Monday, January 02, 2006

Laptop schmaptop -- Give me something little!

I typed this entry somewhere high above the African plains, on a flight from South Africa to Washington D.C. And I'm not lugging a laptop. When I travel with a laptop, it's worse than traveling with my daughter. She seems to require as much baggage as she weighs, but at least she can walk to the gate. A laptop seems to gain a pound an hour when I travel with it, even without the extra battery, and my shoulder soon feels like it's going to become permanently dislocated.

But I sometimes can't just use paper and wait for home or an internet cafe before sending in an article, which is the case on this trip. So I've found what I think is a pretty good compromise. I'm using a little NEC MobilePro 790 that I bought on an auction site for less than $150. For this kind of trip, it's awesome. Yes, it's old technology and my web surfing is limited to what will display in IE 4.0, but I can live with those drawbacks for a week or two on the road. I can still post to my blogs, send e-mail (even Outlook messages offline), and write my articles. I can save to a compact flash card or sync up everything when I get home.

It's about the size of a paperback book and not as thick. Note from the photo how easily it fits on an airplane tray. If the person in front of me leans back, no big deal. It weighs a pound and a half I think. I can just toss it in my daypack and nobody even knows it's there, which removes the other laptop problem--becoming a theft target. Not bad for something that cost me less than the price of a PDA.

Don't get me wrong, as soon as that rich uncle dies, I'll gladly fork out for one of those cool little Fujitsu notebook computers, or that even cooler OQO mini notebook that weighs less than a pound. But at close to $2,000, that will have to wait...

1 comment:

glickmatt said...

The problem with this though, apart from the old browser, is there's no USB port. I've used a MobilePro for a while, but I think I'm going to upgrade to a really small notebook. Anybody have a good experience with the Toshiba or Fujitsu ones?