Any thoughts on "Notebook" computers?

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Southern Presbyterian

Puritan Board Doctor
I need to purchase a small computer so I can stay in touch with the world while I travel. I don't really see the need to purchase a full size laptop just for email, Facebook and the PB. Does anyone already own a notebook type computer such as the Dell Inspiron Mini or the Acer Aspire?

Any suggestions, thoughts, or comments?
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
James, you can get a dual-core Pentium processor for under $450 at Lenovo.com.
 

ZackF

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I need to purchase a small computer so I can stay in touch with the world while I travel. I don't really see the need to purchase a full size laptop just for email, Facebook and the PB. Does anyone already own a notebook type computer such as the Dell Inspiron Mini or the Acer Aspire?

Any suggestions, thoughts, or comments?

I've bought all of my computers used. A dependable notebook could probably be won on ebay for 150-200.
 

Galatians220

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I love my Acer Aspire!!! I've had it since Jan. & I wouldn't want anything else. It's so tiny and yet its keyboard and its screen are perfect - and I have retinal "issues." I would highly recommend the Acer and its accoutrements. I bought the carrying case to go with it and would advise getting that as well, as it has a separate compartment for carrying the adapter, the mouse and a wireless card.

Margaret
 

py3ak

Unshaven and anonymous
Staff member
My wife is very fond of her Asus EEE: it seems to function more flawlessly than any other computer we've come into contact with, certainly. Maybe that's because I don't mess with it.
 

Devin

Puritan Board Sophomore
I don't keep up with tech news like I used to, therefore I can only give you my experiences.

I have had 2 laptops in my time: A Compaq and a Dell. The Compaq was a small 14 incher that I use in a similar way to what you described, and the Dell is a 17in beast I got to run a million apps all at once. Honestly, I haven't had a great deal of problems out of either machine. Actually, there isn't a single bad thing I can say about the Compaq. It is lightweight and very easy to carry around. Even though it was small, the widescreen on it was very easy on the eyes.

The Dell has had some quirks to it. First, it came in the mail with a broken key, and Dell had to ship me a new keyboard. It came in the next day so I was happy. However, every now and then it seems to run slow and I haven't been able to figure out why. It's definitely not my imagination either. I've benchmarked it at different times, and on Half Life 2 it'll run 35 frames when it's slow and 172 when it is running normally. To fix it, all I have to do is completely shut down the laptop and then power it up again. It always comes back, but that can be annoying.

That being said, I wouldn't shy away from either company if one of their machines fit all my specs.
 

tabrooks

Puritan Board Freshman
Avoid SONY brad

Sony may be a decent brand for other electronics, but avoid their notebook computers like the plague (personal experience and advice of computer geek friends)!
:eek:
 

Matthew1034

Puritan Board Freshman
I have a Dell Mini 9. I originally purchased it for school, but it has turned out to be my main computer. The keyboard is awefully small, but if you can practice patience and hope for a couple weeks, your hands will be trained to it and it will be just like using any other keyboard. I seriously considered returning it and going with the HP or MSI model; but now that I've been accustomed to the smaller keyboard layout, I can't imagine using anything else. There are a lot of laptops this size (about 10 inches by 6 1/2 inches), but let me tell you why the Dell is a steal:

1. Solid state drive + no fan = no moving parts. This is important to me because I just plop the Dell on top of my books in my backpack and go... I don't have to worry about a harddisk being damaged (if they are shook or jammed while they are spinning it can cause serious damage), or of any part being damaged at all. Its a sort of relief.

2. Cheap upgrades. If you purchase the 512mb model instead of the 1gb and save however much money (I think its $20 or so, not sure), you can put that money you save towards a 2GB memory stick which are going for about $30 shipped! That's awesome!

3. Storage. The maximum storage on the 9 is a little short if one was planning to make this their main PC. But you can still do ALOT with 16GB, just not a whole lot of storage. What's nice here, though, is that you can spend about $35 and get a 16GB SDHC card and double your storage capacity (I have an 8GB in there now).

Overall, I think these laptops are the future of computers.. Here's why. I've been technically savvy for a long time, I've kept up with technology and am able to do a lot of things on a computer. Since I've been using these, my desktop has become obsolete except for my huge iTunes library and some high-graphic gaming (which is very, very seldom); and when I use my friends 15" and 17" laptops, they feel like mammoths in my lap. I'm not a trend setter, but I really see people using these as their main computers, especially as the storage, memory, and video options increase.

For about $400, it is well worth it. If you have the money to spend and are serious about getting a travel computer companion, get the Mini 9 @ 512mb memory, 16GB SSD, windows XP. Have someone do a fresh install of XP, install your programs, and you're set.

A note for advanced users: I have a linux distro installed on a 3.5gb partition, with windows on the remaining 10.5 and both OSs run smooth as can be. No problems whatsoever. (maybe some hardware compatability with the distro I'm running, but Ubuntu could solve that).

