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 Post subject: netbooks...for a dummy
PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 10:51 pm 
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OK, I have read the threads here about some that have recently purchased a netbook.

I'm thinking this would be a cool thing to have in the truck when I hit the road.

I know NOTHING about what to look for to make an intelligent decision.

I did some heavy reading on the internet about netbooks...and now I'm more confused than before I started reading. Something about 3 cell or 6 cell batteries...lots of differences in 3 hour to 9 hour batteries...16GB and 60 GBs...Yikes!!!

http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/stor ... %3Dnetbook

This bright idea came this afternoon while shopping at COSTCO...they have an Acer (don't know the model) for $79. with 2 years contract with AT&T ($60 a month) for connection.



I would appreciate some ideas on what to look for (pros and cons) to help me to make a decision.

Thanks.

Bob


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 11:36 am 
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Bob I absolutely love my little Acer.

They are selling them at Walmart for 298.00,

I got mine at Amazon.com. It is my understanding that they had some with different sized batteries. Mine is supposed to be the bigger one (9) hours, and it does last that long. My understanding is that they ran short of the smaller batteries due to so many being sold and substituted the larger battery and I got lucky.

I would stay away from any contract, that is way to expensive. most truck stops, motels, and lots of eating places have free wireless. That is my opinion anyway, I could be wrong. I have heard lots of stories of people getting hooked into these contracts and getting totally hosed with payments.

If you get a notebook, get a wireless mouse, they are slick and about 19.00.

Remember with a notebook you won't have a CD/DVD drive but can use flashdrives to put in about anything.

Vicki

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 11:52 am 
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Bob:

My sister is like Vicki, and loves her Acer Netbook.

About that 2 year AT&T contract. IF it is for a cellular card that gives you high speed Internet access, it is a GREAT thing to have. Anywhere you have a cellular signal (and most interstates I've been on have great signals) then you would have a high speed Internet connection. I used Chance's cellular card when I went to Florida in April and I was in heaven!!!!

The cellular card plugs into a USB port on the laptop. It will download the software you need, and away you go!!!

The 3 or 4 times I've tried connecting to a free Internet site at a truck stop, they were charging $7 or $8 to become a "member" to use their WiFi.

McDonald's does have free WiFi, and I'm not sure about any of the other chain type restaurants. It seems that more and more places advertise WiFi to "members".

Just my two cents

Verna

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 2:09 pm 
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A frend at work has one he said the best thing about the mini laptops is that they are small and the worst thing is that they are small.
The minies also have limited capacity.
Several companys provide wirless service with a plug in module to your standard lap top. Good used comerical grade laptops can be had in the $200 range.
Ask some over the road drivers which service they would recomend.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 9:48 pm 
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We have a Toshiba and love it. Plenty of disk space for basic use. As to the wireless option it all depends on what you are doing. Our carrier (Sprint) has a "phone as modem" option that allows us to plug our netbook into my wife's cell phone and use it to access the network. We use this for about 5 months a year when we are out on our boat and then cancel it for the rest of the year. We have friends who do the same thing with AT&T.

If possible, get a Netbook that can upgrade to at least 2GB of memory. You may not need it now but when Windows 7 comes along you probably will. The other nice thing is that the Toshiba has an SD card reader on the front so you can add external memory if you need storage space past what you can get on the hard drive. Not a problem for us but friends have found it useful.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:03 am 
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Thanks y'all for all the comments. After looking around the internet and discovering a bunch of refurbished mini's and laptops...lots of options available.

I like the idea of small...I'm concerned about using the small screen rather than about the same $$$ investment to start...maybe I should just get a regular refurbished laptop...for readability.

Thanks y'all...

Bob


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 11:30 am 
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Just read this. You may want to go get one of the rogue over-powered netbooks before Microsoft wipes them out.

Go go Google!! Get Chrome to market!

http://www.pcworld.com/article/169919/5_netbooks_microsoft_has_crushed.html


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 5:29 pm 
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The way pricing is now, you can get some really good deals on laptops (albeit with Vista). You just have to decide the tradeoff between size/weight and screen size. With the netbook you're really dealing with a half height screen so you do more scrolling.

The early reviews of Windows 7 say that it is not the resource hog that Vista is. One reviewer loaded Windows 7 on a P4 and said it ran fine so a netbook should be able to run Windows 7 without too much trouble. That made the decision for us. It gave us the perfect way to get a new PC and avoid Vista.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 9:18 am 
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Bob, I bought an Acer Aspire One netbook about a month ago and am very happy with it. It has 1gb of memory and a 160gb hard drive. It weighs less than 3 pounds, and the battery lasts up to 8 hours on a charge (if I'm not browsing the net, then it is around 6). There is no cd or dvd drive but for just browsing the net, I don't need one. It has 3 USB ports so I can plug a portable dvd player/recorder into it if need be.

The screen size is 10.1 inches and is around 80% the height of a laptop screen. To some this might be a problem, but I don't find it to be one for me. The screen resolution is 1068 X 600 pixels as opposed to 1068 X 728 on a laptop. The size of the fonts on screen are smaller than the laptop but I haven't found that to be a problem either. I can read whatever is on the screen whether I am in my recliner, at a table, or in the....well you get the idea.

The keys are kind of small and close together so typing takes some getting used to but once you get used to the keyboard it is no problem.

It has Windows XP Home edition with Service Pack 3 as it's operating system. Which is what is on my desktop and laptop so there is no problem with software being compatible.

Recently I read that some people have had problems with the Acer's LCD screen breaking and that it is very fragile. Acer will not cover the screen repair under the warranty and a new one costs around $200. So for home use and a gentle touch this might not be a problem; however, to take on the road, this could potentially be a big problem. I can't address other netbook brands' LCD screens since I haven't researched them but you might want to take a look at some of the others and research them yourself.

It is WIFI compatible and worked great at the ice skating rink when I took my grandkids there last week. It should work anywhere that is WIFI ready like motels, hotels, some restaurants, cafes, and truck stops.

The cost of my Acer (model D150-1322) was $259 online.

Hope this info is of some help. If you have any questions feel free to ask......Jim


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 9:53 am 
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Thanks again everyone!! I am learning alot about these little beauties.

I really like the idea of small size. I have been researching the net, and finding other ideas and options.

Have a great day.

Bob


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