21 June 2010

Laptop (er, netbook) Love

At Southeast LinuxFest, ZaReason (the company that made my laptop Betty two years ago) had a table.

Courtney with ZaReason laptops

This is Courtney with a few of ZaReason's latest models. From left to right are the Strata 3660, Strata Pro 15, and the Terra HD.

The Terra HD is the one I want to talk about today. Some of you might remember the Terra A20 netbook, which was very popular in "mocha" colour. Apparently one of the big complaints people had about it was battery life. The Terra HD is its successor, and it reportedly (I didn't hog it that long) gets over 6 hours battery with its optional 6-cell battery (4-5 with wireless going). Also, I'm totally in love with this little netbook (don't worry $boyfriend, not that way).

Celeste Lyn Paul and I were hanging out at the ZaReason booth chatting with Courtney and Mark (Terranova, not S, don't get your knickers in a twist) when Celeste started fawning over the Terra HD. It's got an 11.6" screen and, as Mark was quick to point out, a 100% size keyboard, not one of those annoying 93% keyboards. I typed on it a bit, and yeah, the keyboard is the right size. I don't hit the wrong keys or anything. Great! This is a first for me and netbooks. Minor problem for my (very) long nails is slipping off the keycaps into the gap between the keys (like on a MacBook), but I think a day or two of typing on it would see me adjusted.

Then Courtney suggested Celeste pick it up and see how light it is, while Mark informed us that he always has to double check his backpack to be sure it's actually there. Celeste seemed surprised by how light it was, so I asked to hold it. When she handed it to me, my hands went UP! Theoretically, it's 2.9 pounds. It felt more like -5oz. And yes, that's with the 6-cell battery, not with the little 3-cell.

Some women fawn over shoes or purses. For me, it's laptops and laptop bags. This little beauty is available with either a red or a black lid (I guess this is where the obligatory "aww, no pink?" joke comes in), has 802.11n wifi, has options for 1 or 2 GiB of RAM, choice between a normal hard disk or SSD, and even has 3G as an option. And yes, it has ZaReason's signature Ubuntu Circle of Friends super key. Oh, and for the KDE fans, Mark is looking into adding Kubuntu Netbook Remix to the OS dropdown list (though as I understand it, you could just request that in the comments box when ordering, and they'd do it).

I've said before that I'm not getting a netbook til I can get an ARM one, but there's a netbook with a perfectly-sized keyboard that's light as a feather. I don't think I can pass that up. It's out of stock right now, so that gives me time to save up some dough and buy one ;-) Oh, and since no super-quick played-with-it-and-fell-in-love hardware review is complete without the pricetag: it starts at $449.


celeste said...

Unfortunately it isn't yet available because Ubuntu 10.04 doesn't suspend/resume properly. They're going to open up pre-sales some time this week and hopefully ship a patched 10.04 next week. Getting 2 as soon as they are available. Depending on how much overnight shipping is, I *might* have it for Akademy :) *squee*

Anonymous said...

Why ARM? What about it makes it worth waiting for?

(/me knows nothing about it, really)

Mackenzie said...

ARMs are supposed to have super-low power consumption so run cool without a fan and have amazing battery life. But at the moment, mobile phones are the only ARM devices you can get in the US retail market (as a researcher you could probably get a prototype board with no case...).

rajeewa said...

Dear Mackenzie

my name is rajeewa from sri lanka im very interest user for ubuntu linux,
u re blog colour is very hurt about when u read long time eyes.
if u can change the colour in future very appriciate.

skype rajeewa_w

Chris said...

Came across your post on buying a linux only machine, great stuff! I wish a product like this was available here in Italy

Mackenzie said...

ZaReason does ship to Italy, and they can send you a power cable that'll fit there instead of their usual US one.