This is the second part of my netbook related tale telling the story of my travels through France with a netbook, and we are finally on the road with my netbook on my lap and a glint in my eye. If you missed reading “Travelling With My Netbook – Part 1“, be sure to read that one first!
Our story begins on the M1 traveling south to London where I will be staying at a friend’s house for an early ferry…
The first thing that I noticed about using netbooks whilst on the move is how much easier they are to use than laptops — yes they are smaller and thus have smaller keys and screen, but I found it a damn sight easier to have it on my lap and to be typing away than it would be if I had a 15” laptop.
The smaller scale also makes a whole host of other travel related things easier — things you wouldn’t have thought about: for a start I didn’t have to buy a ludicrously expensive bag to house my new pride and joy, it fits perfectly well into all of my usual hand-travel bags and so long as you are careful not throw it around (especially as it has a HDD rather than the flash SSD version) and use the nice sleeve that comes with it!
Now a few of you may be questioning my decision to purchase the HDD version rather than the faster, more durable if less expansive flash SSD version, but it is a decision that I would definitely stand by. I feel that being able just to dump all your documents, music and photos on it when you go away is a massive advantage, and being able to show people these when on the go is definitely something that I have already found backs up my choice.
And yes it may make a weird noise when you occasionally ask it to retrieve a big file, and yes it does take more time (but by no means a lot) to load up Windows XP but at least you have the space as well as having an easy-to-use o/s, and without the ability to store and watch films on it whilst going down to London I would have been forced to resort to playing pinball or even worse socialising with my fellow car users!
So it’s all looking pretty rosy so far, but it would be unfair to paint a picture of perfection. After about an hour (just past Bedford for those keeping track) I felt a burning sensation on my left leg, and upon investigating found that the fan from the Acer Aspire One was very hot, to the point where I considered turning it off to let it cool down. As it turns out it stays at that temperature, and putting a layer between it and my leg I was fine, but it is still irritating and a little painful!
The second problem that I found with my otherwise faultless Acer Aspire One (I think I need a name for it but can’t think of any suitable ones… suggestions?!?) was the battery life. I knew beforehand that the 3 cell battery wasn’t much of a marathon runner, but it still surprised me a little when it started flashing warnings at me after only 2 hours, and died after 2hr 15 as we met the M25.
This was annoying for two reasons — firstly many of its competitors (and even the later version of the Aspire One) have 6 cell battery’s lasting anything up to 7 hours, and it should have occurred to be to invest in a 6 cell one (rather than an illegitimate 9 cell of dubious quality).
The second was that I had downloaded all of the maps for how to get to my friends house in south London onto my netbook, and with ill deserved smug-ness had ignored the road map in my hall. Needless to say we were a little (3 hours) late!
Come back soon to read “Travelling With My Netbook – Part 3” as my journey towards and around France continues!