In the market for a Netbook? Amazon has the baseline HP 2133 on sale for $299, down from $499. Right away that solves one of the HP's main problems: its high price. Best of all, this is a new unit--not a refurb--and you don't have to deal with any rebates.
The HP 2133 is the one Netbook I've actually reviewed, and I liked it well enough, except for two issues: price and performance. But my eval unit came with Windows Vista and a $799 price tag; the model Amazon is selling has SUSE Linux and costs $299. … Read more
Last weekend I had a chance to speak at the annual meeting of the National Association of Science Writers in Palo Alto, Calif., on the subject of laptops. And what many of the attendees wanted to know was whether a low-cost Netbook would be a reasonable purchase for someone whose occupation requires not only frequent travel and note-taking at meetings but also countless hours composing at the keyboard.
The short answer: not unless you have a desktop waiting for you at your home office. You'll find the longer answer, along with my recommended writer-friendly laptops, after the page break.… Read more
Is being an astronaut really all that much fun?
You get otherworldly for a while, but, as some children on vacation will tell you, floating can get old very quickly.
While a few astronauts become heroes, some seem to come back to earth and never come back to earth. Their behavior becomes eccentric. Their utterances become bizarre. Some even claim they have seen aliens.
A question worth asking is whether many of these astronauts were already a bit weird before they floated off into space. And I'm not even including the ones who wear diapers whenever they slip into … Read more
Though not quite as cheap as the Asus Eee PC from a couple weeks ago, the Acer Aspire One is one of the top-rated Netbooks (there's a contradiction in terms), and you can get it for just $309 shipped--no rebates required. Hey, they gotta do something to unload these lemons, right?
I kid, I kid. While I still don't see the appeal of a PC with a tiny screen, tiny keyboard, tiny amount of storage, mediocre battery life, and limited video-playback capabilities, at least the prices are starting to get more attractive.
This particular model comes with … Read more
If this doesn't scare you, your nerves are granite.
The other day over the Indian Ocean, the pilots of a Qantas Airbus totally lost control of the plane. It made a rapid ascent and then plunged 8,000 feet.
Now, investigators are saying that among the possible causes are a laptop with its wireless switched on, a Bluetooth mouse, or a video game.
Frankly, I wish someone would explain in very simple terms whether it really is possible to affect a plane's controls with your laptop, video game, or cell phone.
I know people who, during a flight, … Read more
These days it's hard for a porn producer to find new ways to go where no man (or woman or beast) has gone before.
So it is perhaps unsurprising that Virgin Galactic, the company that plans to fly passengers into orbit from late 2009, announced that it has received a $1 million offer to allow a porn movie to be shot on one of its spacecraft, an offer the company has declined.
As I understand it, the producers thought they would be able to find a completely different kind of action if the participants were under the influence of … Read more
In the market for a new notebook (by which I mean one that's actually new, not a refurb)? Best Buy has a pretty nicely equipped Acer Aspire for just $399.99 (plus sales tax in most states). Shipping will run you about $20, unless you live near a Best Buy store and can just pick it up.
The Aspire features a 2GHz dual-core Pentium processor, 2GB of RAM, a 160GB hard drive, and a 15.6-inch wide-screen LCD. It also has a multiformat DVD burner, but I think its most impressive asset is 802.11n Wi-Fi (which also supports … Read more
Are you looking for a lightweight, ultraportable PC that's easy on the wallet? Mwave.com has the Asus Eee PC 900 20G for $294 (after a $65 mail-in rebate). Ground shipping will run you about $11.
In case you're not familiar with the Eee PC, it's one of the new breed of "Netbooks" that have become incomprehensibly popular in recent months. I say that because I'm not a fan--I prefer a full-size screen and keyboard, and enough processing power to do more than just check e-mail and cruise the Web.
That said, people seem … Read more
Perhaps best known for its broad line of laptop bags, Targus also manufactures laptop accessories to carry in the bags--travel mice, presentation remotes, and the like. Tuesday morning, the company announced six new mobile accessories, all specifically designed to coordinate with Apple MacBooks.
The lineup includes two travel mice: the $50 Wireless Mouse for Mac uses a USB microreceiver that tucks inside the mouse for transit, while the $70 Bluetooth Laser Mouse for Mac keeps your USB ports free for other peripherals. Inspired by the iPod Touch, the company has outfitted both mice with a 4-way touch scroll that lets … Read more