I just got back from three weeks of traveling across Europe – about half bike touring across Iceland and Holland, the other half more normal hostel-hoping via train/plane/bus/boat.
I brought a friend with me:
Wallet included in the picture to give you a sense of scale… it’s fricking tiny! It weighs about as much as the ‘Europe on a Shoestring’ Lonely Planet guide.
I am soooooooo glad I brought a mini-laptop with me. Not only did it allow me to do stuff like:
- buy a cheap flight to Berlin from Reykjavík at the last minute.
- organize a 24 hour sprint from Amsterdam to Dublin involving two ferries, three trains, three bike connections – at rock-bottom price.
- stay in touch. blog.
It also kept me sane when I got locked down in southern Iceland in a storm for three days during the bike tour part.
So, I really can’t recommend the idea of bringing a mini-laptop with you for traveling enough. It really made a huge difference in my whole experience… then again I am one of those people who the internet is my ‘comfort food’. Some people need chocolate or cheetos to feel good. Others need to watch that special show to fall asleep at night. I need my internet fix… and a vacation ain’t a vacation if you can’t get your fix.
Now, my Eee PC. First off, best color ever:
Yes, it’s pink. Yes, I’m comfortable with my manhood. And yes, I bought it at the last minute and they only had pink left.
It’s the 2G Surf 701. Linux-based (Xandros) with 512 MB ram, 900 MHz Celeron M processor, 2 GB hard drive – solid state, super fast. It has 802.11b/g and an ethernet plug, and a few USB ports. When it’s plugged in, the USB ports pump out enough power to charge an iPod/iPhone. No CD/DVD drive (or any moving parts at all, for that matter). Less to burn battery, less to break.
I only have two (make that three) complaints:
- It’s a little too tiny. The keyboard is at 83% of the normal size. That requires a few hours of learning curve to get used to.
- The screen (800×480) isn’t quite big enough to display all sites correctly. Also, it doesn’t quite max out the form factor… those speakers on the side are taking up vauble real estate that could be used for more screen.
So, I think next time I’ll upgrade all the way up to the 1000. The screen is substantially larger, the keyboard less compressed (92%), and the processor is almost twice as fast. Of course, that one costs more than twice as much as this one which was only….
250 USD. Which is exactly half what my phone cost. Meaning – if my Eee PC grows legs and walks away at one of the hostels – that would suck, but it’s not the end of the world. If I had brought a ‘real’ laptop with me, I would have had to practically sleep on top of it to relax.
Upon further procrastination – ur, consideration – I think next time I travel I’ll get the 901. Same screen resolution, processor and battery as the 1000, and with the same tiny form factor as the 700 series. Awesome. And a good chunk cheaper than the 1000. But… how can I get that in pink?