I decided to get myself an Acer D150 Netbook (link to Engadget, image on left also from Engadget, more images here) as a small, lightweight, portable device with good battery life for running around campus to various meetings where I typically need e-mail, messenger (or Office Communicator), OneNote for note taking, and perhaps RDP back to my Dell T7400 desktop PC.
The D150 netbook comes with 1GB RAM (I will probably upgrade this to 2GB), 160GB Hard Drive, Windows XP Home Edition, Ethernet, 3xUSB, audio in/out, WiFi, Video Out, and a screen that provides 1024x600 resolution. The first thing I did when the D150 arrived was install a Windows 7 build (didn’t even boot the Windows XP image) – The Windows Engineering Blog lists some of the changes coming to Windows 7. Windows 7 runs just fine on the device, I get Aero UI, and on a full battery charge (the device comes with a 6 cell battery) I’m getting over 5 hours of battery life. Not too shabby.
About 10 years ago I had another Acer device, the Acer 313T running an Intel Pentium processor and support for Windows NT/98. The 313T is slightly smaller than the D150 (width), a little thicker, and has a much smaller screen – and was quite slow. Obviously the sub-notebook form factor has been around for quite some time, perhaps the hardware and software have finally got to the point where this class of device is practical for every day use.
The D150 form factor is great, lightweight, great battery life, bright screen, reasonable performance (I’m not going to be building Windows CE operating system images on it!). I think this will be a nice device to use at work and when travelling…