Cafe Work/Sketch Kit

I gave my wife my MacBook to upgrade her from her iBook and got myself a netbook for those times when I’m out and need to wait for my son, and for watching Netflix/Hulu/Slingbox in the house. But I’m also finding that the netbook, a Lenovo Ideapad S10, is really pretty damned sweet for when I want to head out somewhere and do sketches in a cafe. I use it to post to our Traction server while I’m sketching. I just have to remember to put it aside so I can concentrate on getting the sketches done.

The S10 is small, but it sports a 10 inch screen. The only downside I’ve experienced so far is that the right shift key is positioned one key to the right, out of the normal positioning. They did this to make room for the directional arrows. I’m a touch typist, so I was afraid this would be a deal breaker. It’s been about 4 days since I got it, and I’m quite used to the positioning now.

I spent a lot of time researching the netbook options in the past month and this one was up against the new HP Mini 1000, which got rave reviews, but which has one of those awkward side-positioned trackbpad buttons. After trying the Lenovo at a store, and having great experiences with the solid feel of IBM Ideapads for years as a corporate mucky muck, my decision was easily made. The Lenovo gives me greater hard disk storage options, not like the anemic SSDs. I know the tradeoffs, but I felt the HD options were fast enough. I’m not looking for sexy here, just affordable, light, fast enough, reliable enough (I say enough because it’s Windows after all), rugged, and usable. It’s got get thrown into a bag when I tool around town and hold up to my abuse.

All in all, I’m really very pleased with it. I’s only been 4 days and I’ve taken it out only once, however, so we’ll have to reserve final judgement after a month. It gives me what I need for a limited number of use cases. I won’t design on it, but I can do a good deal of reading/writing/media viewing with it. I’m using Google Chrome for web browsing, and for my primary application uses: Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Reader. I’m absolutely loving it, by the way. I can bring my Pentax DS Mobile 600 scanner with me to scan my drawings and upload to our server when I’m out sketching.

That’s all for now. If you’re interested, you can click the Flickr photo above to see notes for what’s inside my kit. Here’s the contents:

1) Alchemy Goods Haversack, a 6 x 6 x 11 inch shoulder bag made of recycled bicycle inner tubes and a car seat belt. Love this little bag.

2) Notebook cords in a Kensington bag until I can get a strap to wrap them.

3) Glasses in a cheapo case.

4) The Konigi Designer’s Notebook prototype, which you should be seeing more of on this site in ‘09.

5) Konigi wireframe graph paper pad in a vinyl pad holder.

6) Midori Traveler’s Notebook with my weekly planner.

7) Lenovo Ideapad S10.

Not pictured is a the Pilot Coleur 0.5 mechanical pencil with 2B lead, and a Pentel Sign Pen.