A new netbook

A couple of weeks ago I bought my first netbook, the ASUS Eee PC 1000HE. It's light, powerful, plays videos better than my laptop, runs Windows XP (no Vista compatibility issues or unnecessary resource hogging), and, best of all, has an incredible battery life of more than 8 hours on one charge.

I scored it at a funky tech web retailer called ZipZoomfly.com for $349 thanks to a mail-in rebate. The Eee PC earned fantastic reviews on Amazon, and has so far lived up to the hype. I like it because I can bring it to any room in my house and surf the net or check up on my Yahoo Fantasy Baseball team, the Alliteration Animals (who are currently in second place). I recently used it to read essays students had posted to their class blogs from the comfort of my living room couch.

The Eee PC will even pick up an Internet signal from the porch outside, which makes it the perfect companion for reading the newspaper online along with a cup of coffee and a blueberry smoothy - a morning delicacy I reserve for the weekends. Given that the weather is finally getting nice, I wanted the ability to bring the web outdoors so I wouldn't feel guilty about sitting behind a computer screen inside my house on a pleasant day.

A couple of weeks ago I made a request for my school to use some of President Obama's federal stimulus money to purchase Eee PCs for the classroom. The laptop computers at our school can be tempermental, and rarely hold a charge for more than an hour and a half. The beauty of the Eee PC is that one charge will get it though an entire school day, which means it can be used consecutively class after class after class.

The size of the keyboard is 92 percent that of a standard typing pad, which takes a little getting used to, but is still quite managable. Programs run quickly, the display is sharp and bright, and the Eee PC has a fast Internet adapter that works with newer Wireless-N WiFi routers. No word yet on if my proposal has been approved by the administration, but it would sure be nifty to have these devices available for use next year at school. I think the students would dig the chic style and fast speed, and the smaller size would help them fit the Eee PC on their desks along with handouts, notebooks, and other materials.

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