I wasn’t exactly on the fence about getting an iPhone 3G but I had already decided that I was not going to rush out to buy one. I will probably wait until I start to have issues with my current iPhone before considering a new one. As mentioned before I am more excited about the introduction of the App Store an legit 3rd party apps which I will be able to take advantage of just fine on my current iPhone.
What has caught my eye recently is the slew of Mini Laptops that have been coming out lately. The first to catch my eye was the Asus Eee PCwhich is a mini laptop with a 9″ screen. HP also has their HP 2133 Mini-Noteand Dell has announced that they are coming out with one in a while. This seems to be the trend from all of the major manufacturers now.
You may be asking what is a mini laptop and why have one?
Well first a mini laptop is one that has a sub 12″ screen so it is small enough to fit in a purse or easily in a backpack. At around 2-3lbs it is really light. To give you a feel for their size they are about the same size as a portable DVD player. They are not designed as a primary machine but for basic email, web browsing, and your occasional game or movie.
The biggest pull of these types of laptops are their price. The baseline Eee PC will run you $299 with Linux on it. I believe Windows XP will run you another $50-$100. I actually got to see and touch a Eee PC at an HEB grocery store (go figure) about a month ago. My first impress was that it is really small which is good and bad. Every review that I have read has said that yes, the keyboard is small, but you get used to it. Again, these are not meant to be a primary computer. They are for casual computing (weird huh?).
Anyway, the Eee PC was the 9″ screen version and was a little too small for me. Also, the one that I saw in the store already had a key broken off of it so that does not bode well in my book. I figure a month in a store can equal 6-months to a year of real use and a broken key is not a good sign. I have kids after all and need something that withstand their terror if it should be captured.
Anyway MSI has also throw their hat into the ring with the MSI Winda 10″ model that looks remarkably close to a mini Macbook. In fact I first became aware that the MSI Wind existed when Gizmodo reported that a user had already got OS X working on it – nice 🙂 . The other item that really perked my ears up was that it uses a standard 2.5″ laptop hard drive. Most of the other minis use a solid state drive which is kind of cool but I have a Hitachi 7200RPM hard drivesitting around that would love to go into a mini like this (I current have the same type of drive in my MacBook and it rocks!).
The other great part is that I mentioned my interest in the mini to my wife and she was really excited about it. Since we moved into our new house we have 2 stories and her computer is up in our room. When she is downstairs with the kids she can’t do any blogging (although she can do basic browsing/email on her iPhone).
The only downside (if you can call it that) is that the MSI Wind starts at $499. It is more then the Eee PC but I think you are getting some great benefits for the extra money you are spending(10″ screen, 2.5″ standard hard drive). It is scheduled to come out on July 7th and since my B-day is a week after that… You get the picture.
I know I will get more use out of the Wind then the 3G iPhone and look forward to doing a hards-on review once I get it.