View Full Version : Netbook opinions wanted

2009-Feb-05, 10:30 AM
Picking up some on-the-side work (recession be darned; it's good to be wanted) and need a new computer for my non 9-to-5 work stuff.

As it won't be my "main" machine, or at least, simply doesn't need heavy processing power - my main concern is portability - so I've started leaning towards the "netbook" end of the market. It's mostly "consulting" - so mostly just need to read documents and such. (Prefer 10" screen or better).

(Proper "powerful" laptops - but little ones with 12-13" screens - are darned expensive.)

Has anyone here used one (a netbook)? Got one? Have a recommendation?

Machines available here are things like the Dell Mini 9 & 12 (10 soon?), the Acer and Asus range, the older MSI Wind machines and the Toshiba NB100.

[Of course, for just a few hundred more I can get a low-end 15.4" screen "normal" laptop (with much more power and better specs) - but that gets a bit big and heavy for what I want (and it's hard to avoid temptation like adding better video etc.. that adds more $$). Overall, the Dell Vostro 13" models seem a good alternative to the netbooks - and reasonably small; I like the Lenovo SL series too - due to the stick pointer - but they are relatively much more expensive.]

Overall, the machine I'm currently lusting after is the 2Gb HD screen version of the HP Mini 2140. (Main issue here is that the resellers all seem confused about the specifications... and the HP site does not clear things up much).

Any comments or suggestions? Do you have a netbook you hate/love? Do you use it for "business" or for surfing BAUT in the bath?

2009-Feb-05, 07:27 PM
I just purchased an Lenovo S10e for $299 and like it. Battery life could be better. About 2 hrs max when using WiFi.

2009-Feb-05, 10:30 PM

Sadly that's one that doesn't seem available here. I tried the toll-free support number at Lenovo - to ask if it might be comming to my country - but got sick of being on hold so never asked the question...

Is there a pointer on that keyboard other than the touchpad? I saw something mentioned in a review but it wasn't clear what they meant. I REALLY like the stick-pointer that IBM (now Lenovo) laptop keyboards have http://shopap.lenovo.com/ISS_Static/WW/ap/common/images/builder/features/slseries/features_trackpoint_70x70.jpg (and some Dells too...) and that might sell me on the Ideapad...

2009-Feb-06, 02:47 AM
...I REALLY like the stick-pointer that IBM (now Lenovo) laptop keyboards have...Have you used one? When I tried one out, it was a bother because it was so "in one tiny space" amongst the keys and didn't give as precise control as a touchpad. Might be a case of simply getting used to it, tho.
Examined the 7" Asus (http://www.geeks.com/search.asp?SI=2c03d9d8-60c1-4976-b3a8-79efca736209&Action=14&AXD=http%3a%2f%2fwww.geeks.com%2fdetails.asp%3finv tid%3dEEEPC4G-701XP-WHT-R%26cpc%3dSCH%7eEEEPC4G-701XP-WHT-R%7eAsus+Eee+PC+4G+701+Celeron+M+900MHz+512MB+4GB+ SSD+7+XP+Home+(White)%7e212.99) at the local Computer Geek store yesterday. Liked the size and screen, but it was limited to a 4GB solid-state disk.
Just noticed their catalog shows a 10" (http://www.geeks.com/search.asp?SI=2c03d9d8-60c1-4976-b3a8-79efca736209&Action=14&AXD=http%3a%2f%2fwww.geeks.com%2fdetails.asp%3finv tid%3dBLK-EEEPC1000HD-XP-R%26cpc%3dSCH%7eBLK-EEEPC1000HD-XP-R%7eAsus+Eee+PC+1000HD+Celeron+M+900MHz+1GB+120GB+ 10+XP+Home+(Black)%7e249.99) with 120GB...

2009-Feb-06, 03:27 AM
The thing I really hated about using a netbook was the tiny keyboard. More particularly, having to repeatedly switch between its tiny keyboard and a normal-sized keyboard all the time really killed my typing speed. I love a small, light notebook, but unfortunately the netbooks don't cut it because their size came at the cost of crippling my ability to get work done. Maybe if I end up in a situation where the netbook is the only computer I ever use much (so it's the only keyboard I need to be used to) I'd consider one again, but otherwise no.

2009-Feb-06, 03:55 AM
Have you used one?

Yes - on work-supplied laptops from 3 different jobs, including my current Dell Latitude. When I've been using them for a while, I get really good - much better than I've ever been with a touchpad; though I confess to using a regular optical mouse when at my desk at work, on my docking station.


Went visiting some shops today. Saw the Toshiba NB100 up close - looked much too small; the keyboard was visibly smaller than the Aspire One next to it (and that was the 8.9" screen version of the One).

I definitely think I want a 10" to 13" screen (preferably better than 600 pixels vertical resolution) and a keyboard no smaller than 92% or so of normal. (The Dell Mini 12 would be good, if they'd not done stuff like solder the RAM on board...).

2009-Feb-06, 04:35 AM
If you have a friend who knows computers, if you ask him/her to help you out you can buy a barebones laptop for up to half off the price of what you find in the store.

2009-Feb-07, 02:04 AM
Thanks, but (regardless of whether or not I need a friend to do that for me) it's not what I'm after.

2009-Feb-07, 07:17 AM
The Asus 10" Eee models are quite nice. I have a 9" eee 901, and the extra keyboard size that the 10" has, plus the extra drive space would be nice. Overall though, I'm quite happy (especially with the 6 hour battery life).

2009-Feb-10, 03:40 AM
...Machines available here are things like...the older MSI Wind machines...This looks interesting...
January 30, 2009
MSI Wind U120
An update to the original MSI Wind...
laptopmag.com (http://www.laptopmag.com/review/laptops/wind-u120.aspx?page=1)