Home office improvements

Since moving into the contracting/self-employed market, I’ve splashed out a bit on my home office setup. First I bought an HP Advanced Docking Station for my nx8220 notebook which provides full connectivity for audio, gigabit networking, DVI connector, plus a bunch of extra USB ports.

Then I invested in a new monitor to upgrade my 17inch Viewsonic CRT. I wanted to get as high resolution as possible, but the WUXGA (1920×1200) monitors were still priced out of my budget. So I went for a 20inch WSXGA+ HP screen which has 1680×1050 resolution. The first night I had the screen, I spent the night flying around the world in Google Earth!

To finish off my workstation setup I bought a Microsoft wireless laser desktop set which has all the new Vista compatible shortcut buttons, though I haven’t really used them yet – apart from the volume buttons.

Today I also bought myself a new chair, which replaces the broken one that I rescued from a tip two years ago! It’s amazing what a good office setup makes to productivity, I find that I can put a lot more work in when I’m in a comfortable environment.

Now I’m just looking for a new notebook, as we may need a second one in the near future. My requirements so far are:

  • Must be compatible with my docking station – i.e. it must be an HP.
  • Must have high resolution.
  • Must have at least an Intel T7200 processor.
  • Must have at least 1GB RAM, with a free slot.
  • Must have dedicated graphics card with dedicated memory.

Some “nice to haves” are:

  • 802.11 n (or draft-N?) wireless connectivity
  • Must be reasonably mobile, i.e. no 17 inch monster displays on this notebook.
  • 100GB or bigger SATA drive.
  • Fingerprint reader, or other enhanced security.

Unfortunately, the current HP models that match my requirements are over $3000 which is getting steep, but there’s a bunch of new model just released in the USA which should bring the price down a bit when they reach NZ.

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