Spicing up an old Toshiba Satellite Pro 4300 (well, 4360 to be precise) for Filip, it struck me as very odd that there aren’t any affordable “surfpads” with similar performance. At least I haven’t seen any. Granted, the PIII-700 in the 4360 is a bit too lame to do anything fun, and the 192MB memory limit is also a bit sad (although some information claims that the machine can be configured for 320 MB), but something around a 1GHz processor and 1GB of memory would make it a pretty nice box to handle most basic internet-related tasks.
But the key issue is affordable. Many solutions I’ve seen are either “real computers” (sporting a wonderful Duo Core or Duo 2 Core) with tons of features and gadgets, or they are “pocket”-type computers, which have performance to the other extreme (i.e. poor). I’d like to see a balanced solution, with a nice price tag. Call it a Tablet PC, or a surfpad, call it whatever you want, just make it a useful product.
- 1GHz CPU
- 1GB of memory
- Wired & Wireless LAN
- 3G connectivity
- Min. 32GB, flash disk
- USB connectivity
- No internal keyboard, support for external
- Internal mouse, support for external
- No touch screen, no twist/flex screen
- No CD/DVD/BlueRay/RedRay/GreenRay
- Decent, but not kick-rear graphics
- Linux or Windows operating system, no Vista
- Decent battery time, 5-8 hours
- Lightweight, max 2 kg
- Decent resolution, 1280×1024 or 1400×1050
Price? Somewhere around USD $300-$500.
There are a few that come close, but not close enough (PMG Quadpad for example). I may, obviously, have overlooked a product out there, that already meets the above specifications. I’d be glad to be proven wrong.
I realize a “computer” like this isn’t for everyone, but it’s also obvious that more and more people do the majority of their work on shared/remote servers, and that only a part of the work is done by the local/client machine. I’d get very far with a machine with a good set of web/internet tools (SSH client, Terminal Server/Remote Desktop client, web browser, and a few more things). If I want to play a game, I’ll go do it on a real computer 🙂
As for Filip, being 3 1/2 years old, he’s happy as a pig in mud with his “new” laptop.