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Make the perfect netbook

I read daily – it’s been in my mobile computing category for a quite a while. Today he has an interesting post asking readers to put together their perfect netbook. The caveat? They can only use parts from already existing netbooks.

I’ve been following the netbook market since way before the phrase netbook was even applied to these little beauties so I thought I’d give it a go:

My perfect netbook:

  • Processor:Intel Atom (the one they pretty much all use these days)
  • Screen:10.2 inch LED like the one on my wind. I still catch myself wishing that the bezel on the wind would be a tad narrower. I think they could have squeezed an 11″ screen in here if they’d wanted to. I know that at this point it’s just a convention and also Microsoft helps limit innovation in the space with their pretty rigid requirements for netbooks. But the more screen real estate the better. I think the resolution could be bumped to 1280×768 or something similar, but I don’t think any 10″ netbooks have that combination.
  • Keyboard:HP Mininote. I’m satisfied with the keyboard on the wind. I’m typing on it right now and it’s performing great. I haven’t used my macbook really since I got the wind, but the Mininote allegedly blows everyone out of the water in this aspect. Might as well benefit.
  • Wifi:Draft-N module on the newest Eee series. This is not a deal breaker for me either way. 802.11g would fill my needs as well.
  • Storage:Hard drive for me please. I appreciate SSD, but my tragic experiences with the original Eee and the constant space constraints have jaded me. A SATA drive feels just as snappy in real world usage scenarios as the discount SSDs.
  • Other connectivity:Card reader (nice to have, not important), express card slot (nice to have, but I’ve never used one up till now), 3G module (Definitely a plus. Would eliminate the need for tethering)
  • Styling:I really like the wind’s styling. I’d remove all the stupid LEDs, and make the entire thing matte instead of glossy. And black. I’m not big on all the casual colour-schemes.

I think that’s all I could come up with for my ideal netbook.


mobile broadband

Emma and I are catsitting this week for Jacob and Klaus and we’re spending time in their kolonihavehus with their two babies Oscar and Mivsen.

One of the perks is that we get to test out Klaus’ neat 3g service from 3. Emma and I both brought our laptops but thanks to the sweet little feature in osx called internet connection sharing we can both be online independently. The speed is quite decent also. I ran a speedtest at and the results are seen below:

the 3g service from 3 strutting its stuff

the 3g service from 3 strutting its stuff

At my work we are seeing a rapidly increasing interest in mobile broadband as well, but it’s still mostly seen as a supplement to bring with you when you’re away from home.

Mobile tech superman James Kendrick started a discussion over on jkontherun about whether or not mobile broadband would be enough to cover day to day needs. My answer based on three days of usage here is a resounding no with the caveat that it could certainly do in a pinch. But I do miss our 10 Mbit line at home right about now.

I just stumbled upon this promising site in the comments on engadget. One thing that impressed me when I was an Eee owner was the vibrant community at Here’s to hoping that mininoteuser can become just as awesome. When I signed up a couple of hours ago there was only 4 (four) members of the forum. Here’s to hoping that grows a little.

Here’s the link to the site

budget UMPC roundup

awesome and smallIf you’re following the gadget-themed blogosphere it should be no surprise to you that 2008 will be the year of the budget UMPC. After Asus launched their original Eee late last year and sold out in 10 minutes consumers have shown that the combination of compact size and compact prize is a hit.

Naturally, everyone is looking to get in on the action and in the next couple of months we should be seeing not only Asus’ own updated Eee pc 900, but pretty much all the big actors are wanting a piece of the action. Dell and Acer have both announced that they’ll be releasing their own takes on the budget laptop concept this year.

Several lesser known (to me anyway) entities are also showing promising concepts. For instance the (perhaps mac-inspired) MSI Wind and the G10IL from ECS (which I always read as geil when I see it mentioned). There are a lot more UMPCportal has a nice list of the top ones (scroll down a bit – it’s on the right side).

The tendency is clear from the first iteration of the Eee. The screens are getting bigger and storage size is creeping upwards as well. Judging by my own experience with the Eee (that I blogged about here) this is a good thing. It’s a pain in the ass to fit your stuff into 4GB of storage and even though purists may see it as a fun exercise, I believe most people will se it as just a hassle that they’d rather be without.

HP released their take on the UMPC last week and it shows great promise (great review here). It’s beautiful, has a useable keyboard, has a bigger screen (8.9″), an awesome resolution, has bluetooth and ample storage built-in so you don’t have to resort to bizarre mods to get it doing what it should be doing out of the box.

Based on my reading on various forums it seems that there’s a front forming on whether or not this is an instance of “feature creeping” or if it’s bringing the product up to snuff. Everyone agrees on the crappiness of the Via C7 processor (hint: it’s about 10% slower than the underclocked Celeron in the Eee).

I like the way this is going. I think my personal sweet spot for buying another one of these after my Eee flop is something like the HP mini. Although I would like a 10″ screen and less Vista. That HP is so sweet it’s keeping me up at night though

finally: a higher capacity battery for the Eee

We’ve been pining for it for months (seems longer), but now there’s finally an update from Asus about some Eee accessories.

Most of it is pretty bleh, but there’s a lovely little tidbit about a six-cell battery rated at 7800 mAh. This should put us over 5 hours of battery time in theory and at least past four hours in real world usage.

Read more and also enjoy the awful publicity shots. Asus are swell, but Apple they aren’t.

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