Liam buys a new laptop (Part 2) – Laptop inflation, accessories add another 50% - oops!

In Part 1 of my blog series, I described the partisan decision process that led me to buy a new HP 6910p laptop.  Having decided on teh laptop to buy, the only question, how much will it eventually cost?

There were always going to be immediate upgrades; the 120Gb hard drive was always going to be too small (it was replaced by a 320Gb model) and I was always going to replace the 2Gb of RAM with a 2 x 2Gb dual channel matched pair. 

The unexpected bonus I had was managing to get hold of a model with a build in 3G HSPDA card.  I haven’t activated the Vodafone SIM card, but at £15 per month with no contract (3Gb monthly limit) I’ll be sorely tempted if I end up working at a client which restricts my internet access.

So here is my BOM - a laptop including the accessories I arbitrarily deemed necessary in spite of the frown from my accountant (all prices include VAT and delivery charges);

HP 6910p Core2Duo 2.2Ghz,120Gb,2Gb,DVD+/-,14.1",3G Wifi  eBay £507.50
Western Digital 320GB 2.5" Laptop Hard Drive SATAII 5400rpm 8MB - upgrade 120Gb hard drive

2 x 2GB Corsair KIT DDR2 667MHz non-ECC (dual channel)
Akasa AK-ENP2NES-SL eSata/USB 2.0 external drive caddy (for 120Gb drive



HP basic docking station PA286A (for use at client site)
HP advanced docking station PA287A (for home)
HP advanced docking station PA287A (for Kew office)
HP travel battery, extra 3.5 hours   eBay
HP laptop hard drive caddy with screws   eBay
TransFlash microSD Mini SD to SD & Mini SD - make that SD card slot take all SD formats as it is SDHC compatible  eBay (Hong Kong)
   GRAND TOTAL £783.35


I have to say, the HP hard drive caddy is a terribly frivolous purchase.  This is a tiny amount of metal cladding to wrap a standard notebook drive that just makes it easy to swap the hard drive in the laptop.  These can be hard to get hold off, so it’s a nice to have at what is quite a low price for something so esoteric.

The advanced docking station includes an ExpressCards slot, DVI video out, a multibay II drive bay (at home I added a spare DVD-ROM I had already had), the USB port with extra power pin (that means I can use my nc4010 DVD/CDRW external caddy in the office at Kew).  Also, all the docking stations can use the DVI out and analog VGA simultaneously for dual screen use on two external monitors.

Even better, HP have reworked the concept of a second battery.  No longer does it replace the DVD drive, but instead it clips onto the bottom of the laptop, very much like my travel battery for my old nc4010 ultraportable laptop. Where it improves on the nc4010 is that you can have the travel battery attached even when the notebook is in the docking station. This means the docking station can happily recharge both batteries.

Finally, I also reused a compact flash to PCCard adapter which I had from a Xircom CF network card bought for the very first HP iPaq, when CF was the only memory card standard around.

So I now have a 2.2GHz Core Duo, 1280 x 800 14.1” laptop with 4Gb RAM, 320GB hard drive, gigabit networking, WiFi a/b/g, Bluetooth, 3G data, an array of docking stations and a travel battery.  A real road warrior work horse.

Liam buys a new laptop; 

Print | posted on Tuesday, July 8, 2008 2:41 PM

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