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Netbook advice

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  • BPritchard
    replied
    I'm late into the discussion since I just joined the forums.

    I purchased a Dell Mini 9 from the Dell outlet last Christmas. I got 1gig memory, 16gig SSD, bluetooth, and XP. These were my minimun requirements, except for the memory. I had planned to get a 2gig stick from Crucial.

    I installed Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007. Runs fine. Upgraded to IE8.

    The 16gig SSD is plenty. A spinning drive defeats the purpose of a Netbook. For more storage I use my 320 gig passport. This is not a laptop replacement. I bought it for use on trips and everyday portable use. It is my main EBook reader. For email, I use my Roadrunner Webmail.

    I also have a slimline DVD/CD burner. This I use to burn CD's of my camera chips while on trips. I also copy to the external hard drive. Protects me from any disasters such as losing a camera, etc.

    The netbook is a perfect traveling companion; also for a student who doesn't need a full laptop, and for research purposes.

    Just make sure you backup important files and keep the SSD drive clean of temp files, etc.

    I have a Windows 7 RC CD which I plan to install.

    For a good website on the mini 9 and other netbooks, see http://www.mydellmini.com/

    Leave a comment:


  • Jenne
    replied
    Originally posted by brantroz View Post
    If you have any questions about installing alternate Operating Systems from flash disk, I can point you to some tutorials. (My buddy just got OS 10x working on his Asus.)
    I just got an ASUS 900HD (the red was on sale at Best Buy.) So far, I really enjoy it, but since I got it for travel and writing my dissertation, I haven't used it very much at home. I think the keyboard will be fine, but if not, I have a bluetooth foldable keyboard that I know I can use comfortably. I have fairly small hands.

    Mine is XP (which I am very comfortable with.) I had hoped to install Ubuntu and play with that, but quickly got frustrated with what documentation I could find online about installing Ubuntu and about dual-booting. It would be cool to see a tutorial. I mostly wanted to just get familiar with Ubuntu (I already have access to OS10 at work) but I don't want to wreck my new baby just to learn it.

    Leave a comment:


  • rabergnc
    replied
    The majority of netbooks being sold have XP on them. Apparently 70% of those folks that buy the Linux machines return them while most XP folks keep theirs. My MSI Wind U100 came with XP which was fine. A couple of weeks ago I installed Windows 7 (now available in Release Candidate version free to download). It work amazingly well - takes about 30 seconds longer to load but once it's up it is a good deal faster than XP. Needed to do nothing special to the machine for it to run. I had tried the Mac OS X on the Wind and that took a bunch of tweaking to work. Got rid of it and replaced OS X with Windows 7 which I will keep until the RC version expires in June 2010 - after that, who knows? When not traveling, I live on a Macbook.

    Leave a comment:


  • Foggy Morn
    replied
    Originally posted by mrae View Post
    I am, apparently the rare XP user here. A friend of mine gave me the original ASUS which sits unused. I couldn't adjust to the Linux or the tiny screen.

    ...
    My Acer Aspire One is WinXP. Sorry for not mentioning that. The WordStar I mentioned uses TameDOS, which I use through WinXP.

    I agree with your assessment of linux as that's another reason the little Eee PC (701) doesn't work for me. Linux is just too arcane and I don't want to have to bother with it. (This from someone whose first computer was a CPM machine!)

    I'm a writer, which is why the keyboard is so important to me, but it also makes my requirements fairly minimal. If the keyboard on the Eee PC (701) had been usable, then applications such as JDarkroom, Writer's Café, etc., would have made the linux issue less annoying.

    Leave a comment:


  • mrae
    replied
    I am, apparently the rare XP user here. A friend of mine gave me the original ASUS which sits unused. I couldn't adjust to the Linux or the tiny screen.

    After reading comparisons, reviews, and user issues I ended up with the ASUS 1000HE. It was between that and the Samsung and price ended up being the deciding factor for me. The ASUS was on sale for $300. I love it. The keyboard is a good size, battery has a very long life- over 7 hours.
    The only negative is that, compared to other models, the ASUS is fairly heavy.

