Computers can only connect *everyone* if *everyone* has a computer. It has been widely accepted that this will happen when the cost of a personal computer drops below $100. We’re not there yet, but the current crop of ‘Netbooks’ are a big step in the right direction. We just bought an Asus Netbook for $350.
It’s called a Netbook because it’s primary purpose is to connect you to the Net. As mentioned in the Gmail article above, if all your data is in the Clouds (on the Net) then it doesn’t matter what device you use to access it.
In addition to being inexpensive, it’s also very lightweight – under 3 pounds – and small. I can actually fit it in my purse (yes, it’s a big purse!) And, it has a long-lasting battery. We have used it off and on for 2-3 days without having to recharge. The manufacturer claims 10.5 hours of battery life.
These Netbooks have been out for about 2 years now, but we waited for Windows 7. They are relatively low powered – usually coming with only 1GB of memory – so they couldn’t run Vista and were being sold with XP. Once we got used to Vista, there’s no way we could go back. Windows 7 works like Vista, but it’s not so much of a memory hog.
The Netbook does not have a CD/DVD drive. It’s meant to be a computer for people who just need their email, some web browsing and a little bit of managing pictures and documents. We think it is just perfect as a second computer for travelers who leave their main computer at home. The link below is the Netbook that we bought (pictured above.) If you buy one using this link, they will know that you were referred by Geeks on Tour.
ASUS Eee PC Seashell 1005HA-PU17-BK 10.1-Inch Black Netbook – 10.5 Hours of Battery Life (Windows 7 Starter)
If you really want to see the future of personal computers, check out the plans for future ‘One Laptop Per Child’ $75 tablet computers. If you follow that link, it’s a slide show – if you wait it will cycle to more pictures. One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) is on the leading edge of the movement for small, easy, durable, and inexpensive computers. It’s a fascinating project – if you’re interested, here’s a video of the founder of OLPC – Nicholoas Negroponte. .