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7.10.2008

Tiny New Laptop - Acer C110 Tablet PC

I decided it was time to update my laptop.  My current laptop was a very heavy Pentium 4 (not P4 Mobile) monster that ran less than 30-45min on a charge.  When I got it, it was a demo model and worked great as long as you had an outlet nearby.  Recently I'd been feeling the urge to move to something more portable.  I considered the Asus EeePC, but was a bit put off by the small screen and limited CPU and storage space.  I also have been feeling the urge to do more artwork and photography as of late, so I decided to look at Tablet PC's.  I was eyeing Toshiba M200's on eBay.  Last week I got an email in response to a Craig's List post I made looking for a used tablet, and ended up buying a Acer C110 from a guy locally.  It's not a powerful machine, since it's only a 1GHz Pentium M, but it feels snappy, and really doesn't feel slower than the P4 2.66 GHz machine I was on.  It runs much cooler, and once my new battery arrives, should get about 2hrs to a charge.  I'll be blogging my adventures in updating this tiny notebook, maybe you'll find it interesting reading.  

Acer C110 - Tiny Notebook!

My initial impression is "Wow, this is a tiny notebook!".  Check out the picture above, and see the USB flash drive on the keyboard for size comparison.  I'm very happy with this form factor.  They keyboard is small, but I can still touch type on it with my giant fingers.  This notebook is smaller than my old 12" iBook was.  The display is 10.5" across, but still runs at XGA resolution, so it has way more screen real estate than the first generation EeePC's do.  Being a tablet, the screen can be a little dim in bright sunlight, but that doesn't bother me.  I don't plan to sketch on it outside...that's what Moleskine notebooks are for.  I'm loving how light this notebook is.  Internet on it is very snappy...mine came with the 802.11G adapter installed instead of the stock B.

Right now my upgrade plans are:

Reinstall Windows XP Tablet PC edition - I want to start with a fresh Windows installation to get best performance and remove traces of the last users's stuff.  I did test install Ubuntu, and it ran very fast and worked well, but I could not get the tablet digitizer to work.  I may eventually set up a dual boot for fun.

Add more RAM - 512MB in 2 x 256MB DIMM's came on it.  I'm going to get at least 1GB in this. 

Fix lose hinges, missing rubber feet, case cracks, and do general clean up.

Upgrade Hard Drive - 40GB is the same as my last laptop, but I'd like to have 80 to 120 GB on here instead.

New Battery - I ordered one from a supplier, just waiting on it to arrive.  The two batteries that came with the notebook only hold about a 30min charge ask the guy who had it constantly kept the notebook on the charger, and that tends to wear batteries out faster.  I'm told a new battery should get about 2hrs of life, maybe more if I dim the screen and turn off WiFi & Bluetooth.

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