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Author Topic: NETBOOKS - do you own one? Do you like it??  (Read 4128 times)
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« on: August 23, 2009, 01:36:24 AM »

My wife is very interested in a Netbook (this whole new line on mini-laptops) and I have seen a definite pattern in nearly all the models:

Intel® Atom™ processor N270
Features a 512KB cache and 1.6GHz processor speed.
1GB DDR2 memory
For multitasking power, expandable to 2GB.
Note: Optical drive not included
Compatible with optional external recordable DVD and CD drives (not included).
10.1" WXGA widescreen LED display
With 1024 x 600 resolution showcases movies, games and other images in rich clarity.
160GB hard drive (5400 rpm)
Offers spacious storage options.
Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 950
With up to 224MB shared video memory for lush images. Integrated audio support with built-in stereo speakers.
Built-in 1.3-megapixel webcam
Makes it easy to chat with family and friends.
3-in-1 memory card slot
Supports Secure Digital, Secure Digital High Capacity and MultiMediaCard formats for easy digital photo transfer.
3 high-speed USB 2.0 ports
For fast digital video, audio and data transfer.
Built-in high-speed wireless connectivity (802.11b/g/n)
Lets you wirelessly connect to the Internet.
Built-in 10/100 Mbps Ethernet LAN with RJ-45 connector
Provides an easy Internet connection.
Weighs 2.4 lbs. and measures just 1.4" thin
For lightweight portability.
Long battery life
Of up to 4 hours and 20 minutes to give you more time away from an outlet.
Microsoft Windows XP Home operating system
With Service Pack 3 (SP3) preinstalled for a stable operating platform from which to launch programs, applications and games.
Software package included
With Adobe Acrobat Reader, Microsoft Works, Windows Live Suite and more.

or

Intel® Atom™ processor Z520; 2GB DDR2 SDRAM; 11.6" widescreen; 250GB hard drive; Windows Vista Home Basic with SP1
Intel® Atom™ processor Z520
Features a 490MHz frontside bus, 512KB L2 cache and 1.2GHz processor speed.
2GB DDR2 SDRAM
For multitasking power.
Note: Optical drive not included
Optional external DVD-ROM drive with USB 2.0 interface available (not included).
11.6" LED-backlit high-definition WXGA display
With CrystalBrite technology and 1366 x 768 resolution delivers intense detail and clarity.
250GB SATA hard drive (5400 rpm)
Offers spacious storage options and fast read/write times.
Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 950 graphics
For lush images. 2 built-in stereo speakers with high-definition audio and Dolby headphone support.
Built-in Acer Crystal Eye webcam
Makes it easy to chat with family and friends.
Multi-in-1 media reader
Supports Secure Digital, MultiMediaCard, Reduced-Size MultiMediaCard, Memory stick, Memory Stick PRO and xD-Picture Card formats.
3 high-speed USB 2.0 ports
For fast digital video, audio and data transfer.
Acer InviLink Wi-Fi (802.11b/g)
Connect to the Internet without wires.
Built-in 10/100 Ethernet LAN
With RJ-45 connector for quick and easy wired Web connection.
Weighs only 2.75 lbs. and measures just 1" thin
For lightweight portability.
Long battery life
Of up to 4 hours to give you more time away from an outlet.
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Basic operating system
With Service Pack 1 (SP1) preinstalled provides a stable computing platform.
Software package included
With Adobe Reader 9, Microsoft Works 8.5 and more. 60-day trial of Microsoft Works office Home and Student 2007 also included.
ENERGY STAR qualified
Designed to use less energy and meets strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy.

Here is what I have learned and wonder

I keep reading the Z520 chip will soon be phased out, when existing orders are filled - giving way to the n270-n280 processors which currently use XP operating systems.

I'm wondering if the n2X series will replace the z520 and also utilize the 2gig ram, larger hard drive and Vista and logically soon Windows 7.

My point I guess is, I think all these (al least when not mutitasking out the ying yang) do a fine job of being a handy portable around the house and on the go. I know it can run nearly any software out there which doesn't task the processors limits or video limitations in 2d or 3d.

I don't expect miracles from any of these, but surprizingly they are very apt machines considaring all. But, is this a YOU SHOULD WAIT product or is one relatively where it will be WITHOUT sending twice the price. As is, amazingly there are dozens and dozens in the $299 - $349 price range and countless if you go to $450.

I am in the thinking that if I plan to spend that much on a mini, toss in another hundred and get a really nice 14.5 inch screen and DVD drive with faster or at least equal everything.

