Bought myself an Eee PC 901 yesterday.

Buying a netbook is something I have been considering for a while now. I found that getting a real laptop would be too much of a burden (on my pocket on the short-run, and on my back on the long-run), but I can find real usefulness on these “new” ultra-light, long-lasting battery, network-centric “toys”.

My N95 has been doing it’s part mobility-wise, but my expectations have been changing over time. The N95’s browser behaves quite nicely, but it’s still very limited (given the memory limitations it’s wise to keep only one page open at a time, and the rendering speed is usually slower than what I would find reasonable), and sometimes buggy (not in the rendering itself, but occasional crashes do happen).

I was interested on the Dell Inspiration Mini 9 for a while, but a few things diverted my attention to the 901, starting by a second look at it’s specs, finding out about Ubuntu Eee — an Ubuntu-based distribution that is fine tuned for the Eee models –, and finding out about the eee-control utility, which solves a number of Eee bugs that usually come up if not using the variant of Xandros that comes bundled with the machine. This utility helps to switch hardware on and off, configure hotkeys, switch between performance levels and better control over the fan, among other niceties.

But I can’t really evaluate this Ubuntu Eee + eee-control setup yet, as I haven’t found the time to fully install and configure the system to my liking (and probably won’t in the next weeks). So the plan for now is to wait for Ubuntu 8.10, which is due on the beginning of the next month.

But while I’m talking about this, I must add that I have nothing against the Eee’s version of Xandros — it seems to work very well — but it does try hard to hide complexity, which is fine for the regular user, but makes me feel like being in a sandbox, with only a handful of tools. I think Ubuntu strikes a nice trade-off in this regard.

Of course, Rui Carmo‘s insights have been very useful. I’m a little more confident I’ll be able to stay away from Windows though (I would really like to avoid that — I can’t say for sure for how long, but it has surely been more than a year since I’d regularly boot into Windows at home), but only time will tell. Windows is still an option, if I can’t have an equally good experience on Linux, except for the slightly lower battery, which I believe to be one of those things which won’t get any better on the foreseeable future for Linux on the laptop.