In the market for a netbook

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by iLuvMyUBMPB24, Jun 19, 2009.

  1. iLuvMyUBMPB24 macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2009

    I am in the market to buy a netbook for school. I know nothing about them expect they are all windows machines. Does anyone here have any buying tips that might make my process a little easier??

  2. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    Plenty of good guides online for netbooks. If you're wanting a small machine for basic consumer applications, keep an eye out for a late gen g4 ibook or powerbook.
  3. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
  4. iLuvMyUBMPB24 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2009
    How is the battery life on that awesome looking book?? Also do you find it hard to survive without a optical drive?? Are there any tips/recommendations you have when buying one??
  5. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    ...I have an external slim USB DVD-RW that I also carry when needed... I checked cnet reviews, etc... and I like the Asus products better than the Acer or Dell's that I was able to see in person before I bought the Asus unit.

    I do wish they had "slightly" higher screen resolution so they could run programs like handbrake (requires 1024x768)... other than that, I'd buy the "HE" model if I were shopping for one today.
  6. Eanair macrumors 6502


    Feb 27, 2009
    I've heard great things about the Asus netbooks.

    I had one of the HP Mini netbooks, but unfortunately after several months of use, I discovered that it wasn't as powerful as I needed it to be for my applications. I originally thought it could handle my programs when I bought it, but when I finally got them installed, not quite. So, from my experience, I highly suggest making a list of all the programs you would want on your netbook, calculate how much HD and RAM and etc they will use, leave some wiggle room, and narrow down your choices from there. Otherwise you might risk running out of space/memory/etc for your applications.

    If having a CD/DVD drive is important to you or if you don't want to carry around a portable drive, then I would recommend trying to find a Powerbook or iBook on Craigslist or eBay.

    Originally, I had looked into getting a portable drive and trying to upgrade my HP netbook on my own, but after shopping around and pricing what I wanted to upgrade, it ended up being about the same price (if not cheaper) to buy a used iBook for $300. I ended up getting a 12 inch iBook G4, 1.33 Ghz processor, 1.5 GB RAM, 60 GH HD, and combo drive.

    I guess it depends how you want to balance power and portability/size/weight and maybe even price. Personally, I thought an older Powerbook or iBook was a nice compromise between the bare netbook and an overpowered Macbook Pro. And for $300, it is about the same price as a netbook.
  7. n-abounds macrumors 6502a


    Mar 6, 2006
    A lot of people get the Dell Mini10 and install hackintosh on it. Am I allowed to say that?
  8. Takahashi macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2009
    Henderson, NV
    This is a great question my friend, and one that I can provide an answer to. I have been keeping an eye on the netbook market for some time, and keep crossing my fingers hoping for a Apple netbook.

    The first think I want to say is that not all netbooks are windows machines, in fact you can get most of them loaded with a linux distro such as Ubuntu instead, also the Google OS Android is starting to be shown on netbooks as well (If you look at the Computex footage). I have a duel boot system with Windows and Xandros Presto (An instant on Linux distro that saves a lot of battery power). I am soon going to install Ubuntu on it for now they have a special re-vamp for netbooks.

    Now, let us get back to the hardware of the netbooks. You can choose from just about every major computer manufacturer out there. Everyone is joining in the market. It all comes down to what you want in the computer, what type of beating it will go through. I can say netbooks are well worth the price for a student's computer to take to class to jot down notes, and they run power points off of them pretty darn well.
    So far I have personally bought three Acer Aspire Ones. Two of the first generation 8.9 with a two cell battery, and the latest being a 10.1 with a 6 cell battery.
    The first thing I would say is to keep an eye out for the battery, on a two you are most likely going to get two hours of battery life on power save mode and a dimmed backlight, a general rule of thumb for netbooks, the cells usually are the same number of hours you will get off of it. My six cell at best will get about six hours of use.

    Most netbooks have the same internals as well. Intel Atom 1.6GHz CPU*, 1GB RAM, 120GB HDD, 2 Cell Battery, Mobile Intel® 945GSE Express Chipset, or a Mobile Intel® 82801GBM Chipset. Newer models are starting to see the Nvidia ION chipset being put into use, it is very powerful for a netbook chipset.

    All the companies have something good to offer, so I'll list them below and what is so great about them.
    Asus Eee: The Eee PC is one of the first (well if you include the newton as a netbook!) while some of the early models feel a bit cheap (plastic bends and creeks on opening), they are very small and light. On top of this they are some of the cheapest on the market. A lot of new models are always coming out for this one so do your research on this one to find the best buy!

