How do you feel about your netbook?

Discussion in 'hardware' started by Osaban, Oct 4, 2009.

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  1. Osaban

    Osaban Registered Member

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    For my taste computers are only interesting in the form of laptops and now netbooks (I have an old desktop inside a cupboard for emergencies, but I'm planning to give it away as space is becoming more and more valuable).

    I couldn't resist buying a netbook (Asus Eee PC 1002HA), and after using it for a couple of months I'm left with mixed feelings about it. It is light 1.2 Kg, "cute" if the adjective can have any practical meaning in terms of design (I do care about design though), and extremely portable.

    With an HD of 160 GB is certainly competitive with most of other 'normal' laptops. Its Intel Atom CPU N270 @ 1.60 GHz, 1GB RAM is fast enough if you are not thinking about Photoshop or opening 7 programs simultaneously.

    Now the most critical feature in my opinion: the display size, 10 inches... I can't get used to it. I dislike mobile phones for their size, and 10'' feels like those computers translators very popular among foreign languages students.
    If I had a chance to buy one again, I'd probably get a 12'' which seems to make a difference although price and weight might go up considerably.

    All in all, I'm happy to have it, but when I switch to my other Asus with a 17'' screen there's a sensation of space and quality of the image that can't be even compared: a different league altogether.
     
  2. TechOutsider

    TechOutsider Registered Member

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    Your lucky to have an Atom CPU. Earlier ones, like the 900, used a Celeron (90nm) vs. 45nm.

    I feel that mine is adequate for word processing and internet browsing. The keyboard is slightly cramped, but I get by fine; you get used to being more nimble.

    What I dislike is how the Celeron gets so hot, so quickly. Since its so small a package (the netbook), there isn't much space for ventiliation. It climbs from about 35 C at startup to the 40s and 50s to 60+ and once it hit 70+, and then it showed sympotms of overheating.

    I know that other netbooks have bigger keyboards and most use Atoms now, but I justed wanted to voice my opinon anyways. Overall, its fine when the ambient temperature is in the 70s to low 80s.
     
  3. BlueZannetti

    BlueZannetti Administrator

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    I still like my netbook quite a bit.

    I do believe that trying to use one as a heavy use light notebook is probably a mistake and one should opt for a 12" laptop, although I'd be willing to revisit that statement with some of the higher resolution displays in the 10-11" format.

    I think it is a great product for...
    • Users who are primarily Mac based and want some swing Windows coverage (I realize a VM with a Windows install would be an alternate solution here).
    • Users looking for an ultralight solution while traveling in which heavy keyboard use is not anticipated.
    • Augmentation of home based desktops for a bit more mobility in the home at low cost - you know, casual surfing while engaged in other activities.
    • Experimentation. Low entry cost if things head south.
    Blue
     
  4. BlueZannetti

    BlueZannetti Administrator

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    One other thing while I think about it...., if you have a netbook with a "slow" SSD drive (example - my wife and her older Acer Aspire One with 8 GB SSD), give a try to FlashFire SSD Accelerator. It has provided a vastly improved user experience due to the low end SSD originally installed. I haven't attempted any of the hardware mods out there for the Aspire One, so this was a quick expedient to fix a vexing problem.

    Blue
     
  5. YeOldeStonecat

    YeOldeStonecat Registered Member

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    14" is my ideal size for the daily use as I go from client to client, I'm constantly taking it out and shutting the lid and running off to the next client. So it's a decent size, resolution, power.

    12" is pretty much the smallest I could use on a day to day basis. Esp an IBM/Lenovo model since their 12" models still have a proper full sized keyboard.

    I got my wife a Dell mini 9 this past spring. After all the "Awwww isn't it cute" comments, several hours later....the realization that
    a- the screen/resolution is simply too small to do anything practical. Even web surfing, and visiting forums...simply too small of a resolution to be useful. Lets not mention spreadsheets or word documents.
    b- Keyboard..ugh, wee compressed and awkward.

    Sold it a few weeks later.
     
  6. tipstir

    tipstir Registered Member

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    For $120 bucks they're neat after a while they don't grow on you. Get the largest screen you can afford. Anything less than 10 inches just way too small.
     
  7. BlueZannetti

    BlueZannetti Administrator

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    It depends on context. A few long haul international trips with tight connections in large airports and your sensitivity to size and weight start to change.

    I do agree - 10" is a minimum, but that also controls other things like keyboard and mouse pad size (which also place this dimension at the minimum). That said, a well designed 10" can be very pleasant to use, a poorly designed 9" can be a horror. It's only an inch, but in some sense it's a world of difference. However, other factors come into play as well. Hand size. Whether you're a touch typist. Uses. A whole lot of wide ranging factors.

    Blue
     
  8. ambient_88

    ambient_88 Registered Member

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    My school provides netbooks (Lenovo IdeaPad S10) for us to use throughout the school year, and I must say that the portability is amazing. Before, I used to carry my 17" laptop around; I am not that big, so it gets tiring carrying it throughout the day (including the books and other school stuff).

    Netbooks are meant for basic use, ie., browsing and word processing. And that's what I mainly do when I use my netbook. I find that my productivity is increased because I can use it practically anywhere, even when space is cramped.
     
  9. ASpace

    ASpace Guest

    Your has 10" display . My first had 7" - Asus eeePC 4G :D

    Do you know what it is working with such screen :D I got it because "it was cute" and small/light .

    My current one is 10" - still small because when I have to work with it for more than an hour my head releases the advantages of the 15"-17" machines.

    But still my other Toshiba laptop is less than 3 kilos , the netbook is 1 kg.

