If you read my previous posts in this thread you would see that I used a small desktop
PC for my Nav computer. Though it lasted 2 years it finally died about a month ago. I have now purchased a ASUS 1000HE and installed Coastal Explorer 2009 on it. I've had it out for one day sail so far and it has worked just fine. I chose the SE because it has a maximum power draw of 30 watts and a 9 hour battery
. My experience so far is that even driving the USB powered Garmin
GPS18, I'm getting over 8 hours off of the battery
. It also works well driving my large monitor
if I want when I'm running under power. I really like being able to reduce my power draw when running under sail. The HE model also has built in bluetooth so I can still use my full size wireless mouse and keyboard, though the built in keyboard is not that bad, only slightly smaller than standard, I hate those finger pads that substitute for a mouse, but that's a personal preference.
I have tried the unit on deck
and found that I can read the display in full sun unless the sun is directly over my shoulder and shining on the screen
. Under the hardtop it is completely usable. In addition, this unit comes with a zippered neoprene cover. By keeping the unit in that cover when not in use along with a silica gel packet, I'm hoping to avoid some of the issues of a computer in a high humidity boat environment
So far I'm completely happy with the machine. From time to time I'll update this thread with any issues or successes using CE on a netbook. So far this seems to be a very good low cost solution to an on board nav computer.