Laptop or netbook?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by calsci, Sep 5, 2009.

  1. calsci macrumors 6502


    Nov 27, 2008
    my friend has a really good question. he wants to buy a notebook/laptop or netbook.

    here is what he does on a normal bases.

    "well if i were to get a laptop i would use it for: my music, internet, probly reports, maybe some games. and of course i want it as cheap as possible...what would you recommend"

    i wasen't sure. as you can see he is tight on cash. any recommendations.
  2. jmann macrumors 604


    Dec 8, 2007
    bump on a log in a hole in the bottom of the sea
    Maybe he should get a refurbished white MacBook. They are pretty inexpensive. What is his price range?
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Besides how much he wants to spend...

    - What games would he want to play?
    - How important are size, weight, and battery life?
    - When does he want to purchase it?

    Netbooks will play older games, and there are a couple that have the Ion that may do a little bit better than that, but they're going to be pretty limited in terms of game playing.

    If weight, size, and battery life are no concern, and money is a huge priority, that probably points towards a Windows 7 notebook, if he can wait until it comes out, or possibly getting one running Vista now with a free Win7 upgrade.

    Otherwise, yeah, the refurb MB 13" plastic / C2D is a pretty good option too.
  4. calsci thread starter macrumors 6502


    Nov 27, 2008
    he is not a mac guy (i tried to convert him). and his price range is sub $500.

    battery life and performance (translated how "snappy" it feels) is what would be key right now.

    ill ask next time i talk to him for some more information.
  5. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Have fun typing anything more than a one-line e-mail on a netbook. :rolleyes:
  6. rhinosrcool macrumors 65816


    Sep 5, 2009
    Check them out

    Nonsense! Most netbooks, with a 10" screen or larger, have keyboards that are over 90% of a full-sized keyboard. Typing on them is very comfortable.

    What your friend needs to do, is go to someplace like BestBuy or Microcenter, where they have display models, and check them out.
  7. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    I have an Asus 1000H that's ~1.5 yrs old and while its very good at what it does (with 2GB RAM and a 250 HDD), I would recommend getting any netbook with at least the Atom N280 processor/motherboard combo as it is faster than the N270 combo in my "old" unit... the battery life is better, the FSB is faster and the CPU is also faster...
  8. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    Your friend should do some research online and go to a best buy to try out the models listed. Some of he later 10" models (like the dell mini 10v or hp mini) do have very usable keyboards; for me, the right shift key and trackpad has been the bane of many of them.

    Any atom processor with one gig or more should do basic internet tasks, but seem to choke on streaming live video; they seem to like flash even less than macs do.

    No netbook is perfect, and have some limitations due to size and cost. Even the hp mini has a messed up trackpad with mouse buttons on its sides and the dell mini 10v has a half a$$ed apple integrated trackpad and a two hour maximum on its standard configuration 3 cell battery.

    If your friend finds a model that he is sure he can live with, he can then look on CL for a slightly used model for a bigger discount. Good luck!
  9. mackhydr4 macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2009
    I think in your friend's case, he should budget for a $350-400 netbook, use it then if he's not happy with it, sell it(or exchange it for a laptop within the return period).

    I just picked up a 15.6 compaq laptop for $349 (well, $400 including taxes and before rebate). I will be using it primarily for networking and developing VMware OSes. I know enough about computers to maximize their usefulness and workaround the limitations (I also have a Macbook Air to complement the company gateway laptop).

    The key is to actually use the technology, and the work (or play) you will be doing on it should be the deciding factor on what to purchase.

    We can debate the merits and disadvantages, but until you actually try something, it is just speculation. People's actual computing differ, and perception of what is acceptable performance also differs.

    My point is, what is not good enough for some people, may be a perfect fit for others.
  10. keekl macrumors regular


    Nov 9, 2008
    I unfortunately have massive hands~regular keyboards are even a tad on the small side for me..but if I had smaller hands I'd snag a netbook.
  11. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    May 5, 2007
    I have a netbook, a desktop with a 23" screen and an old iBook g4 12". I never use the netbook. I would advocate getting a full-sized faster, bigger-screened laptop for not much more. The only reason to get a netbook is its small size, if you don't need it to be small then they're not for you.
  12. sishaw macrumors 65816


    Jan 12, 2005
    I'm in the same situation. While I much prefer my iBook (I guess roughly equivalent to the base MacBook), my netbook (MSI Wind) is usable, but not really comfortable to type on. I can hook it to my 40" TV with a VGA cable and use a wireless keyboard/mouse with it, which is what I'm doing now. It works reasonably well.

    Still, if this were to be my only computer, I would go with a full-size laptop. The main advantage of the netbook is portability, for which you sacrifice power and size.

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