and IRC at a constant. Anything it’s able to do extra from there is a bonus. I picked it up off eBay for $104, and that was with the extended battery (with like no wear on it, amazingly!), two 45W power adapters, and a FREE MOUSE. HOLY CHRIST A FREE MOUSE WOOHOO I’M RICH.

okay no. I’m not rich. but the mouse I was given looks like it had a very limited run in its time, and has the same imaging sensor as the Logitech G5 mouse, apparently? It looks like this:


it’s not a bad mouse. setting #2 is great in constrained situations… settings 3 and 4 are superaccurate at higher speeds, I’m assuming this would be better with different settings in a game or something to take advantage of that. but settings 1 and 2 are enough for me.

Overall I’m pleasantly surprised and pleased with my purchase. I did look in the BIOS and I am aware that Computrace is locked to the on position, but that doesn’t concern me as Computrace can’t penetrate any OS but Windows. but that does mean this laptop was once in either an environment that required it, or it was enabled by the last owner– the laptop’s lid is pretty beat up, having some surface cracks here and there… but it works. the SSD I’m the most surprised about. the machine boots up in less than 15 seconds with Debian installed and running. The battery, being almost new, grabs me someplace between 5 and 7 hours of battery time, but I haven’t tested its actual run time yet. I haven’t been in a position where I need that much time off the battery yet– Aside from the ~1h visit to both my grandma’s doctor appointments this past month, I haven’t been out of her house or my own house and sitting someplace where there hasn’t been a wall outlet available to me. That said, the 45w adapter is this puny thing that takes almost no space in the bottom of the laptop bag, so it’s not much of a nuisance to just pack one along for the ride if at all.

I haven’t done much else as far as pushing the thing save for watching Youtube videos and whatever anime series it is that I’m watching this week via mplayer, but it’s able to handle even those tasks just fine. My only gripe is how hot it gets– the U9600 has a tendency to idle in the mid to high 40C range, and this can be unpleasant feeling on the lap or left arm (this is where the small vent is.) After a repaste the temperatures dropped only a couple of degrees– I blame cheapness of the heatsink itself to being the issue. I have plans when I finally decide to take a trip to a hackerspace or to Grand Rapids itself, to CNC a proper square out to put a copper shim in, or somehow find a way to drop-forge copper in the square hole milled. but that would require melting the copper.     ….but that’s another thing for another day.


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