I really, really wanted to love Netbooks.
Then photos of HP's Mini Note began appearing, and it was whispered that Acer would join the fray. I was eager to try out these small, cheap laptops that would help me accomplish my main tasks as a reporter: getting online wirelessly, uploading photos and video, and taking notes. Could it be, I wondered, the ultimate blogging machine?
I go to lots of events dragging around a 15-inch laptop issued by my employer. It gets the job done, but it's an ergonomic horror--I'm convinced my right shoulder is permanently lower than my left.
A few Netbook makers let me try out their models. One was completely unusable due to the tiny keys I simply couldn't get used to. Another, which has a keyboard only 8 percent smaller than a full-size one--the best offered on a Netbook--wasn't much better. I brought it to a few conferences and found I couldn't write anywhere close to my normal speed. Plus, using the Netbook was physically painful: I subconsciously hunched forward and craned my neck to make out the tiny text onscreen, and the way I was forced to type strained my wrists.
Finally, I found myself dreading having to use Netbooks. I wanted to love them, I really did. Sorry, Netbooks, it wasn't meant to be.
February 13, 2009 4:00 AM PST
Photo by: James Martin/CNET Networks
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