My wife though wants the small size, literally to sit and surf here in the living room as I hod the HDTV to surf the net on, or take it into the bedroom and relax to a movie, either transfered via portadrive or downloaded - or of course TV shows from Hulu or Fancast.

The question is too, what chipset, video system is best for hi-def video viewing, also I couldn't leave out which screens get the best ratings.

If Tracey wants a 10.5 inch Netbook, I'll have one for her ASAP, with back-to-school going on, many store are simply getting backlogged on orders. I'd hate to get the better of the machines only to findout it is out dated by time it arrives - we have ALL done that over the years in computer buying.

I see these minis as being the mainstay of a certain niche of computing, as they grow in popularity, so will features and prices. But as long as you feel comfortable looking at a ten inch screen all the time, I guess it doesn't get better.

So.... do you or the kids have one yet, which do you have and would you recommend it. What drawbacks are hard to live with and which are simple an inconvienience (like having no DVD player is easy to fix with a fairly inexpensive external drive) touch pad can be replaced with a $15 cordless USB mouse, etc..

Any input is appriciated.
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« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2009, 04:24:48 PM »

I bought the HP Net Book at Wal-Mart about 6 months ago.
Been buying and using computers and laptops since they first became available twenty years ago.  Can you say Commador 64?  And can only say that out of the 20 plus PCs and 10 plus Laptops I've purchased this was the biggest disappointment of all.
Mouse pad is terrible.
Battery life, even with the heavy duty battery pack, I've gotten no where near 4 hours, more like two.
And screen, though bright, is hard to see at any angle other than head on.
Wi-Fi connectivity is near impossible at hot spots.  Though works well on my home LAN.
Knew it didn't have a cd player/burner, but it sorely needs one.
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« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2009, 08:44:39 PM »

The Asus netbooks (eeepc line) get consistently high marks. I do not own one, but fully intend to get one when I catch up on my rent (really horrible, horrible income year this has been). I live a mobile life, spending as much or more time in my taxicab as at my home. A 9- or 10-inch screen is not a hindrance if most of what you're doing is net-surfing or office-type document editing. Same goes for video quality and optical drives.

If you need video and/or an optical drive, spend the extra couple hundred dollars for a real laptop. Netbooks are highly optimized for mobile-office duties and, thus, skimp on a/v capability.

If you do buy a netbook, you get identical (often better) performance, battery life, and software feature/capability with the Linux-based models as the WinCE models for $50-100 less with the same hardware specs.
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« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2009, 12:05:54 AM »

Thanks forth input. Today we went shopping, trying any Acers, Asus, HP, Compaq and Dells out - hit all the youtube reviews and of course the ZDNet and CNET stuff we could find.

My wife made her choice after playing with these "Little adorable puters" and we ordered a Samung N120 - it's stand out features being the largest, most ergonomic keyboard in a 10.1 inch unit, builtin blue-tooth, 6 cell battery, 1.3 mp cam, speakers along side the screen and a subwhoofer (not expcting much from that mind you under the front)

It also has XP service pack 4 - most all have SP 3, it does nave the Intel Atom N270 processor with 160 gig HD @ 5400 - 1.6GHZ processor speed and all the other features of the similar models.

Came to $375 with free shipping from Amazon. I could only find it (even through shopping.com) for $8 less and you paid shipping.

It is the white model and here is a video review and details on the unit. I hope she likes it, I think I'll wait an other generation or two and see what they can really pack it these Smiley Thanks for the feed back.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsVwz7nlYJM" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsVwz7nlYJM</a>

http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-N120-12GW-10-1-Inch-White-Netbook/dp/B0021AG0RY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1251086571&sr=8-2

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« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2009, 02:05:35 PM »

let me know how she likes it.  my laptop is about TU and i was thinking of a netbook for travel.  that's all i really use it for and a full size laptop is a pain.
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« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2009, 02:56:18 PM »

I almost bought one a few months ago at Costco. They had an Acer. I am in a wait and see mode at the moment and want to see what they do with them.  I truly want a DVD player though if I am going to take this traveling with me.

One of these days.


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« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2009, 10:18:59 PM »

Annette and Kathy:

I'm with you, I thinkthe main objective is to UNDERESMATE what it can do and take it o the limits to see wht i can do. We played with about 10 machin yesterday, allfelt solid, I think it importnt to any user that the RIGHT SHIFT KEY is a full key - my 17inch HP doesn't have one, it is a half key (same sized as normal letter keys) and trust me, every sentence you search for it because your fingers naturally go to a wider shift key. Only one of the netbooks had that issue, forget which one.

