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Netbook Help

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  • Netbook Help

    My wife is in need of a computing system. I have already have a killer desktop, a mid level desktop and a I don't really need much as far as capabilities. If I want to rip a movie, cd or need high processing power I have something that can handle it. What she will be using it for is Surfing the web, some music listening, google calendar, taking notes for school, some light Word/excel duties, maybe a basic power point presentation,etc. There will be no gaming other than maybe solitaire or something. I would like some flexibility to be able to customize the system,I have read some netbooks won't let you change the desktop background. I am looking to not spend a ton but have something that can perform the basic functions.

    What are the limitations of a netbook?

    I would love to get this forums input on what to buy....I guess $350 is really the price tag I would like to not exceed. Pink or Girl Green would be the color she would like. Any input would be helpful.

  • #2
    The Acer Aspire Netbook is near that price. Comes with a Atom N270 processor, 2GB of memory, 11.6" LCD display with LED backlight and 160GB HD. Comes with Windows7 loaded. Got this for my wife at christmas. I like it as it is a bit bigger than my Asus EEEPC Windows XP Netbook for typing and web surfing. This has IEEE802.11 N WiFi adaptor installed.

    Most Netbooks do not have CD/DVD-ROM drives to load s/w. You can get an external one as I did to use with both of ours.

    I use my Asus as a music player running Foobar2000 version 1 software using kernel streaming to a USB external headphone DAC. Sounds great to me.

    Loaded Office 2007 on each netbook and it runs just fine.

    The nice thing it weighs under 3lbs and is very portable.

    Hope this helps.
    Better living through Audio Nirvana!


    • #3
      I'm very happy with my Dell 10v that I bought from the Dell Refurb web site. Of course I run Mac OSX on it rather than Windows or Linux, but the hardware has been great as a second computer for grabbing to go to the coffee shop or whatever. It isn't a substitute for the main computer, however.
      Tweak City Audio WAF-1, Paradigm PS1000, Jolida FX-10 tube amp, Samsung Blu-ray, Beresford TC-7520 DAC, Apple Airport Express (living room)

      Hawthorne Audio 101515 OB Trio DIY speakers, DIY Bottlehead Stereomour 2A3 amp, DIY 6CL6 SPUD amp, Rythmik 370 OB Plate Amps (in stereo), Beresford TC-7520 DAC, Macbook Pro/iTunes & Decibel FLAC player for Mac, Sony S370 Blu-ray (listening room)

      Other stuff: Usher S-520, JohnBlue JB-3, MiniWatt, Glow Amp One, Nuforce Icon Mobile, Sennheiser HD595


      • #4
        for me the only real issue with netbooks is screen size. that limitation in and of itself means that they really aren't any more useful then my iPhone.. I usually have my Macbook pro with me anyways and it really isn't a whole lot bigger then a netbook, heavier yeah, but probably more durable too... *shrug* everyones mileage may vary. My parents wanted to get netbooks but when they sat down and tried to use my sisters they were just at a loss, they couldn't read typical 8-12pt type it was just too small.. So they are going to wait on a sale on budget smaller notebooks..

        Still think Craig is in the "Chase" for that sense of humour. :neener 1:


        • #5
          I know its not the right color, but is offering up a Gateway netbook today. Seems decent for the price, but I haven't owned a Gateway since the early 90's and I though it was a POS, but that was a long time ago.


          • #6
            Actually, the Gateway models had some improvements over most netbooks, but are a bit dated brother in law has one, doesn't have built in bluetooth, 802.11N, and a few other things.

            I'd honestly look for a dual-core processor netbook with high resolution...early netbooks had/have poor resolution and while they aren't necessarily super slow...they definitely could benefit from a better processor (which is starting to come out on the market now).

            I recommend the Asus brand as their netbooks have been rated the best from what I've read, and I'm also a happy owner of one. Watch which battery you get with one because some can last a lot longer...and trust me, it's worth it. My netbook lasts me a good 6-7+ hours of internet useage unplugged.

