New Laptop and Granny’s Camera

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The plan was to get a new ultra-compact IBM X60 (the non-tablet version). I figured it would be nice to have an ultra compact laptop that has long battery life, so that I can comfortably work on long flights or at conferences where plugs are always a problem. Unfortunately there were no local stock of X60’s.

But then I found something interesting, the Sahara CJ55. It’s the same size, and specification as a X60, but exactly half the price. The only thing that I don’t like about it is the keyboard. It’s decent quality, but they’ve made the shift keys smaller to make space for the Windows keys (yuck), and it’s a UK layout keyboard, which would normally confuse me, but I just mapped it out to a US keyboard style. Perhaps now is a good time to (finally) switch to Dvorak.

The build quality is good though, and it has a very “Apple-like” feel to it.

The new one is the one to the left. It has a 12″ display, while the MSI S262 has a 14.1″ WXGA display. The Sahara battery lasts 3 hours and 50 minutes, while the MSI’s battery only lasts 1 hour and 20 minutes. The Sahara came with Windows XP Media Center edition. I didn’t delete it yet, I’ve been having trouble getting my video camera working properly in Ubuntu. I was glad to see Mark Shuttleworth’s post on hardware compatibility, part of a series of posts about challenges that need to be overcame to win the hearts of the desktop user. BTW, according to the frequency of those posts, post #1 should be there tomorrow. I’ve been wondering what his #1 will be. In my humble opinion, I think games is a strong #1. I know many, many high school kids who would instantly ditch Windows if their games worked properly on a GNU/Linux system. I’m sure that Windows won’t last long on my new laptop either. I’ve been enjoying being completely Microsoft-free for the last 4-5 years, and with the efforts of the free software community, that silly old legacy system will be trashed again soon.

BTW- as soon as I can find a X60, and have some money, I’m getting one of those too, they are seriously cool.

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10 Responses to “New Laptop and Granny’s Camera”

  1. Karel Demeyer Says:


    Where do you get those Sahara notebooks ? Is it possible to order ‘m online ?

    Friendly greetings.

  2. gooz Says:

    Haha, love your ‘gir’ background!
    I’m seriousely in need of a new notebook too, but being a student, I haven’t quite got the funds to buy one. Now, “get a job”, you could say. But I’ve got a lot of studying to do, so that’s not an option.
    I’m getting distracted here.
    Point is, I would really LOVE to buy one of those IBM notebooks, I just can’t afford them. Neither can I afford a macbook, by the way. So the question here is: What does this Sahara notebook costs? And this was WAY too much effort to ask a simple question. Looks like the average student is bored. The average computer science student, that is. Still, being one doesn’t allow me to search for the prices myself. Being lazy and all…

  3. jonathan Says:

    Hi. It cost R6800 for the Sahara CJ55. That translates to roughly US$971. Sahara computers is a local manufacturer, although they don’t physically manufacture the components, they just put it together here. You might find something very similar just branded something different to what you have. Sahara’s website is at

    The MSI S262 is also great, and if you want a cheap laptop, I can really recommend it. You can get a MSI S262 here for about R7800. The wide screen is nice, but it does drain battery a bit.

  4. sharms Says:

    Hey I read this post! :) I guess the picture really helps

  5. Adrian Moisey Says:

    I’ve never used these a sahara laptop. But my last experience with sahara was bad. I’ll never touch their hardware again. Ever.

  6. thedward Says:

    That Sahara laptop looks to be exactly the same as the Averatec 3700 ( 3700).

  7. jonathan Says:

    What’s interesting is that the Averatec 2100 series look *exactly* like my MSI laptop:

    I wonder if all these non-branded laptops are manufactured by Averatec, or if those laptops are also just random laptops with Averatec stickers on them ;)

  8. Ilmari Vacklin Says:

    Ah, too bad I’m hooked on Thinkpad’s trackpoint. Can’t imagine going back to a touchpad now.

  9. jonathan Says:


    Windows is removed. The software that comes bundled with my camera, and Windows’ own editing software, are rubbish, and even the command line tools in Linux are better!!

  10. cheslyn Says:

    hi am cheslyn and am looking for a new laptop to win do u have one plz!!!!

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