I’ve bought a dell mini 10 netbook as a “fallback” machine for the road trip. I usually work from a macbook, but wanted a second machine, should the first one get broken/stolen/lost. Even though I already have a spare macbook, when I saw that the new dell mini’s boast up to 9.5 hours battery life, it dawned on me that it might be a better approach.
As well as the battery life, the machine is very small and light, so it is more practical for lugging around in a backpack, on the offchance that I might stumble across some wifi, or find a spare hour or two do some work in a cafe.
So the question is, can I actually do any serious work on it? Software-wise i’m sorted, with dual boot windows and ubuntu linux, plus virtualbox to run other servers from within either environment, and I could even run apple osx on it if I wanted. The keyboard is useable, but the trackpad feels awkward. I think it is absolutely fine for writing code on, but doing website layout and design is going to be awkward. When i’m not on the road, I can plug in an external monitor to get around that, but the point is to be mobile.
A massive plus is cost. This was only £200 before VAT, so that makes it almost “disposable”, at least compared to £1000 upwards for a macbook. This also makes me think that when the time comes to replace my macbook, maybe I ought to consider switching to ubuntu full time, and get a bigger non-apple laptop.