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I call anything that could potentially be used a laptop Irene. I say that because I have only had four truly mobile computers, and two of them were not exactly traveler’s delights. These are not particularly of note, and I include them here for completeness.

An HP ZT1000 was the first computer I have ever had, and it was all around terrible. An 800Mhz Pentium III, 128Mb DDR, and no working battery, it was barely even a computer at the time, but it kinda worked. It kinda ran Windows XP.

The next “laptop” I had was an All-In-One, the Lenovo Flex 20. Somehow, I used this thing from Sophomore year of high school all the way to the first semester of college. It basically was a 26″ tablet with an hour battery. I do not know how I got through a college coding class armed only with that thing and my wits. It ran Windows 10.

I also had a heavily modified Dell Precision M4800. I absolutely loved that laptop. It is the reason I never bothered rebuilding Watson, because I had no worries about it breaking. It has a I7-2860QM, 16GB RAM, and a Quadro K2000M. The Quadro makes CAD/CAM an absolute breeze, and I would recommend the Precision line to any engineer. I had two hard drives in it, both being 256GB SSDs, with one being Ubuntu 18.04 and the other being Windows 10.

Unfortunately, the M4800 was showing its age after two years of heavy use. A few of the keys broke, the battery fell out all the time, the I7 was no longer supported by Intel. I caught a break working for a company, and spent everything they gave me on the best laptop I could find. I’m generally not much for material things, but having the best in this case makes my life exponentially easier. Against the recommendations of my friend Sam, I got the massive Dell Precision 7720. I would have agreed with him and got the smaller 5520, but like the 4800 vs the 6800, the 15 inch Dells only support MXM3.0A, so no support for the higher end Quadros could be found.

The 7720 is my daily driver now, after I finally retired the M4800. With an Xeon E3-1535M, 64GB DDR4, a Quadro P5000, and three 512GB NVMe SSD’s, I can run everything I would ever need to. The thing gets bloody hot under full load, but I guess that comes with the territory. The hope is that it lasts me several years to come, and given the quality of the Precision line, I don’t doubt it will.

The M4800 and 7720 in their native habitat.