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Review: Acer Timeline PC & EMobile D31HW

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With starting this website, I thought it would be a good idea to have reliable access when moving around Japan. So this weekend, I purchased a new laptop and a EMobile access USB stick.

The laptop is this model: Acer Timeline 3810

AcerTimeline.jpg


Main selling points for me were mainly the weight & battery life. I hope to get some good use out of it for various uses including managing this site. So far, I'm very pleased with the operational aspect... despite it having Vista as a default OS. That's fine though, I'm going to reformat it and install Windows 7 anyway.

In addition to the laptop, I picked up a EMobile USB stick (D31HW) on the Super Light Data Plan (21mbps).

D31HW.jpg


I already was making use of an older model that my company supplies, which was running at 7.2mbps. So far in initial tests, I do notice vast difference in site load times when using the newer EMobile USB stick.

You can get the details of the EMobile plan and other products here: EMobile Japan - It's in Japanese and there is no English page available except for basic company information.

All in all, I paid about 105,000 YEN for everything I picked up this weekend.

I'll follow up later with more details about my thoughts on the laptop after I get some heavy usage on it this week. I already know what to expect from EMobile, I'll do some comparison about speed and locations I visit around Tokyo though.

Couple of notes on EMobile: The current USB stick I have DOES have an English install option and it will work with Windows 7. (In addition to the usual Windows XP and Vista versions in both English & Japanese.)


Disclaimer: I don't work for EMobile or the Acer company. This is strictly a independent review of products I am using personally.
 
Update on this review:

1) The Emobile service has been great, as expected. No real comments there.

2) The Laptop has been great in all regards except one. The keyboard... I have some trouble using the keyboard's backspace key and 'Page Up' key. They are right next to each other and both small in size. Every time I try to hit the backspace key, I always go too far and hit the "Page Up" key. There's really no way to fix the problem, I just have to be careful when I'm typing. The size of the key isn't the problem, it's the position. I'm just not used to another key being to the right of the backspace key...

Other than point #2 - this combination works great when I've got things to do and need a good remote connection for various purposes.

Sidenote: The PC did come with Vista and I did dump it immediately for Windows 7 (RC at the time) and now have the full retail version going with no problems. Had to modify the keyboard settings for a Japanese keyboard, but that was all. Good times.

Thanks for reading and I hope you find this information useful.


[same disclaimer applies, but add in Emboile, don't work for that company either.]
 
You are right about that keyboard. Took a look at it while out shopping today in Akihabara, I do like the weight and style otherwise. I may pick one of those up or something similar. The smaller 'Net-books' are just too small for my hands...
 
Update from my last post. This weekend, I picked up one of the emobile usb sticks. I think it's same model from above. I know it's 21mbps and it's pure wireless love. ;) They also enrolled me in this Wireless Gate service thing, but I'll probably cancel after the 2nd or 3rd month if I don't find any use for it.

Now I need to pick up a small laptop of some type, maybe a used one.
 
Thanks for the review. I'm going to Tokyo for 20 days and plan to use emobile. Do you know specific store addresses or other ways to get it? What type of contract do you sign to get $105 deal?
Thanks!
 
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Thanks for the review. I'm going to Tokyo for 20 days and plan to use emobile. Do you know specific store addresses or other ways to get it? What type of contract do you sign to get $105 deal?
Thanks!

Sadly, you would need to be a resident here in order to get a contract or regular service from Emobile. Default contract is two years and I'm not aware of any temporary plan for visitors. You would need to show your passport and Alien Registration Card with a stay of more than 90 days in order to qualify for a contract.

You may be able to get a rental data service from DoCoMo or Softbank, but I'm not sure...

Sorry if this isn't very helpful. :(
 
Sadly, you would need to be a resident here in order to get a contract or regular service from Emobile. Default contract is two years and I'm not aware of any temporary plan for visitors. You would need to show your passport and Alien Registration Card with a stay of more than 90 days in order to qualify for a contract.

You may be able to get a rental data service from DoCoMo or Softbank, but I'm not sure...

Sorry if this isn't very helpful. :(

Sad :( So EMobile does not offer rentals?
 
I did some additional research to be sure and it appears they do not. You can check with the rental shops at the airports to see what they offer. I don't recall seeing a Emobile shop that had rentals available.

You may be interested in this from Softbank:

Phones: Mobile Data Communication | SoftBank Global Rental

Main Page Here:

Mobile Phones Rental Service in Japan | SoftBank Global Rental

Thank you very much for your research. But those guys are really greedy :mad: $16 a day?!
 
This is good stuff to know, but I really want a MacPro. lol

Ironically, I need to get a Mac for some development projects I'm helping with on the side. I guess you have to have a Mac to fully develop iPhone/iPad Apps.

Have no idea what I'm going to get...
 
Did you ever get that Mac? If so, what did you get. I just recently started looking at Macs about a week ago. There are so manh combinations and I am not really sure I want to spend the money right now. Anyways, I do believe you are right about the development and syncing of apps. Having a Mac makes it a whole lot easier.