Jun. 24th, 2010

wintergr3y: (jasper)
My old laptop is old -- it's a Sony VAIO that I've had for at least a decade (a light purple color, and therefor named Cortana). It came with a partitioned hard disk, and I kept Windows XP on the smaller C: partition. The problem is that Microsoft has patched Windows XP so many times the C: partition is actually out of space. I think there's less than 100 megs open and the OS has a hell of a time just caching stuff.

And so I began a quest: a quest for a netbook. Why a netbook? Well they're small and portable and cheap, and they often have batteries that last all day. I'll pretty much be using it for casual web surfing and email. As [livejournal.com profile] fresne told me, netbooks are so cheap that they're practically disposable; if you take one on vacation and it gets stolen, $300-ish isn't too big a loss to absorb on my budget.

Why not an iPad? They're great, but I want Flash and I don't want a portable device that's ultimately tethered to a computer, I want it to be an independent system. Such devices will probably be available in a year or so when Apple's true competitors start getting quality devices out. In the meantime, a netbook would hold me over quite well.

As I learned about netbooks I concluded that there were 3 main factors I wanted to consider:
1. Price of $400 or less
2. Battery life 7 hours or more
3. Good screen resolution

Weeks and weeks I spend pouring over review after review, spec sheet after spec sheet, and I came to an unfortunate conclusion. Essentially, #2 and #3 are mutually exclusive. In the current generation as soon as you kick the screen resolution up a notch (in almost all cases by increasing the screen size from 10 inches to 11 inches) you halve the battery life. The only exceptions to this I could find, a Dell and an HP, were butt-ugly with severe physical design flaws.

So I did a bit of soul-searching and decided that battery life was ultimately more important to me than screen resolution. With that decision behind me, the pool of qualifying netbooks opened up considerably. As of last night, I'm the owner of a pretty blue Toshiba NB305. I've named it Johnny Johnny.

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September 2011

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