Forum Thread: Got recommendations for a netbook?

I've decided to indulge myself and get a netbook. But I have no idea where to start, and my initial stabs at research reveal that netbooks have gotten overshadowed by iPads and Android tablets. (Nothing against tablets - but I like having a keyboard.) Do you guys have any recommendations? I don't need anything super-powerful, but I do like: small size, pretty design, ability to launch multiple applications without freezing up, something on which I can write, or browse the Web. I'd like to keep it under $400. 

9 Responses

good choice. I also went with a small notebook rather than a tablet for the keyboard factor and it was a good choice.

I got an Acer aspire 1830T. about 3-4 hrs of continuous netflix, 4hrs+ on net usage. On average I use it in 20-40 min increments but i did test just how long it would last.  but it was 600 bucks (an i5 cpu  w/ 6gb) i think and they also don't have this model anymore. The only negative on this laptop is the speaker sound is extremely low.

When I was looking for this laptop I went to fry's after doing the initial internet research, so that when i went down, i knew the brands and general specs. Seeing them in person at the store really made a big difference in deciding what to get. You get to see if 9.1 or 10" screens really matter and the feel and shape of the keyboard. So if anything pay fry's a call to get a good feel for them.

for $400 that will be though. You'll only be getting those atom processors or similar ones and those are really too slow even when new. Try to go for at least an i3 and 4g of ram, if you're looking to get at least 3 yrs+ from this netbook.

As for brand, not sure. Just not dell. they heat up too much and at work the dell laptops have a 100% failure rate over 2 years (usually the hard drive).

Thanks JD. A trip to Fry's! Mark will be so excited!

I'm glad you warned me against the Dell. They seemed to be getting good reviews and their designs are looking pretty nice, but I'd definitely want to make sure my netbook lasts more than 2 years.

How big is the screen on your netbook? And can you get decent video quality on a netbook?

Asus is releasing a hybrid tablet/laptop this or next week:

400 bucks for the tablet itself, 100 for the keyboard add on. so 500 total. Specs for it are really good and it comes out with the latest android release. Not too shabby.

 So...I just got an invite from Google to buy their Chromebook (made by Samsung) for $499. Note: you have to join Gilt Group to get it. Gilt Group is ordinarily for fashionistas who want to get in on sample sales.

Here are the specs:

• 12.1" (1280x800) Display 
• 3.26 lbs / 1.48 kg 
• Up to 8.5 hours of continuous usage* 
• Intel Dual-Core Processor 
• Built in dual-band Wi-Fi and World-mode 3G** 
• HD Webcam 
• 2 USB 2.0 ports 
• 4-in-1 memory card slot 
• Mini-VGA port 
• Fullsize Chrome keyboard 
• Oversized, fully-clickable trackpad

100MB per month of Mobile Broadband for two years provided by Verizon.

What do you think? Is this a good deal? Or should I stick to just getting one of the Asus tablet/netbooks?

you know what, for the novelty i think it would be fun just to own one. 2 years worth of broadband is pretty awesome too. that means internet anywhere you go, which is the main reason to get it. 100gb per month is very generous too, unless you netflix and stream like crazy. 400 for it might be a good price, but 500 it might be a bit much. the 12"1 screen is also big, compared to the 7-11" competitors.

you're reading that incorrectly. it's 100 MB per month, not 100 GB.

ah then maybe it's not that good. if you go with it you'll always have to be online, otherwise it's a door stop. at least with the netbook/tablet you can download games/programs and be offline using them.

Two weeks ago my friend got an Acer netbook. Looks almost identical to mine but it was a dual core atom processor and 1gb of ram. I setup the netbook for her, removing unnecessary programs and installing vital ones and here are my impressions of it:

- the netbook was complete shit (or "Monkey Muffins", as colonel Morgan used to say in MASH). What would usually take 20 minutes for configuration took almost two hours. This was a brand new netbook but it ran like if was bought in 1998.

- it takes a few minutes to fully load from a fresh start up. Even after removing programs from starting automatically it still took time.

- starting explorer or chrome is not instant. It takes a few seconds for the browser to pop up and a few more for the main page to load.

-lags on anything that requires processing power. Like uninstalling programs.

I would not recommend a netbook like that at all. Tablets are more responsive and small full featured laptops at 500-700 give you several times better performance. Even for minor stuff like only browsing or typing up a document that netbook was slow.

Ugh too many things to think about. Someone else should make the decision for me. :P

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