Saturday, January 20, 2007

My Current Computing Needs and How I Meet Them

After reading much about UMPCs and being a user of a Tablet PC for 2 1/2 years, I've decided to search for a UMPC that will fit my needs.

I currently use, am in fact using right now, an Acer TravelMate C110. Its a convertible in a very nice form factor, light weight and a very useable keyboard. The drawbacks for me include short battery life (2 hours) and screen brightness.

At work the Acer is connected via a docking station to an external monitor, wireless keyboard and mouse, 100GB USB drive and speakers. At home I have a similar setup but no docking station. I do bring the Acer to meetings at work to take some notes but more to have information readily available. I generally don't take the Acer with me when I walk around the building at work because of its size, weight and the steps I need to take to disconnect it from the docking station. While it doesn't take that long, its enough for me not to always take the Acer with me. When not at my desk, I use the company WiFi connection.

At home I generally use the Acer as a laptop. I am a very good typist and find the use of the TIP unreliable. It doesn't recognize my handwriting enough to make it frustrating. I also find it more comfortable to sit on my couch with the Acer in this mode. When in the slate mode I find I need to prop it up and while it is small and light, it is still not comfortable to hold and position. For connection to the internet I use Verizon EVDO and have for over a year.

I don't travel that much but using it during a conference is difficult due to the battery life. I tend to switch it to standby mode and am always very conscious about the battery running out before break.

The next post will talk about why I think the UMPC will better meet my needs than the Acer.

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