I wrote last month about purchasing a new Toshiba netbook to supplement my mobile computing arsenal. Forty days later, I’m still quite happy with the purchase, and have gotten as much out of this unit as I had hoped.
My biggest surprise was battery life. It was rated at 9 hours of runtime, which I assumed was a theoretical spec and not accurate in everyday use. I haven’t run it straight through from a full charge to full discharge, but my testing indicates that my battery life is at least 9 hours of runtime.
The performance is more than adequate, and apart from some occasional heavy disk I/O, I haven’t run into any problems. I had installed the SQL Server management tools on it immediately, but didn’t install the SQL Server engine until earlier today. I ran the install, which took about 45 minutes, and even with SQL Server and Integration Services running, I’ve found no performance problems so far.
I have changed my mobile habits since buying this device. I used to carry my big laptop only where I thought I might need it, and left it at home for casual trips. These days I’ve almost always got the netbook in tow; it’s easy to carry and handy to have for when I find myself with some unexpected downtime while out and about. Even a trip to the doctor or a haircut offers 20 or 30 minutes of waiting, and I can now use my netbook to turn the downtime into productive time.
If you’re a mobile professional, I highly recommend that you consider purchasing a netbook. At this rate, mine will have literally paid for itself in billable time by the end of the year, not to mention the immeasurable convenience it offers.