    In my opinion , Sony have some VAIOs - perfect size and weight. Screens big enough , keyboard big enough , weight-pretty light. Quality has its price :)



    Same here . Years ago ... bringing almost three extra kilos all the day ... is a heavy task :)

    How long can you do word processing/typing with the small buttons and looking at the small screen ?
     
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  10. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    I never understood the folks who drag around a laptop with a 17 inch screen. Too heavy and too big to be really useful as a laptop IMO. You really do need a table to put the thing on if you are going to be using it for any length of time. I think these monsters should be referred to as portable desktops, not laptops.

    I have a 12 inch Fujitsu Tablet PC and it really is a dream machine. I can hold it cradled in my left arm and work on it comfortably for hours (I often do so while multitasking - watching TV and doing graphics work). I did go for the better screen available - nice and bright and nice crisp text and detail. Works very well outdoors too. Keyboard size (for when I need it) is fine,,,and I have big hands. This is an excellent day in day out machine.

    That being said I think net books are the way to go if you do a great deal of non-business related traveling and are concerned about damage or loss (theft)(similar considerations for students although the processor might be a bit on the weak side). If I were going (for example) to go to Europe for vacation I would be much happier dragging a net book rather than my $2200 tablet.
     
  11. tipstir

    tipstir Registered Member

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    Net gen of laptops are coming and they're be lighter. Those with 18.5 VIS those are pretty huge laptops but thus those who have that don't want a desktop. Desktop will be always powerful. 4GB or RAM and 500GB HDD in laptop would be standard now under Windows 7. Netbooks and the Sony wide-screen signature collection is really tiny and over grand for them.
     

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  12. ambient_88

    ambient_88 Registered Member

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    It isn't that hard browsing/word processing on a netbook. I have small hands, so the keys are just fine.
     
  13. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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  14. YeOldeStonecat

    YeOldeStonecat Registered Member

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    In the IT world they do have an official category..."Desktop Replacement" I don't see many people toting those around, perhaps some kids going to LAN parties.
     
  15. TechOutsider

    TechOutsider Registered Member

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    Mine has serious shortcomings in the cooling department. The heat is spread out via the bottom of the keyboard, the metal base, since Asus did not incorporate a heatsink. The keyboard can be unbearably hot to type on. I tried putting an ice pack on the keyboard after learning of this fact, and the temperature dropped from 57 C to 48 C.
     
  16. BlueZannetti

    BlueZannetti Administrator

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    I was doing some extensive technical writing when I first purchased my netbook.

    I didn't, and really couldn't imagine, doing extensive writing on it. However, it was near perfect for performing minor edits and reviewing galley proofs.

    Blue
     
  17. I no more

    I no more Registered Member

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    It's not the size of netbooks that puts me off, it's the quality of the processor. There are 12" notebooks from 5 or more years ago with better processors. Why go with a 10 incher with such low specs?

    Once they start getting better processors, they'll seem like real computers instead of toys. I've looked seriously at them but always said no because of the processors available. I have no problem with the screen size. When you're trying to compute on the go, some compromises have to be made due to weight and size constraints. I might even consider going to 7" if they could fit it with a quality processor, reasonable RAM, a reasonable hard drive, and a functional keyboard.

    17" inches on the go? No way. I would have to suspect that people who buy laptops that large don't travel much.
     
  18. Osaban

    Osaban Registered Member

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    I find the Intel Atom is perfect for what it has been designed for(it is a bit slow at start up, but once booted the speed is more than adequate). Let's not forget the main design targets for netbooks are internet, weight and battery life, the latter being directly related to computer performance.

    My 17'' is not a monster and certainly not designed for frequent travelers. When I go from A to B driving my own car, and knowing that once I get there I'm going to use my laptop for 2-3 hours non stop on a table and plugged in for a presentation or for whatever then the 17" is not a bad solution especially if you are dealing with architecture or photography.

    My 10" Asus has an effective screen size of 22cm (8.6") x 13cm (5.1") versus 37cm (14.6")x 23cm (9") for the 17" machine. I can assure you that to look at a photograph on the 17" screen is a totally different experience.

    There is no perfect solution in design, a compromise is always necessary. I agree with bgoodman4 that 12" is probably the best of the 2 worlds. Unfortunately sometimes I tend to purchase things on a whim without giving it a second thought.
     
  19. philby

    philby Registered Member

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    Hello

    Is anyone running Win 7 on a netbook?

    I'm toying with the idea of picking up a Toshiba N200, sticking 2GB in it and running 7 home premium when it arrives.

    Is this unthinkable? - I understand that forthcoming netbooks will have Win 7 Starter on board, so presumably home premium might be too much for the little Atom?

    I've read very mixed reports - most issues being connected to battery life, screen resolution issues and even moderate multi-tasking.

    philby
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2009
  20. Osaban

    Osaban Registered Member

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    I haven't tested it, but I don't think there should be any problems.

    http://www.tomsguide.com/us/Windows-seven-Netbook,review-1164.html
     
  21. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I think Win7 Ultimate runs as well as WinXP on an Asus 1000HE with 2GB RAM.
     
  22. TechOutsider

    TechOutsider Registered Member

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  23. philby

    philby Registered Member

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    Thanks Osaban + Brian K - maybe I'll give it a whirl.

    philby
     
  24. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    philby,

    I'm multibooting that netbook along with Ubuntu, DOS, etc. I still use WinXP as the main OS as I like it better. I'm used to it.
     
  25. philby

    philby Registered Member

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    Yes, I could try Win 7 and then always roll back to XP if it doesn't work out.

    I played around with both the Toshiba NB200 and the Dell Mini 10 - both were very quick with XP and multiple apps running.

    What made you decide for the Toshiba over the Dell?
    The Dell is, of course, less attractive but the build seemed a little better to me.

    philby
     
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