I'm going to be spending fall semester in the homeland of Shakespeare and the gang, and I'm very excited. And I'm thinking of getting a gadget or three.
It started out with me thinking about getting a new laptop. My current laptop is about ten years old, and while it works well and I like it a lot for working at home, it's heavy and doesn't do wi-fi (though I think I could get a card thing to make it do that?).
So, I'm trying to decide about what to get. I'm hoping for something really light, but big enough to have a comfortable keyboard (I have fairly small hands, so I don't think that's a huge issue), and with enough power to do what I usually do in terms of programs: I want it to be able to run Word, Excel, a web-browser, and a photo-manipulation software. I'm willing to get an external disc drive, figuring that I wouldn't carry it most of the time.
Thoughts? Netbook or laptop? Brands?
I was also thinking about getting some mp3 player thing, so that I can upload audio books. I listen to audio books at night to help me sleep, and it would be helpful to have something little that I could use (though I guess I'd have to get a little speaker thingy?). I COULD do that on a laptop/netbook, though, right?
I went to look at mp3 players at a local "Most Superior Purchase" store, and there are two sorts. There are these little tiny ones with no screen, but I can't imagine how you'd decide what you wanted to listen to on those, and ones with a screen. But the ones with a screen cost nearly $200. That's a lot, especially for something that's small enough that I might put it through the laundry. (I put a phone through the laundry, so now I'm sort of alerted to my bad habits.)
And if I'm going to pay $200, why not go up to a tablet thing? So I sidled over to the tablet stand, which only had iPads, but later I looked elsewhere. There are tablets that start around $200, and go up, and then I could read on it, too, or watch movies or such (at least on some of them).
As soon as I got near the iPad stand, a salesperson came to talk to me. I think I look like a likely customer. I asked about books, and he said I could find anything I wanted to read on the iStore thingy. So we looked. Yep, you can get editions of Titus, but not an edition I'd find useful. I couldn't find any academic books I thought to look for, though (I used Dollimore's Radical Tragedy as my test, since it's pretty darned popular for an academic book).
And that makes it useless for my needs, right? I mean, I can borrow books to just read at the library. I love the local library, and especially love that they move books around the area public libraries with amazing rapidity and apparent ease. But if I'm going overseas, then having academic books would be great.
One of my friends helped me find academic ebooks on line, later, and you can, indeed, get lots of them. But they're way more expensive than the print verions.
And, yes, you can read them on an iPad or a computer, so long as it can read the format (you can get pdfs).
So I'm at an impasse. Really, I could afford whichever of these I want, but mentally, it's hard for me. I'm thinking a netbook.