Tuesday, 6 January 2009
Well one new toy, at least. Not quite directly photography related but purchased with photography in mind.
I bought myself a funky little netbook - an Asus Eee 901. I was after a laptop for travelling with, so I could download photos to hard drive on longer trips, do some basic edits, surf the web etc. There are times when the portable viewer/hard drive I carry isn't quite enough.
Why did I buy this one? 3 main reasons - size, Windows XP (full size laptops come with Vista these days, and I'd have immediately installed XP instead), solid state drive (light weight, low power, rugged). Never considered a Mac and unless they fundamentally change, never will (that's a story for some other day).
What do I think? Frankly, I'm astonished at how good this thing is. It has plenty of hallmarks of a quality product and works really nicely. It's well built and well configured.
The drive came pre-partitioned into system & applications: a nice touch, exactly what I do myself. Great for maintenance (even on the relatively small drive). Battery lasts a long time - I reckon 6-7h on a charge.
Good screen, that doesn't need full power to be visible (generally usable at the lowest brightness setting). The best touchpad I've ever used with a great set of gestures to improve use (still not as good as a mouse).
Nice set of installed software (oddly, includes both MS Works and StarOffice) but overall a fairly slim install (with only 12GB hard drive, it needs to be).
Plenty of ports.
Comes with 802.11n wireless which hooked-up seamlessly to my home network (once I set the passcode to something I could actually remember!) - trucks along at a creditable 65Mb/s.
It's also reasonable powerful - similar performance to the laptop I use at work, which is about 3 years old. I've installed Lightroom 2.2 and it trucks along quite merrily (haven't tried with a lot of images catalogued yet) - I won't be doing major edits anyway on this thing.
Overall it is surprisingly good. I wouldn't bank on it as a primary computer but it certainly negates a full size laptop as a second computer.