Monday, June 8, 2009

Off to London, New York City & Netbook Chatter (Samsung NC10)

Well, I'm off to the land of the Union Jack tomorrow. Wrapping
up things today at work and then packing. It's sort of funny that
I've trekked to many far off places but haven't really had a chance
to tour London yet. I'll be going with my mom for a week before
stopping by New York City for a few days (a family friend's
wedding.) I'll be back on June 24.

I'm always super excited when I'm
getting ready to travel.

I think I've done enough research to be an expert at
London's transportation system. This is by no mean's
going to be a leisurely vacation as I often get very
ambitious when hitting a place I haven't before.

I always want to try everything I can. In fact, in planning the
itinerary out - I can already tell I need another trip back to
London already because I couldn't fit in everything I wanted
to this time around.

Since travel deals are so awesome this year, I did manage to
score a great deal on air fare and hotel. $1200 for round trip
tickets from New York City to London including 6 nights at
the Intercontinental Park Lane in London. Of course the not
so great thing is thath the flight has a stop over and is a
red-eye. I think staying at the Intercontinental will make
up for this. The Intercontinental Park Lane is in sight of
Buckingham Palace.

Items on the itinerary include Afternoon Tea at the Ritz Carlton,
time at the Royal Botanical Gardens (Kew Gardens), going to Bath,
England for what else but the hot spring, lunch while cruising down
the Thames River, Borough Markets and more.

We'll also be going to Stratford-Upon-Avon (Shakespeare's
hometown), visiting Warwick Castle and having lunch in the

Of course there's also the city of a thousand spires, Oxford
and Christchurch College where Alice in Wonderland was
imagined and written.

I thought this was a pretty fun picture from the Daily Mail
of cleaners on Big Ben. I don't even want to imagine what
it's like that far up because I'm afraid of heights (strangely
enough I have no issues with flying at all - but if you put me
on the edge of a precipice with no railing...)

I hope you don't mind if I deviate from interiors to some
travel posts instead. It's my other great love in life.

Prior to this trip, I was looking at netbooks including
the beautiful Vivienne Tam designed HP netbook. Sorry,
I'm going to get a bit geeky now. It sort of comes with the
territory if you live in the Silicon Valley.
This little netbook is less than 3 pounds and the red
lacquer on it is to die for! It's like red nail polish!

Feature include the following:

  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 1 x 6.6 inches
  • 3 Cell Battery
  • Comes with XP Home
  • 60 GB of Hard Drive Space
  • 1.6 GHz Intel Atom Processor
  • 1 GB of RAM (You can buy a 2GB RAM chip to upgrade)

HP Mini 1140 NR

The HP mini goes for just under $600 at Amazon. I've
seen prices range from around $600 -$700 with an
occasional one that's been refurbished in the $500 range.

There is a separate mouse that you can purchsae that
matches the netbook. It's available at Amazon for $69.

Before making my decision, however, I checked another
netbook by Samsung. Samsung has sold laptops for a while
now in Asia but they never released any laptops here in the
U.S. until recently. Their entry laptop was actually a netbook
and it's made a killer impression because of it's great design
and value.
It comes in 4 colors including pink. Girls, how can you
Not like this color? It's the perfect Bubble Gum Pink.
What's even more impressive are it's specs. When you
compare the specs of this pink babe with the HP Mini,
you'll see that it has twice the battery power and twice
the hard drive space for a much lower price. To top things
off, I'm really picky when it comes to my keyboards and the
Samsung NC10's keyboard is 93% of a regular keyboard
which makes typing a joy.

  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 1 x 6.6 inches
  • 6 Cell Battery (8 hours of battery life
    and a 9 cell battery is also available)
  • Comes with XP Home
  • 120 GB of Hard Drive Space
  • 1.6 GHz Intel Atom Processor
  • 1 GB of RAM (You can upgrade to 2GB RAM)

The pink netbook is fashionable with white on
the inside. It's got 3 USB ports which is also
more than the HP Mini, built in Wi-Fi card and
a built in web cam which is pretty cool.

The Samsung NC10 also comes in blue, black and white.
If pink isn't your color then perhaps this cool blue will
do isntead.
The white is actually pretty slick too.

Samsung NC10 Pink Power

But in the end, I couldn't resist the pink. I've compared
many sites for pricing and ended buying it at Amazon
because it had the best price. The ones I found on Ebay
for less were refurbished ones and not new. The Samsung
netbooks go for between $389-$420 on Amazon and shipping
is free.

Why did I go with the Samsung over the HP Mini? I think a
little bit of practicality won out. I think the HP Mini is the
most gorgeous little netbook on the market, but I couldn't
bring myself to pay $200-$300 more just for the paint job
when the Samsung laptop was less money, more powerful
and had much better specs - not to mention the fab keyboard
an 8 hours of battery life. I bought a 2GB RAM chip and
it was super easy to install. When typing on the keyboard,
you don't even notice that it is any different from typing on a
regular sized keyboard and I LOVE that! The mousepad does
take getting used to but I'd trade a smaller mouse pad for a
larger keyboard any day. My solution is to bring along a small
ditigal mouse.

I'm trying it out on my trip so I will let you know how it goes.
Have any of you considered the netbooks above? Any thoughts?

In the meantime, my posts will not be as regular but I will try
to get in a couple posts a week while I'm away.

Photos from, Daily Mail,,, and