View Full Version : Help choosing a Netbook
I have been thinking about getting a Netbook but I don't really know anything about them. What are good brands and are there any good deals right now on the internet for them? Its main uses are going to be checking my email and surfing the net sometimes instead of sitting at my desktop.
The main netbook issues for me are battery life and wifi quality/distance. Many netbooks come with cheapo terrible quality wifi cards which is made even worse by the requirement to use short wifi antennas due to size. I think one of the better netbooks available these days is the Asus Eee PC 1005 PE-P. It should have Windows 7 and the Atheros AR9285 BGN wifi card in it, which one of the better wifi cards. This is a good wifi card. Battery life is good in this model. I have an older MSI Wind netbook that I had to change the wifi card and battery life is shorter due to an older processor.
I bought an Acer netbook a couple of weeks ago at Costco @ $299. No complaints so far. My main use for it was Wifi surfing the web and using Streets & Trips with GPS, though I did load Office 2007 on it as well. Good battery life. You do have to pay a bit more attention to typing on the 93% of full size keyboard.
3 things I totally disliked about netbooks:
the keyboard is too small
the solid state hard drives are way too small (I have a couple of friends who always complain that the temporary brower files fill up their drive, causing error messages)
the monitor is too small
Having said that, I now use a Samsung NC10 netbook (approx. $350). The components that I consider particularly helpful are:
160 GB hard drive, don't buy anything smaller
Bluetooth, it's just convenient to use a Bluetooth mouse
Windows, it really depends on the software you want to run, but some of the software I use is Windows only
External screen, I connect it at home and get the full picture and still have the portability for traveling
Max out your RAM, this will noticeably improve your netbook performance
I am not a fan of them. You can spend just a little bit more (maybe a total of $500-600) and end up with a much better machine. Even if it weighs 1-1.5 pounds more, the gain in features and battery life far outweighs the benefits of being "small." Netbooks are sub-par on performance and that is part of their design.
I have an Acer for about two years now and love it. I maxed out the ram and given the parameters of the netbook, it's small size is great to take it with me everywhere I go. I just bought an Asus netbook for my wife and she is trilled with it. Takes it to work with her everyday.
I've been happy with my ASUS netbook (XP, 160 GB hard drive, 7 hour battery).
Do not look at anything other than the Acer Aspire One 1410 or 1810. They are real notebooks with great processors that are fully functional and will not disappoint. They are only a touch larger Than your average net book, but are real, no-joke laptops. I'm very happy with mine, though my ipad has bumped it to the side a bit. ;)
Also, do take a close look at the iPad. If you just want to do email, Internet & a few other things, the iPad is a very awesome device.
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