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> Subnotebook recommendations?
DrWowe
post Mar 16 2004, 02:40 PM
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Posting this in the offtopic forum. But Z people are such fanatics for tiny gadgets that its worth a shot -- smile.gif

I'm thinking about getting an x86 subnotebook, but I'm having trouble finding the "perfect" model. Every one I've looked at falls short in some way. In no particular order, I want:

1) Built in wifi and bluetooth. Most of them have wifi now, but I've disqualified several otherwise worthy contenders because of the lack bluetooth. The darn chipsets are so cheap now its just silly NOT to provide it. For some vendors, the only models I can find with bluetooth are the japanese imports. And I'm not about to waste my precious card slot on this basic necessity.

2) Nice and small. The Dell Latitude X300 is almost too big. I'm thinking Sony TR series or Fujitsu P series. The Sony U101 would be nice.

3) I want a Centrino, not a Transmeta. They're just too slow. What can I say, I'm an Intel fanboy. smile.gif

4) Not strictly a requirement, but an SD card slot would come in handy. OTOH, MemoryStick is useless. (shame on Sony)

5) Decent battery life. Most of the ones I've looked at seems pretty good in this respect.

6) Don't really want to pay exorbitant Japanese import markups and live without support.

So far, the Dell X300 looks like my best bet, but I do wish it were a bit smaller. The Fujitsu P5020 is nearly perfect, but the lack of bluetooth is a big minus. What else should I consider?
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Guest_tapjpa_*
post Mar 16 2004, 03:07 PM
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I personally am waiting for this http://minipc.vulcan.com/aboutproduct_specs.asp to come out, we had a post on it here somewhere, fits everything your looking for except it sounds like it will have a transmeta chip.
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VeeDubb
post Mar 16 2004, 04:22 PM
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I have to say, I think built in 802.11b and BT are a HUGE mistake.

These standards are transient at BEST. b networks are allready outdated, 802.11g is far better. It is highly likely that BT will soon be replaced by newer and better standards. These things are not good as built in components. You would be far happier in the long run with pcmcia WiFi and BT cards.

I know that they are not as convenient, but they are a far better investment in the long run.
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DrWowe
post Mar 16 2004, 05:19 PM
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QUOTE
I have to say, I think built in 802.11b and BT are a HUGE mistake.


I've heard this argument before. But here's the thing: Connectivity vs no connectivity is vastly different from connectivity vs faster connectivity. I've been a wifi user for years - I was an early adopter, and I'm sick of juggling around cards. One time I put my laptop in my bag with the wifi card still in the slot (which I used to do often) and the end of the card got crushed. So now I always remove the card, but that provides a storage problem, having to find some pouch or pocket to keep it in. The problem is even worse with ultraportable devices, where all the accessory juggling takes time and diminishes the portability advantage. And now that I use bluetooth with my phone, the problem has doubled. I can barely fit both cards in my Zaurus case. So, bt and wifi are a no compromise issue for me now.
QUOTE
These standards are transient at BEST.


Actually, wifi will be with us for a long time to come. Frankly, the difference between 11mbps and 54 mbps isn't that significant for many purposed. Don't underestimate the power of "backwards compatibility" and "established base". Many places, having already invested in 802.11b won't see the need to upgrade. And those that do, are going to want to maintain compatibility with what 90% of devices work with. Anyway, I wouldn't mind getting built-in support for a/b/g. That's an option with the Dell, at least, and any notebook that uses mini-pci can be upgraded manually.

QUOTE
It is highly likely that BT will soon be replaced by newer and better standards.  These things are not good as built in components.  You would be far happier in the long run with pcmcia WiFi and BT cards.  
No, I would be happier with them built in, as I've explained. Bluetooth is less of a sure thing than wifi, but it also stands a chance of being useful long term. But really, if it turns out I need something else in the future, my pcmcia slot is still available.
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jpsf
post Mar 16 2004, 05:56 PM
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I've owned both the Fujitsu P5000 series and the sony U101 (once a gadget boy, always a gadget boy) but I'm now carrying a Panasonic W2.

No BT, but it's under 3 lbs, built in 802.11b (Centrino) and SD reader, builtin CDRW/DVD, 12 inch screen and the battery lasts longer than most other notebooks - I'm very pleased with it.
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