I'm experimenting with a new laptop for January, and if I like it I'll be selling my previous 15 inch Thinkpad t510 and keeping the new machine: an 11.6" Acer Aspire. The change is significant, but I feel it is for the best. I'm rethinking what I want in a laptop.
My needs have, necessarily, changed. When I bought my Thinkpad, I was buying a work machine. I was a freelancer, working at home primarily and spending a number of days a week on-site for a newer client (Caktus Group, who is now my employer). I was looking for a work machine I could take to their office, and which wouldn't sacrafice what I was used to on my tower at home. The thinkpad did not disappoint and I've been entirely happy with it.
But, when I became an employee, part of that deal included a new machine provided and supported by Caktus. As it happens, that machine is also a Thinkpad t510. My own thinkpad was now solely a personal laptop, and I've continued using it as such for writing, personal projects, my podcast software, and some other things. But, I still have my powerful desktop tower. Increasingly, I'm left wondering just what purpose my personal thinkpad serves me. The thing is kind of heavy, its too large to carry casually, and it doesn't provide me more power compared to my other options, at home or at work.
So, I'm scaling down my personal laptop. I'm trading a good deal of powerful for a smaller, lighter device. I'm sitting here now on a tiny screen, with far less horse power available. But, I'm very happy with it, so far. As a smaller machine, it doesn't get as hot on my lap. And, while it is technically a "netbook" and less powerful than my laptop, it isn't weak, by any stretch. It even has a GPU powerful enough for most of the indie games I enjoy!
I don't know for sure if I'll remain happy with the move at the end of the month. I'll be selling one of these machines at that point, when I know if this experiment works out, or not.