    Leave a comment:


  • ifse
    replied
    I don't think that right now, you achieve these 3 things at the same time: a) Under $300, b) Decent keyboard, which to me means a model with a screen size of 10" or larger, and c) Good battery life, 4 hours or longer of actual use.

    The ones closest to meeting all 3 criteria would be an Acer Aspire One AOD150 (not AOA) or an MSI Wind 120. but they cost slightly more than $300.

    Of course, as with all things computer-related, just wait a few months until the price drops into your range

    Leave a comment:


  • Foggy Morn
    replied
    I love my little Acer Aspire One. I also have an old EeePC 701 (the really small one) and it's too small to use (for me, anyway).

    The AAO has all that I need, with the exception of bluetooth, which I added with a small dongle. The keyboard works well for me and that was the main criteria that I used to select it.

    I strongly suggest you try out the various keyboards and see which one works best for you. Some of the smaller keyboards are way tiny, while others have put keys in strange places. Test first, if you can.

    The AAO works well with my cell modem and when there's wifi, I've had good luck with signing on.

    The trackpad is much improved if you go into the device driver for it (look for the Synaptic logo - it's a red oval-ish with a swish in it LOL yeah, great description, eh?) and enable all the taps and rotate features. There's a scrolling feature called chiral that is especially convenient. Note that many netbooks (and laptops) have Synaptic touchpads, so check and see if you can enable them in whatever machine you get. (In other words, this isn't limited to Acer or the Aspire One.)

    Get a six-cell battery if you can. The one I have for my AAO has surprised me by often getting more than the rated time. It really does just keep going, and going...

    The netbooks are all similar, but not entirely so, so make sure the features are the best fit for you.

    They are great fun! I have an MBA - and love it, too - but it's quick and easy to throw the AAO in a bag (now the cork Swift ) and head out. Good luck finding the right one for you!

    Leave a comment:


  • pretzelb
    replied
    I think I could get by with a SSD drive. While it might be slower, I don't plan on doing much besides word processing and web browsing and I can't see that impacting the speed much. This is a hard choice. Just when you find something nice and cheap, you find a neat feature for just a bit more, and then something else for a bit more, and on and on. I think I need a hard price target to help limit me. I know I'd like to stick below $300. This is going to be a tough one.

    Leave a comment:


  • maverick
    replied
    heh - on the heels of this post, i see an announcement for the lenovo ideapad s12 - "... the S12 can handle HD video playback..."

    i think i'll definitely hold out for an offering from apple, but this sounds pretty nice compared to other offerings i've come across.

    Originally posted by maverick View Post
    i tried the lenovo ideapad s10.

    my objective in getting it was to have a small device that could be used for watching movies and quickly checking email while traveling.

    we have ripped the dvd's we've purchased and have them in our itunes library that gets synced with our appletv. it's a great solution. you have quick and easy access to all your dora, diego and leapfrog videos without having to worry about scratching your dvd's. so it was an easy leap to throw that library onto the ideapad and take it with us.

    and i got over the fact that it runs windows. but i couldn't get over the poor video performance. it was very choppy to the point of being unusable.

    so we sent it back. amazon accepted the return with a 10% restocking fee.

    i really want apple to do a tablet like device. it could just run all of the software that the ipod touch runs, or mac os x. i'm sure apple would choose the right components to provide usable video quality. and of course the user interface would feel very natural. all of those things we take for granted in a device from apple would be present.

