Netbooks are (almost) too much hassle!

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by js81, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. js81 macrumors 65816

    js81

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    KY
    #1
    OK, I know this is a Mac forum, but this is semi-relevant, so hear me out. :)

    I have an HP Mini 1030NR netbook. Its got the usual 1.6GHz Atom, 1GB RAM, and GMA 950, as well as a 16GB SSD. It came with Windows XP SP3 installed.

    I've had this thing for seven months now and still am not really, really happy with it. I mean, I love the size - I think the ~2.5lbs and 10" screen are great (though I really would like one of the 1366x768 screens). However, I've been continually "tweaking" this thing from the day I bought it. Here's what it has been through:

    1) Came with XP. Originally I just loaded everything willy-nilly like I would any other machine.
    2) Realized I put too much crap on it, both in terms of drive space and performance. Reinstalled XP and started over.
    3) XP is a dog on these netbooks. I decided to try HP's MIE (Ubuntu). Works great, but too limited (can only install HP-approved programs).
    4) Took off MIE and installed REAL Ubuntu. Probably the best netbook OS, IMHO, but I couldn't play any of the streaming videos (mostly TV shows) that I liked.
    5) Tried Windows 7 Beta (and later RC). Too slow.
    6) Re-installed XP. Found a bunch of SSD tweaks for XP. Sped up the thing considerably, but its still laggy as can be.
    7) Decided to try and hackintosh the Mini. Currently running Snow Leopard (still dog slow). Insert any/all of the usual hackintosh caveats here.

    I've just about had it with thing! I absolutely love the size/form factor, but its almost unusable, either due to speed (Windows), incompatible OS (Ubuntu), or difficulty in keeping running (SL). I would give just about anything for a machine that "just worked" and was netbook size.

    For that matter, if I thought I could make decent money off this HP, I'd sell it and by a 12" iBook/PowerBook. Sure it would still be slow, but at least it wouldn't be one headache after another! :mad:
     
  2. BlackiBook macrumors 6502

    BlackiBook

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    Norman, Oklahoma
    #2
    I sold mine after three months... I would rather use my touch than the netbook! I got tired of it too, the form factor is amazing but it just isn't worth the hassle.
     
  3. nazuk macrumors 6502

    nazuk

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    England, UK
    #3
    What's the point of them as they are now...?

    Never bought one, but always thought to myself, with the specs they tend to come in - what's the point of them?

    My feelings are if you buy a netbook to do just basic browsing, and maybe youtube, and write a few documents, then surely once you get over the novelty factor, you almost certainly ARE going to want to do more with it.

    Only then you realize, it's the biggest load of crap there is, over-hyped and not really a lot of use.

    Yes, it appeals to a minority of people, a very niche market of users that just want to grab and go, and not do very much with it.

    But there has to be more to it, for it to become a long-term success, and appeal to a more broader market.

    I think Apple realizes that, which is why they are going to bring something new to the market. It WILL have to offer something so compelling, that you will want one, and will want to KEEP it, and not have this feeling of disappointed after a few months of use.

    That's why I would never buy a netbook just yet, it just isn't good enough.
     
  4. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #4
    I've had a couple of netbooks, and they seemed to either not play streaming video at all, or with great difficulty.

    The nvidia ion chipset, which matches 9400 graphics with the (sigh) intel atom cpu has just started to hit the market. Hopefully, this will make netbooks more capable than they are now. Shoot, wonder if you can hackintosh them...

    And to the OP, get a last gen 12" g4 powerbook (1.33 or preferably 1.5). Max the ram out, and they are still quite usable for basic computer usage, including playing streaming (non hd) video. The ibook used a less capable video card with half the ram, so I'd stay away from that.
     
  5. js81 thread starter macrumors 65816

    js81

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    KY
    #5
    Thanks for the posts, guys!

    That's exactly the feeling I've got... disappointment. :( My wife bought it for me as a Valentine's Day gift earlier this year, but with the understanding that we (neither of us) were sure how useful it would be. I figured it would be slow (obviously), but its all but useless.

    Mostly, I want to browse the Web without all the stalling and stuttering. I want to watch streaming video from Hulu/Fancast without it stopping every 5-10 seconds (even if I let it "pre-load"). I want to simply use a "net"book to surf the net. Is that too much to ask? :)

    And I really am considering a used iBook/Powerbook G4. Last night, I found a guy selling used iBooks (12", 1.33GHz, 512MB RAM, etc.) with working batteries for $229, free shipping. Is there that much difference between the 32MB Radeon 9550 in the iBook and the 64MB Geforce Go5200 in the PB? I thought the Radeon was a better card (though with less memory)?
     
  6. mrboult macrumors 6502

    mrboult

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    London, England
    #6
    Check out this . . .

    http://www.mydellmini.com/forum/mac-os-x/

    The perfect Hackintosh netbook.

    I have one with 10.5.7 running perfect in every single way. Sleep works, audio works, remote disk works etc etc.

    2GB Ram, 64GB SSD, 1.67 Intel Atom.

    Easy to set up. Run iLife and iWork quick enough Browses perfectly. OSX runs very very well with no slowdowns, stalls or kernal panics.

    iMovie won't run 'cos of screen resolution, but other than that it's thumbs up!

    I couldn't do without my real macs but for a cheap throw in your bag computer running osx the Dell mini9 is perfect.
     
  7. belvdr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    #7
    My main issue is the keyboard is too small, but I guess that's to be expected.
     
  8. GeekGirl* macrumors 65816

    GeekGirl*

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    #8
    Have the Acer one and its my only PC at the moment, love it
     
  9. js81 thread starter macrumors 65816

    js81

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    KY
    #9
    My HP Mini 1030 is running Snow Leopard perfectly except for sleep, but its still so darned slow/stuttery. The keyboard is great on it, though... Could be its crappy Sandisk pSSD...
     
