Most people will hold on to their laptops as long as they can since buying a new one can be a substantial expense. However, there will be a time even before the laptop finally surrenders to the daily wear and tear when it will be necessary to consider buying one. The decision to buy should not depend on the mere desire to own a new, shiny, and flashy laptop. Considering to buy a new one should be triggered by actual need.
There are specific signs that will say that it is the right time to start looking for a replacement. When an existing laptop can no longer meet the owner’s needs especially if it is work related, it is a sure sign that a new one with the required features is needed. People who depend largely on their laptops as a means of deriving income or performing employment duties usually cannot afford to be hindered by “underperforming” laptops. Working people usually compete in the work environment and the equipment they use are very essential support.
A change in lifestyle towards more travel may also necessitate a change of laptop. This does not pertain to travel made once in a blue moon but for regular travels that would make a heavier and bigger laptop very inconvenient to bring during such trips. Limited battery life is also a big issue in travel.
A laptop needs to provide for the needs of its owners to be continuously reliable. Problems with the computer that requires very costly repair or upgrading may need to be solved by a new laptop. No sense in paying for something at a price that is almost equivalent to buying a new one. Laptop owners need not be pressured into buying because of the introduction of new models. Companies like Asus regularly come up with newer models that will be more appropriate for a buyer.
What makes an ideal travel laptop? Something that is light and ergonomically designed easily comes to mind because of the usual physical requirements of traveling. Having a wide screen to make watching movies pleasurable while on a trip of course is a welcome advantage.
The Aus Eee PC fits this description to a T. With screen size choices from 7 to 11 inches wide and its mere 5-lb weight, the Asus Eee is a picture of a perfect travel laptop. Concerns about the audio may also come up but this has been adequately addressed as well in this laptop. A low retail price is definitely icing in the cake.
There are other possibilities in travel laptop choices such as the Macbook and the HP Mini 1000. The final choice will largely depend on the kind of travelling that the owner will be making. The activities that are expected to be performed during the trip can also determine what the final choice will be.
Travelers who intend to bring their laptops should be aware of the expected limitations in the use of the laptop while on travel. Changing batteries, Internet connectivity, and physical safekeeping are always major concerns while on travel. The usual amenities and hardware that are readily available in homes and permanent offices will not always be found on travel.
It is therefore wise to check on the place of destination as well as the route for reaching it. The information obtained from checking can prepare travelers on what they can do to work on the given limitations. Traveling has its own requirements when it comes to laptop use. Laptops now have features that can be maximized for use whether one is going to a business seminar or a hike in a secluded forest. Comparing is the key to finding the travel laptop.
When considering buying a laptop, battery life is always a primary issue. As opposed to desktop computers which is typically used at home, work, or in any other place where the computer occupies a permanent place and a ready outlet is available, a laptop is more associated with mobility. Owners of laptops will not always be assured of power availability especially in physical environments where electrical supply is limited or confined to specific areas only. This is why the issue of battery life is critical.
The life of a laptop’s battery will determine if a person can complete certain tasks that have to be performed in situations where supply of power solely rests on the battery. Highly-portable devices such as the Asus laptops offer between 12 to 15 hours of battery life. However, the actual life of the battery will largely depend on how efficient the user is in maximizing it.
Without the possibility of recharging anywhere in sight, laptop users can implement strategies that will help them conserve power as long as possible. Knowing which features or what tasks are the most power-draining is important. In this way, tasks can be prioritized in order of importance so that the most important ones get to be finished before power runs out.
Proper power settings should be adjusted accordingly to ensure that the energy- saving mode offered by laptops are taken advantage of. There are programs that drain the battery much faster like a movie thus if it is not a priority, then it would be better to watch it when recharging facilities are available or a second battery is on standby. The brightness setting can also be adjusted and turned down to conserve much-needed power. It has to be noted that the type and age of battery is directly related to the expected power that can be obtained. Most batteries will exhibit noticeable diminished performance on the second year. Full discharges of Lithium-ion batteries should be avoided. Batterylife is also affected by elevated temperatures.
Like its winged namesake Pegasus, Asus has flown directly into the competition and managed to prevail in its category. The Asus Eee line spells the first for any Taiwan IT brand in terms of global consumer success. Its relatively low cost had much to do with this dark horse’s success plus the market’s genuine hunger for something very portable yet functional and beautiful.
