Goodbye netbook, hello Hoverboard
Remember when netbooks hit the market about three years or so ago? Some people considered them a fad, but I saw their potential. And, in a move that was very uncharacteristic of me, I bought a first-generation netbook. An Asus Eee PC 701. Seven inch screen, 4 GB solid-state hard drive, and 1 GB of memory (which I bumped up to 1.5).
And did that little device get put through its paces. So much so that I outgrew it (my wife has it now, since she wants something less bulky than her new laptop to lug when she’s out). Last year, I bought myself a bigger netbook. A good device, but something just wasn’t quite right about it. It wasn’t the amount hard drive space or RAM. It wasn’t the screen or even the keyboard. I just couldn’t put my finger on it.
Still, I wanted (and needed) a smaller computer to take with me when I work on the run. Recently, I found it. My netbook went up for sale on eBay, and I got myself a Hoverboard from ZaReason. I’m still breaking the Hoverboard in, but I really like it.
Why the Hoverboard?
It offers the perfect middle ground between a full-sized notebook computer and a netbook. The Hoverboard weighs in at about 3 lbs., which is about the same weight as my old netbook. But it also has a 13″ screen and a full-sized keyboard. Best of all, it’s less than an inch thick meaning it can comfortably fit into my work bag, a knapsack, or a laptop bag.
On top of that, I like ZaReason. A few years ago, I bought a laptop from them that’s still going strong. The company’s customer service is great. And they build really nice hardware.
The things that I like
Besides the size and weight, it just works. My preferred Linux distro was installed on it (by request) and it flies. The work I’ve been doing, and will continue to do, on the Hoverboard is restricted to writing and using Web applications. There’s a bit of graphics work mixed in, too, but nothing too intense. For that, it’s fast enough and powerful enough. If I was doing any heavy video or audio editing I might run into some slowdowns. Might try that one day just to see what happens …
Some people have complained that the specs of my Hoverboard — 1.2 GHz Intel SU2300 processor, 2 GB of memory, and 160 GB hard drive — don’t cut it, I say they’re wrong. That’s exactly what I need to do my work. I won’t be gaming. I won’t be watching (too much) online video. I’ll be using it to work. Nothing more, nothing less.
There’s something really nifty about the keyboard, to. It has a springiness that other keyboards I use — on laptops, desktops, and netbooks — seem to lack. That springiness makes typing easier and smoother. You mileage may vary, though.
Wifi is essential when I’m working, and I haven’t had any trouble with wireless on the Hoverboard. I’ve connected quickly and easily to my home network and the various hotspots that I use. I even managed to connect to the wifi at a library that gave my previous netbook trouble.
The things that I don’t like
Only two, really. And they’re not major things, either. First, the AC adapter is kind of chunky. With something like the Hoverboard, I was expecting an adapter that was a bit more streamlined.
Second, the fan comes on (and stays on) a bit too often — even when the Hoverboard is running cool. The fan is quite loud when it runs continually, which becomes a nuisance after a while. I’m sure there’s a setting somewhere that I can change cut down on this. I just need to find it.
It’s early weeks yet for my relationship with the Hoverboard. So far, though, it’s gone through its paces with no problems. As I mentioned several paragraphs ago, the Hoverboard is the perfect middle ground between a notebook computer and a netbook. In fact, I may never go back to a netbook.