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Old Feb 29, 2008, 11:03 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Tumbleweed, Arizona
Posts: 1,381

Several years ago, the four of us went up to Alaska on an inland passage cruise. It was wonderful, and I took about 3,000 pictures. My son insisted on bringing his new laptop, which turned out to be a plus. I would down load the images for storage, but also take a look at them and determine what I did wrong and what to do better, then go back out and take more. It was a great learning tool, while I was on site, rather than a couple of weeks later, at home. The next year we went again, without the laptop. Took more good pictures, but just kept them on a lot of sd cards, but missed being able to skim them while away.

This is a long way to getting around to say, that I have been looking around for a suitable laptop for vacations & travel. I do a fair amount of business traveling, hauling around one for business (Dell 430 – 4lbs + the all the supporting stuff), but want one even smaller and lighter for personal use. Which brings me to this.

My son, brought home a Asus Eee PC. It's 2 lbs, the size of a paperback, with a small but not tiny 7" screen and keyboard, loaded with a Linux distribution. It's useable, but you would not want to write (or read) War and Peace on it, which is its main strength and weakness - its small and some what cramped - you would not want to use it for hours on end. I played with it for a couple of days until he took it away and reloaded it with his own version of linux.

Bottom line, it's a small machine, with a SD card slot, 3 USB ports, Ethernet port, wifi wireless, half gig of memory (expandable up to 2GB depending on model) and 1 to 8GB of flash disk for storage (again depending on model). It boots up in 10 seconds, and shuts down in 5 seconds. The battery lasts for 3 hours, the battery charger is tiny, and there are really no extras that you need to haul. Sure, it's a compromise, but for travel it's very good - almost near perfect (considering the size). You can put windows on it, but in my opinion the Linux is perfect (and takes 30 seconds to learn). Everything is accessible through Icons, browsing, word processing, skyp for voip telephone, etc. For photography, and especially backing up your images to a small usb portable hard drive (the only extra you will need) it's a pretty good solution. You are not going to run photoshop on it. Its also fairly inexpensive $200 to $450 depending on configuration. It does not fit into a shirt pocket, but it is really easy to carry.

Here is a good overview of the unit, if your interested…

There are some additional systems coming from other vendors too.

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