Sounds like you need either a ThinkPad or one of the Lenovo USB keyboards with a TrackPoint, then. The TrackPoints take a little getting used to, but they're surprisingly quick and efficient, and you never have to take your hands off the home row to move the mouse. It's really quite elegant. (HP, Dell, and to a lesser extent Sony and Toshiba have similar looking sticks on some of their business products, but the Lenovo (originally IBM) version is the best).
I'd rather have a røde pølser anyway...
I've had nothing but good experiences with WP7.5 software, which leads me to believe that WP8 could be worth considering. That said, I'm waiting until/if RIM manages to get their BBX hardware out before using my next contract upgrade, as I'd strongly prefer a phone with a hardware QWERTY board. On two different WP devices (HTC Surround and Samsung Focus), the software performed faultlessly. That said, one of the primary concerns for many users (apps) is a non-starter for me, since the only apps I require are an RPN calculator and Facebook (a necessary evil). [All I really want is good call quality, decent battery life, email, calendaring, and a bit of light web browsing/photography). Frankly, WP7.5 was near, if not at the top of, my mobile OS experiences, which include: WebOS (Palm Pixi Plus, HP Veer), iOS (iPhone 4 and original), Android (1.x and 2.x on HTC Hero, Motorola i1, Samsung Captivate), Symbian S60 (Nokia E66, E90, 6650), Symbian UIQ (SE P800, M600i), Blackberry OS 6 (9800), WM 6.0 (iMate Ultimate 8150, Toshiba G910), etc., along with the WP7.5 devices. My other favorite was WebOS, but it was really too buggy. So...erm...I spend far too much time on phones. And Windows Phone is really pretty good (this coming from a former Apple evangelist (they lost me after Snow Leopard)/Linux user who tolerates, rather than enjoys Windows.
Any chance you can comment on if we might possibly someday see an HP-50G successor with a properly sized/located ENTER button?
:) I love my 49G+ aside from the stupid button's location/size....
Essentially, they just need to do a better job selling their business class stuff to the general public. Same story with Lenovo and Dell, really--all three brands make some really cheap crap (think the $399 Best Buy specials), which are made out of substandard parts, loaded with bloatware, and have barebones 1-year warranties. By contrast, the business-class stuff (think HP EliteBook, Dell Precision, Lenovo ThinkPad (T,X,W series)) is made with decent parts, are less likely to have oodles of bloatware, and have decent support services. Case in point: my neighbor loves his loaded 13" MacBook Pro. He likes the nice metal case, and Apple store support on hand when he wants it. By the way, his machine came with a 1-year warranty. For the same money, I got a 14" HP EliteBook with better specs, again, a nice metal case (with metal internal frame, and easy access modular parts, too!), and a three-year onsite warranty with US-based tech support. When you want parts, they overnight them to you, no questions asked. Sure, my machine doesn't have the cachet of an Apple, but it is at least as good of a deal for a very high quality product. If this kind of product and service were what people compared against Apple, rather than the cut-rate consumer garbage, there would be a wholly different result. I used to be an Apple evangelist. Now I'm a business-class PC evangelist instead.
A plastic case is fine, so long as there's an internal frame--don't make an ABS shell your loaded member.
The really crazy bit is how some of the late-2010 (and maybe even more recent) Macbook Airs shipped with 2GB of non-upgradable RAM. Absolutely insane.
On the other hand, a slightly thicker machine allows for adequate cooling for powerful internals. My quad i7/FirePro-equipped machine isn't tiny, granted, but unlike a Macbook Air I had (briefly), it doesn't throttle the processor to keep from overheating for simple stuff like a bit of MATLAB or Flash video. Or randomly overheat and shut down. That part was fun, too... The footprint of the machine matters far more than the thickness, within reason. Hence why the efficient 14" 4:3 designs are mourned by so many who travel...
True, Lenovo had probably the worst response of all the major manufacturers to the nVidia G86 etc. mess. And that was inexcusable. My point was simply that the build quality on the T61 was still rock-solid. Really a pity about the nVidia stuff, though...the T61p was the last 4:3 powerful ThinkPad. Sigh.
One of my best friends is drooling over this, but I think the opposite direction makes a lot more sense--try 1.2" thick (really not that bad), in order to get ethernet, removable battery, optical drive (swappable for an extra hard drive, battery, etc), docking connector, etc. Oh, and latches to keep the darn thing shut, thanks. The whole thin==better thing really doesn't lend itself to longevity.
Hell, I miss my 1400x1050 14" T60p! It's pretty sad that the only way to get 1000+ vertical pixels is in a 1080p display, which is too high a DPI to be comfortable on less than a 15" screen, but a 15.6" 16:9 panel makes for an absolute monster. Lenovo could have kept making the 4:3 machines ad infinitum--see Panasonic and the ToughBook line. But they decided the extra profit was worth lessening the product. Sad. Unfortunately, so did everybody else. Heck, Apple's the only mainstream company that even uses 16:10 panels anymore.
Agreed. My T60p (designed by IBM, one of the first to ship under the Lenovo name) was built with top-notch materials, and felt like a premium product. The T61 was also very good (save the Nvidia problems, but that wasn't Lenovo (or Dell, Apple, etc's fault)). By the T400/500, they'd compromised on keyboard quality, and stopped reinforcing the lids like the T61, and by the time I bought my last ThinkPad, a T520, it was still a superior machine to the average consumer-grade junk, but no longer felt like it would last forever.
I recently switched from ThinkPads (570, R51, T60, T520 etc) to an HP EliteBook (in my case, an 8460w). It's different than a ThinkPad in some of the design philosophy, but is built like a tank. You still get a totally modular design for easy parts swapping, as with a traditional ThinkPad. The keyboard layout isn't as good as the old 7-row ThinkPad setup, but that's seemingly gone for good anyway--and at least this one keeps scroll/pause dedicated keys ( numlock/break as alt functions) rather than burying that functionality into unlabeled alt-functions as on the new ThinkPads, not to mention keeping the prt sc on the top row, etc etc. It's a different beast, but don't be fooled by horror stories about HP's consumer lines--the EliteBooks are solidly built, and have three-year onsite warranties with US-based support. Not too shabby.
People frequently forget that Sony-Ericsson works as a mostly separate entity from (big nasty evil) Sony. While SE hasn't exactly caught on quick how to play the smartphone game, this sort of behavior clearly distinguishes them from the company that brought us rootkitted CDs, etc.