Well, I was going to write this from the comfort of a local cafe with free WiFi, but it appears that Arnie has decided that he doesn’t want to connect to it. If I wasn’t so lazy I’d try it on my iPhone and see if that works. I doubt it would make a difference, but you never know. In any case, that’s not what we’re here to talk about. We’re here to talk about my latest technological purchase. Earlier this morning, I bought a new laptop. A netbook, to be precise. A type of computer so new that Microsoft Word (yes, I’m using word to type this as I can’t get into the Worpdress Dashboard at the moment given the current lack of internet connection) doesn’t think it can actually exist.
I bought a Samsung NC10 (or as I like to put it a Sing Song MC Hammer). Like all Samsung laptops these days, it had to be sourced from overseas as Samsung do not sell their computers in Australia anymore. It’s pretty sad given the demand for the NC10 that we can’t get a local version. Still, I never use the hash key, so I’m not going to miss it. I guess I’ll just have to figure out what the ALT + 1234 keystroke is for it. Or I could just resolve to never use it again. Either way works for me. I’ve ordered the machine from OverClockersUK for the grand sum of $AU680ish (£217excl. VAT which I don’t have to pay + £37 shipping @ $AU1 = £0.47. It might not be exact, but it’s close enough. Not being able to access bank account and invoice is a pain when it comes to trying to quote things you can’t quite remember). This price is still much less than that for similar spec machines I can get locally. I saw an Asus EeePC with the same specs as the NC10 in a catalog today for $700, there’s the HP Mini 1000 that retails for somewhere around the $750 mark and the Acer AspireOne which goes for $NoIdeabutitsstillmoreexpensivethantheNC10. It also claims to have the longest battery life of all these netbooks, somewhere in the order of 7+ hours – which is just epic.
There’s only two concerns I have with buying this machine and they’re not exactly deal-breakers. The first is the time to ship here. I could go out and have a machine right now if I was willing to settle for a local buy. At the moment, OCUK is saying that my shipment is arriving on Feb 3, which is Tuesday (today is Friday for those of you playing at home). I’d like to believe that’s the case, but it’s probably more sheer optimism than a practical arrival date. Anyway, this concern is irrelevant as I’ve still got (and probably will still have for a while) Arnie, and I’ve been using him more and more on the battery this last month or so.
The second concern I have is the power lead. Although both the UK and Australian power grids supply 240V to a normal household outlet, the plug is different. This concern is irrelevant as it can be resolved by either;
a) Scrounging around the house and finding a similar clover-leafed cord laying around somewhere, or
b) Heading to my nearest Jaycar outlet and purchasing a new one for the massive sum of $5.
So with those two little problems dealt with, I went ahead and placed my order first thing this morning. The site said they had 10+ in stock so there shouldn’t be any delays on that front.
Now, I can hear you asking “But Matt, you already have a laptop and it’s an absolute beast. Why do you need another one?” Well, the answer is; you’re right. I do already have a laptop, my beloved Arnie, and he is something of a computational beast. However, given I spend most of my computing time on the internet, I’ve come to realise that he was never really cut out to be a carry everywhere laptop. For a start he weighs the best park of 5Kg and the power adapter weighs about that again, so he’s not light. Secondly, because he’s so powerful and has so many bells and whistles his battery life isn’t the best (90minutes, maybe). So he’s just not practical to carry around. By getting something that’s a lot lighter and a lot less power hungry I am going to able to carry on my usual activities of writing on The Rant-O-Matic, stalking people on Facebook and Twittering without destroying my already damaged back. Plus I’m going to be able to do it for longer. Which is always a good thing.
The second benefit is going to come from all the time I spend in my room watching TV shows, DVDs, etc. At the moment, because Arnie is my main computer, I can’t multitask. Which means if I want to type out an email, or have an idea for a blog post I have to stop what I’m watching in order to accomplish it. Being able to do two things at once is a plus.
Thirdly, I’m going on a quite a holiday this year and having a small, light laptop with a decent sized hard-drive (160Gb) means I’ve got somewhere to store my photos when my memory card (and at the moment I only have 1x2Gb SD card for my Canon 450D) inevitably fills up going to Le Mans. Plus because it’s so small and light it’ll most likely make the trip as hand-luggage, so I can use it on those long, boring international flights.
So there you have it. There’s my reasoning behind my purchase. Do you think I’ve made a wise choice? Or is all this post just me trying to convince myself that I’ve done the right thing? Let me know.
Also, I’m going to need a name for it. I’m thinking something feminine because it’s so small and dainty. Maybe Linda (as in Hamilton, co-star of the Terminator movies alongside Arnie)? I seem to have a thing for the name Abbey, but that’s the name of my car so it can’t be that. Suggestions welcome in the comments or via email or twitter or Facebook or telephone (if you look hard enough you’ll find my number).