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My Ideal Notebook Computer, Part II

Last year I wrote a blog entry describing my ideal notebook computer, and how a computer from 18 years ago came very close to that ideal, and how none of the notebooks of today make the grade. The post is here and you might read it first before continuing:


Well guess what? Asus must have been reading my blog. They have introduced a machine that is very close to exactly what I had described. The only point they missed on is the power consumption / battery life. If they had gone with a lower power processor and a transflective display that works with ambient light, with a backlight that can be turned off, they would have boosted battery life to the 8 hours that I consider the minimum useful run time for such a machine. What good is a notebook that only runs for 2 or 3 hours? A workday or school day lasts 8 hours. The snazzy color display is cool but I’d much rather have the 8 hour run time.

I have not yet determined whether their new machine will run on an external 12 volt power source. If it does or can easily be made to, I’ll buy one anyway and run it with an external battery pack.


  1. Laeyra

    I’m also enthused about the prospect of a small, light and long-lasting computing device. The EEE may be the next best thing, but you might want to hold off on getting one just yet. From Asus CEO Jerry Shen in a laptopmag.com interview; “In the near future, we also are trying to support one-day computing which would provide more than 8 hours. I think in May we might be closer to providing that.”

    Link is here

  2. Phil

    Wow, that would be terrific. Somebody’s listening to me. Haha.

    I don’t know how many people feel the way I do, the way I express in my original blog post, but if I were the CEO of Asus or any other notebook computer maker, I’d produce such a product.

    Besides college students needing to take notes all day, people in meetings, new reporters in difficult locations, travelers, boaters, there are all kinds of jobs where such a computer would be perfect.

    Go to a transflective display that works in ambient light and slow the CPU down to where it does not need a fan, and you’ve got your 8 hours. It’s not rocket science.

    If you want to get fancy, provide two clock rates for the CPU, fast when you want to surf fast and watch videos, and slow for when you’re taking notes. A Z-80 from 1980 is plenty of compute power for note taking or text composition.

    Anyway, I hope Asus or somebody is listening. I’m sure there’s a market out there for it. I know two people besides me who want such a machine and I have a small circle of friends.

    Thanks for commenting!

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