Industry observers have been pointing to its so-called 4Ps comprised of computer power, price, performance, and portability as the main reasons for the unexpected success. The Asus Eee was specifically created to provide such features but managed to surprise its creators when product appreciation was reflected through sales. Although it can be considered as an indirect off-shoot of OLPC XO’s challenge for the production of a very affordable laptop, the Asus Eee line managed to accomplish something better through commercial success.
Success makes improvement and more innovation necessary. The responsibility to maintain the momentum if not surpass it necessitates constant tweaking and brain storming to produce a product that will remain competitive even with the entry of more established brands in the market presently captured by Asus. Known brands will always try to penetrate markets held by lesser-known brands since they will always have the advantage of name recall. Experience however will show that a brand does not always guarantee excellence.
The continued hunger for better and cheaper products will allow lesser-known manufacturers to compete in the arena. They will however have to offer something new and relevant to be noticed. Computer use is still likely to form part of human daily lives for many years to come, thus it can be expected that many products will come and go in time. Consumer appreciation is not about one-time product sensation but a continuous line of products that are able to support each other.
Extending battery life has been the holy grail of mobile computing. But can solid state hard drives really help?
Recently, the trend is going towards solid-state storage. This means drives that have no moving parts. Most popular of these is flash memory. They’re cheap, durable, and can hold data even without power (unlike volatile RAM, which loses data when power is off). Since flash memory can allegedly reduce consumption caused by spinning hard drives, some manufacturers have switched to using solid state drives for their mobile computers. There are also flash-based hard drives meant for notebook computers that users can replace their existing drives with.
The Asus Eee MyPC sports a flash-based hard drive, instead of a conventional spinning one. One factor may be price (since a small flash drive is cheaper than a micro-sized hard drive with spinning parts). One may be power consumption.
However, a simple test done by ZDnet blogger Robin Harris has rendered results that may run counter to the argument that a solid-state drive helps extend batter life.
The maximum power difference between a flash drive and a 2.5″ disk is 3 watts. If you average about 3 hours battery life, a flash drive would save at most 9 watt hours (wh). That’s 29 minutes with a 55 wh battery. Less than 20 if it isn’t seeking constantly – and less than 10 minutes if the drive spends half its time in standby mode.
The biggest power sink in my notebook is the “everything else” that stays on when nothing is happening – 13 watts. Next is the CPU when it is busy. Then the display if you keep it above minimum brightness, the DVD/CD player and finally, just above Wi-Fi, a busy disk.
Flash drives have a real advantage in shock resistance over disks. But the performance is about the same as a disk, the power savings minimal and the cost disadvantage huge. They make the most sense for premium ultra-light notebooks with low power CPUs and small screens as well as hand-held devices.
I guess I must add that speed is one of the advantages of flash-based storage over a disc-based one. Still, I’d like to get more juice out of my Eee’s battery.
Bringing an Asus Eee PC around is really a huge convenience. Our favorite miniscule mini-laptop started this whole netbook thing. With the dawn of these affordable and slightly underpowered and undersized notebooks, everyone suddenly decided to take this whole portable computing thing seriously. I don’t think I’ve seen that many laptop or netbook toting people before, and that’s a good thing.
And that’s the keyword here. Portable. As much as we want to bring our computers with us everywhere we go, there’s a bit of a limitation with carrying our laptops around – how in blue blazes are going to print our documents when needed?
Of course we can upload our files to dropbox, our webmail accounts, or some other cloud storage solution, and go to the nearest internet café to have it printed. And we all know that internet cafés aren’t available everywhere. We may not even have an internet connection – wifi, 3g or otherwise – available to use for uploading our Word documents.
This is why some people opt to buying a portable printer so they can print almost anywhere they want. Of course, it means that they’ll have to bring extra stuff like the printer, paper, and, in some cases, inkjet cartridges. I doubt portable printer owners would bring laser printer toner cartridges around because that would be ridiculous – there are no portable laser printers just yet.
Of course, being portable, these printers would be subject to a few corners cut here and there to ensure that it’ll be light and compact enough to carry around anywhere. You’d lose some features like duplex printing, the clarity of printouts used with Brother printer toner cartidges, and of course I doubt you’d be able to use these gadgets for heavy-duty printing. However, if you need to have hard copies of your documents handy, it won’t hurt to carry one of these babies along with your Asus Eee PC.
