For as long as I can remember I’ve had trouble digitizing traditional media, and have thus been a bit reluctant to do a lot of colored pencil or watercolor work.
At the same time, I’ve always scanned on the family all-in-one printer/scanner, the latest of which is an HP OfficeJet Pro 8600, which is a pretty vanilla low to mid range unit. These AiOs have always been fine – or maybe even good – for scanning pencil and pen drawings because they’ve tended to wash out a lot of color. I don’t know if this attribute is specific to HP, to cheap combo devices, or to something else, but it helps when all you want to keep is dark lines.
I was starting to use my last build for more things than just WoWS (making WoWS videos!), and I decided that it was too loud. It’s not that it was insanely so – far from it, even at full load – but it was noisy enough to be distracting at moderate loads. Trying to quiet the machine down of course led me down the slippery slope to what is practically a new build…
And now for the inevitable post on the HP Elitebook Folio G1, which is my second HP laptop after the TC4200 convertible tablet I had in college. When I was looking for Thunderbolt 3 machines, it was literally the only thing to check the following boxes:
So it has come to my attention that I have too many computers (again). For the first time since college, I have four:
NUC5I3MYHE: Fifth generation Intel NUC with a passively-cooled case. Built in mid-2015, this is still my “main” machine, and still hooked up to the same Samsung SyncMaster 204Bs that I’ve been using since forever.
Samsung ATIV Book 9: One of still very few passively-cooled laptops ever made – maybe one model out of 10 to 20. The np930x2k replaced my trusty ThinkPad Yoga in late 2016, and really my only complaint with it is that it can barely run WoWS.
Pro Kwality Desktop: Built on the cheap in mid-2016 to play WoWS maxed out. Just good enough to do that, and I have had no issues with the machine despite putting the whole thing together with all used parts. Unfortunately it isn’t really portable…
Dell Precision M6600: Since the PK machine isn’t portable I bought this old Dell Precision. I was considering replacing the PKD entirely, but the Dell isn’t quite as powerful and has actually been giving me issues recently. It’s also a little too big and heavy.
At first, I was thinking about combining just the desktop and the M6600: if I could get a slightly smaller laptop that was slightly more powerful, I thought I’d be okay with that. Unfortunately anything that meets those criteria doesn’t seem to be that cheap. Specifically, I was looking at the Dell Inspiron 15 7559 (these new Dell Inspirons have really useless names) with the GTX 960M, which goes for about $500-$600 used on eBay. This isn’t too bad, but then I still have two laptops.
So I want to combine the last three machines: the Samsung, the desktop, and the M6600, but that means I need an ultra-portable laptop like the Samsung that can still run WoWS maxed out. How can that be possible? Well, technology continues to happen – the passive desktop wasn’t practical until it was, and the M6600 wasn’t cheap until it was. There is a technology that is starting to become practical and cheap, and that is external graphics.