Also, even though there is no CD drive, you can spend a few bucks and pick up a 2gb usb flash drive and make CDs obsolete. If you have a computer that supports CDs, you can make an image (ISO) of the cd, make the usb stick bootable, and load the ISO onto the usb stick, plug the usb stick into the Mini, and boot from it or use it just like a CD. Really interesting!

I pray you make a wise decision. Any questions about the Mini, ask me!
 

forgivenmuch

Puritan Board Freshman
Sony may be a decent brand for other electronics, but avoid their notebook computers like the plague (personal experience and advice of computer geek friends)!
:eek:

I have a VAIO, which is great, and so far it has given me no problems, but I have heard stories about people who have had bad experiences. Here's hoping I don't end up with the same story.
 

Southern Presbyterian

Puritan Board Doctor
I purchased the Asus Eee PC. I'm logged on with it right now. So far, so good. I think I got a pretty good deal at Best Buy. This tiny keyboard will take some getting used to, but I believe this will suite my needs nicely.
 

Galatians220

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Adam, check this out: Acer Aspire One Review.

The review talks about the noise that the Acer Aspire's cooling fan makes. Well, it's not that bad. I listen to sermons on www.sermonaudio.com on it, even men with Scottish or Irish or Australian accents, and it's fine for that, even with other ambient noise in the room (that I'm in, not them!). For listening to music and watching videos, though, headphones would probably be in order for the sake of full appreciation of the content.

Margaret
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
Any thoughts on the dell mini 10s and 12s? Also, I note they don't sell these with MS Word; that's kinda a deal breaker. What is in Works that is compatible and is there any problem moving from whatever word processor works has to Word and back?
 

Scottish Lass

Puritan Board Doctor
Chris,
When I taught school, many of my students only had Works, but needed to print at school, which didn't have Works. As long as you save it as rich text or as a Word document, it's no problem to move from Works to Word. Back again may require rich text only; I have no idea.
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
Any thoughts on the dell mini 10s and 12s? Also, I note they don't sell these with MS Word; that's kinda a deal breaker. What is in Works that is compatible and is there any problem moving from whatever word processor works has to Word and back?

Chris, you can get by with Works, but if you share files with others, you really should have Word. Sure there are work arounds, but if you receive a Word file from someone because they forgot to convert to rtf, you then have to convert it with another application anyway, which takes time. . . . On it goes.

Works is a good program for home use, but, maddeningly, even other MS products won't easily read files made by it. The spreadsheet is good, but try opening it in Excel! Argh.

You can get the MS Office Home version for around $70-90 bucks anyway. Even at minimum wage, if you save 10 hours in lost time from converting, messing with formats, etc., you've paid for it.

So, if you find a machine without Word, just factor that into the price and take the plunge.

(BTW, I'm well versed in Open Office, etc., and have used most of the main non-MS products--they are fun and useful, but if you are in the heat of producing work that must be shared with others who use MS products, none of that matters).
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks Vic. I can confirm the necessity of Word for production and joint writing work. Looks like full size laptop then? Not sure I'd like the small keyboard. This would mostly be for revision work on material created in Word; to let me have the option of a more comfortable working space anywhere I want in the house instead of in my cubicle. Yes; I have a cubicle at home.:rolleyes:

Any thoughts on the dell mini 10s and 12s? Also, I note they don't sell these with MS Word; that's kinda a deal breaker. What is in Works that is compatible and is there any problem moving from whatever word processor works has to Word and back?

Chris, you can get by with Works, but if you share files with others, you really should have Word. Sure there are work arounds, but if you receive a Word file from someone because they forgot to convert to rtf, you then have to convert it with another application anyway, which takes time. . . . On it goes.

Works is a good program for home use, but, maddeningly, even other MS products won't easily read files made by it. The spreadsheet is good, but try opening it in Excel! Argh.

You can get the MS Office Home version for around $70-90 bucks anyway. Even at minimum wage, if you save 10 hours in lost time from converting, messing with formats, etc., you've paid for it.

So, if you find a machine without Word, just factor that into the price and take the plunge.

(BTW, I'm well versed in Open Office, etc., and have used most of the main non-MS products--they are fun and useful, but if you are in the heat of producing work that must be shared with others who use MS products, none of that matters).
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks Vic. I can confirm the necessity of Word for production and joint writing work. Looks like full size laptop then? Not sure I'd like the small keyboard. This would mostly be for revision work on material created in Word; to let me have the option of a more comfortable working space anywhere I want in the house instead of in my cubicle. Yes; I have a cubicle at home.:rolleyes:

Chris, as much as I like my little Acer, I think you'd be happier with a full-sized laptop. You want as big as a display as you can get for comfortable document review/revision.

I do it on my little netbook OK, but when I want to really dig in, I hook up a big monitor so I see two or three document windows at the same time.
 
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