If you have read my previous article you would gather I've been looking around for some computer related bargains. A few weekends ago I picked up a Netbook, what is a "Netbook"? I hear you ask. A netbook is a new name given to a certain size of laptop. They are basically ultra portable laptops and because of their size they are usually only 10inchs wide. What is even better is that they are designed to use as little power as possible and as efficiently as possible using processors such as Intel's new Atom processor basically the smallest processor Intel have ever developed. You would have thought with such a processor that you would be limited to the likes of Windows Mobile PC or a cut down copy of Linux, but the Atom can support Windows XP! Now I know Windows XP is supposed to be on its way out (Microsoft said so!), but one thing the Atom processor does is run Windows XP incredibly well. It is the ideal operating system for such a machine which probably would have ground to a holt if Vista was installed. My larger more powerful work laptop usually does if I'm not careful! Although its worth noting that Microsoft are releasing a new version of Windows for netbooks, lets wait and see how good it is..
Anyway back to my Netbook. Its an Advent 4213 with built in 3G, web cam, 160gig hard disk (yes you heard right), built in SD card reader, bluetooth, wifi and1 gig of RAM. That's what neat little package, I thought the 1gig of RAM would have been an issue but the machine hardly uses any of the memory especially when using the likes of Internet Explorer, Remote Desktop and Windows Live Mail. Granted the machine comes installed with IE6 which I am reluctant to upgrade based on the dire performance issues I have had with it on previous XP installs. The machine hibernates and restarts like a dream in under a minute which is pretty impressive. The built in webcam has excellent quality for Skype calls something this machine does very well. The most impressive feature and the main reason I bought the laptop was for its size (so I could use it on a crowded rush hour train) and the built in 3G modem. Using the 3G modem was simplicity itself, you plug your SIM card into the slot found under the battery compartment boot up and connect to the Internet with the preinstalled connection software. The only issues I have had has really been with the "3" 3G network when it goes down to 2G in low coverage areas. This lower coverage area is actually the Orange network which 3 have a contract with. The Orange 2G network is painfully slow I would imagine that they give 3 customers lower priority over their own customers. just a thought.
My Advent fulfils all of my needs so well that I have now left my work laptop at work because it is so heavy and just use my Advent to connect over VPN or to do work on the train.