A solid state Portable Laptop

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A solid state Portable Laptop

Postby RocketMan » Tue Nov 25, 2008 8:39 am

Saw one of these recently at a local store..

OK, so probably thinking “solid State”? but aren’t all laptops solid state? Well yeah, except that they have a hard drive that has moving parts and can be aversely affected by vibration and jostling when being transported on the motorcycle. And are prone to being damaged when you’re moving around with them turned on. Plus they are affected by temps, humidity and other environmental conditions.
Sure hard drives today are all ‘Self Parking” so the heads automatically retract to prevent them from banging on the platters unlike the days of yor when you had actually use a command to park them, but they are still prone to being damaged when you’re moving around with them turned on.

The Acer Aspire One mini-laptop

http://www.acer.com/aspireone/

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I first saw this one a few weeks ago at Office Depot and what caught my eye was first off its size. At 10 x 1.2 x 9 inches and slightly over 2 pounds, its really small and looked pretty “toy” like, but after doing some research it seems this really is a full-fledged computer not a toy at all. The screen is 1024x800 packed down to 8.9 inches, great resolution and comes with a decently fast 1.66 Mhz cpu and a full set of apps. And the price ranges from as low as $290 to around $400. Wow, a real working laptop, with wireless, 2 card slots and all the interfaces found on a standard laptop for Under $300, pretty kool. And the best part is that the cheapest version is the one that would best fit the motorcyclist in need of a portable because it comes with a “solid state” drive, i.e. no moving parts. At first I thought that having only 8 gig of storage space might be an issue, but for its intended use, that’s really all you need. The lower priced version also comes with loaded with a Linix OS and OpenOffice which is every bit as good as MS office, in fact I like it better and its totally free, it will even read all MS documents, spreadsheets, and all standard office apps and can save them to the same format. Plus with the additional two card slots, one multi-format and one dedicated SD slot that will handle up to an 8 Gig card to act as additional drive space. I can’t see that there is really anything it lacks for road warrior use and at under $300, its almost a throw away item, price wise its less than many GPSs out there. I tried out the keyboard and its pretty decent, a bit smaller than standard but still big enough to touch type on with no problems.


The first reviews did mention a few bugs but they seem to have been worked out and they noted that they were testing on pre-production models. You can also get it with up to a 160 Gig standard HD and windows XP but that’s really over kill for what I would see would be the main reason to have one on the road.

Pretty cool and its one of those things that sorely temp me!

RM
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Re: A solid state Portable Laptop

Postby Chiba » Tue Nov 25, 2008 8:44 am

Plus with their prices coming down rapidly and their sizes going up, it's easy to expand disk space with thumb drives. I got a 16GB USB thumb drive for $30 a couple weeks ago. Crazy.

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Re: A solid state Portable Laptop

Postby markap » Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:19 am

Bought the wife an EEE PC 2GB memory, 16GB solid state flash drive for our trip to Alaska. Very solid little computer for around $300 w/ version of Linux OS Built in wi-fi ec
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Re: A solid state Portable Laptop

Postby Yellowjacket » Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:18 am

That is great little unit for travel. The PC slot probably can support a mobile/data card of needed. The price is tempting. Larger (>32GB) solid state hard drives are being rolled out at a fast pace. http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-9925737-64.html I typically use a personal laptop for about 4-5 years. Not helping the PC market much. :D
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Re: A solid state Portable Laptop

Postby RocketMan » Wed Nov 26, 2008 8:46 am

markap wrote:Bought the wife an EEE PC 2GB memory, 16GB solid state flash drive for our trip to Alaska. Very solid little computer for around $300 w/ version of Linux OS Built in wi-fi ec

Yeah, that is a good price for that system, all the ads I've seen for those that I've found on the net run around $400 for 2 gig and 16 Gig SSD. where'd you get it? Was it new or used?

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Re: A solid state Portable Laptop

Postby Blaster229 » Wed Nov 26, 2008 11:04 am

Unless there is something wrong with mine, it isn't even worth trying to turn on. Windows version takes probably 15 mins to boot up and is terribly slow. I did not install any programs or anything, surfing the web(trying to) is painful to say the least. I don't know what is wrong. It has been sitting in my closet now for a couple months collecting dust.
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Re: A solid state Portable Laptop

Postby markap » Wed Nov 26, 2008 11:40 am

RocketMan wrote:
markap wrote:Bought the wife an EEE PC 2GB memory, 16GB solid state flash drive for our trip to Alaska. Very solid little computer for around $300 w/ version of Linux OS Built in wi-fi ec

Yeah, that is a good price for that system, all the ads I've seen for those that I've found on the net run around $400 for 2 gig and 16 Gig SSD. where'd you get it? Was it new or used?

