Buying tech: the importance of desktop real estate and other things

October 26, 2011

Just bought myself a new iMac with a 27 inch screen. A thing of beauty. After a decade or more of working from laptop computers (or notebooks..what are they called now, anyway?) I decided to have one gi-normous heavy desktop again and synch the important content using SugarSynch and Dropbox.  It’s the cloud baybee!  And not lugging my MacBook around has made my back happier.

One thing I have learned is that desktop real estate is a big deal: a large monitor, or two small monitors (say a notebook and a 20 incher) allows me to write more efficiently: my manuscript and bibliography open, and Google Scholar and Devonthink lurking ready to pitch in. And monitors are comparatively cheap nowadays.

I had a choice between two versions of the iMac, a 2.7Ghz and 3.1Ghz model for about a $350 more. When I asked the Apple guy if it really made much of a difference, he scrunched up his face for a millisecond and said, “No. Not really”.

A nice article by Sam Grobart at the New York Times, on rules of thumb when buying tech backs up that judgement.  Read the rest of this entry »