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How to shop for a netbook


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#1
Rabarth

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Hi, I'm new to forums in general and know pretty much nothing about computers.

I'm looking to purchase a netbook that's low in weight, has a great battery life, and quick at loading pages. The only things it would be used for is typing papers and surfing the internet.

When shopping, what are the things I need to look at and what to be wary of. Also, what brands to stear clear of.

Thanks!
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#2
DaffyKantReed

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http://compreviews.a...tp/netbooks.htm


This Asus has great battery life, though it's probably more like 7.5 hours, not 9.5 hours.

http://ca.asus.com/p...es16Gw2OcqSjUNt
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#3
Rabarth

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Thanks! I've never heard of ASUS before. I looked around for other products by them and found essentially the same set-up but with longer battery life and its about $100 cheaper.
http://ca.asus.com/p...AH8HAdGuhiQIXgg

If the battery life is said to be 11 hours, I assume that to be with it just being on and not actually using it. What would be a good estimate as to what it would actually be?

Also, it seems to me that there isn't a CD-drive. While not really an issue, how complex would it be to get an external one for at home use?

And lastly, that particular computer comes equipped with XP. Upon reading around more after my first post and seeing many pre-loaded with Windows 7 Starter I seem to understand that it isn't that great of an OS. I don't seem to get what the problem with it is, but how complex or necessary would it be to install Linux instead?

Sorry, I know that's a lot I'm just a little confused. Thanks!
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#4
DaffyKantReed

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The Eee PC 1001P model you note looks very nice. Having the wireless enabled and screen brightness decrease battery life quite a bit. You may not see 11 hours, but you might see 9 to 9.5 hours, which is 3x that of my laptop.

Take a peek at this one for battery life:
http://www.laptopmag...p-seashell.aspx

If at all possible, stop by a department store and demo one in person, as the screen or keyboard may not be suitable for your use. If you have fat fingers, and I do, some Eee models may not be the best choice.

External USB DVD drives
http://www.newegg.co...l-CD-DVD-Drives


Windows 7 Starter is crippled in a few ways as it's the least expensive version of Windows 7. I've not tried it so I can not say much about it other than you may want to give it a chance.
http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott/?p=844


Ubuntu Netbook Remix
http://www.ubuntu.co...ownload-netbook

This version may be near perfect for some folks and you can install it from a USB stick, which is my favorite method of installing Linux whenever possible.
(It's hard to scratch a USB key)
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#5
SpywareDr

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If the battery life is said to be 11 hours, I assume that to be with it just being on and not actually using it. What would be a good estimate as to what it would actually be?

My wife has an Acer Aspire® One 751h netbook (11.6" screen, with XP Home) that runs all day on battery. When she's not using it she simply closes the lid which puts it in Standby mode.


Also, it seems to me that there isn't a CD-drive. While not really an issue, how complex would it be to get an external one for at home use?

Not complex at all. Simply plug it into a USB port and it's ready to go. This is the one I got for my wife:

LG 8X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 6X DVD+R DL 8X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 5X DVD-RAM 8X DVD-ROM 24X CD-R 24X CD-RW 24X CD-ROM 2MB Cache USB 2.0 Black Portable Super Multi Drive Model GP08 lite - $49.99 with Free Shipping
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16827136182

Note that when she's just playing music CDs she only plugs into one USB port; when she's burning a CD, she uses two.


... how complex or necessary would it be to install Linux instead?

That begs the question does all of the software you want to use run on Linux? :)
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#6
Rabarth

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Thanks for all the information. I did end up purchasing the ASUS 1001P.

I've read that many people uninstall many of the applications computers come with. Are there any specific Do's and Don'ts? I see all of the useless applications I'll never use, but what is the easiest way to do this and what should I keep at all costs? I'm terrible with computers and it would not be unlike me to wipe something I end up needing.

Also, what is the recommended anti-virus for a netbook? I installed one into my full size Toshiba and it slowed it down significantly. Which would help me avoid this?
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#7
SpywareDr

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I've read that many people uninstall many of the applications computers come with. Are there any specific Do's and Don'ts? I see all of the useless applications I'll never use, but what is the easiest way to do this and what should I keep at all costs? I'm terrible with computers and it would not be unlike me to wipe something I end up needing.

You might try The PC Decrapifier
http://www.pcdecrapifier.com

Also, what is the recommended anti-virus for a netbook? I installed one into my full size Toshiba and it slowed it down significantly. Which would help me avoid this?

Any one of the following free solutions should work:

Edited by SpywareDr, 25 April 2010 - 03:31 PM.

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