Traveling lightweight with the Eee PC

Eee PC (right) compared to Toshiba laptop
Toshiba compared to Eee PC | Photo by Lauren Girardin

There’s a scene in the movie Prefontaine where Bill Bowerman, the coach of the eponymous running superstar, explains the logic behind his design for a new sneaker that is as light as is possible from 1970s’ materials and technology. The coach, who later went on to co-found Nike, explains that if you shave off a fraction of an ounce from sneakers, over a long-distance run each step you take is that same fraction of an ounce lighter. Since you take thousands of steps during the race, you’ll carry hundreds of fewer pounds. You’ll tire slower. You’ll run faster. You’ll win the race.

So, if I can trade my five pound laptop for one half the weight, even knowing I’ll leave it behind in the hotel every so often, over the course of a year of traveling how many fewer pounds will I have hauled?

Lots and lots.

While I was shopping for our ultra-light laptop, I really wanted a MSI Wind, but shipping was delayed, week after week. Instead I bought us the next best thing: a tiny ASUS Eee PC.

I can easily lift the laptop between my thumb and forefinger. Even the power cord’s adapter unit is tiny. My brother Brian installed a bunch of software. I’ve stripped Windows XP to bare bones so the Eee PC runs as fast as its little-engine-that-could-style processor allows.

Now all Todd and I have to do is get used to typing on a 8″ wide keyboard along with small delays when opening, closing and saving. It’s a worthwhile trade off for a laptop that weighs little more than a San Francisco super burrito.