After the death of my HP Jornada......
...... which was the grandaddy of all notebooks and netbooks and ran an early version of Windows CE, - I found myself severely missing the simple convenience of a machine that would bootup in an instant and was just about as quick as pencil and paper to use.
When writing I find that ideas can come out of the blue just about anywhere and while writing rough drafts on my knee longhand with pen and paper is Ok, it's always a pain to have to copy type them onto digital media when I get home.
So after looking around and finding that new mainstream Windows CE notebooks were too $$$$$ for my budget, I thought I'd try one of the Chinese EPC (Empress Personal Computer) netbooks that were being sold here in New Zealand for around $NZ150.00 each.
Well it arrived yesterday afternoon and I must say it's a nice looking little netbook. It's around 7/8th the size of the Jornada and a lot lighter. The screen is still 7 inches wide, but it isn't as tall which I haven't found to be that much of a problem at all. The Jornada had a fairly large battery that was physically larger and heavier than the one in some full sized laptops, whereas the EPC has a very small neat Lion battery that lives under a cover accessible by taking out two screws. The Jornada ran on 12volts and had a fairly chunky charger, the EPC runs on 9volts and has a nice neat small plug pack.
The EPC has WiFi built in so I can use it at the local library and get on the internet without having to wait for one of the public use computers to become available. The other thing is that I can plug a full sized USB keyboard and mouse into it as well, but not a full sized monitor. With the Jornada I could plug in either a keyboard or a mouse (but not both), and a monitor. The Jornada had no immediate internet connectivity, but it did have a PCMCIA slot so it was possible.
The Jornada used CF memory cards, the EPC uses the smaller SD cards AND it has a 2Gb flash internal hard drive as well which the Jornada didn't have.
Back when I was using the Jornada a lot I had to carry it in a seperate bag because it was just that much too big to fit into my shoulder bag. The EPC fits in my shoulder bag just like it's made for it which makes me think that I might see if I can get copies of the Bible and the Prayers of the Church I use everyday in electronic form so I can lighten my load even more.
Some people who've purchased these EPC netbooks have complained loudly about them, but I think the problem is that they expected to get a fully tricked out laptop running full sized Windowsfor the price they paid; - which the EPC isn't. As a paper spiral bound note book and pen combination replacement I think the EPC netbook is great. AND there is the additional benefit of being able to access the internet which I use as a gigantic dictonary and encyclopedia when I'm studying and writing.
EDIT: And the EPC can use USB memory sticks which my Jornada couldn't which was a pain in the @#!%$ I can tell you.