The NetBook Buy Thread

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by gkarris, Nov 26, 2008.

  1. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    #1
    Just want to consolidate it to one (I know there are a few other threads).

    Anyone have one or getting one this holiday? Any Black Friday specials for one?

    Cheaper this holiday to just get a laptop on special (I saw an eMachines 14" Vista Laptop go for $379).

    I was also looking at Toys R US :eek: has the $299 EEEPC's.

    Are they good enough to watch iTunes Videos on (SD, not the HD ones of course).
     
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #2
    I think at EeeUser the general consensus is too that people aren't expecting huge Black Friday discounts on netbooks because of their popularity. On the other hand, a lot of people have been buying these products using some variant of Microsoft's Live Cashback or Sony's rewards program... for instance I bought an EeeBox (not a netbook, but the idea is similar, and I could've gotten an Eee netbook similarly if I didn't already have one) for $300 shipped via eBay, with $75 cash back from Microsoft, lowering the price to just $225. One can even do slightly better than that (I accidentally used my eBay 10% off coupon on something minor because I didn't realize I was using it).
     
  3. aethelbert macrumors 601

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    #3
    I played with the HP 1000 series and I really liked it. I'll be on the lookout in the next month for one on sale. I wouldn't imagine that you'd have any problems watching standard definition TV shows. The Atom CPU would be the limiting factor if you wanted to try HD, though, not the graphics processor.
     
  4. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #4
    Oh, oops, I missed that part. At least up to 480p, the netbooks that use Atoms and Celeron M's handle H.264 just fine... 720p is variable, depending on the video. I don't honestly know about the VIA ones, but I'm guessing they're also dicier even at 480p.
     
  5. gkarris thread starter macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    #5
    Has anyone tried an iTunes store bought TV or movie on one of these things?

    I think I can choose that setting in Handbrake and load a clip onto a thumb drive and try it at the store...
     
  6. mdgolom macrumors 6502

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    #6
    I bought the MSI Wind which I'm now using to run OSX 10.5.5. They're great little laptops because of their size and weight.
     
  7. DarthTreydor macrumors 6502

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    #7
    don't get an eee. the msi wind is a better option and you can install osx on it relatively painlessly with great results. and the start at only $350 (i don't know about any black friday deals but i'm sure they're out there. or you can at least get the 25% live.com cashback from ebay.
     
  8. Semiopaque macrumors regular

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    #8
    Ordered ASUS N10 Series N10J-A1 yesterday for my GF with plans to OC it. I liked the dedicated graphics and the HDMI out on it. We'll see how it goes. There's some info around about OS Xing it, not sure if it has been done well yet, though. I used the MS Cashback Live discount and Ebay to get it for $512 shipped after the cashback.

    I'd say the Ebay/Cashback route is the only way to get a good deal on these as I have not seen any Black Friday discounts. Maybe closer to Christmas.
     
  9. gkarris thread starter macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    #9
    Hmmm, MicroCenter's Black Friday ad has an MSI Wind with XP for $299...
     
  10. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #10
    The HP 1000 is, in my opinion, the best netbook out there. I've used the previous HP 2xyz (forgot the model number) model a number of times, and I'm always surprised at how good it looks, how small it is, and how beautiful everything looks on the screen.

    My second choice is the Acer AspireOne and MSI Wind U120.


    My third choice is THIS one.
     
  11. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    #11
    Just setting up a Samsung NC10 and I am very impressed, full size keyboard, reported 6 hrs battery life, 1GB memory, 160GB drive, seems Samsung got it right with this. It was £299 here in the UK, I think the US price is $499.
     
  12. gkarris thread starter macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    #12
    ^^^ How's the iTunes video performance on the machines that you purchased?

    I plan on taking some videos I ripped from 24:Redemption and the Quicktime installer to try out some netbooks. I have two - the iPod/High-Rez and the AppleTV presets in Handbreak.

    I will report back with some results.
     
  13. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    #13
    I got the EEE PC 701 last year, and wow the market is different now!

    I really want a new netbook, but I'm waiting for a dual core Atom and touch screen model....hopefully I'll wait it out
     
  14. Schtumple macrumors 601

    Schtumple

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    #14
    It's pretty much reached saturation point now, there's not too many more features manufacturers can bundle in before it's just getting silly :p
     
  15. cube macrumors G5

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    #15
    Atom dual core is not for netbooks. You'll have to wait for AMD's Congo for ultraportables.
     
