Before leaving for SXSW, I decided to take only my new ASUS 1000HE, on the 10-day trip. I wrote about how the software I installed in the posting Prepping the ASUS 1000HE for SXSW and promised an update on how it performed for me.
The good news is that I was really happy with my choice to leave my larger laptop, a MacBook Pro, back at home. The battery life of the netbook was as good as I had hope. Its charge lasted the entire day even though I had it out and running through much of the day. There was reliable wifi in the Austin Convention Center and I was easily able to keep up on email whenever I wanted. I took notes using StarOffice. I Twittered. I blogged. I even watched 3 hours of movies on the way home from Austin using the VLC player while stuck in the airport using the netbook.
There’s not much bad at all! My only problem with the netbook is also a “feature” of all netbooks; the keyboard is small because it’s a small computer.
I’m a fast touch-typist and I had a couple of occasions where as my fingers were flying over the keyboard I accidentally hit the up arrow key above the right SHIFT key along with the SHIFT key, selecting an entire line of type and ended up erasing text without intending to as I continued typing.
I also had to alter the default setting for the touch pad because I found that it was recognizing gestures that I didn’t intend, like the 3 finger swipe to go back or forward in my web browser, or the pinch to change font sizes. I have now disabled those and solved that issue.
That’s it. Those are minor shortcomings and I’ll deal with given the huge battery life and portability of this machine.
Before I close, I should point out that I did prepare to leave behind the type of work that wouldn’t be good for my netbook. I told my clients that I was not able to do any development work (Flash, PHP, After Effects, etc.) while I was away. If I had the need to do updates to a single Flash file while I was away, I would have needed to bring along my MacBook Pro in addition to the netbook.
If your business can be done through email, Skype, and text documents though, you can make a netbook work. And for under $400, I was extremely impressed.