But they are very solid, none of the keyboards were mushy, the generic settings on the track mouse were very accomidating and only a few had chicklet style keys (like something from a 70s keyboard in an old movie, perfectly square and spaced too far apart.

Really it does get down to two machine styles, the XP with a GIG of RAM with a 160gig HDor the VISTA with 2 GIGS  and a 250gig HD- the differnce oddly is the processor with the Vista machine is going away as soon as orders are full according to CNET.

The nice feature with the XP machines are that there will be a memory card or similar plug-in update to Windows 7 which suppose to fix a lot of what people don't like about Vista, it will run around $120 and nearly self-install, making better use of the 1GIG machines with the N270-N280 Nextel Processors and those already making the upgrade say it really makes a flying and much better preforming machine.

The only other option I think is important is the 6 cell battery which comes standard with the Samsung I ordered and it has Bluetooth, so you can use your equipped cellphone or (let's say) a Bluetooth Mouse with it, so you don't have to have that annoying adaptor sticking out your USB for a wireless mouse.

Itdoes get simple after looking over lots of models. I too liked the color selection on the acers, as well as the look - I think the only winning factor is the larger keyboard on the Samsung and it's slightly improved speaker arrangement.

My favorite color choices (BTW) are the mechanical black and silver theme, my laptop has that and it just screams quality PC at you, but Acer has gone the extra mile and really put out some fantastic colors, their RED and BLUE are amazingly beautiful out-doing Dells selection of colors which mostly fall into paler pastels which I don't find as appealing.

I'll keep in touch, I don't think it will ship until Thursday or Friday, so it will likely be early next week before the first impressions come in.

But I'm fancy to finding movies online, all are GREAT on the HDTV although they are FAR from HD - most range in the 520x310 (give or take) resolution and all these netbooks can stream those movies well, very well according to every review I have seen.

I like the idea of downloading a movie for Tracey (whether directly on the netbook) or transferring it to her's from my portadrive, actually I have two, a 260 gig and a 1000gig portable drive, so storage is never an issue here for movies Smiley

I just hope she enjoys it and occationally, I hope to bring it to work where at lunch time I can catch most of a movie - I know I 'll be using my headphones and reading glasses to make it immersive, but I sit am amazed at the size and quality - now if only the operation is at least at my minimal expectations all will be good.

I can honestly seeing myself getting one of the NEXT generation units, I know they will surely get better (as all things do in computing eventually) and I'll have a mini screaming meany weighing in at a whopping 2.6 pounds. Cool item indeed. It gets down to a device that makes the LAPTOP people more comfortable using over the PDA and CELLPHONE people, I'll never understand the attraction to a device that fits in the palm of your hand and entire keyboards the size of a warning label on a pack of cigarettes. At least with the netbooks, you certanly feel like there is $300 worth of stuff in front of you.
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« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2009, 11:33:30 PM »

I am typing on one..they are certainly handy for somone on the go as they are  small and the internal wireless card. I got the ATT Acer with 150 gb.  I like that it came with XP insted of Vista. only real complaint is the buss speed seems a little slow and small key board is tough for bigole fat working mans fingers.  Other than that I am pleased/.
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« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2009, 11:41:32 PM »

Good to hear BF:

I do think that as a WEB SOCIETY it is most likely the product that will fill many a Christmas Stocking this year. The "Back-to-school" application alone especially for the younger students who aren't yet subjected to endless nights of Beer Bong and World of Warcraft Parties (where a powerful laptop is ecential) but the kids needing something that will make it through a whole school day and still carry easily in their backback is awesome.

Many of these systems now have a GPS/LoJack type phone home option so that if yours is stolen, you simply enter a serial number into a webpage and it will track its location for you through any hot spot. Now that is neat, even for keeping track of your own kids!!!

I see a real place in our ENTERTAINMENT AGE world we live in, it fills many gaps from the all-in-one cellphones to the ultra-laptops. Even those owning screamin' machines have need for simplicity from time to time and having something SIMPLE today is a blessing. I can't wait to play with it when it comes, although my wife already instructed me that SHE wants to open the box - even though I told her I'd gladly CHARGE it up for her BEFORE she got home from work when it comes - lol. She didn't fall for that one, not one bit. Thanks Smiley


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« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2009, 10:14:08 AM »

I forgot to mention that I have small hands as does my wife, the full sized keyboard (which we only got to try a 92% keyboard, where the Samsung claims a 98% to 100% keyboard of a 14" laptop. The difference, although small will be welcomed.

