My primary laptop is an HP 8510p. It’s about thirty months old..and I don’t yet hate it…which is a sure sign that it was truly a nice machine when I first got it. This was my second HP laptop after a long history of using Dell models. Given any choice at all I won’t ever go back to Dell.
Under normal circumstances my employer would agree to replace the machine after three years (36 months) use. Some companies, like Exxon-Mobile where my brother-in-law works, would push that out to 48 months. When a laptop gets to be four years old it’s usually very slow & compared to current technology. It becomes a source of frustration. At least for my activities, which are graphics heavy, there’s a very real argument for a 36 month upgrade cycle.
Last Friday my trusty HP 8510p laptop developed a serious problem. The connection between the LCD and the motherboard went bad rendering the display useless. The system is only about 16 months old so it’s not quite time to replace it, at least according to my employer.
Thankfully I bought a 3 year extended warranty so HP is going to take care of the trouble. Monday I spent half an hour on the phone with HP support getting the case logged and ordering a return shipping box. Initially they didn’t have the extended warranty on file, but I had the receipt to prove it. The system was ordered from their SMB Depot so all the records are email, which I could immediately produce as proof.
As I make my way back from SFO for the 8th time in as many weeks I’m given to consider what good company my little netbook has become. It’s been my traveling companion for a relatively short 4 weeks and I’m still coming to graps its utility. It can’t possbly replace my laptop or desktop. After all, I’m in the TV graphics business and there’s just no replacing a high resolution display for some activities.
Yet, here I am on another flight and the little netbook is my solace. Even in a regretably coach class seat I’m able to listen to music, catch up on by backlogged RSS feeds and write blog posts. It’s as close to ideal as I could have hoped for.
It’s been a little over a week since I laid hands on my little HP netbook. I must say that the little device has caused me to reconsider some of my computing needs, but in general I’m happy to have it in my travels.
In the past weeks work in SFO I carried it around with me as I moved through my customers facility, essentially using it as an electronic notepad. In that role it’s outstanding. The battery life using the 6 cell battery at well over 7 hours, is superb. It boots and hibernates quickly. It’s light, quiet and unimposing.
I suspect that there is a netbook in my near-term future. My travel to and from Toronto last week reinforced this sense. At three hours that flight is about as long as you’d want to be on a 50 seat regional jet. Such is the reality of air travel these days. Smaller aircraft are being used on longer flights so that they can still offer a few flights a day on less traveled routes. While really do like my HP NX8510p notebook it’s just too large to be useful in small spaces, like on a regional jet.
Further, a lot of the stuff that I’m doing these days is “in-the-cloud” as they say. So many of my activities don’t require major applications installed on the platform before me. It would seem that a netbook with some reasonable amount of local storage would make some sense for me. I’m not sure I’d go for one with inboard 3G ‘net access. They seem to costly at the moment.
Tim Higgins over at Small Net Builder has been in a protracted search for a netbook. He’s actually taken delivery of three different models;