I like writing creative stuff on my computer (LJ, a roleplaying game, a board game that I'm designing, the more interesting and "blue sky" aspects of work) but I'm sick of being in my flat doing so. Also, my desktop PC is about four years old. So I'm looking for a computer that's small enough to carry around and do these things in coffee shops or other places.
- It must work! In the way that a game machine or Linux geek's machine generally doesn't.
- It must be small enough to carry around and discreet enough to use in public. No Dell 'attitude!
- It must be able to edit MS Word documents reliably, including tables, styles, and good fonts.
- It must start and stop instantly by opening/closing the lid, including mail and browser sessions.
- All features must be usable without plugging anything into anything else.
- It must have WiFi and Bluetooth (for GPRS internet).
- It must support IMAP/SMTP email through SSL.
- The battery must last at least three hours.
- It must be well-made and durable.
- It must cost up to about £1500.
- It should have good anti-aliased fonts. ClearType, OS X, or PanGo are good. Win2k sucks.
- It should provide encrypted storage for a few files, with a UI designed for security.
- It should run a Gecko or KHTML browser, with tabs and flash.
- It should run a spreadsheet, for accounts or calculations.
- It should support Exchange email through a VPN (PPTP).
- It should run modern Unix programs, preferably Debian.
- It should have good ergonomic design (physical, GUI).
- It should ideally fit in a (really big) pocket.
- It should play .mp3 files with good quality.
- It should have ethernet and modem ports.
- It should have some coolness value.
- It should resist theft.
- It should resist dust.
I was tempted to look at a tablet PC, but they seem expensive, clunky, and infused with Microsoft pen stupidity. So, I'm wondering between a 12-inch iBook or PowerBook G4, or a JVC A5-size notebook PC. The latter is very attractively small, but it's expensive and has some alarming compromises. Specifically, it's not possible to install a new OS.