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Old 10-03-09, 12:44 AM   #1
Darth_Firebolt
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foosters on netbooks chime in please

i would like to get a netbook to take notes and do homework on for my college courses. right now i have a heavy/ old/ slow/ 10 minute battery life laptop that i am using to convert my handwritten notes to microsoft OneNote. the computer is very unreliable (vista), and this combined with weight and crappy battery life are the main reasons i don't take it to class with me. a new (larger) battery would solve the battery life problem, but would only make it heavier, which is not what i need.
here's what i need to know:
1) what are the RAM + Processor specs of the netbook you use?
2) how many/ which programs can you have running at the same time?
3) what don't you like/ what would you change?
4) i need to have OneNote, google chrome with 4 tabs, internet explorer, excel, access, or word, and not have terrible lag while switching between them. doable on your (or any) netbook?
5) should i just get a lightweight laptop?
thanks
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Old 10-03-09, 01:16 AM   #2
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all current generation netbooks are going to have intel atom 1.6 processor or worse (n270 or n280 or whatever)

there should be a newer one quickly on the horizon

i have 1gb of ram

wouldnt change a damn thing

having multiple program opens, without "active" cycle usage, is a function of memory. though what class would require you to have onenote, 2 multi-tabbed browers, spreadsheet, database, and word processor open at the same time?

as a graduate i recommend NO computers at all for taking notes, but yes it can be used for standard note taking if thats what you want

depends on your homework assignment but if you want real productivity i suggest using a docking setup for some REAL "real estate"... and multiple monitors - thats indispensable.



netbook + desktop = win
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Old 10-03-09, 03:47 AM   #3
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what are the specs on your current machine?

its very likely that a new netbook will be faster/more powerful than your current laptop

I'm going to buy the newest gen Acer Aspire One as a Christmas present to myself
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Old 10-03-09, 04:45 AM   #4
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You may not be happy with a netbook if you are running more than just Web surfing and E-mail apps. Perhaps consider a full fledged notebook that may cost you more initially, but will be used over your college days for everything from your note taking to gaming.

Instead of a netbook, I'd honestly give a good look at a 13" MacBook Pro (and AppleCare), and see if your university can cut you more than just the bare bones $100 student discount. This way, you will have a decent machine that will last you through college and can run whatever you can throw at it (for the most part, except for high end games). With Boot Camp, you can run Windows and whatever games you feel like.

Of course, laptop offerings from Dell, HP and other Windows brands are good too, but the nice thing about the small MBP is that it is small enough to shove in a backpack (perhaps with a Speck hard case for scratch prevention), but it has enough performance to run any apps you likely will encounter in college, be it music stuff, graphics, video, or your usual word processing.
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Old 10-03-09, 06:10 AM   #5
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You may not be happy with a netbook if you are running more than just Web surfing and E-mail apps. Perhaps consider a full fledged notebook that may cost you more initially, but will be used over your college days for everything from your note taking to gaming.

Instead of a netbook, I'd honestly give a good look at a 13" MacBook Pro (and AppleCare), and see if your university can cut you more than just the bare bones $100 student discount. This way, you will have a decent machine that will last you through college and can run whatever you can throw at it (for the most part, except for high end games). With Boot Camp, you can run Windows and whatever games you feel like.


Mac Book Pro: $1200

Nice netbook: ~$450
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Old 10-03-09, 07:06 AM   #6
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Find one with an Atom N330 in it and as much RAM as it'll hold. That will make a reasonably performant netbook that still has good battery life.
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Old 10-03-09, 08:01 AM   #7
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1) what are the RAM + Processor specs of the netbook you use?
Sony VGN-TT198U, 1.4GHz Core 2 Duo, 4gb RAM, 256gb SSD

2) how many/ which programs can you have running at the same time?
Anywhere between 4-10. I usually have stock-tickers that run in the background full-time on the 2nd & 3rd desktops off-screen. Web & email on the 4th desktop. The 1st is the multi-purpose one with word-processing, spreadsheets, video-editing, etc.

3) what don't you like/ what would you change?
I don't like how the glossy screen gets dirty so easily and the reflections are horrible. The flat keys makes typing difficult. I prefer keys with a concave valley in the centre. Feel more natural and I can type faster.

4) i need to have OneNote, google chrome with 4 tabs, internet explorer, excel, access, or word, and not have terrible lag while switching between them. doable on your (or any) netbook?.
Sure, that's just a matter of memory. If you're running Windows, you'll want 4gb. Linux or MacOS can get by with 1gb just fine.

