Posted by: Craig Mathias
netbook, notebook PC, Ubuntu
OK, this is going to sound like blasphemy to many, but I’m not sure a notebook computer makes all that much sense anymore. I know a lot of people in SMBs (and elsewhere) use a notebook as their only PC, carrying it (and consequently all of their data) everywhere they go. Sure, that’s convenient, but when I’m in the office I like a lot of screen context – I use multiple monitors on my PCs (Macs, I should say right up front here). A big-screen notebook can get you part way there as well, but at a cost – or should I say, costs, in terms of not just dollars, but also size and weight.
Travel for me (and I do a lot of it) is all about minimizing what I need to bring. I carry my luggage on the plane; you need a lot of slack in your schedule (and extra bucks to check the thing) if you take the alternative path. The other bag is usually full of wireless stuff, so minimizing the size of the PC I carry is essential. Enter the netbook, today really just a small PC, but with enough horsepower to do everything I need while on the road. I use a number of these, with the Asus Eee 1000, running Linux, my current favorite. But I did replace the standard Xandros OS with Ubuntu – I just love Ubuntu and highly recommend it. It’s got everything I need while traveling, and it’s fast, reliable, and – did I mention this – 100% free. More on Ubuntu later – I’m not ready to replace the Macs with Linux, but such is not out of the question.
I plan on experimenting with Apple’s iPad as a mobile PC when it becomes available. But I think, apart from computers for lab and research work, I’ve bought my last traditional notebook.