Currently viewing the tag: "netbooks"

For the past 2 months I’ve been working on a series of posts called You Grade The Brands. I’ve been reading the reviews we did of notebooks and netbooks in 2009, going brand by brand, to suss out common strengths and weaknesses amongst a company’s laptop line. It’s been a very illuminating process. Also, I never knew there were so many laptops in the world. Lordy!

I’m putting up the last post sometime today, but you can check out all of the others here. We hit all of the major notebook vendors from HP, Acer, and Dell on down to Samsung, MSI and Fujitsu (with a lot more in-between). If you’ve ever owned a laptop, please click on the company’s post and let us know how you’d rate your experiences with that brand.

We’re looking for both positive and negative feedback on everything from how long it lasted, how often it broke, how tech support was, how much you loved using it, anything.

Also, if you’re in the market for a laptop, you might want to check out the posts to see if the brands you’re interested in are likely to have the features you need.

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While I was looking for a picture of my version of the AlphaSmart for yesterday’s post I came across a post touting the superiority of the Neo (that’s what they’re calling AlphaSmarts these days) over netbooks. To say I was shocked is an understatement. In these times when netbooks flow from the heavens like water, why in the world would anyone still use an AlphaSmart? I was doubly surprised to discover that this guy is an SF writer (he went to Viable Paradice). Thinking on it, I’ve probably met him. But that’s neither here nor there, my main shock remains: AlphaSmart over netbook? No wai!

He even has the same netbook I do, a Samsung NC10. Yet he still feels that the portability and usability of an AlphaSmart is far, far better. He also cites battery longevity. Though I’ll agree that years of battery life is better than a few hours, ever since I got my NC10 I haven’t felt chained to an outlet. (It’s the 7+ hours of battery life, I love it, so.) And while it is great to have a machine that allows you to concentrate on just one thing, writing, the device is just a little too unitasking for me.

One of the reasons I stopped using my AlphaSmart is that it was crap for editing. Sure, it would allow you to get some words down on the screen and drive forward. However, you certainly can’t edit really well on that thing, or go back through what you’ve written and try to take stock in a meaningful way. And only seeing 4 lines of text at a time felt like far too little. You can’t edit already-existing text. And if you’ve typed a major chunk of your novel on the thing, good luck trying to get a sense of the structure.

Not that Marko claimed the Neo could do any of these things. These were just my reasons for giving the machine up. I needed a gadget that would allow me to do all of my writing tasks, from the first draft through to the editing stage, that was easy to carry, light, and had a┬áreasonably-sized screen. Aftre I accomplished that with my Eee PC, my next goal was a netbok with long battery life so I wouldn’t have to worry about outlets. And here were are.

Having read through his whole review, though, do you think that the Neo has enough advantages over a netbook to justify putting the latter aside?

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This Christmas I gave my niece a netbook[1] and talked to her about how to care for it and online safety and stuff. What I forgot to mentioned was how to sit while using one. I’d completely forgotten about this post on GottaBeMobile about these 9 bad netbook postures. In fact, I think we were both doing that first one while chilling on the sofa and watching Animaniacs[2]. I’m a bad example, just like always.

scad-pain-points

I wish this study came with 9 good postures for using netbooks, as it would be helpful to know.

Notes

  1. Just as I did last year. I already told her this one had to last for two years… []
  2. did you know that all the episodes are on DVD now? I about died. []

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I keep forgetting to mention the awesome holiday contests going on at Laptop Magazine right now. Every week we’re giving away new, cool gadgets. From now until December 28th you can enter to win an HP Mini 311 11-inch netbook with fancy ION graphics. And starting on December 21st you can enter to win the Toshiba NB205 (the model that comes with Windows 7, I believe). Two of my favorite netbooks available for free. Can’t get any more awesome than that. Click here for details or to enter.

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For reasons that should be clear to everyone reading this blog, I’m usually the person folks in my circle of friends and acquaintances come to when they want advice on which netbook to buy. I am the netbook queen. Plus, I get to play with (and sometimes review) a larger sample than most. Thing is, my netbook advice hasn’t changed in many months. So I thought it would be good to put it in a post here.

If you’re looking for a netbook, these are the ones I suggest:

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It’s as if Acer has been reading my mind (or my blog). We just reviewed the new Acer Aspire Timeline 1810T, a netbook-sized laptop with a CULV processor inside. It’s not quite my dream machine — I’d prefer 10-inches to 11.6 — but still closer to the performance I want in a smaller form factor.

The $700 price tag doesn’t excite me. Nothing over $500 ever does. If we ever get a 10-inch CULV notebook I would hope that the price would drop to that, at least. And then my poor Sammy netbook would be in a bit of danger.

Now that Acer has taken this step, I hope other computer manufacturers follow. If\Samsung updated their N line with CULV netbooks there would be no keeping me from the store.