Dell Latitude D430 Netbook

Dell Latitude D430I decided to buy an inexpensive secondhand netbook for my marathon train commute to work. The train is always busy, and whilst I would be able to purloin a table seat on the outbound journey, there was little chance of that coming home. Therefore that precluded using my 17" laptop I use at home - it is simply too heavy and bulky (not to say precious) for the cramped conditions on a crowded Class 185. A netbook fitted the bill precisely - inexpensive yet powerful enough for web development whilst retaining enough battery power for a journey that can take up to 2.5 hours each way. However, a constraint of development is you do need a decent amount of screen real-estate, if for no other reason than you need to see how the final content will look for the vast majority of web users.

For that reason I wanted a netbook that would provide a greater screen resolution than that offered by the proliferation of 10.1" machines without sacrificing too much in terms of weight and size. The model that fits the bill exactly is the Dell Latitude D430. The D430 was introduced by Del in 2007, and at the time (according to a little Googling) retailed for an eye-watering £1700. The machine was available with Intel Core 2 Duo 1.2Ghz, 60GB hard drive, and most pertinent for me, a 12.1" WXGA screen capable of 1280x800 resolution.

There are many now available, refurbished, on eBay. I found one with 1.5GB RAM and a USB optical DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive bundled for the princely sum of £139 + £15 shipping. So, £154 for a perfectly adequate, good specification commuting machine.