            The limitations are such: Smaller keyboards (Asus had the best keyboard when I purchased), slower processors (unless you get a dual core), low resolution (should be improving soon), smaller screensize, no CD/DVD drive, poor integrated speakers, and that's all I can think of atm. For the price, they're fantastic...and if you shop carefully, you can avoid most of the shortcomings and gain a super-portable highly capable laptop.
            "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us."

            -Bill Watterson


            • #7
              Also, regardless of what you buy, don't forget to check places like tech bargains just in case they have something you want. Here is their netbook page.

              Looking for Laptops deals? Check out the latest sales & special offers. Start saving money today!


              • #8
                So from this I get the conclusion that netbooks are just like every other computer.....everyone has a different opinion.

                It sounds like a netbook is fine for what my wife is going to use it for. My guess is 80% internet/exploring music and 20% word/excel/schoolwork.

                A couple final questions:

                1) WIthout a CD drive what are your options...obviously an external drive...but can you easily hook them up to a desktop via USB and load software via the PC's drive?

                2)With it being a netbook what would the advantage of using Windows 7 vs XP on it?


                • #9
                  You could network the Netbook to another PC and share the CD/DVD drive. This way you can load via Ethernet from your hub. Have not tried that via WiFi, but might work.

                  From what I am reading Windows 7 is faster loading at boot and has better memory management. Should better utilize the Netbook resources. I have not tried my wife's, but she likes W7 on the Acer.
                  Better living through Audio Nirvana!


                  • #10
                    I've used both Win7 and XP on my netbook. XP gets slightly better battery life, but from basic web browsing I got a virus twice in just a few months. WIN7 is safer and has more features plus looks a lot nicer. One thing that I do like on my Asus netbook is that it has a copy of WIN XP stored on a separate partition and you can reformat at any time, any where.

                    As for the lack of CD/DVD drive, you can use an external DVD drive(about $50) that hooks up via USB, use a USB flash drive to load software, or I believe just hook up to another PC. For what you'd most likely use the netbook for, it's not an allows the unit to use less power and take up less space.
                    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us."

                    -Bill Watterson


                    • #11
                      Screen size is the only real negative, IMHO. Get a 10" at minimum, 11" would be better. I bought a refurbed 10" HP on for $260 about 9 months ago. I love the portability and battery life. I got the 8GB solid state drive version. I would get the regular hard drive if I were buying today. I couldn't tell that it wasn't brand-new.

                      At one point we had an HP, Dell, and Acer in the house. Hands down, the HP had the best ergonomics and build quality. The Dell was a close second. The Acer was a distant third.

                      I bought a Samsung USB DVD burner from newegg for $45. Works fine. You can also use a USB flash drive to load software, or connect to your network. Wired worked fine. I did not try wireless.

                      I am running XP with no issues at all. Wouldn't consider Vista and don't see the need for 7 yet.

                      A lightweight 13" to 14" notebook would be another option in the same price range.


                      • #12
                        Thanks for all your help guys....I ended up buying an Acer Aspire Laptop instead of a Netbook. I think in the longrun this is going to be better for my wife. They were on sale at Best Buy for $ isn't the fastest computer but it does have 3gigs of Ram and an AMD athlon 64 1.6ghz processor. I took her up to best buy today and we both decided that the lack of the Cd/DVD drive was a definate drawback as she wants to be able to use it for the kids as a DVD player in some circumstances. She also spent some time looking at and surfing on both a netbook as well as the laptop and the screen size just wasn't going to be good for her. She did like the small size of the netbooks but much preferred the screen size of the laptop. The Laptop also came with Win7 Home premium versus the Win7 starter. In the end I know that we made a better decision buying the laptop.

                        Thanks for your input!!!


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Monkeypimp

                          Thanks for your input!!!
                          That's what we're here for.