New Toy! (I mean, Ultra Mobile PC)

July 4th, 2008

So my laptop has been acting up for a while. I’ve had at least 3 boot attempts everytime I want to start it up and lately I’ve been getting disk errors too (*shudders*).

I bought it more for its multimedia capabilities and for a bit of programming. Now, when looking for a replacement, I realised I just wanted something for writing on the move and a bit of net surfing, i.e. really portable, lightweight, with no annoying loud fan noises or hard disk clicks this time.

So in searching, I came across the Asus Eee PC 900. It’s really nice. In size, it’s footprint is just a bit larger than a DVD cover – that’ll tell you how portable this thing is. It has a nice lightweight linux installation on it that is both easy to use and highly functional. OpenOffice comes pre-installed for the ‘ol writing. It has a silent solid state disk instead of a winchester hard disk, so can a few knocks without risk of damaging the disk. SSD disk capacities are still fairly small, but a novel doesn’t take much disk space (in fact, I’ve always found it a bit depressing that it takes so much work just to produce about 1 Mb of data!) The screen is large enough to view pages of text or web pages full width. I think kids and students are the main target for it, but I can see why it has so many ‘bigger’ fans too! Some of the more powerful UMPCs are very expensive.

The keyboard has a small footprint, so it takes a bit of getting used to and I needed to slow down my typing speed for a couple of days until I got accustomed to the keys sizes and placement. It will probably need a new larger capacity battery because the one that ships with it will only last less than two hours on a charge.

But overall I’m very impressed with what you can get for 300 euro now. Blink these days and the technology leaps another step.

Entry Filed under: Science & Technology

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