Last year I bought a brand new desktop PC. Fast, powerful, with smooth sexy dark case. It was the shizzle! I don’t actually use it very much. Ever since I gave up smoking in April 09 I’ve had trouble feeling comfortable sat at the same desk with my new PC.
I was too restless to do any real writing, and reminded of the good old days – smoke in hand, ice-cold coke on the right, ashtray on the left. Pack of smokes nearby, ready to have one plucked and lit at a moments notice. It may sound like I miss it but I don’t, not even a single craving and I certainly don’t (and won’t) want to go back.
But I missed writing. In December my attention was grabbed by a row of netbooks in PC World, funky looking yet dinky little things with colourful crisp screens.
In seconds I was smitted despite my dislike for laptops (or notebooks, depending on geography), battery life, nasty little touch mouse pad, easily breakable etc. I could be depended on to provide a vast list of why laptops were so incredibly inferior to desktops.
But these netbooks were so…cool! Small, lightweight lovely bundles of joy that were in desperate need of someone to do lots of writing on them. Usually I take a lot of time researching any piece of new tech, reading endless reviews and making comparisons before finally parting with my hard-earned cash.
But not this time. You know “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Blah Blah! In November I saw an interesting looking book on a shelf in Waterstones, nice dragon emblem on the cover, and entitled Dragonmaster. I picked it up, felt the chunky weight of the trilogy in my hand and just bought it! I judged a book by its cover and it turned out to be a damn good read! Woop, 10 points to me!
The Cambridge PC World sales rep was a nice guy. I explained that I didn’t want something with a 42″ screen and battery life of 2 minutes. I certainly didn’t have any use for a massive graphics capability, screw that, I had a chunky desktop for that kind of stuff. He asked me what I wanted a netbook for. I said portability, long life, usability, pure and simple.
It’s like mobile phones. These days every damn phone has to have a camera, net browser, games, gps, movie editor, sat-nav and all manner of other crap no one really needs or wants if they’re honest. I want a phone that makes calls and maybe texts. If I want to browse the net I can do that anywhere else thanks Mr Nokia, no move along and make me a piece of communication tech that is actually 1oo% beneficial to me!
Sorry, my rant is now over! Mr PC World sales rep pointed to a humble looking netbook, a Samsung N110. It wasn’t shiny or riddled with too many buttons like the others in the same row. It sat there looking solid, dependable, not smug exactly, just confident. After a slew of questions, what-ifs, why-this, how-does-it….and so on, I told the rep I wanted one and wanted him to make it happen asap.
After roughly 90 minutes in PC World I walked out with a netbook in a bag and a grin from ear to ear. I had been bold and decisive and felt really pleased with myself. And just like the book the netbook has turned out to be absolutely bloody marvellous!
Since Christmas Eve I’ve put it through its paces. The battery lasts between 6-8 hours! That alone is super! I can vary the brightness of the screen, not just to prolong battery life but to reduce the stark glare on my eyeballs. The weight is nice, feels solid in hand and under finger tips, yet light enough to pick up with one hand and walk to another room. The keys are a fraction smaller than a standard laptop but I haven’t noticed. There are ports for stuff along each side and the mouse touch pad is pretty damn decent!
Windows 7 is nice, better than Vista but nothing extra special. I loaded MS Office 2007 without problems, and Word runs like a dream. I can have a few webpages open, couple of Words, and an application or 2 all running fine. I am so happy with this machine, it really is the dogs unmentionables!
And so to the reason why I bought it. I wanted to get back into writing without being reminded of my past life as a smoker. The Samsung N110 has enabled me to post new entries to my blog and knocked out a new chapter for my book. I’ve also made a start on a short story that I’ve had rattling around inside my head for a while. I perch this lovely machine on the arm of the sofa and happily tap away, or drop it on the bed or kitchen table and get into the writing with ease.
I don’t want to play games on it, I have a PS3 for that. I don’t need to run graphics apps, got a PC for that. After being such a cynic about laptops in general I’m surprised I even went for a netbook since they’re even smaller. I get asked why I didn’t go for a shiny blue 17″ Dell Inspiron widescreen with dvd player and built-in fridge freezer and power boat. Cos I don’t need it!!
I have exactly what I want, and I’m incredibly grateful to whoever it was for looking at a laptop and thinking: “Hmm, if we squish the keys up a bit, make the screen smaller, drop in a fast mobile chip, Windows7 Starter…hmmm, someone will really like a piece of tech just like that.”
Yes they do! I like it. My faith in my imagination has been restored, I can translate the creative juices straight from my brain to the screen again! I won’t be overly dramatic but I have to say that it really has made a big difference to my life. This machine is worth every penny.
So, a post a little different to my usual affair but it felt right that I praised the very thing that has let me move on from my creative stalemate. The netbuk has been weighed, measured and not found wanting, not one bit!
N110, you da man!