It was nearly three years ago that I got my first netbook, an Asus Eee 1000HA. And despite a failed hard drive a year later (still under warranty), and complete failure six months after that, I loved my compact little machine. I loved it so much that I got another one in May of last year – the Asus Eee Seashell 1005PE. The upgrade included 2 GB of RAM instead of 1 GB, an Atom N450 processor, and a long-lasting battery. It too wound its way into my heart, but there were evident flaws from the beginning. Most importantly, the 2 GB of RAM didn’t seem to improve my operating speed, an annoying problem given how many tasks I like to run simultaneously. (Maybe a result of the OS upgrade to Windows 7?) Then in the spring of this year, I dropped my poor little netbook, and it’s never quite been the same.
Fast forward to today, and I’ve upgraded yet again. This time to a Lenovo ThinkPad X220 laptop. While I love netbook portability, I’ve decided that performance is more important. My X220 comes with 8GB of RAM and an Intel i7 processor. It’s also got decent battery life (5-6 hours), and a trackpoint – my favorite navigating tool. I’ve jumped in screen size from ten inches to 12.5 inches, which has its pluses and minus, and the laptop is a bit heavier than my previous netbooks, though not significantly. The big difference is the price. Fully configured, the X220 is roughly triple the price of any netbook. It was no small expenditure, and there will be no further upgrade in a year or 18 months.
I am cautiously optimistic about my laptop choice. The Lenovo brand means my X220 should last for several years, and I have high hopes for my improved productivity as a result of fewer computing slowdowns. Is the laptop worth the price increase over a netbook? I won’t know until I’ve had more time to try it out. My guess is that after a few months with the X220 I’ll have trouble considering a netbook ever again. I may be wrong, but I think my netbook experiment is over. It’s a new laptop era.