I read more on the Windows 7 option too, they are still debating a thumb drive install product for Netbooks - Microsoft has not decided on that yet, qalthough is it very likely to be the option.

The drawback is that you are wiping your drive completely to upgrade to W7, so you will need a backup device (that is why I bought a terradrive, I knew it would come in handy and it sure has) so I won't sweat the upgrade. I just hope that as promised, W7 will be easier on the processor, and add much improved networking and muoltitasking over Vista which by most accounts (including mine) stinks.

So, tomorrow (ugh) is the day Amazon suppose to ship out the unit - why didn't I pay the extra $15 to have tomorrow instead, it would have been cheaper than NJ sales tax.

Honestly though, I cannot wait to see where these Netbooks are headed, I think they will be the most commonly use PC very soon - being especially cheap for small business networking and incredible portability makes life easier for everyone. All that and a good price too - seems impossible, but maybe the computer gods all got together and decided to toss us a break.

I too was a computer users, well before the Commodor 64, I had the Vic20 and prior to that the Timex Sinclair units. It has been amazing paying $3000 12 years ago for a notebook with a crappy 9 inch screen with little power, no real ram or rediculous processor speeds and feeling "Cutting Edge" It is hard to find a laptop today for $3000, most nicer units running in the $1500 range and maybe $2000 for the ultimate laptop.

As RAM went from $40 for a 250K chip to $29 for a 2 GIG, I swear we have seen it all. It has almost gotten to the point where PCs are throw away devices (at $300) it still sounds, no matter how basic that you have finally gotten the upper hand.

Lastly, I know to be more functional, you need auxiliary devices; optical drive, wireless mouse and so on - but even these devices are cheap. I think a major stepping stone has been leaped with the invent of the netbook, who knows where it will go from there.
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« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2009, 02:07:13 PM »

along with my dedicated VR room, i'd like some kind of projection or holographic computer access device.  maybe something like a wrist device?  you could have full size and full access to the 'net and communication by projecting on any available wall or solid surface, but keep the access device small.  something that would read hand movement for manipulation of projection.
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« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2009, 01:18:09 AM »

Well Kathy:

I know that I have seen electro-magnetic headphone devices that can cause inner ear manipulation to make the wearer feel G-Force (ideal for video games, Nascar and AirCraft fighter simulators, etc.

That with eyeglasses that transpose an image equal to a 50" TV from 10 feet away, which can go from clear or prescription lens to hi-def monitors with voice command. It is all stuff out there already. There is hardware device that need wearing, but simple tools really no bigger than a netbook.

I've seen the glasses advertized for a decade now - never tried them, but when they master hi-res, I'll gladly sitback in the chair or lay in bed emmerced in a virtual movie screen experience that MAY just be controled through eye movement and voice control.

I don't think your VR room is far behind, nor should it be out of the reach of the middle class as models swamp the market.

Oh, word...  Tracey's Samsung was shipped out of Lexington, TN at 12:25am Wednesday morning via regular USPS - so I'm expecting it on Saturday now - yippy Smiley

I'll be doing a video review of the unit, like the vidios online, but with REAL WORK SOFWARE testing its ability to handle things like Paint.net, fullscreen Hulu, play full screen movie downloads and play without disruptions (again, the majority of downloaded movies are NOT near Hi-res) most in the 520X300 size which will look very nice I suspect.

I also ordered today a Bluetooth Mouse and have placed in a shopping cart the 2 GIG memory chip set. The only big fix later is the upgrade to Windows 7, then it should be a dream portable. As it is, they scream at surfing as well as my notebook when testing in the stores. Of course, I'll be doing several program installs to make life a bit easier and the PC more functional.

Still can't wait to steal it and bring it to work with me at lunch time - I get a good hour and would never pass up a movie at lunch time!
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« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2009, 10:00:32 PM »

WOW!!!

I'm typing on the Samsung N120 right now, we got it today, very fast included delivery (or as they call it FREE) from Amazon via USPS.

I have been playing about 1 hour now, installed several programs and even tried the webcam 1.3mp out on my livestream feed, it was incredibly clear even in low light - it lagged about 15 seconds, compared to the HP notebooks 5 second delay which is not a real big issue.

