My Early ChristYuleKwanzukah Present

My poor laptop has been battered in the last three years that I’ve owned it (cracked the screen, frame coming apart), and I really wanted to stop lugging it around (either in a backpack or rolling briefcase.) I also wanted something to read eBooks on, but the price of the Kindle and Sony just wasn’t enough of a deal to me.

So when Dear Author posted about the gorgeous red Vivienne Tam edition of the HP Mini, I discovered the world of netbooks. However, HP’s minis were out of my price range–the VT starts at $699–and I wondered if I’d find anything that would enable my to give my poor laptop a much-needed rest.

I knew Amazon had the Asus, but I didn’t know much about the company and I didn’t want to learn Linux. (You can also see the Asus, including an XP version, at Target). I talked to a couple of tech head friends and did major research. I finally decided on the Acer Aspire One, for several reaosns: Wal-Mart carried them instore, it ran XP, and they have a blue one.

Here are some photos. Excuse the crappy cell phone images, shaky hands, and messy desk:

My Mini Me

My Mini Me

My Mini and my 17" laptop

My Mini and my 17

Open Sesame

Open Sesame

(In case you couldn’t guess, I have an Egypt thing)

So far I’m liking it very much. It comes with a 60-day trial of Office 2007, but I like Office 2000, and installed it on the mini. I email my WIP to myself so I can work on the mini while at the office (or sitting at the repair shop yesterday, or Starbucks or Panera) and transferred all my ebooks over to it using my portable hard drive. It doesn’t have a CD drive but that’s not really a negative for me since I hardly use the one on the laptop. The keyboard is smaller, but I have small hands and don’t touch type. Other than the page up/down and home/end keys situated differently, it works well for me. The touch pad is taking some getting used to, as is turning the view to read ebooks–trying to figure out how to work the mouse when the screen is set to horizontal is interesting.

The only other downside is that it shows fingerprints like a bitch. But having attempted to work on my 17″ laptop on a cross-country flight, I can tell you I’m looking forward to taking Mini Me on a plane. And given that all Delta’s charging for all checked bags, I can put the mini into one of my two allowed carryons instead of my briefcase counting as one carryon.

My back and my 17″ laptop both appreciate the rest. I consider it the best purchase I’ve made all year!