nsg's blog

I bought a few things


It was a full year since I wrote something here last time, then it was my then failed laptop journey. Since then things has happened, I have for example bought a new Laptop, watch, computer monitor and my car that I mentioned here did finally arrive.

Let's talk about them in chronological order!

The car

I have never owned a car, living in the city it has never felt like something I needed. Just an expense, a hassle. It changed three years ago when Tesla revealed their mass market version of their car, the Model 3. I put up some money and placed my self on the waiting list.

Tesla finally started to deliver cars to Europe around the turn of the year and my car arrived the first week in April (the really big shipment arrived in March), and I have driven plenty over the summer since then. It's a fantastic car, I'm really happy.

I was lucky to get a parking spot with charger in the middle of May so the hassle of finding parking spots, and charging has since then gone away. The first two months I lived without a charger at home and actually it was not that bad. There was a restaurant close to me with a 50kW CCS charger that I used when I needed "a quick charge". Plenty of stores had 3.7 or 11kW level 2 charged that worked nicely and some was even free of charge. My favorite one was the 50kW CSS on my way to the summer house, it was provided free of charge by the electric company.

Now I have a 3.7kW type 2 charger at home, car always plugged in and ready at 80%. Like most batteries of this type, it's better for their health to keep them not fully charged. With 80% I can easily drive to my summer house and back, no need to think about charging. If I need to go to my mothers summer house that's over twice the distance I charge the car to 100% to get the needed range. Usually that's not even needed, because I can just stop at one of the Supercargers on my way and fill up the car quickly.

When I think about it I have only rarely used CCS chargers, and never any type 2 since I got my home charger. All my long distance traveling it easily covered by the Superchargers. With a Supercharger I usually get 2-3 times the speed of a CSS charger, and they are cheep, so it's a easy choice.

The Laptop

Like I wrote about earlier I had a really bad experience with my Lenovo X1 Yoga, twice! But the need of a laptop was still there and a few months later I was out looking for one again. I realized that from specs and design a Lenovo laptop was still probably the best choice for me. With all the earlier problems in mind I was a little scared to try Lenovo again, but this time I picked a safe card, a laptop in the super popular T-series.

In July I bought a T490. I had never considered the T-series before because I thought they where to large and heavy for me. But technology had evolved and the size and weight of my T490 is actually really close in size and weight compared to my old Zenbook.

For screen I had to choose between "cheap lowres", "touch lowres" or "glossy highres". I choose the later. I have never understood why it's so hard to buy a matte high end screen, sure I understand why a glossy screen is better, but for most people, that uses the laptop in rooms with light sources like lamps, windows or good forbid outdoors must prefer a matte screen. I think this applies to most people, I do understand that colors and blacks are better on a glossy screen. I prefer to actually see the content on my screen, over reflections! I had a few years back "patched" my work computer (XPS 13) with a glossy screen with a matte screen protector so I know this was a option, so I did the same with my T490. I bought the good glossy screen, and turned it to a matte screen.

After some tweaking it's a lovely computer that I'm really happy with, I will write more about my T490 in a separate post.

The Screen

My new laptop was going to replace my old one, but also my desktop NUC that I have been using for a few years so I was looking around for different docking stations to connect my monitors. I realized that an alternative to a docking station was to buy a new screen with one included.

My old setup was based around two screens, the "newest" screen was an old 27 inch screen with a resolution 2560x1440 and the second secondary was a cheap 1080p screen. They worked nicely for the most part and I have used them like this for almost eight years.

From work I have had really bad experiences with thunderbolt docking stations and multiple screens so I was a little worried. I realized ultrawide screens what a thing these days and that I could replace my dual screen setup with just a single wide screen. I picked a Dell U4919DW with a resolution of 5120x1440.

The setup is really clean, a single cable to plug in. Plugging in/out works nicely under Wayland and it is a really nice setup. It took me a few days to get used by the size, now it's hard to live without.

The watch

I have been using my Pebble since 2016 knowing that it would stop working some day. With Android 10 the battery consumption increased a lot. It went from "about a week" to "a little more than a day". That combined with that more and more functionality had broken down over the years caused me to start look around for alternatives.

I spend a few days looking around, I considered what features I loved on my Pebble and what I could live without. I soon realized that Wear OS did not have any built in automatic sleep tracking functionality. I have always loved the sleep graphs that my Pebble had so this invalidates all watches based on Wear OS.

Fitbit accrued Pebble technologies and engineers when it went under to the Versa line from Fitbit feels a lot like my old Pebble, but it's also plenty different.

It has 5 days battery time, that's not superior in any way but considering that most smart watches has one or two days thats a nice feature.

I lost my bellowed always on display, for a touch screen. Versa has an always on option but that takes a huge hit to the battery, and I do not like the idea of a always glowing watch. Not worth it.

I do like that I have heart rate data now, that's a nice addon and the graphs in the Fitbit app is okay... not great but you can extract the data with a API so that's nice.

The watch also have a lot of training modes that I do not care that much about, neither do I care about most of the "motivational messages and badges" it throws me. I have turned what I can off.

Overall, it's an okay watch. In the future I'm considering to try out one of Amazfits watches. They have a screen that works exactly like my Pebble with a battery time of 45 days! The current drawback is that the CPU is old, the design is at least 2 years old now and the software is not that good. At least the watches are cheap so if they makes a new version in the future I may try it out!

Please note that this is a old post from the year 2019 and the information may be outdated. All these 1356 words are written by Stefan Berggren, feel free and contact me if you like.