  10. lamadude macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Location:
    Brussels, BE
    #10
    Normal Ubuntu is the way to go, most things work out of the box, but I admit it sometimes needs some tweaking. After adding the right codecs and depositories, I doubt there is any kind of video streaming that doesn't work under ubuntu. I have a netbook with similar specs as yours and it feels very fast and snappy, I wouldn't want a faster processor at all.

    But I even prefer Ubuntu over OSX on my macbook pro, so I guess it's not for everyone.
     
  11. js81 thread starter macrumors 65816

    js81

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    KY
    #11
    My issues with Ubuntu weren't that it wouldn't play it, but that it was not smooth at all (my Macbook could sit side-by-side with it and play the same video fine. I did have a couple issues with some players not working (particularly ABC.com's player), though.
     
  12. likemyorbs macrumors 68000

    likemyorbs

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #12
    And then people wonder why Apple won't release a netbook. They say it all the time, Steve doesn't believe the user experience would be up to Apple standards, and judging by this thread, he's right.
     
  13. js81 thread starter macrumors 65816

    js81

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    KY
    #13
    If Apple would release a proper netbook, one with a decent processor (CULV, please), and still in the netbook size (Air is too physically big, no thanks) for, say, $699, I'd buy it in a heartbeat. Problem is we'll never see that...

    And yes, the user experience on current netbooks is anything but good (IMHO). I believe my HP will be on eBay tonight...
     
  14. lamadude macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Location:
    Brussels, BE
    #14
    I've heard tons of people who are very happy with their netbook though (me included, I use it more than my 15" mbp) so I wouldn't base too many conclusions on this thread.
    I love the small form factor and insanely long battery life.
     
  15. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #15
    Sometimes I think that a Netbook can best be described as a fling. Fun for a while, but you get tired of the mistress quickly. :eek:

    Seriously, a Netbook is full of compromises such as:
    - Small display
    - Small keyboard
    - Slow processor
    etc.

    For some, these compromises are immaterial and they have no issues. For others, they become show stoppers.

    I've had 2 friends who recently purchased Netbooks who now regret their purchase decision. At first, they liked the idea but quickly grew tired of the compromises.

    As technology continues to improve, the Netbook concept will become more of a viable option. It may take a few years, but we'll get there.

    Personally, I've been so tempted to purchase a Netbook. But I know the pitfalls. Here in Japan, some stores offer the Netbooks for 100 yen (about one USD). The catch is that you must subscribe to a wireless service for 2 years -- which isn't cheap.
     
  16. js81 thread starter macrumors 65816

    js81

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    KY
    #16
    I've tried and tried to be objective with my netbook. I promise, I really have... The only things I had installed on it (well, did have, prior to install Snow Leopard) were Microsoft Office 97 and Firefox 2.0 (not even the new version). It was STILL dog slow in XP, even with all of the SSD tweaks (I can send a link to that when I get home if you really want them).

    Now in Snow Leopard, its still dog slow with only SL, iLife '05, and Office X installed. *sigh* I tried so hard to love it, I really did...
     
  17. js81 thread starter macrumors 65816

    js81

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    KY
    #17
    Finally gave up... just sold the HP Mini tonight on eBay. Now we'll be a completely Mac household again, as I'm getting ready to order my iBook G4 (my new netbook).
     
  18. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #18
    Have OSX on a Dell Mini 9, couldn't be happier.
     
  19. Theclamshell macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    #19
    i think its ur ssd? my netbook with xp and i gb will run hulu fine and not have to stop and load in the middle of vids
     
  20. js81 thread starter macrumors 65816

    js81

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    KY
    #20
    Thanks for the comments guys. I just have had a bad experience from day 1, I guess. I know its not my internet connection, so it MUST be the SSD in the Mini (I even tried replacing it with a hard drive, but the drive I bought was bad and I just gave up). I figure I'll use the iBook and see how that goes and if I'm still not happy, I'll just break down and buy a refurb Air. :)
     
  21. Foxglove9 macrumors 65816

    Foxglove9

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Location:
    New York City
    #21
    I have an HPmini 110 and put Leopard on it and it runs amazing! Definitely worth the $300 I paid. Yes it's not as fast as my Macbook but does just about everything I expected it to do.
     
  22. SkyBell macrumors 604

    SkyBell

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Texas, unfortunately.
    #22
    I love my HP Mini 110. XP runs great, no problems whatsoever. Of course I have no interest in streaming video (not even YouTube) so maybe it fits my needs better. It will handle the occasional flash game or whatever when it needs to, but I mostly browse text-based sites, do a little IM'ing and some iTunes. It works fantastically for that.

    But when you're used to a 1.4 GHz eMac with 512 MB of RAM running Leopard, anything seems fast I suppose. :p :eek:
     
  23. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    Location:
    The good side of the grass.
    #23
    Unfortunately streaming video is no fun on the PPC computers. You may want to know this before you bite the G4 purchase bullet. Not Apples fault - Adobe.
     
  24. js81 thread starter macrumors 65816

    js81

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    KY
    #24
    Yeah, I'm familiar with that. I appreciate the advice. I (formerly) had a dual 500Mhz G4 Power Mac and was very happy with it. That's been about 2-3 years now, so we'll have to see. I'm not too worried, though - for the price I'm getting the iBook, if I'm not happy I can easily resell it.
     
  25. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #25
    Well, the processor are usually the same speed as 4 year old Macs. Can't expect too much for the price.

    Majority of netbook users are dissatisfied due to the slow speed.
     

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