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Last post Author Topic: Advice on Netbooks  (Read 12317 times)

40hz

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Re: Advice on Netbooks
« Reply #25 on: July 02, 2009, 12:44:28 PM »

Seems like in the end, they still picked XP by default.  :huh:

Like I said, some of their findings might surprise you. ;D

(I went into it thinking they'd end up putting Windows 7 on top. Nope. Surprise! :P)

Not that it would matter all that much in my case. What I'm looking for is something small and inexpensive that I can throw in my pack for when I'm out troubleshooting a network somewhere. Regular laptops are too heavy and bulky to be used comfortably in most hub rooms. And also too power hungry. Battery life is a big issue because it's not always possible to find an open AC plug (or be allowed to use one) in that environment.

All I'd want in a Netbook is:

  • wireless and wired network connections
  • a keyboard big enough to "tech type" on
  • a sufficiently bright screen to use in the darkest reaches of a server closet
  • enough SSD or disk space to load about 6Gb worth of service packs and tech utility software - plus a browser, a terminal emulator, a text editor, and a pdf reader.
  • two or more USB ports
  • 4-6 hr minimum battery runtime

Don't care what OS it runs. They could even load SugarOS on it as long as it could give me the above.

I'd also really love it if they could include an RS232 serial port going out to a DB9 plug - but I doubt we'll see one of those anytime soon. <*sigh*>

 8)


« Last Edit: July 02, 2009, 01:15:24 PM by 40hz »

4wd

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Re: Advice on Netbooks
« Reply #26 on: July 02, 2009, 07:56:56 PM »
I'm not a gamer and I wouldn't want to use my Acer as my main computer, but like I said previously, it's fast enough for most things when using a combination of XP with a hard drive.

It's fast enough for Delta Force 1, 2, Land Warrior and Task Force Dagger :D

We could try a laptop, but I think they are likely to be too heavy & battery life too short for the main need; the size of a laptop is both a + (bigger screen and keyboard) and a - (leaves little room on a small table/desk).

Before the AAO came along at the right price, I was seriously looking at the Benq Joybook S33W: C2D P8400, X4500, 13.3", Gb LAN, modem, BT, etc, etc.  It was the best all-round small notebook I could find at a competitive price, (quite a lot don't have modems these days), weighed ~2kg and had a reported battery life of 4 hours in power-saving mode.

And they provided XP drivers which is what it would have been running about 60 minutes after I got it home if I'd bought it.

steeladept

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Re: Advice on Netbooks
« Reply #27 on: July 02, 2009, 08:40:36 PM »
I got my wife a NC10 Lenovo S10 for Valentines Day.   She loves it!  It is her primary computer for everything from gaming, to email/internet to business applications.  There is nothing she would do on a "full sized" system that she can not do on that thing.  There are only two minor drawbacks to it in her eyes (for me they are a little more than minor, but not show stoppers):

1)  The keys are of the European standard (where the Control and the Function keys are reversed on the left side).  As a computer tech, that slows down my typing much more than anything else which is a surprise, because the shift keys are minute (but I almost always get them right anyway, go figure).

2)  The screen resolution is non-standard.  This means in some programs where the resolution is predefined, you end up not being able to see the entire screen at once.  Sort of like the issue with wide-screens in the early days of their distribution.  Like the wide-screens, I expect this to get resolved as they proliferate and more programs offer the option or patch accordingly.

I was looking to get her the AAO since I saw one from a fellow soldier during our deployment for the presidential inaugeration.  It was great, but the screen is quite small.  She wanted the larger screen and almost full size keyboard since she would use it as her primary machine.  That really seems to be the deciding factor between the AAO and Lenovo machines for those who shortlist these two machines.  Now that AAO comes in a 10 inch screen, I am wondering if that won't crush the small advantage Lenovo had.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2009, 10:18:38 AM by steeladept »

Dormouse

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Re: Advice on Netbooks
« Reply #28 on: July 07, 2009, 06:38:40 PM »
atm, I'm considering a Dell 10v with 6 cell battery, 8BG SSD, Ubuntu & mouse.
Ubuntu is, apparently, very much preferred so incompatible hardware (Samsung) won't be considered. 9" probably big enough with decently designed keyboard (therefore better), but all current models seem to be 10".

4wd

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Re: Advice on Netbooks
« Reply #29 on: July 07, 2009, 11:32:42 PM »
Ubuntu is, apparently, very much preferred so incompatible hardware (Samsung) won't be considered.

You might want to look at Moblin, I remember seeing somewhere that Intel have given it their stamp of approval recently and it does use Intel open technologies and has "Atom specific technologies".

I'm surprised that the Samsung is incompatible since up until fairly recently they've all been basically the same hardware: Atom N270 + GMA950, variations only seeming to be storage, webcam, WiFi, BT and ancillary stuff.

Dormouse

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Re: Advice on Netbooks
« Reply #30 on: July 08, 2009, 02:51:13 AM »
I've seen references to Moblin being buggy, so haven't looked closer. Since it's not for me, I'd rather keep Ubuntu anyway since that's what she has on her desktop and prefers.

The incompatibilites are mostly about the ancilliary stuff. The Dell comes with Ubuntu 8.04 installed, everything working. Replacing it with 9.04 seems to disable the internal microphone. Presumably a way will be found around that since Dell had 8.04 working. Strange that Dell haven't just made available the customisation code they used to make the OS work on their hardware.

The Samsung NC10 has problems with suspend/resume & sound recording. I've not chased down details for other models, just taken info from the wiki. There seems to be some brand consistency in terms of general compatibility.

