Last updated: 2000-01-29

Introduction

After lugging around a Toshiba Tecra 550 laptop for two years, I finally upgraded to the Portege 7020. This is a four pounds ultra-portable.

Specs

Not a detailed spec, but the machine comes with 6G of hard drive, a 13 inch LCD display, eraser stick type of mouse (accupoint), 64 Meg of base memory which I upgraded to 128 Meg, and a two stacked PCMCIA slots. It has a built in modem as well.

The machine comes with a very thing floppy drive, but no CD Rom drive. You can get a CD-ROM Drive with a PCMCIA, or a network docking station. I got the docking station that comes with a DVD drive, and a ethernet port.

Why this Machine?

I needed a machine that runs NT, and Linux if possible. A large (6G) harddrive for the two operating systems and some room for MP3's. Must have modem and ethernet interface, a large screen (relatively speaking) and a eraser stick mouse. My usage pattern is that I move between four locations -- work office in town, home office at home, work office out of town, and hotel rooms. In two of the three places, I usually dock the machine. So the keyboard/screen/mouse is not an issue. I will be using an external keyboard/mouse and screen. At office out of town and hotel rooms, I use the machine as is. Therefore a good keyboard/mouse and screen is critical. That rules out ultra-portables that have smaller screen and keyboard in exchange for smaller size and weight.

Disk space? I find that I have never been able to fill more than 3G of disk with NT + application + data files. Most of my data files are documents and spreadsheets and websites which are not that big. With a 6G drive, I have room for all my NT apps and data (3G max), plus one G left over for MP3 files for music on the go, and 2G left over for a linux installation.

Minus

What I wish this machine has are:

  • built in ethernet port, so I can free up the PCMCIA slots. Instead I use a Xircom realport ethernet port which is stacked, taking up both slots, but you can plug the cable directly intothe card instead of using a dongle.
  • built in mouse port, so that I can carry a mouse with me. This machine requires a port replicator bar to plug in mouse and serial and parallel ports. Now the machine does have a USB port. So if I am not running NT then I will be able to use a USB mouse. The machine has built in sound in/out and video out only.

Pluses

Where do I start?

  • light weight
  • thing -- 1 inch
  • great NT installation with a recovery/built CD-ROM that let you regenerate the OS if needed
  • It looks good -- with the silver top cover.