Looking for laptops?

During the recession, one of the few growth areas in the PC sector is the laptop market. There's been a surge of interest about mini-notebooks (also called 'UMPCs' or netbooks), but how do you use them in your business life? Is your mini-notebook a complimentary device to a main PC? Are you looking for answers on whether which to buy? What should you look for in a netbook in the first place?

Let's get the discussion going!

______________________________
Jon Wilcox, Technology correspondent

Comments

Handy for out and about

0098087 | | Permalink

I have a small Vaio and I have a copy of VT on it and MS office.

I copy the VT file from my main pc to the laptop so I can discuss the figures with clients when I am out seeing them. Saves printing out reams of paper which just gets shredded.

Also, my partner prepares the PAYE for my clients so when we are away we copy the payroll files onto the laptop and it's handy to prepare the PAYE for the few clients that can't give us advanced wages information.

There is just the two of us and we can never get away from the office, though if we get to Turkey in September the payroll may have to wait.

Am in Prince Edward Island Canada at the moment on holiday with my partner's family and he has the internet so all works well.

John Stokdyk's picture

Attention Asus users

John Stokdyk | | Permalink

I'm particularly interested in the cost of ownership of the new generation of netbooks. With smaller disks & memory and finickier upgrades, are users getting shorter lifespans out of their baby-sized machines?

I'd particularly like to hear the experiences of all those AccountingWEB.co.uk members who went out and snapped up early EeePC 710s. Are you still using them - and if so, what for?

John Stokdyk, Technology editor

ksalter's picture

Asus EEE pc

ksalter | | Permalink

My trusty Asus is some 18 months old now...and still travels with me most of the time....certainly abroad on holiday...as long as internet access is available can retrieve emails (which are forwarded from office PC to a web based email for easier retrieval). Much lighter to carry than "normal" laptop and takes 20 seconds to be ready to use compared to an eternity...well 4-5 minutes for Windows based pc.

Not seen any reason yet to replace it!!

Mark Hutchinson's picture

Re - Asus EEE pc

Mark Hutchinson | | Permalink

If it's taking 4-5 minutes to boot up a PC or laptop then chances are it simply needs a bit of a service. Probably a whole load of Windows/Internet temp files that have built up over time, or there is a minor problem with an application and something is hanging etc. These types of minor problems can usually be addresses in 10-15 minutes and very cost effectively.

Best Regards

Mark Hutchinson
www.sharptechnology.co.uk

Slowness

0098087 | | Permalink

My vaio has very little s/w on it so i just reinstalled XP.

Mark Hutchinson's picture

Re - Slowness

Mark Hutchinson | | Permalink

Hi

If your PC/Laptop starts running slow again it's probably just a build up of Internet/Office 'temp' files, or your documents/disc needs defragmenting.

As a starting point try downloading 'CC Cleaner' and 'Degraggler' (both free) and running these to see if they make a difference.

Best Regards

Mark Hutchinson
www.sharptechnology.co.uk

ksalter's picture

Asus PC

ksalter | | Permalink

The kiss of death......my charger has just burnt out!!!

nigel's picture

EeePC still going

nigel | | Permalink

My 1st gen Asus EeePc is still going, although I confess I "replaced" it this year with a basic Apple MacBook. I found the EeePc just a bit too small to type on seriously. I used it mostly as an Internet viewer - great for watching the BBC iPlayer in bed - but text-heavy and wide pages are a pain with the built-in browser as you are constantly having to scroll all over the place.

For the occasional word processing I found Google Docs brilliant on the Asus, and still use it when I need to bounce documents between computers.

I was going to put it on eBay, but I have found it useful to take on holiday if there's free WiFi in the hotel - cheaper than sending postcards home!

Google Docs

0098087 | | Permalink

I always worry about Google Docs if I don't have a net connection!

Mark Hutchinson's picture

Re Google Docs

Mark Hutchinson | | Permalink

This used to be an issue for many users, however 8 months ago Google introduced 'Google Gears' which allows users to store and work on local copy of their Google Documents on their PC/Laptop.

See...

http://googledocs.blogspot.com/2008/03/bringing-cloud-with-you.html
http://gears.google.com/

Best Regards

Mark Hutchinson
www.sharptechnology.co.uk

Thanks

0098087 | | Permalink

Thanks. Makes me wonder why people even bother with MS office and the costs it involves

shurst's picture

Asus EEE PC

shurst | | Permalink

Coincidentally, I received the invitation to join this group while checking my email on my original (18 month+ old) Asus EEE while attending a meeting in London. It's big drawback for me is the keyboard, particularly the miniscule right-hand shift key, which I think I hit one time out of every 5 tries. As someone else mentioned, scrolling horizontally to see web pages is also an irritation. However, it's great for checking emails and cricket scores on the move, as well as listening to iPlayer and the online cricket commentary while doing the gardening or cremating the sausages on the barbecue.

I'm starting to look at alternatives of a similar type - with a better keyboard and a big enough screen for web pages (horizontally at least).

John Stokdyk's picture

That's a whole new can of worms

John Stokdyk | | Permalink

Thanks everybody for your feedback - especially from the Asus pioneers, who gave a particularly useful insight into the ways in which the smaller machines are being used. I also note that some of you early adopters are being lured to upgrade to slightly bigger PCs that might be more effective for work applications.

The Google Docs thread is a particularly interesting one this week, since the search engine giant has announced that it eventually wants to position Chrome as an operating system, while Microsoft has responded to the Docs threat with the announcement of a set of Office 2010 Web Applications that are only just over the horizon.

This is a fascinating thread in itself. I'm sorry to be pedantic, but if you do want to explore this avenue, could I encourage you to pop over to the Google Chrome OS - Microsoft beater? thread to continue the conversation there. That will breathe some life into that group, and leave this topic focused on the hardware.

Cheers,
John Stokdyk, Technology editor

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