My favorite device of this year is the Asus eeePC. Yes, I have 2 other machines including a MacBook Pro and a new widescreen Gateway laptop w/2 hard drives and 4GB of memory. Hey, I’m a programmer, so I need the resources, but there is also this Tim Allen Grunt sense of powerful equipment. In the end, though, I always go back to my eeePC for a lot of minor tasks including surfing TechZulu and watching Miro.
In case you missed it, a netbook is a low-priced, stripped-down budget computer. Asus released the 1st netbook, the eeePC, in 2007 which generally defined the new market. Now, there are a ton of new machines in this category, 90% of which run Windows XP.
I predict 2009 will be the year of the netbook; as people are crunching their dollars, a sub-$500 netbook suddenly seems resonable. There are also a number of deals out there on these machines including one from Dell and another from Radio Shack. The former will allow you to purchase Dell’s Inspiron Mini 9 for $99 if you buy another laptop at the same time and the Radio Shack $99 deal requies a 2-year data contract w/AT&T.
If you are a serious gamer or a power user, a netbook may not be for you. However, if you already get by on an old Celeon processer from a machine that is a few years old – a netbook is more of a lateral move. Either way, get ready to see more cheap, ‘cute’ laptops coming to a coffee shop near you.
Oh – one more thing – if you are an Apple fanatic, the rumors are strong that the Cupertino-based company will release their own netbook at Macworld in January. In the meantime, you could settle for your own ‘hackintosh’. Wired wrote an article back in October on running OS X on a Lenovo netbook.