The Results of Netbook Experiment
Last month I had done what was known as the Netbook Experiment. It was pretty drastic, as I have never had done anything like this before. The goal was for the time period of Lent, I would give up my dual core desktop PC, in lieu of using my netbook more. By doing so, I wanted to see what would happen to my productivity, and ultimately the effect on my power bill. The results may surprise you. Let story #2 unravel…
The fact that it was Lent was a coincidence, but heck, all the more reason to give up my desktop PC. To prevent me from actually using the desktop, I literally disconnected my monitor and all my peripherals from the PC, and put it in the closet. Above you can see my desktop PC on a shelf in my closet. So here for 4 weeks I left my desktop PC in the closet while I continued life with my netbook.
Here were my discoveries while using the ASUS EEE:
- Power consumption is great! The notebook only uses 23 watts total, while my desktop PC would use at least 250+ watts. This alone was a great reason to use the netbook PC.
- The speakers on the netbook was more than efficient. I used it to play my own music, as well as using it as a portable Internet streaming music station.
- It is a great torrent machine. Why turn on a huge power consumption desktop that is way OVERPOWERED when all I only need is a small machine dedicated for torrenting? It turns out that during this netbook experiment, I was invited into the highly prestigious blackcats torrent group. More on this later.
- Great machine for instant messaging, checking email, and surfing the internet.
- Let’s not forget, its not a gaming machine so no more temptation to play Left 4 Dead! ;p
All the uses above are great ways to use a netbook, or even a laptop for that matter. The netbook is underpowered to do photoshop, but that is not my goal. I do a lot of work on the internet these days, so using the netbook more than the desktop was a sigh of relief. As I had mentioned earlier, I was invited to join the blackcats torrent group, which is a torrent site just related to games. By joining this site, lets say that I had my laptop on almost 24/7 downloading and uploading items for the community.
When the power bill finally came at the end of the month, it shows that I only saved five dollars since the previous month when I was using the desktop PC almost exclusively. I’m sure if I did not run the netbook on all the time over night downloading, then my power bill would have decreased a few dollars more.
In my journey, I had realized that the netbook is a great secondary PC. Perhaps sitting on the couch while watching TV or taking with you as you go traveling to a friends house or hanging out at a library. The netbook is not meant to be a desktop replacement, because frankly of the small hard drive size and the small screen. It didn’t bother me too much though, because I have a 250GB external hard drive, and another LCD monitor that I could use to hook up for secondary output.
As you go to college, or perhaps you want to get your kids or your significant other a netbook, I highly recommend it. I have the first generation of the ASUS EEE 701. It currently has 4GB SSD hard drive, with a 8GB SDHC card, and 2 GB of RAM. It uses the Celeron processor, and its overclocked to 900MHZ. I know, its not much but its great for the internet. I paid $450 back in the day from Craigslist, and back then it truly was a great deal considering the stock version was selling for $399 with 512megs RAM and no SDHC card included.
Now fast forward one year later and the market is just saturated with netbooks from MSI Wind, Lenovo, Acer, and the like. Rumors are Apple may make a netbook too? Now all these machines have the slick Intel Atom processor, and non-solid harddrives with capacities like 80gigs or 160gigs. The average price is around $350, and already they are more advanced than my 1st generation EEE PC. Oh well, such is life. Technology is always rapidly changing, and if you keep on waiting for the next best thing, you will never have anything. This is no way to live. I am glad I have a netbook, and I love it. If you ever get a chance in the future to invest in a new machine, I highly recommend a netbook of some sort. You won’t regret it.