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The Netbook: 40 Days In

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.

Tim Mitchell

Tim Mitchell is a business intelligence consultant, author, trainer, and Microsoft Data Platform MVP with over thirteen years of data management experience. He is the founder and principal of Tyleris Data Solutions.

Tim has spoken at international and local events including the SQL PASS Summit, SQLBits, SQL Connections, along with dozens of tech fests, code camps, and SQL Saturday events. He is coauthor of the book SSIS Design Patterns, and is a contributing author on MVP Deep Dives 2.

You can visit his website and blog at TimMitchell.net or follow him on Twitter at @Tim_Mitchell.


Posted by Steve Jones on 23 August 2009

I'd agree. I have an update coming on mine soon and it has been handy. My wife often takes it to blog as well, and it's a temporary replacement for me when I'm away from my office for short trips.

Posted by JohnMagnabosco on 24 August 2009

It is good to hear reviews of the netbook from people who will use it the same as I would. I have been thinking about one for a little while now. Are there any issues with the size of the keyboard when typing an article or blog? Do they run hot?

(I assume you have encrypted the hard drive since it is always on your person when you are on the go.) ;D

Posted by Steve Jones on 24 August 2009

I haven't encrypted the drive, and not sure I would. It's definitely a slow CPU from my standpoint.

I think the keyboard on mine works fine.

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