I spend a great of time on computer. As a Internet software developer at my day job, and a consultant and blogger after hours, most of my waking hours are in front of a screen. When I built our new house, I insured it had a office on the first floor, close to the general living spaces, within earshot of the kitchen. While this has greatly aided in maintaining a balance between my work and home life, new endeavors have required more and more of my time in my office.
A Dell Inspiron laptop has been my method of retreat from the office for a few years, but the old Dell has seen better days. With its battery nearly useless and its PCMCIA slot no longer working, its effectiveness as a travel/out-of-office device is nearly non-existent.
In light of my need for a updated portable device, I priced out both fixing the Dell and getting a new laptop; that was until I attended Izeafest.
I’ve always used my Nokia E62 smartphone and a Bluetooth keyboard for note taking, simply due to the battery life, but I noticed a large number of attendees at Izeafest using Netbooks, something I never before considered. So I asked around a little while there, and I began in depth research into them when I got home.
Why a Asus 1000h?
After reading specs and reviews, I was torn between in the Asus 1000h and the new Dell mini9. Both had all of the features I was looking for (XP, bluetooth for tethering, etc.), but the Asus has two clear advantages. First, it came standard with both a 10″ screen and a 6-cell battery. Furthermore, Amazon had just lowered the price to $449. So I dove in.
Now That I Have it…
This was honestly one of the best decisions I’ve made, tech-wise. My new Netbook is small enough to carry everywhere, returns from standby extremely fast, and I’m currently getting 6+ hours of battery life.
My Bluetooth keyboard has not seen the light of day since I received the Asus. I can type much faster on its keyboard, which is 95% the size of a standard laptops, than I could on the BT keyboard. My only issues are the notorious right shift key is a difficult issue to overcome, but not impossible, and the sensitivity of the touch-pad. I’m still hitting it with my thumbs from time to time.
When I set out to buy a new portable device, I drew a line in the sand, as to what the device will be used for. More often than not, I tend to install all of my development tools on everything, which bogs them down. My Netbook will only be used for remote access to Social Networks, Blogging, light word processing, and an occasional movie when traveling. Additionally, I’ll use it as a backup for my camera’s memory cards while on vacation.
Anyway, my software…
- Free AVG Antivirus – I’m slowly moving all of my home PCs to it from Symantec.
- Open Office – Much lighter weight, than a full MS Office install, with more than the capabilities I’ll ever need on a mobile device. Can’t beat the price.
- PowerPoint 2007 Viewer – Just in case. With the eee PC’s VGA out, I might have to use it for presentations when traveling.
- Windows Live Writer – My current blogging tool of choice.
- FoxIt Reader – Not even a comparison to Adobe Reader in terms of footprint, it only requires 2.5mb. I actually prefer the FoxIt interface to Adobe’s now.
- DoPDF -Since I use the device wireless 100% of the time, I’m never close to a printer. Installing doPDF allows me to print anything I need as a PDF and save it to a local directory. I can then batch the prints if and when I need them.
- Nokia PC Suite – Allows me to access my phone’s (Nokia E62) files, contacts, and messages, as well as access the Internet via my data plan.
- Various Portable applications – KeePass, 7-zip Portable, FileZilla Portable, VLC Portable, and a couple of games.
So what ever became of my old dell? It is now my Ubuntu/LAMP stack device. Works great!