Matt was asking about a new toy I picked up. But ah no; this isn’t about toys for the coming baby.:)
Ling has started making regular trips to Thomson Medical Center and in about five months will be delivering there. Now, suspecting that I’d be bored to death during the inevitable waiting during those visits, I started looking for a suitable notebook to accompany me on these visits some months ago. Pretty simple requirements: just light enough for me to carry around easily, long battery life, and low cost. After all, I’ve got two other notebooks already and spending a few thousand on a third just doesn’t make sense when its use is focused.
I’ve blogged about ultra mobile PCs here in May last year, and these netbooks are quite the rage over here now with models as low as $500. In terms of port configuration, processor and display specifications, most of the current notebooks available are somewhat similar. Where they differ is in chassis design, cost, physical dimensions, and battery life.
Of the lot, the Samsung NC10 was the pick. Amazingly long battery life at 6.5 hours. Unfortunately, the thing isn’t available in Singapore and I had no luck with the UK vendors I tried ordering from. So, I ended up with the next choice of the list: an MSI Wind.
That’s the three notebooks in the lineup now: the Thinkpad T60 I use at work, the MSI Wind sandwiched in the middle, and the NEC Versa E6310 that I also use in school when doing special talks or demonstrations.
The Wind is pretty amazing, the moreso when one remembers that notebooks were the size and weight of bricks just 13 years ago. It looks dimunitive compared to its two siblings on the left and right, but the keyboard’s still perfectly alright. No, I can’t do my 120 words per minute on the keyboard but it’s close.:) The screen resolution of 1024 by 600 requires a good amount of vertical scrolling when browsing web pages. But that’s a trade-off for the 5 hours I get before the battery chokes, and that the machine is so light I can see myself carrying it around to TMC.
The cost? A shade over $700 and also the last major purchase of 2008.:)