Java and the Centaur
By octav on Jul 16, 2009
Nowadays there is a lot of hype about Netbooks. I've seen several projection from our marketing folks talking about the potential growth. I finally gave up and decided to find out for myself if the Netbooks are worth ones time. I am mostly interested how Java (SE) fares on these hybrid devices. Given that the netbooks are small notebooks that exibit many of features and behaviours if a smart phone, I'll call them personal centaurs.
I purchased a HP Mini 110, which came with Intel's Atom chip @ 1.6 GHz, 1 GB of RAM, 10" screen, USB card reader, camera and plenty of disk. Windows XP graces the system as an operating system (I am planning to also install Hardy as soon as I have more time).
I've been pleasantly surprised that HP already bundls a recent version of Java SE 6. Very convenient, since there is plenty of software that requires the JRE and I won't have to go through the extra step of the installation (which could come at a time when I have poor network connectivity).
After a few of hours of usage, I believe this notebook could become a reliable travel mate and in some cases replace both my notebook and phone. Email, web, skype, office productivity, calendar, the familiarity of Windows are enabling the experince. I am still having trouble with the more compact keyboard and I think HP could borrow some tips on scrolling from Apple. The battery is bulky and kills the form factor. The fan is on the noisy side.
If I put my developer hat on, I don't belive the device could replace a notebook due to the fible chip, slow hard drive and entry level video card (which would have hard time powering a remote display beyond 20"