I have wanted a truly portable computer since I was about 12. When laptops got lighter than ten pounds, I used to fantasize about getting one, but didn’t for a long time until the price on a mid-grade laptop dropped to what I was spending on a desktop.
I was in my late thirties before I finally sucked it up and bought a laptop. Now the one I bought was okay, really, for its time. But it weighs about six and a half pounds, has a crappy battery (an hour if I am very lucky) and it runs hot enough that I really can’t use it without an external notebook cooler. I can use it on an airplane, but I don’t like to. I do use it on the train, but I’m lugging at least ten pounds worth of material and taking it out to use is a bit of a production.
That laptop is starting to show the Blue Screen of Death at about weekly intervals, which means it’s about to go to that Great Computer in the Sky in the next few months. I want to hold off on getting a new laptop for several reasons, and have been in Serious Gadget Lust for a netbook since I first saw one. Because of the gadget lust, I didn’t trust my justification for getting a cheap machine that is not a true replacement for a full-powered laptop.
When I got accused by the World’s Worst Overthinker of overthinking the matter (I think I bored him to tears analyzing it out loud), I just went ahead and bought the damn thing — an Acer AspireOne. It’s the cheapest netbook on the market.
This is what I have been waiting for all my life. I can put the freaking thing in my purse. I get more than three hours on a battery. How much more I don’t know. It’s 3:35 and counting right now and I still have half power left. I can reasonably take this to the park and write. I wouldn’t have to be a contortionist to get it out of an overstuffed bag on an airplane. I don’t have to lug around the heavy notebook cooler. I don’t need something that can run World of Warcraft. I need something that can handle writing a book. I need something that can read a financial spreadsheet. I need something that I can use on the Internet to get email and bid on jobs.
Oh, and I’m writing this piece right now on it