I have to say, I really like what Dell’s design team has been up to. About 5 years ago I was shopping for a laptop, and the only companies putting out sleek and high build quality hardware were Sony and Apple (I consequently bought a 12″ Powerbook), while it seemed like all the units put out by HP, Dell, and Compaq were complete clunkers. Fast forward to today, and it looks like the major players in the laptop market are finally getting it. There’s more to a product than specs and cost. Fit, finish, texture, and materials create an experience that can weigh heavier on a purchasing decision than a few hundred megahurtz of processing speed, or a few flopps of GPU power.
Engadget got a chance to look at a unit from the new Dell Adamo line of notebook computers. They weren’t allowed to turn it on but they did get to poke around the hardware, which is my favorite part anyway. I love the all-black asthetic, and there’s something about the hinge setup that really appeals to me. I think it’s just how it’s a departure from the current trends, and it looks very sturdy.
Check out Engadget’s image gallery for more images, and the original Engadget post for a video. Apparently more details about the Adamo line of notebooks will be announced tomorrow (on the 17th of March).
I’ve always loved the nearly-instantaneous sleep feature of Mac notebook computers. If I needed to get up and go with my 12″ Powerbook G4, I could snap the lid shut and throw it into my bag. Recently I grabbed a new Macbook Pro, and noticed that the computer didn’t go into sleep instantly. Instead, the computer was writing RAM to the hard drive, a process called hibernation, which kept the system’s state safe in the event of power failure (your battery dies, or you swap it out for a new one). This is a great feature, but I don’t have a secondary battery to swap, and I was getting tired of closing the lid and waiting for the white light to start pulsing. If you don’t wait for the light to pulse, then you’re moving the computer while the hard drive is active, and you risk damaging the drive. The sudden motion sensor (SMS) is active while the machine is in use, but apparently isn’t active during this hibernation process.
I can across this great blog post by David Alison describing the situation and showing a quick terminal command you can use to disable the hibernation mode. After running the command, shutting the lid on the notebook will skip dumping RAM to the hard drive, and will just instantly sleep. I was hessitant though, because if you don’t hibernate and your battery dies while the machine is asleep, you lose your system’s state. Also, if I bought a second battery, would I remember to hunt down the terminal command and reverse the setting? I’d also be losing the instant sleep state again.
Thankfully Jeremiah posted a link to SmartSleep in the comments of David’s blog. SmartSleep is a preference pane that lets you turn on and off hibernation (writing RAM to disk) with a drop down menu. It also features a mode called SmartSleep, where the computer will hibernate if the battery is below a certain threshold of charge, but otherwise sleep will be instant. Perfect!
If you’re a Macbook user and you want instant sleep, grab a copy of SmartSleep for yourself.