    Acer Aspire One: The Aspire One series has gone through a few general re-vamps but nothing to serious. The first models are the 8.9". They soon became widely popular over the Asus and toped the market as the best selling netbook. However, the first models had a problem with the hard drive being mounted to close to the speakers, at max volume you could throw your disk off center and it was the end for that hard drive. They soon came out with the newest of the bunch in the form of the 10.1" with a six cell. I just got one a month ago for the price of $350 which is a pretty good deal for the battery alone. Soon it is rumored that in the fall a new model will come out with a faster CPU, Android the Google OS, and maybe the ION chipset by Nvidia but we can never be to sure.

    Dell Mini Series: Dell has several different types of netbooks under its Mini series, all are about the same basic layout for netbooks. One thing they are doing though is making netbooks for the student market. Dell offers netbooks that are a bet bigger is size but are made to take a good beating, and they come in some sweet colors.

    Samsung NC10: This sole model is the only one offered by Samsung. It comes with the standard layout from above, nothing special inside. However, this thing got some pretty good reviews. It costs a little bit more then the bulk of them, and I would take a look at it.

    HP Mini: Another "Mini" I know, the HP Minis are small, really small... they are darn thin. From looking at it for the first time I was a little shocked. They have the standard layout as most. The disadvantage with this one is the cost for a new battery can empty your wallet pretty fast. The Minis also look pretty slick which most netbooks lack. Take a look at this one.

    MSI Wind: I have heard a lot about this one but nothing really great. I don't know what to say about this one really... I wish I did.

    Levino Ideapad S10 Netbook: Sure this guy might be more expensive then all the others on the list but it really is worth looking into. This is the first netbook on the market to have the ION chipset on the computer. Making it the first and only netbook capable of running full 1080p video and games like Half-Life 2 well over the 30fps marking. Take a good look at this one, it is an Ideapad, you know it is quite durable on top of everything.

    My final word is to go out and actually handle the computers as well. Feel the weights, the thickness of all of them. Also compare the specs for new models are always coming out and in order to not be scammed out of your money you need to make sure that you know all the information.

    *Intel Atom CPUs are soon to be discontinued to make way for the new core i3, and core i5 CPUs.

    Footnote: I did not include some models simply because they went over 1k for a netbook, a price like that defeats the whole goal of the netbook market.
  9. iLuvMyUBMPB24 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2009
    Hey thanks for the awesome responses guys!! I am a nursing student, and I sit in long lecture halls all day, everyday, and I've noticed other students with theses mini laptops. And I'm thinking to myself "wtf" is that thing. I did a little snooping and found out it was a netbook. This concept is 100% new to me, and after spending much of the morning researching this I found out a lot.

    I would be using this netbook primarily for word processing, internet browsing, powerpoints, some photoshop work (visual arts class) and just your everyday run of the mill computer usage. I know that a netbook wouldn't ever compare to the power and speed of my macbookpro...I'm looking for something that's somewhat powerful, with endless mobile possibilities.
  10. localoid macrumors 68020


    Feb 20, 2007
    America's Third World
    The Dell Mini 9 and the Dell Mini 10v are suitable for OS X. The Dell Mini 10 (no "v") is not.
  11. Matt Phoenix macrumors regular

    Feb 6, 2006
    Check out

    I found a couple really good ones off that site. I was totally going to get one...but wound up with a MBP instead.
  12. Takahashi macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2009
    Henderson, NV
    Anytime! The netbook market is growing very fast, and your right about students. Students are the main buyers for these things, because they are cheap and take care of business!

    For your needs as a nursing student and your requirements that you posted, I would say get one with at least a 10" screen so that you can see what you are doing a little bit better. Trust me on this, the 8.9" I used was a bit small, and really wide so some things just didn't view on it naturally. I wish I could provide more but almost all of them are not the best for their graphical capabilities, well all except the Ideapad of course. If you can wait off until the fall when you see more ION based netbooks coming I would strongly recommend it, the ION technology is simply amazing. If your looking to buy in todays market though, I can say that the Intel chipsets are not as bad as most people say, on my Acer Aspire One I run several 3D games that people usually say cannot run on it. I mainly use my desktop for audio and video editing of course, but I have had to use it in a few crunch situations where I needed to on the fly (I no longer leave the house with any of the Macintosh laptops only the netbook in hand). I've done some video editing with stop motion which went alright, and some graphics editing for a few posters I needed to present. The posters where quite large in size and it managed to pump out enough juice to craft them. I would say it is good enough to do simple tasks, but nothing to hefty of course.

    I'm glad us thread repliers could be of your assistance!
  13. 7seven7 macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2009
    Dell Mini 9 and Hackintosh it :cool:

    If you still want Windows, the Vaio P looks cool, if you can get a good deal on one.
  14. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    I absolutely love my HP 2140 with the HD screen. It's more durable than most netbooks, while having an LED screen with great resolution, and a great keyboard.

Share This Page