Category Archives: Netbook

Never get rid of anything…

I know we all hang on to things when we get something new. I’m just as guilty as everyone else in this department. But tonight I thought I would try an experiment to see if it would help solve a problem when we travel.

When ever we travel across to France on the boat I never like to leave anything portable and valuable in the car, so I take my camera gear, netbook, iPod, etc in various cases up to the cabin. With the addition of the netbook to my ‘load’ I’ve been carrying an awful lot of stuff up 4-5 decks to the cabin.

My favoured camera bag the Orion AW is full of camera gear and the rucksack part has no dividers or structure to it. So anything hard in that part makes it quite uncomfortable to carry. So I’ve been carrying the netbook in another bag.

Tonight I had a brainwave and got out my previous camera bag a Lowepro Mini Trekker. I had stopped using it a while back because I didn’t find it that comfortable when carrying it for several hours. Also it can carry a lot of camera gear, and thus it can be quite heavy!  But for travelling it might be the ideal solution. The outer pocket on the front takes my netbook with plenty of room to spare at the top of the pocket. Inside I can get all of my camera gear slotted in with no difficulties at all.

So tonight I tried fully packing it as I would to go away to France and it all slots in neatly. The main advantage now is I will have everything in one bag not two or three, sure it’s heavyish, but I will not be carrying it far fully loaded. I can take some gear out once we get to the house.

Oh and before you ask, no I won’t be getting rid of the Lowepro Orion AW, it’s great for photowalks!

Samsung NC10 Netbook

Well it’s happened.. I have finally got a netbook. It’s a Samsung NC10 in blue. There’s plenty of info on the machine on the net. But here is my take on the machine after using it for a week or two.

In summary, the NC10 is a 10.2 inch netbook featuring a 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor, 1GB of RAM, up to 160GB of disk space, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, three USB ports, a special anti-bacterial keyboard, and Windows XP.

I’m not disappointed in the performance of the machine. I upgraded the RAM to 2GB on the day of purchase so I didn’t use it very long with the 1GB in it. It’s loaded with MS Windows XP, which suits me, not that I’m afraid of Linux, I use it on other machines here. I might try a USB install of Ubuntu.

I’ve installed Open Office for my office suite (word processing, spreadsheet etc) needs. Also Firefox and Thunderbird have been installed. Also on Thunderbird I have added Lightening and provider, this gives me access to my Google calendar as well as all my Google mail on the machine.

I’ve installed Skype which works very well with the built in microphone, speakers and webcam (1.3 Megapixels)

The machine as a SD card slot reader which supports SDHC cards, so I’ve tried out a 4GB card in there as well as using my external USB hard drive and an external USB DVD writer.

I took the machine on a recent trip to France and although we had our Dell 15.4 laptop there as well, I never once reverted to using it.

I’ve found the common complaints about the touchpad on this machine being a little on the small side to be justified, although I have been using mine with an Apple Mighty Mouse (Bluetooth) when I’m sat at a desk or table. But for the sort of use I am using the machine the touch pad is fine. The keyboard is very good and I find it easy to touch type on it.

I’ve yet to fully run out of battery, with the screen dimmed down and bluetooth disabled I’m getting over 4 hours of life before it reports 50% battery capacity. Other reviews have reported 6 hours as being a typical battery life for this machine, which I think is justified and can be exceeded with some battery power management. Boot up time is also very quick, not timed it though.

My netbook is effectively replacing my Psion 5MX, my iPaq Pocket PC PDA, but not replacing my Filofax!!

The built in Samsung utilities are very good I have no complaints about them. I wish other laptops I have/use included some of them.

Anyway that’s just some first impressions of mine….