Wednesday, December 30, 2009

What Netbook Should You Get?

I think that if you go with any of the major players ..... Acer/ASUS/HP/MSI/Dell etc. ...... you can not go far wrong.

ASUS seems to have bragging rights on battery life, Acer gives you a lot of bang for your buck, personally, I prefer the fine keyboard and non-glare screen that my HP has, but the differences from model to model are surprisingly minor, whatever you decide on, my advice is to physically check them out before deciding, if you do order one on-line, at least go to where there are a variety of models and check them out.

I would suspect that drivers should not be a problem? I can tell you that for the HP netbook, they have up to date drivers for Win 7, XP, and Vista easily available. Should be the same for the major brands out there.

If you are in the market for a netbook and here are a few insights I've gathered ......:

The 'standard' for netbooks at the current time are specs of::

- 10.1", 1024x600 screen, most are glossy, a few have matt finishes

- Intel Atom N280 or N270 cpu

- 1 GB RAM, can be upgraded to 2 GB, but none in this class come standard with 2 GB

- 160 GB or 250 GB 5400 RPM HDD

- Windows 7 Starter

- With a 6 cell battery, 7-9 hrs of battery life

Windows 7 Starter can be upgraded to Windows 7 Home Premium for about $76 using Windows Anytime Upgrade (WAU). An additional 1 GB of RAM require replacing the 1 GB SODIMM with a 2 GB that costs about $40.

Windows XP Home is on a few 10.1" netbooks. It can't be upgraded to Windows 7 Home Premium as easily or as cheaply. Windows 7 is said to be faster and gives you better battery life. If you're satisfied with the restrictions on Windows 7 Starter, or would rather have the customizability of XP Home, then there's no reason you have to upgrade.

The next step 'up' are slightly larger 11.6" machines with more varied specs:

- 11.6" 1366x768 screen

- usually 2 GB RAM standard

- 160 GB or 250 GB 5400 RPM HDD

- Windows 7 Home Premium

- With a 6 cell battery, 4.5-7 hrs of battery life

The 11.6" generally have nicer keyboards and larger, 2 button touchpads because they have more room to fit them.

A great deal right now (the netbook that I'm leaning toward) is the Acer Aspire AS1410, for only $400 from several online sellers, with the following specs:

- 11.6" screen

- Intel Celeron SU2300 dual core, or Celeron M 743 single core

- 2 GB RAM

- 250 GB hard drive

- Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)

- great keyboard

Most of the latest generation 10.1" netbooks are $325-400. If the larger size and reduced battery life of a 11.6" is fine, this a no-brainer. The cost of the added RAM and Win7 upgrade alone are worth over $100. Then throw in the (much) faster CPU, bigger keyboard and larger screen and it's a gimme.

In the 10.1" class, the Toshiba Mini NB205-N325 would be my choice. $330 right now on Amazon with a 160 GB drive (the NB205-N330 has a 250 GB drive for $400). Solid build, nice keyboard, really large two-button touchpad. Most everything else is standard.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I vote for the lenovo s12. i bought one at xmas. it has a 12" screen, huge keyboard, wireless, webcam & 3 usb slots. i installed a 2gb memory, bringing it to 3 gb, and installed windows 7. It also has a 6 cell battery.

6:02 AM  

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