Being a remote professional often involves travel and work in… ahem… unusual locations. You may find yourself working on the road, in your car, at a library or coffee shop, onsite with a client, or anywhere in between. Desktops are great, but they will tie you to a single work spot. They are usually stable and cheaper than the portable alternatives. That is, until recently.
If you are a power-user and you need to multi-task, keep a slew of windows open, and often push the limits of both your CPU and your RAM, your mobile options won’t be low cost.
If, however, you have started using some or many of the online options for thinks like book keeping, email, calendar, etc., a netbook may bridge the gap between portability and pocket-sensitivity.
For under $400 (and even below $300, as of today) you can now get an amazingly lightweight, highly portable, low-power computer with longer battery life than was possible just a year ago.
The first netbooks were rather light on HD size, but there are better options today and 120-250 gig drives aren’t uncommon. Promises of upcoming (June 2009) Ion-based CPUs will make these lightweights heavy-hitters in the remote professional market. Dual-core netbook options are rumored to be in the works and should be available by year end.
Some options have optical drives, others require a USB drive to load software. Alternatively, you can drop the CD or DVD into a network drive and load software via Ethernet or wireless connection.
If you can’t wait that long, look at the sale on the ASUS Eee PC 1002HA 10-Inch Netbook at Amazon (with a $50 rebate) — which has recieved excellent reviews from customers and techies alike. Today, Dell has released their own low-priced netbook called the Mini 1011 Bear with a base price of $299 and several upgrade options, according to a review article on Engadget.
So, if you plan to buy a portable machine in the near future, your options may be more diverse than they were the last time you looked. Weigh all your options and come up with the best option for your needs. If you buy a netbook, be sure to get a 6-cell battery and max out the RAM options (2 gig minimum), for the best performance in these machines.