A general query re. netbooks

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I use a desktop at home and want to get a small laptop or netbook for
use of up to 4 hours. The spec doesn't have to be fancy - just enough
to run Windows/Ubuntu, don't need massive disk storage, to be honest
80GB is more than enough, but 2GB ram would be useful for running
multiple apps or having about ten windows open. I will probably be
running of mains adaptor so battery life is also not a major factor.

My concern is screen size - I have sensitive eyesight that means I
suffer from eye strain quite quickly. I am concerned that a small
screen, i.e. 10.1" as with many netbooks, is likely to lead to
eyestrain after only a couple of hours.

Can anyone comment on their own experiences along these lines?

Re: A general query re. netbooks

On 3/17/2010 3:29 PM, gargoyle60 wrote:
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  Barry is correct...  Anything anyone says will be purely subjective.

  In my OWN experience, the small screen size makes netbooks basically
useless to me for any real work for any extended period of time.  For
me, the bigger the screen is, the better.  Not because I need big type
to read, but, as you imply, small fonts lead to eye strain for me.

    Is there a reason you'd prefer to have a smaller device than a
standard notebook?  You mention being able to have 10 or so windows open
over multiple apps.  What do you intend on doing with this netbook?  If
its 10 windows between email and a web browser, it'll be fine.  If
you're talking productivity software, you might run into an issue.

Re: A general query re. netbooks

On Wed, 17 Mar 2010 00:53:34 -0500, "Ryan P."

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The main reason is cost.  A new netbook can cost as little as half the
cost of a new laptop. Additionally, I just don't want to have excess
weight on my lap for extended periods.

Re: A general query re. netbooks

On 3/18/2010 4:15 AM, gargoyle60 wrote:

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Understandable.  But be sure to shop around.  Some of the real cheap
netbooks don't have optical drives, making it a bit more difficult
getting the software you want on there.

There can be some pretty good deals on laptops, as well as higher-spec'd
netbooks.  For example, Newegg has a Toshiba laptop (6 pounds) on sale
for only $400.

But, whatever you decide on, its best to personally see them if you can!
  Sometimes what sounds good on paper, isn't so good in person.

Re: A general query re. netbooks

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I think if you look, most of the netbooks do not have an optical drive built
in no mater what the price.  The drive can be bought seperate.

I usually put a CD in the main computer and link with the wireless router to
install programs.

Netbooks are made to be small portable computers.  They are not made to be a
main computer for any big applications.  Biggest usage is to get on the
internet for email and other internet applications while away from the main
Most have a built in wi-fi and some have the camera and microphone for net

If they are bought for any major applications (think the OP was going to run
about 10 programs at once) you are wasting your time.  It is like sending a
boy to do a man's job.
I have a Asus that was sort of the top of the line when it came out about a
year ago.  I like it very much to carry with me, but don't use it at home.
I also like the $ 60 plugin that makes it a portable TV.

Re: A general query re. netbooks

Ralph Mowery typed on Thu, 18 Mar 2010 22:52:36 -0500:
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I had taken a trip away from home for two months and I grab one of my
netbooks and that was it. No external monitor, keyboard, mouse or
anything. And the screen is only 7 inches with these Asus EeePC 701/702.
And I was worried that I would regret not taking one of my laptops along
with me. But no, it worked well for two months straight and I was
probably using it 18 hours a day.

I also had my netbooks hooked up to external monitors, keyboards, mice,
and external storage. And too be honest, I don't think most people would
know they were using a netbook vs. a desktop. As performance is about
the same for browsing, email, and other modest tasks. Although the tasks
that eat up max CPU usage like heavy intensive games and such, would
only notice the difference. Although I think it might run The Sims2
fairly well. And I plan on testing this game on one of my netbooks. It
will peg the CPU during the game play, but I believe it will be enough
to still play okay.

Gateway MX6124 ('06 era) 1 of 3 - Windows XP SP2

Re: A general query re. netbooks

The Natural Philosopher typed on Thu, 18 Mar 2010 00:25:58 +0000:
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Reinstalling Windows? That is the wrong way to do things. I install them
once and that is it. I make backups and if the hard drive fails or
something, just restore it to another hard drive. I have 4TB of external
drive space so making multiple backups are easy and I can make as many I
would like too without problems of running out of space. And you are
back up and running in about 20 minutes or less.

Only had Windows running for two days tops? Gee mine don't get rebooted
for months at a time. Some of them for years at a time. Even when I was
running Windows 98, I wouldn't have to reboot for about every 2 months
and that was it.

Linux? Well Xandros crashes all of the time. So that one isn't so good.
Ubuntu doesn't crash too often, but there is very limited applications
and games for Linux. Plus Linux is terrible in the multimedia
department. So Linux isn't so hot of an OS anyway. As I still think of
Linux as just a glorified PDA OS. As that is about all it is good for
anyway. Just those simple computing tasks.

Gateway MX6124 ('06 era) 1 of 3 - Windows XP SP2

Re: A general query re. netbooks

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Yes, a netbook _can_ be a lot cheaper than an ordinary laptop but only when
the netbook has lower specs too. If you want same features, just in smaller
package, you'll actually have to pay more.


Re: A general query re. netbooks

Your question is so subjective and so much a function of the user in
question that I'm not sure that anyone else's experience would be
relevant or applicable to any other person.

gargoyle60 wrote:
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Re: A general query re. netbooks

On 3/17/2010 5:40 PM, Barry Watzman wrote:
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Indeed, but one reasonable thing can be said, I believe. Screen size is
only one factor, the other being resolution. A smaller screen can be
easier on the eyes if its resolution is lower than that of a larger screen.

A good examle of this is the R51 Thinkpad which came in two screen
flavors. The one I have is called Flexview and its resolution of
1400x1050, the other one only 1024x768. Since I work mostly with text
documents, I was hesitant to take the higher resolution. But I thought
that going from 1.50d to 1.75 for my reading glasses was worth the
additional quality.

So, as Barry said, your eyes will tell you which one suits you best, but
keep in mind my experience if you have reached the age, your arms are
getting too short ...

John Doue

Re: A general query re. netbooks


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I also work mostly with text (programming code). I have special
computer glasses as well as reading glasses, so I have the option of
whichever is best for comfort. But yes, I'm at that age too!

Switching to a low resolution could be one option, but then the
workable space is much less, especially when using a multi-section
programming IDE as I do.

I guess I'll have to borrow a friend's laptop and see for myself.

Thanks to everyong that contributed.

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