tiny netbooks

JHZR2

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Hello, Please tell me the latest and greatest about these "netbooks". Tiny laptops optimized for portability and weight. I travel a fair amount, and feel that a macbook air would be neat, but smaller/lighter (if posible) and cheaper would be nice. I think Asus, sony, and a few others make them. Any preferences? I had an old (2002) sony running XP and with a 10" screen. Still runs, but 256 MB ram, battery non-working and slow, even running opera. Thanks!
 
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Asus makes good stuff. Lenovo S10 is also nice. I have an MSI Wind 10" and am very happy with it, too. Just get one with a 6-cell battery if you're going to be using it extensively when far away from an A/C outlet. Intel Atom CPU is fast enough for typical web browsing and email. It can also handle office apps, but how long can you really do serious work on such small screen anyway? Most of them come with 1 GB RAM and that seems to be sufficient for XP (or Linux).
 
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If you travel, cheap and small sounds great. There is a very fast turnover in this market. For example, only a year or so ago Dell came out with their 8.9" model. It was far and away the best on the market. Six months later, and it isn't even on the radar of most buyers. So you really have to do your homework because what was great a few months ago isn't anymore. I'd make sure I got a 10" screen. I'd buy Dell, Asus, Lenovo or MSI. The Atom is fast enough for anything you'll enjoy on that screen size, except compressing video to keep on the netbook. Macbook Air is the price of seven of these things!
 
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My mom just bought a Dell Inspiron 1011 10" Screen mini-netbook computer with a 160GB HDD and an Intel Atom processor. She got it in "pink" Looks like a nice unit and I can't wait to get my hands on it to customize.
 
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The Dell mini 12 is really nice. The screen is really easy on the eyes and it more usable than the small models full time, even with the Atom processor. It's a pleasant lightweight design. I found that the small Asus models under 10" in screen size were hard to type on since they have mini keyboards.
 
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Be sure the keyboard agrees with you. It should be at least 90% of standard keyboard size. My ASUS EEE1000 has a 92% of standard size keyboard and it's good. I also stick with 10 inch screen size. Smaller is a PITA and 12 inch is getting into the laptop class. That depends on what you want, but I wouldn't advise going under a 10 inch screen no matter what.
 

JHZR2

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It seems that the 10" are far more expensive than the smaller ones... they also seem to come with rotating HDs vs. SSD (unless you want to pay a lot). Is an SSD necessary?
 

JHZR2

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I am aware of that... My biggest concern is having XP for running certain things at home, and having an SSD for robustness... Unfortunately this is unavailable in a cost-effective package in the 10" version of the Asus Eee, it seems. And it seems that the Asus is the best one to get?!?
 
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 Originally Posted By: JHZR2
It seems that the 10" are far more expensive than the smaller ones... they also seem to come with rotating HDs vs. SSD (unless you want to pay a lot). Is an SSD necessary?
What are you looking to spend? The 10" ones are about $300. SSD is not necessary. Some people claim that the low-end SSDs that are put into those netbooks are actually less reliable than HDDs.
 

JHZR2

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My issue was the Asus Eee only gave XP on a 160GB HDD, to get the 40GB SSD, you had to use Linux...
 
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Don't use it for a Frisbee and you don't need an SSD. I have an ASUS and like it but wouldn't jump up and down and say it's the best because I don't know. Stick with a brand name with a good reputation and read the reviews. Only you can answer what's best for you. Whatever you get, try the screen and keyboard on for size before you buy.
 
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I'd stay away from SSD for now, unless you know exactly what model it is, and confirm performance doesn't degrade. The write performance of most the ones on the market goes down as it is used. This happens even if it isn't full. Here's the guy that busted them on it.
 
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 Originally Posted By: ksJoe
I'd stay away from SSD for now, unless you know exactly what model it is, and confirm performance doesn't degrade. The write performance of most the ones on the market goes down as it is used. This happens even if it isn't full. Here's the guy that busted them on it.
Don't buy MLC-based SSD drives. The Samsung (OCZ/Gskill) SLC 32GB & 64GB models have served us very well, but these are overkill for a netbook. These don't use the dreaded JMicron controller. Also, stay away from SSD's that provide RAID-0 within the drive. these are the ones that don't offer any power savings when compared to a 5400rpm drive.
 
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 Originally Posted By: Quattro Pete
SSD is not necessary. Some people claim that the low-end SSDs that are put into those netbooks are actually less reliable than HDDs.
We are struggling with durability of SSD in the lab right now, and I know many of our competitors are. You can get durability, speed, price or size, but not all of them. Laptop hard drive is actually quite reliable but there is no way you can make a mechanical drive for less than $50 without losing your shirt.
 
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 Originally Posted By: PandaBear
Laptop hard drive is actually quite reliable but there is no way you can make a mechanical drive for less than $50 without losing your shirt.
I just checked pricewatchs prices on 160G 2.5 inch drives. It looks like all of the major manufacturers have gone shirtless. With the durability of 2.5 inch drives these days and their relatively low replacement costs, betting on a HD for a netbook looks like a good bet.
 
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I have a Dell mini 9 and I think still think it is one of the best setups: SSD, no fan, good trackpad with normal buttons, easily upgradable, fully supported Ubuntu Linux and a decent keyboard. Dell has now discontiued the mini9, it has been replaced with the mini 10V and is basically the same as the 9 but with a better keyboard and no RAM access panel. They don't have all the options available yet though. Right now the biggest netbook news is the HD decoder chips that are available in a couple models. Unfortunately they don't work with flash yet. Nvidia's Ion provides a better graphics card, but again does not work with flash and takes too much power. Personally I was excited for the ARM netbooks coming out, which promised more power, longer battery life, and Linux. Unfortunately Nvidia announced it is only supporting Windows CE and possibly Android on it's Tegra chip.
 

JHZR2

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I went to best buy to check things out. Saw the HP, dell and an asus 9inch unit. I liked the look and feel of the asus over the other two "mainstream" units. The 9" is usable, but too small practically speaking. I like the size and weight vs. the 10", it is noticeable, but I think the keyboard will be more important overall. The 900 there didnt display a whole window in XP - it panned up and down - very annoying... the 10" units don't have that issue... If I do get one, itll be the cheapest asus 10" with 160GB HDD and XP.
 
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 Originally Posted By: JHZR2
The 900 there didnt display a whole window in XP - it panned up and down - very annoying...
That's probably because some has set its screen resolution to 1024x768. Set it back to 1024x600 (its native resolution), and the panning will be gone.
 
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I just finished setting up an HP dv2-1030us for a trial lawyer who's always hopping around the country. It's a great compromise between a small notebook and a netbook. 12.1" screen, 4GB RAM, 320GB HDD, discrete graphics processor & memory (Radeon Mobility HD-3410, I think), and an AMD Neo64 that has enough horses to comfortably run Vista64 Business, Office 2007, and their SQL-based CRM software. The keyboard is the best part. It's just large enough to type normally without a slew of typos. I like the idea of the Netbook, but it's too small and too slow to be much of a full time computer.
 
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