Small Travel Computer Wishlist

by Scott on December 26, 2009

There are a couple new improvements coming soon to netbooks.   The first is the recently announced Atom N450 processor, dubbed Pinetrail.  The big difference with this processor is that for the first time the cpu and graphics chip is combined onto one chip.  The performance is going to be approximately the same but due to the two previously separate processors being combined, the benefit is better battery life.  Initially it looks like many of the manufactures will be using the same chassis they are currently selling merely upgrading the internals. You can expect more announcements up through CES.

Rumors are also surrounding NVIDIA with reports that they are thinking about releasing a video card that will plug into the PCI slot on most netbooks.  Having a discrete graphics card would be a huge benefit for games, photos and video.  The downside is if it’s a couple hundred dollars and you spend $3-400 on the netbook you should probably just get a laptop.  This will be interesting to watch.

The apple touch pad thingy.  Rumors are escalating rapidly regarding the immanent release of some sort of tablet.  One way I gauge the reputability of the rumors is by checking if the WSJ has any reports on it.  And they are.  This seems to be the worst kept secert in tech right now.  Probably because Apple needed input as to content.  This was probably shown to the newpaper and/or the magazine industry when they announced their new epub initiative.  But that is just seer speculation.  What you can count on is there is going to be an announcement in January with a later release date.

Why this is intriguing to a traveler is even the iPhone and iTouch do graphics well.  A tablet that could do minor graphics along with the expected small size would make it attractive for the weekend traveler or for a RTW backpacker.

The wishlist of things to look for (or at least what i’m looking for) are

  1. a small sub 12 inch size
  2. less then 2lbs (1kg)
  3. good battery life
  4. can do minor photo and video
  5. wifi (this may a no brainer, but some tablets/ereaders have service through cell phone companies)

and although not required – an aluminum body would be a plus also.

UPDATE:  After I wrote this I read Gizmodo’s all inclusive Apple rumor roundup.  Definitely an interesting read.


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