Subnotebook / Ultraportable / Table on the cheap? - Portable

This is a discussion on Subnotebook / Ultraportable / Table on the cheap? - Portable ; The Tank, my fusty, creaky, heavy KDS Valiant, is rapidly approaching obsolesence for much of what I need to do with it these days. The battery's dead, and I don't feel like spending a hundred bucks on a new one ...

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Thread: Subnotebook / Ultraportable / Table on the cheap?

  1. Subnotebook / Ultraportable / Table on the cheap?

    The Tank, my fusty, creaky, heavy KDS Valiant, is rapidly approaching
    obsolesence for much of what I need to do with it these days. The
    battery's dead, and I don't feel like spending a hundred bucks on a new
    one when battery life pretty much sucked, anyway. I'm on my third AC
    adapter, and it's starting to bite the dust. I find myself upgrading the
    hard drive every six months, and they aint cheap. I even bought at used
    slimline CDRW on Ebay and dremeled down the bezel to get it to fit into
    my case.

    Basically, the marketing guys make fun of me at work, and it's a giant
    pain in the ass haul.

    I've got about $1200 to spend, and I'm going to put half of that towards
    a relatively sweet (for me) desktop system.

    I'd like to put the remainder toward a used sub-3lb notebook that I can
    actually carry around with me. Problem is, I don't really know where to
    start looking.

    After doing some initial poking around, it looks like the Actius MM10
    comes pretty close to my absolute minimum requirements. Unfortunately,
    you can't upgrade the memory or the disk, but for what I want it for, I
    think I can make it work, and they seem to go for 500-600 on Ebay.

    Here are my must haves:
    * Battery life: 3+ hours actual.
    * CPU: 800mhz or better. Doesn't matter whether it's a Transmeta or
    whatever; I'm not installing Gentoo.
    * Memory: 256MB or more. Preferrably upgradable.
    * HDD: 15GB or more. Gotta have an XP partition for work.
    * A PCMCIA slot. For my Xircom modem.
    * USB 2.0: Two or more ports. I've got external hard and CD drives out
    the wazoo.
    * Screen: I don't want one of those 1/3 size things like on the old
    Picturebooks. 1024 by, uh 600 or something would be fine.


    Would be nice:
    * USB-bootable.
    * Prism or Orinoco wifi. I've had no end of trouble with Realtek cards,
    and I'm still a little leery about the state of the Intel drivers for Linux.
    * Firewire: I don't really need it at the moment, but who knows?
    * Optical drive: At least a CD-RW. If it's just a CD/DVD-ROM, I'd almost
    rather do without the extra weight.
    * A serial port, so I don't have to keep track of any adapters.

    Anybody got any ideas? If I can at least get a list of models, it would
    be a big help. I know next to nothing about tablet PCs, but I figure
    it's a place to look for my specs, even if I expect to be using it in
    clamshell mode 99% of the time.

    Really, all I need is a tiny machine that's a couple/three years out of
    date, but as you can probably imagine, this kind of thing is kind of
    hard to track down on the web.

    Muchas gracias.

  2. Re: Subnotebook / Ultraportable / Table on the cheap?

    kotj.mf wrote:
    > The Tank, my fusty, creaky, heavy KDS Valiant, is rapidly approaching
    > obsolesence for much of what I need to do with it these days. The
    > battery's dead, and I don't feel like spending a hundred bucks on a new
    > one when battery life pretty much sucked, anyway. I'm on my third AC
    > adapter, and it's starting to bite the dust. I find myself upgrading the
    > hard drive every six months, and they aint cheap. I even bought at used
    > slimline CDRW on Ebay and dremeled down the bezel to get it to fit into
    > my case.
    >
    > Basically, the marketing guys make fun of me at work, and it's a giant
    > pain in the ass haul.
    >
    > I've got about $1200 to spend, and I'm going to put half of that towards
    > a relatively sweet (for me) desktop system.
    >
    > I'd like to put the remainder toward a used sub-3lb notebook that I can
    > actually carry around with me. Problem is, I don't really know where to
    > start looking.
    >
    > After doing some initial poking around, it looks like the Actius MM10
    > comes pretty close to my absolute minimum requirements. Unfortunately,
    > you can't upgrade the memory or the disk, but for what I want it for, I
    > think I can make it work, and they seem to go for 500-600 on Ebay.
    >
    > Here are my must haves:
    > * Battery life: 3+ hours actual.
    > * CPU: 800mhz or better. Doesn't matter whether it's a Transmeta or
    > whatever; I'm not installing Gentoo.
    > * Memory: 256MB or more. Preferrably upgradable.
    > * HDD: 15GB or more. Gotta have an XP partition for work.
    > * A PCMCIA slot. For my Xircom modem.
    > * USB 2.0: Two or more ports. I've got external hard and CD drives out
    > the wazoo.
    > * Screen: I don't want one of those 1/3 size things like on the old
    > Picturebooks. 1024 by, uh 600 or something would be fine.
    >
    >
    > Would be nice:
    > * USB-bootable.
    > * Prism or Orinoco wifi. I've had no end of trouble with Realtek cards,
    > and I'm still a little leery about the state of the Intel drivers for
    > Linux.
    > * Firewire: I don't really need it at the moment, but who knows?
    > * Optical drive: At least a CD-RW. If it's just a CD/DVD-ROM, I'd almost
    > rather do without the extra weight.
    > * A serial port, so I don't have to keep track of any adapters.
    >
    > Anybody got any ideas? If I can at least get a list of models, it would
    > be a big help. I know next to nothing about tablet PCs, but I figure
    > it's a place to look for my specs, even if I expect to be using it in
    > clamshell mode 99% of the time.
    >
    > Really, all I need is a tiny machine that's a couple/three years out of
    > date, but as you can probably imagine, this kind of thing is kind of
    > hard to track down on the web.
    >
    > Muchas gracias.


