I recently bought an HP 10.5″ Netbook and a Virgin Mobile MIFI device to connect to the Internet while I’m traveling. On the one hand, this could be a bit of overkill, since I already have a Macbook Pro laptop, and I can get Internet on my Android phone. However, there are certain disadvantages to having to bring my entire home office with me every time I need to take a trip.
When I’m at home, I have my Macbook hooked up to a couple of portable drives, and a second monitor. So while it is a laptop, I don’t really use it as a portable device per se. And I’ve tried to take just my phone on short trips, however then I’m limited to how good the 3G coverage is wherever I’m traveling too … and more importantly, the little tiny screen. While this netbook is definitely not what I’m used to at home, I do still have the ability to play a game of poker, or more importantly get on Skype with my daughters.
My new Virgin Mobile MIFI gives me even more freedom. Now I don’t have to worry about whether or not the hotel or airport has free Internet access. I simply stick the little rectangular device over near the window, turn it on, and start surfing. I’ve only been using it a couple of days now, but so far seems well worth the $40 a month.
As you can probably already tell, I’m fairly happy with my new little mobile setup. So, here are my …
3 Reasons Every Traveler Should Own a 10″ Netbook
- It’s Small and weighs almost nothing – this thing only weighs a couple of pounds. I don’t need to bring a separate laptop case, I can just throw it in the outside pocket of my backpack. Heck, if you’ve got a coat with big enough pockets you could almost just put it in there. I found it especially handy for reading on the plane. I’ve never really bothered to bring out my full sized laptop on a flight before, but I’ve taken 4 flights in about the past 2 weeks, and used the kindle app to read on the netbook during each flight. And during takeoff and landing, the netbook fit nicely in the seatback pocket.
- The Battery Last a LONG time – speaking of reading on the flight .. both times I flew, I charged the battery the night before. I then used the computer all day, both in the airports and on the flight, and the battery level never got below 50%. Of the course the model I bought does have the 6 cell battery … but even then, I’m impressed that this thing holds power pretty much “as advertised”. I like not having to remember to bring the plug.
- There are still a few things you Can’t do with your Smart Phone – I’ve tried to take a few short trips recently with just my Android phone, and while I was able to stay reasonably connected, I still felt a little bit like something was missing. With the netbook, I can still do things like Skype, type out a blog post on a bigger keyboard, or edit a picture. Also, while smartphone apps are getting better and better, I still prefer to check my gmail, or get on Facebook right through the real website.
So that’s my take. All-in-all, I fell like the couple hundred bucks I spent for this netbook was a reasonably good investment for a “connected dude” such as myself.
What about you …
What are some of your favorite or least favorite things about owning a netbook?