Sunday, January 31, 2010

My $29.95 Netbook

The weekend after Thanksgiving, I stopped by Verizon to see about upgrading my phone to the new Droid. I wanted better internet functionality than what my current device can handle. Alas, they said I couldn't upgrade until mid-December, but they had something else there that caught my eye.

A Gateway LT20 10.1" netbook for $29.95.

After seeing how much certain other bloggers love their teeny tiny computers (and double-checking that I did really read the price right) I took the plunge.

And after fooling around with this thing for a couple of months, all I can say is WHAT TOOK ME SO LONG??

It beats the daylights out of similar-sized, less capable products like the Kindle and iPad. It has full 3G built in, so I have wireless broadband pretty much everywhere. Plus built-in 802.11b/g WiFi and gigabit Ethernet.

The additional data plan doesn't add that much to my monthly wireless bill, and helps ensure I don't run over my bandwidth limit. Alltel's data plan on my air card was unlimited, but after Verizon assimilated them I have a 5 GB monthly cap.

Oh, and FTC? Nobody paid me one red cent to write this. Go screw yourselves.


Rio Arriba said...

So— how do you KNOW it's so much better than an iPad, since there ain't none to try yet?

(But $29.95 sure can't be beat.)

Hecate said...

Simple. The iPad is limited to running Apple's iPhone OS unless you're willing to jailbreak it and void your warranty. With a bit of driver tweaking, an Intel-compatible netbook can run any version of Windows from XP on up, most Linux distro's, or be set up to boot from multiple OS's with no loss of vendor support.

The netbook can run as many applications at the same time as its memory can tolerate. Even my Motorola Droid can run six apps at the same time, as well as access those apps while I'm talking on the phone. Not so the iPhone OS platform. AT&T's commercials are lying. Whether you can access the web while you're in a call is not a function of the network, it's a function of the device.

Netbooks have full Adobe Flash and Java support right now, not promised in the indefinite future. My Droid has the same problem, and it's a pain, but I expect some tradeoffs for extreme portability.

The iPhone has no USB ports or camera. Not that I use the webcam on my netbook, but at least it's there.

The netbook's clamshell design protects the (essential for fat-fingered me) real keyboard and vulnerable screen.

And if I'm going to lug around something big enough to need a carrying case as opposed to a device I can toss in my pocket, it better be a real full-featured computer.

Tam said...

Aren't these little things just the neatest? :D

Mike W. said...

Netbooks are awesome aren't they?

I LOVE My Eee and it's now taken over probably 90% of my daily computing needs. I still have a big HP laptop but I don't use it much.

AT&T's commercials are lying. Whether you can access the web while you're in a call is not a function of the network, it's a function of the device.

Agreed. I cannot access the web and/or apps while taking a call, or at least I haven't figured out how to do so.

The iPhone does have a built in camera though. It's significantly better than the one on my Eee.