So my seven year old Dell laptop has finally destroyed my last nerve. After contracting a persistent virus, I decided it was overdue for a clean os reinstall. Everything went fine until I tried to reinstall my wireless card, and suddenly my cd drive disappeared. I already rely on an external keyboard, mouse, and hard drive because the one inside the laptop is so small.
Rather than spend money on another piece on external equipment, I think I'm just gonna cough up the cash for a netbook. It seems like there's alot available between $250 and $350, so I'm not sure which to pick.
So what netbook brands are the most reliable? What features should I look for? How can I determine if one processor is better than another? I used my laptop primarily for Internet access, torrent downloading, and just a few other basic programs. Are games an option or is that a silly question? Is the lack of a CD/DVD drive a big inconvience or is it easy to get around?
My laptop was a gift and it's so old that I don't even really know what the technology is like these days. I'd like to get something that is cheap but would satisfy my basic needs. Any advice or recommendations would be wonderful!
Posts: 1733 | Registered: Apr 2005
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1) Are we assuming you want a Windows machine?
2) My only experience with netbooks is my wife's Asus eeePC 1000. We've had it for over a year, and it's held up pretty well. Looks as good as new.
3) Most netbooks have an Intel Atom 1.6Ghz processor. I think there may be a few different ones by now, but that's mostly what you're gonna see.
4) Solitaire or facebook games, sure!
5) Do you use CDs or DVDs? Are you ok with not using them on your computer? What you can do is buy the machine first and then if it bothers you, buy an external DVD drive later.
Posts: 106 | Registered: Dec 2003
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I have a Dell Mini 9 netbook, and for how I use it (light browsing, especially if I'm playing EVE on the desktop, or basic use while I'm mobile), it's generally okay. I do frequently wish I had saved up a little longer and gotten a full size laptop instead, though.
Major downsides to the netbook - - Small screen - resolution is low enough that several sites give me errors. It's somewhere around 1100x600. - Small and rearranged keyboard. The keys themselves are the same size as my desktop keyboard, but they do not stand up and there is *no* gap between each letter. Typos are a very frequent thing for me. Also, many of the punctuation keys have been relocated entirely, I have only a single Ctrl and Alt and much smaller dual Shifts. Since I touch type at approximately 85 wpm, this is a huge adjustment for me. - Almost no onboard memory. I paid extra to upgrade to 8 gig. And the operating system takes up about 2 of that. I do have an SD slot and a half-terabyte Passport external drive, but I've already run into a few programs that don't like being installed to those locations. - No CD or DVD drive at all. I have to use an external for anything requiring a disc. Fortunately, I already had an external DVD on hand and didn't have to shell out more money for that.
Positives - - Lightweight and small size - I can fit it in my purse with no difficulty, so I don't have to carry an additional bag for it if I'm out and about. - The small screen is the perfect size for watching shows in full screen mode. I either watch from Hulu or an external DVD drive. - Low price point. I know I caught a sale, but even with upgrading to Windows XP (the default was Linux) and the larger onboard memory, plus adding the Passport, I paid $250.
Dell has already phased out my Mini 9 and the new 10s have much better features. Larger solid state drives as a default with the ability to upgrade to 160G SATA hard drives. Larger screens (but still with only 1024x600 resolution). WinXP as a default rather than an upgrade. And sadly, higher prices as well.
Posts: 4515 | Registered: Jul 2004
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