A few weeks ago, I wrote about the fact that I took advantage of a Dell promotion. Customers who purchased a 13″ or 15.4″ laptop were given the option of also buying a Dell Mini 9 for $99.00. I was very excited because I had been looking for an extremely lightweight but fully functional laptop for some time.
At that price, the Mini 9 came equipped with the Ubuntu open-source, Linux-based operating system, a 16GB hard drive, and wireless capability. I had no familiarity with Ubuntu, but the sales representative convinced me that it was comparable to and compatible with Windows so I would be able to create and open files on the Mini 9 or any of my other computers.
Unfortunately, that turned out not to be true. The first problem I encountered was an inability to load any additional programs on the hard drive because the Mini 9 would not recognize the external CD drive I also purchased specifically for that purpose. Reformatting the hard drive and installing Windows proved futile, even with my oldest son’s assistance. Worse, the software requisite to my portable wireless connectivity device was incompatible with Ubuntu.
That clinched it. Given that I had ordered a white Mini 9, but a black model was shipped to me, I returned the Mini 9.
For a few dollars more, I then became the proud owner of an Acer Aspire One.
I am in netbook heaven.
The Acer weighs just two pounds and has an 8.9″ screen, 120 GB hard drive, and 1GB of RAM. Priced at just $349, it came with Windows XP, Office, Adobe, Win DVD, MacAfee, and several other “must-have” programs installed. It is easy to install additional software using an inexpensive external CD drive, and the hard drive is large enough to store documents, music, movies, etc. if you don’t want to carry the external drive with you. I purchased a USB-powered mouse because I have never been able to get used to a touch pad mouse. There are three USB ports, as well as a webcam and microphone. The keyboard is quiet and full-sized, although the keys are a little closer together than on a traditional keyboard, but I adapted quickly. The manufacturer even included a simulated leather protective shield into which you can slip the notepad to avoid scratching the case.
Now I am ready at all times to make good use of spare moments because I always have a computer and my connectivity card in my bag.
So has my productivity increased? Yes. I am happy to report that I don’t just carry my notepad around in my purse. I use it. Regularly. Everywhere. When I recently spent four days in San Diego, it was wonderful to be able to use it in a variety of locations, including on both flights.
The holiday season is almost here, so if you are in the market for a notepad, you might want to consider asking Santa to make a special purchase. For those of you shopping for high school and college students, I can’t think of a better tool. I would have loved to own a notepad when I attended law school. I cringe when I think of the reams of hand-written lecture notes I took and can only dream of how luxurious and efficient my educational experiences would have been had this technology been available then.
Do you own a mini laptop computer? If not, have you considered purchasing one? Why or why not?