It's not really an issue as netbooks do seem remarkably similar, with major differences in keyboard, battery life & price and minor differences in lots of other ways. Not concerned about trackpads as mouse will be used anyway. Samsung do seem to have good battery life and good keyboards, but they're not at the cheaper end so no problem in excluding them from consideration.

Big real question is about the SSD. But it is cheaper and seems likely to be sufficient since this will just be a note taker (it's not intended to work as a standard laptop) and any sound reduction will be good; should be possible to replace with HDD later if necessary, though the Dell does seem to require a lot of taking apart even to do something simple like change RAM.

4wd

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Re: Advice on Netbooks
« Reply #31 on: July 08, 2009, 06:18:33 AM »
Big real question is about the SSD. But it is cheaper and seems likely to be sufficient since this will just be a note taker (it's not intended to work as a standard laptop) and any sound reduction will be good; should be possible to replace with HDD later if necessary, though the Dell does seem to require a lot of taking apart even to do something simple like change RAM.

The AOA110 requires virtually complete disassembly to install extra RAM, (but it is relatively straightforward and there are guides), and you won't get a HDD in there without some case surgery, (cutting some plastic standoffs).

If you search around you may find an AOA150 going cheap - they were the 160GB, 8.9" LCD XP Home version.

What about EasyPeasy :)

wraith808

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Re: Advice on Netbooks
« Reply #32 on: July 08, 2009, 09:05:34 AM »
I can say this so far- I'm glad I upgraded to the 10" model.  I can't imagine the netbook being *smaller* than that!  I was surprised at how small it actually was at 10"!

Dormouse

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Re: Advice on Netbooks
« Reply #33 on: July 08, 2009, 01:09:14 PM »
The AOA110 requires virtually complete disassembly to install extra RAM, (but it is relatively straightforward and there are guides), and you won't get a HDD in there without some case surgery, (cutting some plastic standoffs).

I'm assuming that there will always be the option to switch with the 10v since it comes in both versions. Don't expect to change it though; or upgrade the RAM.

If you search around you may find an AOA150 going cheap - they were the 160GB, 8.9" LCD XP Home version.

What about EasyPeasy :)

I'll look at anything that seems to be out there offering better value and will wait a little while before doing anything to see if there are any adverse reports on the Dell.

I may well try EasyPeasy, and eeeBuntu, and UNR, but I suspect that we'll end up with the full version of Ubuntu. There's enough room for it (just), the screen is big enough (just) and there will be very little added to the basic install. Data may well end up mostly on a SD or USB; but will probably be backed up daily to the desktop & the net anyway. Easier to have exactly the same install on both machines, if it is workable.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2009, 04:28:24 PM by Dormouse »

4wd

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Re: Advice on Netbooks
« Reply #34 on: July 08, 2009, 06:58:59 PM »
I'll look at anything that seems to be out there offering better value and will wait a little while before doing anything to see if there are any adverse reports on the Dell.

If you wait long enough maybe Intel will actually produce a chipset better designed for the Atom  ;D

Dormouse

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Re: Advice on Netbooks
« Reply #35 on: July 08, 2009, 08:37:23 PM »
Yes indeed.  :)

Or nvidia (or ?) will produce a better package.

I don't think that any of the hardware is designed to produce the best netbooks, just that it's the most suitable hardware already hanging around. Pretty much also true for the OS & other software. Maybe that will change with Chrome.

If it were for me, I'd probably still be waiting to see when Chrome arrives, but there's pretty much a deadline of a few weeks time, so I'll not be waiting that long. The Toshiba is looking really good for battery life & keyboard, but not available in UK yet (and possibly not very Linux friendly).

Lashiec

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Re: Advice on Netbooks
« Reply #36 on: July 11, 2009, 10:56:05 AM »
You might want to look at Moblin, I remember seeing somewhere that Intel have given it their stamp of approval recently and it does use Intel open technologies and has "Atom specific technologies".

Actually it is co-developed by Intel :D. Looks like a great option for netbooks, when they hit the final version, that is :)

MerleOne

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Re: Advice on Netbooks
« Reply #37 on: July 11, 2009, 03:08:27 PM »
I have been using a Samsung NC10 since a few months and it's great.  I think there is a newer model, N110 which has a bigger battery time.  Keyboard is excellent. You should definitely have a look at these models.
.merle1.

steeladept

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Re: Advice on Netbooks
« Reply #38 on: July 13, 2009, 10:17:58 AM »
Ha, boy was I mixing models.  I was talking about the Lenovo S10 above, not NC10.  That is Samsung.  Not too confusing, eh?  :-[

4wd

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Re: Advice on Netbooks
« Reply #39 on: July 14, 2009, 02:25:59 AM »
Dang it!! I wish they'd brought this out 6 months ago  >:(

Acer Aspire Timeline 1810T

wraith808

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Re: Advice on Netbooks
« Reply #40 on: July 14, 2009, 07:12:31 AM »
I thought you liked the size of your 8.9?  This is two inches+ larger...

4wd

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Re: Advice on Netbooks
« Reply #41 on: July 14, 2009, 03:23:30 PM »
I thought you liked the size of your 8.9?  This is two inches+ larger...

I do......but I just wish it had 8+ hours battery life, x4500 graphics, a faster CPU, 802.11a-z, 4GB RAM  and a HDD.

You know...the grass is always greener and all that :)

wraith808

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Re: Advice on Netbooks
« Reply #42 on: July 14, 2009, 09:15:10 PM »
Oh! You have 3 Cell and no HDD... didn't know that!  I have two of those... though if this was out right now, I'd be tempted to suck up the extra inch in exchange for the goodies since I'm within my exchange period...