I looked at about 20 Youtube videos, both reg and HD, both full screen and watched several movie trailers at moviefone - all were more than a comfortable 30fps, I saw no flickering and no pixelation.

With the text option set to large or largest, every page seems easy to read on Explorer. The page load time is as good as my laptop, handling graphics very quickly, but I haven't loaded any pages using applets, so I need some more time - an hour or so of trying everything I can has been successful, yet I'm a long way from rating it because I'll be trying everything.

The keyboard is indeed a pleasure, my fingers are falling right in place with no thinking, I have it on my lap - something that I never really did with my full laptop.

It runs very cool, the three speaker system is more than loud enough and full sounding, no real bass with the mini-subwhoofer, but full sound that isn't tinny. The keyboard lettering is large, but not cluttered and the who machine with its 6 cell battery weighs less than 2.6 pounds. I compare it to my wireless keyboard I use with the laptop and the netbook is definitely lighter.

The screen has many brightness settings, so extending the battery which says 4 hours 52 minutes left as I type this can be modified according to how bright it is kept and of course what you are doing - streaming fullscreen videos will whack at that time I'm sure.

So I still need to try the Bluetooth, but setting it up initially with windows XP and installing the full McaFee I get as a Comcast user all went fast and easy.

Tracey says I should right computer reviews - lol. This is fun Smiley

I'll post more as I play and install software that will tax the processor and I'll be interested how Ventrilo will work too. The best part is the portability, it is so cute and fun to use. I think keeping in mind the limitations of having no DVD drive (although USB DVD drives go for about $50 or so) and you do have 3 USB ports, a VGA for connecting to a separate monitor, both wireless and Ethernet adaptor, bluetooth and extra large keyboard (largest in the netbook families) this Samsung is cool - I'll get some pics up tomorrow.

It is sweet though to know you have hours and hours of charge time - I think in most cases you can leave the charge behind - although I never bank on such things, I don't mind having a power brick somewhere handy.

This has been Beemaster's first PC review. I'll have a update in a few days after I put a dent in the 160gig HD, I have bunch of stuff to try. Right now I need to install my favorite Divx/Xvid player and transfer a movie from my notebook, put it on an SD card and watch it from there, let the fun continue Smiley

UPDATE

Day two. I got to watch a movie on an SD Card in Divx format (avi tagged) and it was flawless, bright and loud as needed. The HD Youtubes CAN be a little iffy, I have many play fine as well as some stagger a bit. I watched a bunch of Hulu and Fancast videos too and on some I saw a light freeze in the video for a split second about every 6 or 7 seconds - audio was fine, and the slight pause was noticeable but didn't prevent viewing by being overly annoying. Mind you, I didn't pay a lot of attention to what other programs I had opened either, so I might have taxed the processor a bit, but again it is some videos in full screen and only a fraction. It does seem to differ from one uploader's films to another, so it might be a compression thing - I don't know.

I'm enjoying it, of course it is my wifes, she has only played about an hour with it, but really likes it. I spent most of last night and some of today adding programs we commonly use. By the way, Ventrilo voice chat is prefect - good complements on the mic and great audio on the receive end. I added Google Chrome too, slim lined and not a bad browser at all.

Lastly, I found that the scroll bar on the right side of the touchad has a neat feature - if you quickly slide your finger up or down it, it will scroll very fast through long documents - which beats constantly scrolling a few lines at a time. A fast motion will literally take you from the top to the bottom of a long page in one stroke - pretty cool.

Oh, and I wanted to add that typing is a joy, yes I make my normal spelling errors, but my fingers are falling exactly where they should - that is a joy when you type a lot, not having to relearn a keyboard layout.

More feedback as I find new things.
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« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2009, 04:15:44 PM »

John,

It's funny that you made this post!  I've been away from the forum for some time now since my hand surgerys.  Our old computer died and it's taken us a little while to get it back up.  I've been keeping my eye on Netbooks and finally broke down and bought an Acer Aspire One ao751h the day before yesterday.  Originally I was going to buy the AO250 but it didn't come with 2 gigs ram or a 250 meg hd like the AO751h did.  Plus this one has a 11.6" screen.  The only downside of the AO751h is it has the 1.33mhz atom processor instead of the 1.66 like the AO250 has.  And the graphics card is the intel 500 instead of the 950 (which makes not much sense cause it has a bigger screen).  The 500 sucks cause most games are not supported with this chipset.  I like to fart around on Second Life which requires a 940 or larger which would have worked on the AO250.  Oh well, the reason I bought this thing was to play online while in my truck waiting in line to load.
I just ordered the USB wireless internet card through Verizon Wireless (my computer will have it's own phone number lol) and will be here tomorrow!  Can't wait!!!

