Recently, the famed technology writer Steven Levy submitted his gadget list for 2009. His second request? One Laptop Per Adult:
I was skeptical about the XO at first but was pleasantly surprised by its ruggedness, screen quality, antenna sensitivity, and software, which treats every app as an invitation to collaborate. Yes, it's great that OLPC wants to sell these in bulk to kids in developing nations, but I'd like to see a consumer company license its innovations to make an adult-safe version (with a real keyboard) for the price of an iPod classic.
I would like to present Steven with his OLPA now. May I introduce the HP Mini Note Netbook. This is the 4P Computing category killer we have all been waiting for. Recently, I bought one as an adult XO experience, and I'm quite impressed.
- The 1035NR has the look and feel of a real laptop, just shrunk. Its case and keyboard are stylish - well past the cheap plastic feel of the Asus and approaching a Vaio.
- The 8Gig solid state drive, expandable with SD cards, can withstand heat, dust, and shocks better than spinning hard disks.
- It runs Windows XP or Ubuntu 8.10 with ease. I even have it dual booting - XP for her, Ubuntu for me.
- At $400 it is within the price range of business people in the developing world, and close to the XO laptop's G1G1 price.
- Sadly, its 3 hour (max) battery life is nothing like the XO, and its screen is too glossy and weak for sunlight reading.
So while Steven Levy might continue waiting for the perfect adult XO, I would recommend the rest of us go with a HP Mini Note. The HP 1035NR to be exact.