After a while of only using my netbook at home (or briefly on my patio), I grew tired of the feeble little battery it has stock from the factory which only lasts about 1-2 hours. On top of that, wireless access is turning into a cheesy money-making scheme and I can never guarantee myself that I will have access when I take my netbook. So, I broke down and picked up an upgraded battery which has 10,400 mAh of charge. Having experience with these styles of batteries when I had my Asus EEE 900a netbook, I knew it was a sound decision. After receiving it and charging, the Acer Aspire One holds the same uptime as the older Asus EEE with the 10,400 mAh battery… an impressive 9-10 hours under load.
To add to it all, I’ve broken into the mobile broadband market and went with one of Cricket’s offerings. Actually, I am slightly impressed by them.. though I’ve only had the device for a day. It’s a USB device that folds up, and is a decent size.
Pricewise, it’s great: $35/month for 5Gb/month transfer. It might not seem like alot (not to me…) but for a mobile solution it fits, for now. The installation is very simple, all I had to do was plug in the broadband usb modem and the software installed itself, and activated with Cricket. Now that it’s activated, I can use it with Linux once I get a distribution installed next to Windows on the netbook.
The software provides optimization selections, which you can choose to govern. The speed is regulated by a “fast -> faster -> fastest” setting which is used to regulate just how quickly the bandwidth is taken. Naturally it’s to regulate kids or people who like to do lots of video. I set mine to ‘fastest’ and it feels like a cable modem speed with a hitch here and there. I did experience disconnections sporadically but I’ll experiment more with settings to see if the optimizations and such are causing it.
Either way, now I have the Acer Aspire One with a 10 hour battery and a mobile broadband connection. It’ll be nice to have an internet connection at any given moment that isn’t behind some proxy firewall, when I’m not at home.
June 17, 2010:
After many many many (did I say many?) times of speaking with a tech support agent at Cricket because of the rapid disconnections and barely being able to be used before disconnecting, I called in to disconnect… because it’s just silly to pay money for something that’s not functional for you and you need to call tech support everytime you use it as part of the daily routine of using it. Wouldn’t you know it, as soon as you are adamant on cancelling they “fix” it. Note I quote “fix” since they did everything on their side. None the less, the “updates” to the wireless adapter (or as they affectionately call it, a “modem” lol) were failing sporadically beforehand. After the changes made, a large update downloaded to the “modem” immediately upon connection and to quote a chef in a place that used to exist beside Alabama called Louisiana… BAM! It connects fine, no more needs to reinstall the software constantly, and the transfer rates are about what I’d expect from a cell adapter. (about 300-500Kb/s during Windows updates) I don’t use it alot, but it is a nice thing to have around when your traveling, or want a mobile net device. Since my battery frickin lasts forever, it’d make for a great geocaching tool 🙂 … if I had a truck, and not a motorcycle…