    Leave a comment:


  • maverick
    replied
    i tried the lenovo ideapad s10.

    my objective in getting it was to have a small device that could be used for watching movies and quickly checking email while traveling.

    we have ripped the dvd's we've purchased and have them in our itunes library that gets synced with our appletv. it's a great solution. you have quick and easy access to all your dora, diego and leapfrog videos without having to worry about scratching your dvd's. so it was an easy leap to throw that library onto the ideapad and take it with us.

    and i got over the fact that it runs windows. but i couldn't get over the poor video performance. it was very choppy to the point of being unusable.

    so we sent it back. amazon accepted the return with a 10% restocking fee.

    i really want apple to do a tablet like device. it could just run all of the software that the ipod touch runs, or mac os x. i'm sure apple would choose the right components to provide usable video quality. and of course the user interface would feel very natural. all of those things we take for granted in a device from apple would be present.

    Leave a comment:


  • brantroz
    replied
    HP Mini 1000

    Howdy,

    I thought I might as well add my $.02 to the discussion. I have purchased and configured multiple HP Mini 1000 netbooks at this point, and while I love the Asus and MSI models, I just can't get beyond HP's "almost" full sized keyboard. Great weight and feel, same specs as all above models, but a little bit wider (1024/600 I think?) and the keyboard rocks.

    I would recommend 2gb ram (mine came with 1gb, and it was cheaper to get after-market 2gb stick) and 16gb SSD drive (to stretch the battery life.) I also upgraded to the 6-cell battery, which gives over 5 hours of video playback, and better than that w/ light surfing.

    Only gripe, they moved the left and right-click mouse buttons to the sides of the touch pad. It can be a little awkward at first. I use it primarily intandem w/ a Logitech Nano mouse, and it gets the job done.

    Oh, and you can get a version w/ HP's custom Linux distro "mi" which will get your price down a little. Configured (and with a coupon from Dealcatcher.com) Mine came in just under $380 for one machine, plus another $50 to add a 16gb SD card and the aformentioned 2gb memory. (I run linux on the SD card and XP Pro on the 16gb internal SSD.)

    If you have any questions about installing alternate Operating Systems from flash disk, I can point you to some tutorials. (My buddy just got OS 10x working on his Asus.)

    Best,

    -B

    Leave a comment:


  • Frank II
    replied
    I have the ASUS 900 and found the keyboard and HD way too small. So, I got an ASUS 1000HE--92% size of normal keyboard, fastest processor of all netbooks, great HD size, good for basic office stuff, surfing the web, etc. They are not meant to be game machines.

    So far, I'm very happy with the ASUS 1000HE......I looked at the others and came close to getting the HP because of its keyboard. But the faster processor sold me on the ASUS 1000HE.

    Leave a comment:


  • ifse
    replied
    You are right in prioritizing keyboard and touchpad. I find that netbooks 9" and smaller are too small to type comfortably or without many mistakes. Netbooks 10" and larger have keyboards at least 93% the size of a standard laptop keyboard, and I think that's the minimum size acceptable.

    There are 3 models I would recommend that you evaluate:
    - Samsung N110
    - Samsung N120
    - Asus Eee 1000HE

    They are similar but have slight differences in battery, speakers, design and price that may sway you one way or another. You can get detailed reviews for all 3 on this site: http://computershopper.com/netbooks/...s/samsung-n120. They are all available from amazon.

    I have an older Samsung model, the NC10 and am very happy with it. If I were to purchase today, it would be a toss-up between the N120 and the 1000HE.

    Leave a comment:


  • KarlJ
    replied
    Another Mini 9 User...

    I have a Dell Mini 9 (2GB / 16GB SSD / 16GB Class 6 SDHC / 1.3MP Webcam). Love it, love it, love it.

    When I'm out and about, it takes little room inside my Large Cafe Bag in a custom fitted sleeve. My battery life is good for four hours.

    The keyboard does take some getting used to (I did, so...). It's so light, it's a joy to carry around even when I'm out shopping or running errands (gives me an excuse to pop into Starbucks or Panera Bread ).

    Leave a comment:


  • Lime
    replied
    I have an Asus Eee PC 900HA which I'm very impressed with. I got it a month ago and just in time since my desktop just broke down two days ago. I'm using it right now. What a champ!

    Leave a comment:

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