5) should i just get a lightweight laptop?
That's exactly why I got my laptop. It's a netbook in form, but full desktop powerhouse in specs and features. One of the most important at the time (a year ago), was built-in 3G. And firewire for my video-camera. That and built-in Blu-Ray player and HDMI output for HD-TVs have come in handy quite a few times for impromptu movie-nights.
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Old 10-03-09, 10:08 AM   #8
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I have an Asus EEE with 2GB of ram (I upgraded it from 1gb) with the 1.6 GHZ Atom processor running Windows XP. I like it a lot. I often have multiple web browser open with OpenOffice.org (free Open source office suite compatible with MS Word) running and have no probs switching between programs. The battery goes for about 4 or 5 hours with normal use (It claims 7 ).

With your programs you shouldn't have much trouble but if your Netbook comes with 1GB you might consider expanding to 2GB which is pretty cheap. Try it out first then decide if you want to upgrade.

You could consider a lightweight notebook but it's a matter of how much you want to pay and how big you want it to be. There are some pretty inexpensive laptops out there sporting better processors than most Netbooks plus you'll get a DVD drive with a standard laptop but it'll be a bit bigger.

If you're looking for a 10" laptop on the cheap that you can toss into your backpack and not worry about then sure, go for a Netbook.
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Old 10-03-09, 12:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Firebolt View Post
4) i need to have OneNote, google chrome with 4 tabs, internet explorer, excel, access, or word, and not have terrible lag while switching between them. doable on your (or any) netbook?
5) should i just get a lightweight laptop?
thanks
Do you need those all at once for in-class? Are you looking at this as your one computer?

Hard to see how 1GB ram shouldn't be enough to juggle all that, depending on how voracious your version of windows is. I don't know if your db/spreadsheet needs would be processor-limited. I don't know if linux would be an efficient option for you w/ all those ms programs. I've been using openoffice at home and running into some incompatibilities between its spreadsheet and excel.

I could definitely appreciate netbook + desktop approach but I didn't have that option and went the lightweight laptop route, 12" screen 128GB flash drive.
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Old 10-03-09, 11:12 PM   #10
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thanks, hickeydog. it saved me having to respond.
i need the web browsers open along with excell or access and word. i have to be logged in to the course website (which requires you to have 3 windows open) while i am working on my homework, which is done in excell or access, and the directions are in word. and i would need to be able to see the notes i took in class to help me with my homework...
anything under $600 is fair game, so i have been looking at netbooks with lots of ram, or a "strictly business" laptop (no gaming graphics card or processor).
right now i am trying to do all of this on a computer with 2 gigs of ram and a 1.8ghz processor. it is not going well, needless to say. ideally the new computer would go to class with me, and stay in my apartment in college town. the laptop i am using now would stay at home for email/ web surfing/ photoshop/ general laptop use.
netbooks have caught my eye due to light weight, good battery life, and the fact that lots of them come with XP (death to vista!). however, with windows 7 right around the corner, i'm wondering if i should just wait for that... XP is like latin; it's dead.
DannoXYZ: Sony VGN-TT198U, 1.4GHz Core 2 Duo, 4gb RAM, 256gb SSD
i think this cost you more than $600, especially since you mentioned blu ray and SSD. that seems like it would be perfect, though. :[
thank you to everyone that has posted so far, i've already learned a lot. : ]
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Old 10-03-09, 11:50 PM   #11
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Sorry, I didn't know your budget. The Asus eeePC 1000 line would fit your needs just fine. Linux & XP require a lot less memory than Vista. Having 1gb RAM is fine with those, but you'll need 2gb minimum with Vista since the OS itself takes 1gb+.

I've been playing with Windows7 for the past several months and it's definitely better than Vista. It's about as speedy as XP. Basically XP with a skin-job, although I've removed all the skins, effects and bling off my 7, so it looks a lot like XP.
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Old 10-03-09, 11:56 PM   #12
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Sorry, I didn't know your budget. The Asus eeePC 1000 line would fit your needs just fine. Linux & XP require a lot less memory than Vista. Having 1gb RAM is fine with those, but you'll need 2gb minimum with Vista since the OS itself takes 1gb+.

I've been playing with Windows7 for the past several months and it's definitely better than Vista. It's about as speedy as XP. Basically XP with a skin-job, although I've removed all the skins, effects and bling off my 7, so it looks a lot like XP.
this makes me very happy. : ]
but... they would have to try to make something worse than vista... >_>
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Old 10-03-09, 11:58 PM   #13
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Been using my Acer One since January with very few complaints... am running Win 7 which has been very stable after some initial debugging.
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Old 10-04-09, 12:08 AM   #14
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I have the Asus 1005HA (I think thats the model) and its fine. I usually use it for word processing, web surfing and some other minor tasks. No problems at all, works flawlessly in the 2 months I have had it and its nice since I can tether my BB with it for internet anywhere
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Old 10-04-09, 12:24 AM   #15
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Mac Book Pro: $1200

Nice netbook: ~$450
Yes, I am aware of the price difference. However, the OP may need to pay more than a Netbook costs to get what features would be needed for daily use at a college in classes.
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