While I was looking for a picture of my version of the AlphaSmart for yesterday’s post I came across a post touting the superiority of the Neo (that’s what they’re calling AlphaSmarts these days) over netbooks. To say I was shocked is an understatement. In these times when netbooks flow from the heavens like water, why in the world would anyone still use an AlphaSmart? I was doubly surprised to discover that this guy is an SF writer (he went to Viable Paradice). Thinking on it, I’ve probably met him. But that’s neither here nor there, my main shock remains: AlphaSmart over netbook? No wai!
He even has the same netbook I do, a Samsung NC10. Yet he still feels that the portability and usability of an AlphaSmart is far, far better. He also cites battery longevity. Though I’ll agree that years of battery life is better than a few hours, ever since I got my NC10 I haven’t felt chained to an outlet. (It’s the 7+ hours of battery life, I love it, so.) And while it is great to have a machine that allows you to concentrate on just one thing, writing, the device is just a little too unitasking for me.
One of the reasons I stopped using my AlphaSmart is that it was crap for editing. Sure, it would allow you to get some words down on the screen and drive forward. However, you certainly can’t edit really well on that thing, or go back through what you’ve written and try to take stock in a meaningful way. And only seeing 4 lines of text at a time felt like far too little. You can’t edit already-existing text. And if you’ve typed a major chunk of your novel on the thing, good luck trying to get a sense of the structure.
Not that Marko claimed the Neo could do any of these things. These were just my reasons for giving the machine up. I needed a gadget that would allow me to do all of my writing tasks, from the first draft through to the editing stage, that was easy to carry, light, and had a reasonably-sized screen. Aftre I accomplished that with my Eee PC, my next goal was a netbok with long battery life so I wouldn’t have to worry about outlets. And here were are.
Having read through his whole review, though, do you think that the Neo has enough advantages over a netbook to justify putting the latter aside?
This Christmas I gave my niece a netbook and talked to her about how to care for it and online safety and stuff. What I forgot to mentioned was how to sit while using one. I’d completely forgotten about this post on GottaBeMobile about these 9 bad netbook postures. In fact, I think we were both doing that first one while chilling on the sofa and watching Animaniacs. I’m a bad example, just like always.
I wish this study came with 9 good postures for using netbooks, as it would be helpful to know.
I keep forgetting to mention the awesome holiday contests going on at Laptop Magazine right now. Every week we’re giving away new, cool gadgets. From now until December 28th you can enter to win an HP Mini 311 11-inch netbook with fancy ION graphics. And starting on December 21st you can enter to win the Toshiba NB205 (the model that comes with Windows 7, I believe). Two of my favorite netbooks available for free. Can’t get any more awesome than that. Click here for details or to enter.
K. T. Bradford
If code is poetry, then CSS is The Iliad. In the original Greek.
I write about and review mobile technology, which means I get to spend the day steeped in laptops, smartphones, tablets, eReaders, and other things that go beep. Lest you question my status as a ChicGeek, I'll proudly claim an unabashed love for netbooks, Linux, science fiction, and curly hair products. You can find my new reviews and articles on Digital Trends and Techlicious.com.