Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thinking about netbooks

At present I use a fairly powerful laptop as my all in one machine, it's my development environment, it's my gaming machine, and I use it for class. Before I came to college I used my desktop machine for everything. However, I'm beginning to think neither of these is the best solution. My laptop can do everything my desktop used to do, however it isn't as a good at being super portable as a laptop could be, nor does it have the potential to be a powerhouse like a desktop machine can be. Even though my laptop is a relatively balanced machine with a 15 inch screen I still feel like I'm making compromises on both ends, and I'm wondering if there's a better solution.

On the laptop side, my laptop isn't as lightweight as one could be, it weighs six or seven pounds. It also doesn't have as good a battery life as I'd like, 2 to 3 hours. On the desktop side it's not particularly upgradeable, meaning once it's out of date the whole thing needs to be replaced. On the other hand it does have some advantages over each, right now it's as powerful as it needs to be for anything I throw at it, and it is mobile enough that I can take it to my classes without having to worry.

The compromise I'm considering is whether to get a small netbook, such as the Asus EEE PC, for my mobile needs, and use my deskop for the heavy lifting. This has a few advantages, the EEE PC has a seven hour battery life, and weighs about three pounds. Plus my desktop runs things fine now, and I can upgrade individual components as needed. It has some drawbacks though, when I go places I can't bring my gaming machine with me(making going home for the holidays a big pain).

For now I'm not planning on changing anything about my setup, this is just thinking ahead for when my processing needs eclipse my current laptop(hopefully not another year or two). Does anyone use a setup like this, or just have a netbook? What are your thoughts?

1 comment:

  1. I used to use my laptop as my all-in-one computer but eventually stopped doing things like bringing it to class because it was a pain to carry around. I got an EEE 701 and it works perfectly for my portable needs. The biggest disadvantage the EEE has is that the default OS really sucks and there are no free alternatives that "just work" (although you can tweak things like Ubuntu if you know what you're doing). I hear XP works fine on it though. But even with the software annoyance it's still a great laptop and I love it.


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