    Dell Latitude C400: 1.0-1.4GHz PIIIm, 256-768MB RAM, 1024x768 12" XGA
    panel, no internal drives save for the HD, one PCMCIA port, one USB port
    (but you can use a hub, right?), less than 1" thick closed and weighs
    less than 3lb. Did I say the battery lasts five hours plus with
    speedstep on? Stunningly powerful machine for its spec, I use one
    (1.4GHz) for LAN parties with a 40GB drive and 768MB RAM, and leave most
    other machines (including some high-end desktops) standing.

    Or, there's the Inspiron 4100: 1.0GHz PIIIm, up to 1GB RAM, 1400x1050
    14.1" UXGA panel, 2x modular bays for batteries, one takes auxilliary
    drives too (HD, FDD, CDRW/DVDRW), 4500mAH battery lasts >3 hours with
    speedstep on, two would give you a good 8. Two PCMCIA slots, one USB.
    Not quite subnote, but for its size, a powerful little beast. Still less
    than 7lb with two high-capacity batteries.

    Both the above notebooks have internal ethernet, the Inspiron has a
    miniPCI slot (I think the Latitude does as well, not had it open yet
    (very unusual for me, but it has been that good a machine from the getgo
    that I've not needed to).

    For power, can't go wrong with a Latitude C840. Mine has 1GB RAM, 2.0
    P4m, 1600x1200 UXGA 15", DVD/CDRW, 40GB HD, modular bay, 3 batteries,
    baymounted FDD, DVD/CDRW, 2 usb ports, 2 PCMCIA ports, ethernet, modem,
    and minipci wireless. Weighs like 8lb but it's a powerhouse of a laptop.
    I've yet to see one better out of the box.

    HTH

    --
    Cheers, http://www.dotware.co.uk
    Jim http://www.dotware-entertainment.co.uk

    Are more people violently opposed to wearing fur than leather because
    it's easier to harass rich women than motorcycle gangs?

  3. Re: Subnotebook / Ultraportable / Table on the cheap?

    Those C400s look pretty sweet (and cheap!), and I can always slap a USB2
    card in the PCMCIA slot. It's going in my favorite ebay searches... thanks.

  4. Re: Subnotebook / Ultraportable / Table on the cheap?

    kotj.mf wrote:
    > Those C400s look pretty sweet (and cheap!), and I can always slap a USB2
    > card in the PCMCIA slot. It's going in my favorite ebay searches... thanks.


    it is an absolutely gorgeous piece of kit (unusual for Dell, they
    usually put function over aesthetics but they've outdone themselves with
    the Latitude sobnote... nice chrome lines, sweeping clamshell design,
    and very nice balance for one-handed operation (it's basically a big
    palmtop!)). I've had mine for two years now, hasn't put a foot wrong.

    --
    Cheers, http://www.dotware.co.uk
    Jim http://www.dotware-entertainment.co.uk

    Are more people violently opposed to wearing fur than leather because
    it's easier to harass rich women than motorcycle gangs?

  5. Re: Subnotebook / Ultraportable / Table on the cheap?

    On 2005-07-20, Jim wrote:
    > kotj.mf wrote:
    >> Those C400s look pretty sweet (and cheap!), and I can always slap a USB2
    >> card in the PCMCIA slot. It's going in my favorite ebay searches... thanks.

    >
    > it is an absolutely gorgeous piece of kit (unusual for Dell, they
    > usually put function over aesthetics but they've outdone themselves with
    > the Latitude sobnote...
    >

    are we talking about the same Dull?

    Cheers

    Alex

    nice chrome lines, sweeping clamshell design,
    > and very nice balance for one-handed operation (it's basically a big
    > palmtop!)). I've had mine for two years now, hasn't put a foot wrong.
    >


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