Have you ever been sitting at brink of buying a new device and been totally perplexed as to what device to buy? I am sitting at this point.
The ultra low cost machines are the ones that really excite me at this point. You can buy so much power for less than what I paid for many Pocket PC’s and Palms. Never have there been so many choices.
First up is the venerable Eee PC 701. This is the device that set the world on fire for low cost machines. I know Asus says that this isn’t designed to be your only computer and I am definitely not looking for something in that area, however I feel there’s enough power to make this your only device if even for a limited time.
Next, the Eee PC 900. An 8.9 inch screen and 20 gb of flash is nothing to sneeze at. I am not even looking at the Windows version of this device. The only question is it worth the wait? Is it worth the extra dollars for the Eee 900 when the one based on the Atom may be a better performer?
Third in the race and currently in the lead is the HP 2133 MiniNote, specifically the $549 or $499 version. The $549 one comes with 120 GB of a real laptop hard disk. The $499 version has 4 GB of flash. Both have a SDHC slot for adding storage. Both have USB to further expand it. Both have very sexy form factors and both ship with SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop version 10. While not my first choice in Linux, it’s an acceptable one.
Lastly there’s the very portable N810. The N810 can do almost anything the first 3 do. The only thing I see that it can do that the others can’t without help is GPS. I really would like a GPS, but I am not sure how much I would use it. I don’t geocache and I rarely go places that aren’t easy enough to navigate on my own. I also know how to use a compass and have a good sense of direction, so getting lost isn’t something that typically happens to me. Plus there is a big downside to this device: it can’t run normal desktop applications. Any application that runs on the N810 must be a Maemo app. While there’s tons of apps, it’s definitely more convenient to download a deb and install it on the other machines.
Are there any I missed?? If so, post which ones! My requirements aren’t set in stone, but here are the loose set of requirements:
- Must have wifi.
- Keyboard is not required, but nice to have.
- Must be a good browsing experience. I need flash to work and I would like to use it for blogging from events.
- Web Cam is also not required, but nice to have
- If it’s bigger than these, I don’t want it to be much bigger. A 13.3″ laptop is a bit larger than I want for this machine.
- MUST be expandable. It can be SDHC or USB. Doesn’t matter.
- Must be able to watch video, high def or standard def.
- Must be able to play MP3 and OGG.
- I want it in the range of $500. Preferably under.
The only hard and fast requirement I have is it MUST run Linux. Maemo is cool. If the device has a Windows license, that’s ok too so long as Linux support is good.
I am looking to purchase in the first week or two of May when I get my Tax Rebate (thank you George Bush.).
Oh and if it’s a device that hasn’t been covered here on Gear Diary, I will be reviewing it. It will be more than a unbox and a 1-2 week use and then write a review. I want to chronicle what is it like using this device over a extended period of time. Can it be used for podcasting? Can I do what I want with it? Will the newness stay? Will I be ebaying it in 6 months because I hate it? I don’t know, but stay here to find out!