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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Mini Laptop Review

For the last several years, I've been trying to pare down my possesions to make myself that much more mobile. In the beginning, I exchanged my desktop computer for a laptop, disconnecting myself from one dedicated location. That was essential to being a traveler.

However, the laptop that I bought weighs seven or eight pounds, which adds a lot of weight to my luggage. Not only is it cumbersome to carry, but it sometimes affects what I can & can't travel with because of space or weight restrictions.

Because of that, I had been looking for a smaller, lighter alternative. My parents helped solve this problem when they got me a netbook for Christmas, which I was able to take with me on my trip home, as I went from Harbin to Los Angeles to Tennessee to Phoenix back to Shanghai. I found that it was so much better than traveling with my larger laptop. It takes up much less space & is light-weight & comfortable enough to carry in a backpack.

The only downside is that the screen is fairly small. That's not a problem for routine email checks or quick Google searches, but it's a bit of a challenge for longer work sessions, although it's not impossible. It's something to consider, though, since my ultimate goal is to be able to work remotely while wandering the globe. I'll need a device that will let me do that easily.

I'll be curious to see what the iPad2 is like - & there are rumors that they're even working on an iPad3. My techie insider friend Michael says that the iPad isn't good enough to replace a normal computer just yet - it's more like an iPhone but bigger. If that's the case, then I'm not ready to invest in one just yet.

Luckily technology is improving by the second, so there may soon be something that's the best of all worlds: small, light weight, with a decent sized screen at a reasonable price that will do everything a normal computer will do. For now though, this netbook is the best alternative that I've seen for traveling.

What do you think? What is the one best electronic device to bring along for long-term travel?

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