I took my new “Netbook” up to Queensland this week to run a training course.
Since I forgot about the risk of running a whole course with a dud computer, I turned up with no backup machine. Happily the tiny 1kg laptop coped with everything you could want it to do. It ran the 311 page presentation I inflicted on the students with no problems over the whole 3 days.
It ran fairly decently on the internet, although my Yahoo mail suggested politely that I use “classic email”, which is for screen challenged users and sad misfits with computers that still use punchcards.
The screen is only 8.9″, so using the presenter view for 8 hours straight would be hard if you want to inflict a hail of powerpoint slides on your audience. Thus, sadly, you are forced to actually engage with the audience.
The battery only lasts two hours (they claim it last three and add that a new improved battery is on the way). But even in Brisbane they have electricity in the office buildings now, so that is not a major crisis.
I picked the “Acer Aspire one” because of the tacky music on the website. They had an ad in their site with music that is either from some adult movie or a 1970’s tv show that failed (Aspire One ad) – it shows they are into reuse and extreme economy, or much better at computer design than music selection.
I also chose it because I’m cheap and it only cost a few hundred dollars, rather than a couple of grand for a high end, fully specked machine with twin cams and turbo-galactic-communication pods.
To my suprise it has a lot of cool features for presenters that are really useful, like lots of ports (so you can have a mouse and a wireless remote control), really easy interation with swapping screens on and off with a projector and some extra options for running presentations.
So I am now travelling with a midget computer when I run presentations, workshops and training sessions. I am also happy to road test the Apple Iphone, latest catering for training or anything else you are happy to give me to test.