Friday, April 3, 2009

Netbooks? Anyone?

For our Europe trip we're thinking of getting a "Netbook". I just learned about them over Christmas, evidently they are tiny lightweight laptops that pretty much are internet only usage, unless you get an upgraded hard drive, but then they are getting into the price of regular laptops. (they have a few other applications, but they don't have the processing power to handle MS Office or big photo editing software or really much of additional software) However, they are supposed to be superquick to start up and connect to the internet and they weigh under 3 lbs and are about 9 inches wide and one inch thick and because of their simple functionality, they are around $300, give or take, depending on how much memory to get.
We have a simple cheaper laptop but its about 7 lbs and its on Vista (don't get me started on Vista!) and thus it takes FOREVER to start up. We were thinking it would be nice to have a lighter alternative to look things up online, communicate with others via email on our trip (and not spend $2 a minute on the phone) and be able to upload pics and what not.

Has anyone gotten one of these? Heard about them? Any reviews? Buy or no? Is it worth the extra money to get extra memory?


Anonymous said...

Netbooks aren't magical. But they may run Linux instead of Windows which can save memory as well as cost, they may have cell network hardware or wireless network built-in (if you can buy cheap cell network access for Europe, which may or may not permit Skype or equivalent services which steal cell company profits), and obviously they're nicely compact. Windows XP or Vista does demand memory, but you may be able to choose a device that can take memory expansion that also works in your laptop - I haven't researched that. And bad things can happen to a computer when you travel so it may be better not to take your favourite one. You could look at second-hand on eBay, but beware of viruses and such, as well as compromise on physical comfort. Or get something when you arrive and reset it to an English-speaking keyboard layout. There's an F-Secure anti-virus for Linux that's free for personal use, and you could boot your laptop from Linux on CD or DVD or USB without installing to disk - I like Knoppix - for testing. Or get a second-hand machine that you can reformat yourself, so that whatever was on it, including virus, is gone. the good thing about Linux is that they kind of have to give the software away because of the licence.

Anonymous said...

...that comment is from .