RM

Newegg on line about 4 months ago. Saw them in Target yesterday for about the same price
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Re: A solid state Portable Laptop

Postby markap » Wed Nov 26, 2008 11:42 am

Blaster229 wrote:Unless there is something wrong with mine, it isn't even worth trying to turn on. Windows version takes probably 15 mins to boot up and is terribly slow. I did not install any programs or anything, surfing the web(trying to) is painful to say the least. I don't know what is wrong. It has been sitting in my closet now for a couple months collecting dust.


Your's an EEE or Acer? My EEE PC (linux) is up in less than 5 min - more like 2 or 3
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Re: A solid state Portable Laptop

Postby Ted » Fri Nov 28, 2008 12:42 pm

On sale today at NewEgg with free shipping for only $249 - hard to say no to this if you need a sturdy and tiny traveller. Too bad it isn't the 6-cell and 120-gig HD version (which at $350 is still a pretty sweet deal...)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... -_-Product
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Re: A solid state Portable Laptop

Postby adooley » Thu Jan 15, 2009 3:36 pm

I just picked up an Acer Aspire One - Linux version with 1Gb RAM and 8Gb SSD with a 12Gb SD card to provide to storage space of 20Gb (actually 17Gb after you account for OS) just before Christmas. I used it primarily on the road. I took it on a long road trip from MD to TX over Christmas as was very pleased with it. I use it mainly for Internet access, email, and some word processing. The battery life is very good, as I see about 3 to 3.5 hours on the battery continuos use. The discharge rate is quite low. Being light-weight (just over 2lbs.) and somewhat compact, makes it nice to take on the motor. I still use my Sony UX390 though because of its really compact form factor. Battery life isn't as good though and the smaller screen is a bit hard on the eyes after a while. :roll:
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Re: A solid state Portable Laptop

Postby Yellowjacket » Thu Jan 15, 2009 4:49 pm

There are some used Dell X1's and D410's floating about that are priced reasonably. I seem to recall a Samsung one with 15 hr battery life. Can't find it now.
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Re: A solid state Portable Laptop

Postby Kres » Fri Jun 12, 2009 10:32 am

Picked up a refurb HP Mini 1000 a few weeks ago.

The build quality on the HP is a few steps ahead of Asus, Acer and MSI - about on par with Dell. I like the Dell keyboard a little better.

The HP came with a small 8GB SSD, the usual collection of USB ports, and one interesting feature: the HP "Media Drive"

It's basically a recessed USB port that can fit a mini USB flash drive. I found a 16GB key that fits in the slot and allows the hatch to close. I've found it useful for xfering stuff from the netbook to the larger PC. So I'll dump pictures or documents to the media drive on the netbook while on the road, and the just yank the key and sync it up with the larger sexier PC at home. It also keeps cruft off of the main drive, keeps the netbook lines sleek w/ no large USB key, and keeps the memory card drive open for the camera - which means I don't have to carry the special USB cable around for my smallest camera.

It's a little feature, but it sets it apart.

Oh, and I wiped the Windows XP from it and tried HP's Linux OS on it... While the interface looks pretty cool, its pretty buggy and locked down. XP ended up running faster on it, and behaving better with the different hotspots on the road so I put it back.

So, all in all I've been pleased with this little road luxury. I wouldn't be happy if it got ruined on the road, but wouldn't be as hearbroken as if the MacBook Pro got smashed or dunked, or vibrated to an early death.

For folks thinking about dipping a toe in the netbook water... keep an eye on woot.com. They have been selling refurbed eee Pc 900's for $149 from time to time w/ 4 or 8GB SSD's.
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Re: A solid state Portable Laptop

Postby JimVonBaden » Fri Jun 12, 2009 10:52 am

I've had the Acer One for several months now. It is a great unit with a 1.6GH processor, 160GB real HD, and 1GB ram. It has an internal wifi set-up, and a web cam and mic. I love it, and my fiance thinks the keyboard is better than her full sized Dell laptop.

No issues at all, boots up in 30 seconds, and runs everthing I need.

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Re: A solid state Portable Laptop

Postby Ted » Fri Jun 12, 2009 10:59 am

Newegg just had a 2.5" 64gig SSHD on sale for $140 - looks like they are coming down in price.
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Re: A solid state Portable Laptop

Postby Yellowjacket » Fri Jun 12, 2009 12:01 pm

I picked up the Acer Netbook with a regular HD. I guess I prefer the cheaper and massive storage. So far so good. Learning to type on it and zoom in on the small fonts. I got the one with the ATT SIM card slot. I had been using a ATT Mobile card and the speed is actually compared to a crowded WIFI network. Not quite the full 3G bandwidth but about a 2.5G in metro areas.
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