  16. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    #16
  17. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #17
    The 330 Atom (the 1.6GHz Dual Core Atom) isn't appropriate for netbooks because of heat and energy consumption (also it's really not that much faster than the 270). It would be a better fit to something like the EeeBox. But the rumor crowd generally expects a dual core Atom that is more of a successor to the 270 from Intel next year.
     
  18. Schtumple macrumors 601

    Schtumple

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    #18
    Every other week Engadget reports on how close the Dual core Atom is to coming to fruition and the implications it would have to the netbook market :confused:
     
  19. cube macrumors G5

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    #19
    Intel still would have to provide an efficient chipset for Atom, as the current platform underperforms.

    And Microsoft would have to allow "cheap" XP also for dual core netbooks.
     
  20. gkarris thread starter macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    #20
    For now at least tried the above videos on my own machines and machines at church. So far:

    My Thinkpad X31: Centrino 1.4 MHz, 1Gig RAM, ATI Radeon Pro Mobile 16 Megs - not too bad, has some diagonal lines during fast scene playback.

    Church 1.5 Core Solo Mini, GMA 950, 1 Gig RAM: no problems. I have my own Mini that's a 1.66 Core Duo with 512 Megs and no problems with that either. No problems on any other Intel Mac - obviously.

    Church HP Pavillion: 3.2 GHz P4, 2 Gigs RAM, 256 Meg ATI Radeon X600. Problems with playback - lots of horizontal lines in playback. Attributed to older graphics card, a given. A new H.264 capable graphics card should fix this..

    Going to try more machines and some netbooks later this evening...
     
  21. six.four macrumors 6502

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    #21
    +1 . The samsung NC10 is regarded as the best netbook on the market right now - better than both the Wind and EEE pc counterpart.
     
  22. ingenious macrumors 65832

    ingenious

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    #22
    can it be made into a hackintosh?
     
  23. jland macrumors newbie

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    #23
    We added an ASUS EPC1000HA to the family last month, mostly because my wife sometimes has urgent needs and the rest of the computers, all Macs, would be tied up. The nearly full sized keyboard was the biggest factor, as long as the rest was par, as she needs to buzzsaw tap away and very few of the ones we tried appeared to fit that bill. 6 cell battery life is great. 160 GB drive. The Atom N270 1.6Ghz might not be great, but for what it gets used for no one complains, and that includes watching streamed TV and youtubes. The only things I don't like about it are the trackpad and Windows, but otherwise I like using it in a pinch just fine. In a month it hasn't hiccuped.
     
  24. descartes macrumors 6502

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    #24
    Had the dell mini 9. Solid build and looks great. Unfortunately boot up was painfully slow and the keyboard was entirely too cramped for anything but hunt and peck at least for me. The search continues.
     
  25. gkarris thread starter macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    #25
    Well, I went to MicroCenter to try out one of the NetBooks:

    HP Mini 1000, Atom 1.6, GMA950, 512 Megs RAM - YUCK! The video formatted with HandBreak using the AppleTV setting had a lot of lines going across the screen, choppy video, and many frames skipped over the fast action.

    Then, I saw an Acer Aspire on special right now for $379:

    Acer Aspire, 1.66GHz Celeron Duo, 1 Gigs RAM, 160 Gig HD, 14" Screen, GMA x4500M, Vista Home Basic: played the video FLAWLESSLY! I guess it's because the x4500M has H.264 decoding so the "whimpy" Celerons don't really have to do anything.

    So, I decided to get one of these for a mere $30 more than a NetBook. They also had a special - $99 for 3 years carry-in extended warranty (which my friends had from MicroCenter before and they did a good job with it). I also like the 14" screen - my 3 year old budget Compaq Laptop has one, and it seems all the new budget laptops have a 15" screen (to big for me as far as portability).

    I told the salesman that I brought my video file in to test the NetBooks and it was very choppy. He said that those are mainly for Office type of apps and he warns people before they buy them (one customer wanted to run AutoCAD on it :eek:). They are not for video (above standard-def I imagine).

    I thought that the NetBook would play it as well as a 1.5 Core Solo Mini with the GMA950, but I guess since the Mini has OS X and a faster bus, it has no problems with H.264. The Atom must be not as powerful as a Core Solo?

    So, just know what you are getting into. I think that people like me who want some sort of video performance and a larger screen will be disappointed with a NetBook.

    I would think the ones with discreet video will have no problem - but right now they cost almost as much as a regular notebook. According to this thread:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=6704542&postcount=4

    Asus is adding discreet video to their Atom desktop machine.

    Would like to hear what others have gotten as far as a NetBook or maybe something else instead!

    Thanks all. Happy Holidays!
     

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