RE: Adding Winkles

Re: Adding Winkles

Richard,

 

The Lind response is interesting. Yeah, they’re waffling regarding
the M1330, as is their right. I suspect they are going to have to do a serious
rethink when they see sales numbers for that laptop. The logic is too obvious
to ignore: Why would anyone drag a M1710 around when a M1330 can leave it
behind in a pool of molten plastics and silica? Not only gamers have a need for
speed, business also demands as much firepower as you can bring on-target.

 

Yet, Terry mentions an excellent point that was already on my
mind. Dell is not known for selling laptops with overrated power supplies. If
the M1330 is shipping with an 150-watt brick, you can pretty much bet your
family on the BIOS bitching and sulking if it doesn’t see 150 watts at
boot. That’s just something modern Dell laptops do as a matter of course.
The DE2060 is actually rated at 130. Believe me, the M1710 is quite adept at
sulking if it doesn’t get its way at boot.
J

 

That brings up a more serious issue that Terry also alluded to.
Although the 12-volt subsystem on my chair is rated at 1,000 watts peak, a continuous
draw of 150 watts is a lot. None of our battery technologies is really
good with continuous draw scenarios, handling sporadic drains is about where we
are any good. Recall that one reason why I want to get away from the M1710 is
its voracious energy appetite. It’s marginally better than the Gen2 was,
but it can still leave me stranded in a few hours. Not good. You’re
correct, I do have an optional generator that can ride in a sort of rumble seat
at the back. Still, the power available is limited by the fact that it goes
through the battery charger for the whole chair. In technical jargon,
that’s a maximum of 8 amperes at 24 volts for safety reasons. Lind will
probably be quick to spot the energy bottleneck that becomes. Of course I can
only run the generator outside so that also restricts its helpfulness. In any
case, the M1710 is the single largest limiting factor on my chair, and thus, my
life. Think that over for a second. Sure, the motors on the chair take far more
power, but they’re sporadic critters leaving the batteries ample time
normally to recover. The laptop never lets the chair take a break.

 

There’s a juicy irony there, because all modern laptops
are born knowing ways to stretch their battery life, but none really does it
when on external power. Instead, they all blithely assume external power is
infinite. Well, wrong. There are even third-party vendors now that make
external battery packs that connect via the power plug so laptops need to learn
their external power could need TLC too. I don’t want my laptop sleeping
whenever I close the lid, because I need for it to monitor various communication
paths. It could certainly stop the power-hungry graphics unit and slow everything
else to a glacial crawl though. Vista finally exposes enough hooks for a good programmer
to teach it to do that. Maybe I’ll have to break out my software tools and
start hacking.

 

Meanwhile, the 1420 edges ahead again… round and round we
go.

 

From: Terry Neville
[mailto:lrlind@lindelectronics.com]
Sent: Wednesday, August 15, 2007 10:38 AM
To: Scott Royall; Richard_Bernier@Dell.com
Subject: Re: Adding Winkles

 

Here is what Lind now knows regarding the
M1330. The evaluation AC adapters sent to us for the M1330 were incorrect. They
were standard 65 Watt and 90 Watt adapters D series adapters. The M1330 in fact
is shipped with a 150 Watt adapter. This means that Scotts 120 Watt adapter
from Lind may or may not work. (By this we mean that the laptop could
perceivably reduce power draw if it senses a smaller power supply. The laptop
may slow battery recharge down and/or revert to a more optimal user power mode.
– Only guessing here.) We can not further evaluate how the laptop will react
without having an actual M1330 in our hands to electronically measure the power
draw scenarios. Or, Dell’s technical engineers would need to provide
actual test data. If the actual power draw is closer to the 150 Watt
neighborhood, then concern must be taken by the high power draw load put on the
wheelchair battery system. One must also assume an adapter efficiency of about
85%.
We still don’t know about the mating connector fit details but still
believe the standard D series connector will connect into the octagonal
connector if it is the same connector that had been used on the earlier
Latitude X1 series.

This is all we can do for you. At this time we are not going to pursue this any
longer.

Thanks,  T. Neville

On 8/13/07 2:32 PM, "Scott Royall" <royall@conchbbs.com> wrote:

Richard,
 
Dell’s sales people lie awake at night scheming up ways to make it
devilishly tough to choose between their laptops. Now I hear via PC Mag Radio
that those minions have dreamed up a special back-to-school version of the 1420
with Core 2 Duo, 2 gigs of RAM, and discrete Nvidia GeForce graphics. If you
recall, the graphics is the Achilles’ Heel of the 1420 so this is a big
deal. It’s a bigger deal that it’s all for $1100.
 
This doesn’t change anything for me just yet. We’re still waiting
to hear from Lind about the M1330. The two laptops are still neck-and-neck. The
deciding factor will likely be which laptop has the larger capacity hard-drive
available. This M1710 has only 93 gigs, and it stays full.
 
Scott  

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