Thursday, September 29, 2022

A short review of the new(ish) HP Dev One laptop

 I finally put my ageing ThinkPad T420 to rest. It was a great laptop and served me well for 11 (eleven!!!) years. It did almost everything I wanted, but it was getting old and slow, much like me. It seemed it was taking longer and longer to compile code, and it couldn't process 4k video from my GoPro camera. I'd read some great reviews about the HP Dev One laptop, so I ordered one, and I can't say I'm disappointed at all. 

What I like:

Just about everything. It came with Pop!_OS, which I tried for about an hour then installed Arch, because that's what I've been running for years. Nothing against Pop, it's just not my thing.

It's fast, the screen is very readable, the keyboard is okay. I grew up on IBM Model M keyboards, so I usually use an external clicky keyboard. I'm currently using a WASD keyboard with Cherry MX Green, which feels a lot like my old Model M's.

The touchpad is great, although I do tend to use an external mouse when I can.

What I don't like:

Well, nothing really. The only nit I have is that the function keys are not function keys by default. Instead, the "action" keys, that is, the volume, brightness, etc, keys are the default. This is a laptop aimed at developers, and I use the function keys all the time. I have all of them, F1 through F12 mapped to some action in my code editor. Fortunately, there is a BIOS setting to change it so the function keys are function keys by default. I would have thought someone at HP would have thought of having it the other way around, since I'm sure I'm not alone in using the crap out of function keys.

No comments: