It seems to me that in flight Wi-fi that many airlines are looking at may be a moot point. The reason I say this is that the times a person would be more likely to get the service is on longer flights. But that person’s battery would run out on the longer flight making it a moot point. I mean, the airlines aern’t putting in powerports, right? I don’t see a use for wi-fi on a short hour hop.
I’m talking about longer domestic flights (4+ hours), where there is (outside of American) an absence of powerports. Even many airlines lack powerports in their international fleets. And seat guru doesn’t tell me if any airline is installing powerports. Unless I missed something.
Check the comparison charts for the various types of service.
Most people won’t keep their laptop running for 4+ hours straight. I would love to be able to send/rcv emails while flying. Plus lots of people would make use of iphones and other devices that are wifi capable.
Which is why we’re discussing the presence or absence of power ports.
It’s not necessary to keep your laptop up and running for four straight hours, a feat achievable by only a handful of top of the line units, in order to send and receive the odd email. You can suspend or hibernate the unit for most of the flight and extend the battery life significantly.
I wholeheartedly agree that the primary users of the inflight WiFi systems will probably be Crackberry and iPhone users, especially since our esteemed leaders have deemed using cell phones while inflight to be against our best interests.
I could easily get more than four hours of continuous use when my laptop (a MacBook Pro) was new, but now that it (and its battery) is two years old, it’s closer to two. However, usage makes a huge difference: turning the screen brightness way down dramatically lowers the power consumption and hence extends the lifetime; likewise, WiFi use (especially transmitting) and disk use suck up a lot of power.
I could easily be wrong, but I think people will use their laptops to web surf, watch videos, IM their friends, and yes, engage in audio and video chats.
I think people are overestimating the speeds that this will achieve. Your looking at a small network of bandwidth sharing, transmitting over air frequencies. I estimate dial-up, if you see better then that its only because two people are using it. But since everyone knows it’ll be available, good luck seeing anything appreciable.
Audio and video chats will be out of the question, video chats anyways. It’s not like each seat has its own SatCom device linked to a t1 on the ground.
I’ve got stacks of those around from the old days when an hour or two was all you could expect from even the best of laptops. Their big drawback is weight. And heat!
The new Pentium M based laptops have been revolutionary as far as battery life is concerned. My old Thinkpad T40 would happily run for almost 4 hours on battery alone, which was a revelation at the time, and that was with heavy HD use and constant WiFi.
The T41P that replaced the T40 has a 9 cell battery that extended battery life to almost 6 hours.
I had a succession of X series Thinkpads that gave 10 hours use with an external conformal battery that replaced its docking station and as much as 6 hours use with their standard batteries. (J carries one of my old X31s everywhere with him and loves it.)
I eagerly await the receipt of my new Thinkpad T400 (Intel Core 2 Duo processor T9400 with dual-core, 14.1" WXGA+) which gives up to 10 hours of use with a single 9 cell battery and only 5Lbs total weight!
So far I’m happy with my Dell Studio. Sucks that the battery for the Studios are different from the Latitudes or Inspirons of the same size, but that’s life. I’m getting 4+ hours from the 6 cell battery with dual core T8100s. When I need the extra juice, I like having the flat. What I like about my universal external is that I don’t have to buy a new one every time I upgrade. Same battery, different adapter. IF Empower were universal, I’d have no problems - but sadly it isn’t yet. Hell, it’s hard enough to find a 110 outlet in most airports anymore. I even keep a power strip on hand as there’s always people fighting for plug ins.
I should also become a sales rep for iGo Everywhere chargers as I’ve gotten good at running down the benefits of those awesome devices to total strangers, too. “You’re charging your laptop, blackberry and ipod from the same outlet!?!?!”
The iGos are great. Lenovo has been sending me these of late:
AC/DC and Empower input, and they have accessory tips for almost every device ever made so I can finally only carry one power supply for everything.
Don’t tell J though or he’ll liberate my only spare!
That’s awesome of them. If I were not locked into dells through work, I’d buy a lenovo in a heartbeat for this and the many other reasons.
Some of the fleet:
L to R - 15" UXGA-IPS T60P, 14.1" SXGA+ T41P and 14.1" WXGA T61. You can tell from the keyboard wear which one has been my daily driver, although that is changing as they just sent me a new keyboard under warranty and I’m in the process of switching it out.
Been using nothing but Thinkpads for almost 15 years, including the legendary 701C with the “Butterfly” keyboard:
The kids all have Thinkpads, their spouses have one, etc., etc. My wife presently has an HP that her client gave her, but she had a succession of Thinkpads before that from her previous employer and she’s got a backup Thinkpad on the shelf in my shop in case her work HP goes south.
Dells are my second choice for laptops and desktops, their support is second only to IBM/Lenovo on whom it’s modeled. If it comes down to a selection based primarily on price, Dell will frequently come out first.
Its fascinating to see the source of Jhem’s intellect.
HP All The Way!
Good machines at a great price (especially with my discount I get for working at Kaiser)
No proprietary memory chips like Dell
Above average support, especially on the web page.
I have an HP!!! GO HP!!!
Thanks, I guess. Kinda works the other way though. My native intellect provided me with the wherewithal to purchase my first computer many, many years ago. Curiosity and spare time led me to earn my A+, Network+, MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) and MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional) certifications in an effort to learn what makes them tick. I’m also a long time member of the Microsoft Developer Network.
Started rehabbing donated laptops for non-profits and NGOs in retirement. Became an IBM certified repairman so I could more easily obtain parts. One thing led to another and now IBM/Lenovo sends me laptops and other things to play with.
I’m an Admin on the oldest Thinkpad Forum and a moderator on Lenovo’s “official” Forum.
Keeps me off the streets and I hardly ever hear the voices anymore telling me to clean all my guns!