The Asus Eee PC 1015 Netbook is a great option for anyone who needs a small and quick computer to transport around with them, or for Mac users who find they want something that is Windows compatible as well. Whether searching for web hosting reviews or doing that day’s work while relaxing in a coffee shop, you will enjoy this netbook’s speed and efficiency.
Using any kind of laptop means you’ll have to take care of it to keep it in a good condition, and this often extends beyond wiping it with a rag every now and then – in order to maintain your netbook in an optimal condition, there are various procedures you could apply, say, every month, to get the best results
For example, a common problem with these devices is the accumulation of dust – what’s worse is that it can build up on the inside as well. It may not be noticeable in the beginning, but if you notice your netbook overheating a lot more commonly than it used to, maybe it’s time to undo those screws and clean the dust from around the fan.
Never take out the fan itself though – damaging it could cost you dearly as it’s sometimes difficult to replace. Don’t even think about doing something like oiling it – this will never end well. Just blow all the dust from around it and close the netbook. The more experienced among you may find it a good idea to replace the thermal paste on the heatsink every now and then, but unless you really know what you’re doing don’t go for that.
Also, consider how you’re using the netbook as well – if its fan hole is on the bottom, never lay it flat on a soft surface, like your bed. This would suffocate it and prevent it from cooling properly, degrading the quality of its cooling in the long run.
As a freelance web developer, you keep learning new tricks and useful information on a daily basis – and if you’re crafty enough, you can easily design a strategy around which to work and achieve your goals as quickly as possible (so that you can take up more work and progress). However, there are some important details relevant to the job, which sometimes get missed by even the more experienced ones. Go through the list below and make sure you match every criteria! More »
These are real-world tests. I didn’t use any burning software, but instead did my usual day-to-day work, which involves Gmail, reading via my feedreader (Bloglines Beta), reading up various blogs, and also posting on blogs. And as such, being a real-world test, this involved some pauses in between for bathroom breaks, snacks, and such. And so you would notice a few minutes of “sleep” time in between, where I would close the Eee’s lid to save power.
This was done on an EeePC 900 12GB running (the OEM) Windows XP, updated to SP3. Brightness was at 30%, with WiFi on and audio muted. Note that I had turned off wired LAN in my BIOS, since I didn’t need to get wired, anyway. Camera was also turned off via EeePC tray utility.
Battery is the stock 4-cell battery rated at 7.2V, 5800 mAh.
Here are the results:
2:39 p.m. – Cold boot. Windows usually takes about 30 seconds to launch and another 25 seconds until SSD reads stop.
2:46 p.m. – Sleep. Sudden torrential downpour. And we have laundry hanging outside. And so I had to run out to bring the clothes under cover. Sigh. That’s working at home for you!
Uptime: 7 minutes.
2:59 p.m. – Wake up. Back to work. Am at my desk now, so I’m actually working on my bigger laptop at the same time.
3:31 p.m. – Auto sleep. Read a pretty long email on the bigger laptop, so I somehow left the Eee idle for 5 minuets–which is the idle time I’ve set Windows power management to put the machine to sleep.
Uptime: 32 minutes.
3:39 p.m. – Wake up. It’s a battery test, after all, so I’ve turned the Eee back on again to do some reading up on relevant forums.
4:37 p.m. – Sleep. The Eee actually spent another 5 minutse idle. Damn those long emails.
Uptime: 58 minutes
4:39 – Wake up. 5:55 p.m. – Sleep. No more rain. Brought clothes back out. Not that there’s any sunlight to help dry them faster, but it’s something one has to do.
Uptime: 76 minutes.
6:06 p.m. – Wake up. Battery meter is saying I only have less than an hour left.
6:23 p.m. – Battery LED is flashing LED.
6:32 p.m. – Windows is giving the critical battery alert. I figure I could still do a post, and I publish an article I’ve been writing on Blogging Pro.
6:39 p.m. – Power down.
Uptime: 33 minutes.
And so adding all those uptime minutes, we come to a round sum of 206 minutes. This translates to 3 hours and 26 minutes or roughly 3 and a half hours.
Strangely, that’s exactly how long BatStats estimated the 5800 mAH Asus battery to last.