Sean Kelly
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« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2009, 10:22:56 PM »

My 13 year-0ld wants a net-book. We can't decide between the acer or the samsung. Mostly chat use but we want it for school work also. Could you please give me the pros and cons. I am almost computer illiterate so please dumb it down. What options may one have that the other don't? What is expected price difference?

Also what will i need to set it up wireless @ home?

Should I try and put her off until windows 7 comes out in october? Do you think they will clearance the XP's when win 7 comes out? Probably not!









« Last Edit: August 31, 2009, 11:38:17 PM by sc-bee » Logged

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« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2009, 08:15:50 AM »

Steve:

I've had the Samsung since Friday, each night I install new programs, run mlutiply applications (nothing too taxing) have watched dozens of Youtube videos (the low def ones look great in full screen and most of the hi-def runwell too. I watch streaming Big Brothr feed on it, I've walked around the property and kept a 5 bar signal on the wireless. The drawback and it is only cosmetic is that Samsung only comes in back or white with the N120. I think that is a big mistake, I hope they fix that problem soon. If you were to order from Dell a different color, they charge $40 extra - that is something in the Dell commercial they don't tell you when they have dinosaur feet stepping in colored poop shaped piles to press out the netbook shell.

I am waiting until the Win7 to come out to buy mine, I like this XP version with the N270 processor, which runs XP with standard 1 gig RAM - upgradable for $29 to 2 Gig - but as you know there is the Z570 processor used in all most all the Vista models is less fast (which is being phased out) has on board a larger hardrive (mostly to accomidate Vista I might add) and on board 2gigs or ram. The drives on the Vista units are around 250GIG to 260GIG in size. But don't let that fool you - again, Vista is space hungry, by time you create a backup drive you won't see much space difference between the two drive sizes, and remember although the XP units run at 1.6GHZ speed, the Vista units run only at 1.3GHZ not a great speed difference by itself, but big when talking operating systems. I just hear that the XP with the 1.6 N270 (and there is an N280 processor out there) will screem (as far as netbooks go) on Windows 7. That is why I am waiting until October to buy mine. I'll be interested to compare Tracey's to mine then.

The problem I have with acer is they come out with a new version every week, keeping track of the latest or the best is not as easy. The Acer is smaller than the Samsung and about $50 cheaper, but having the much larger keyboard on the Samaung will safe hours of frustration as your hands fall right into place easily - no learning curve.

Acer has is too made in color selection and over all size it is a little smaller. It really all but disappears in a backpack and that is awesome. But with better sound quality, larger keyboard, very flexible backlighting settings for room conditions (no sense running full brightness in a darkroom when you can double your bateries) the six cell 7-8 hour battery life) bluetooth enabled a benchmark speed out doing the acers, Samsung offers a lot for extra $50. That is important I think too - remember no matter which unit you get, go for the SIX-CELL BATTERY, it at least doubles the daily use when fully charged and nearly removes the need to carry the power charger for most occations.

I seriously believe after 5 days of really testing it, I love the Samsung 120 (there are several models out there too, so be careful) but realise, it surely won't be her last computer. If cash is an issue, she has no need for bluetooth, wants a jazzy color and can work with a smaller keyboard, then Acer is a great deal. If you think you want something a bit more robust that might get an extra year out of as her hands and needs grow, then Samsungs unit with their ultra-bright screen is a real winner.

Lastly, the only word processor I had presinstalled (unless I missed it) was Notepad and Word pad - that latter being fine for most school work I would imagine. I did download the free Open-Office Suite fully enabling the computer to do all tasks, processor, spreadsheets, etc. Then I added Paint.net (actual name of program - not a vebsite) aslo Open Source and free too from www.download.com or any other download site you might use. All these programs run fine with no drawbacks I have found yet.

With that software, either machine, for well under $400 and closer to $300 for the Acer, I know you'll have a great gift for your daughter that will last because all these netbooks seem sturdy and built well.

Lastly, no final word on how Win 7 will be delivered to the netbook. Without a DVD drive, it limits Mircosofts choices, but the fully recognise the power and potential of the netbook frenzy. Most of the big companies think either a USB device or a SD card which once started WIPED CLEAN EVERYTHING in the computer - backing up files will be important or they will be gone. The upgrade will go around $120-$140 but it isn't necessary if the computer does everything she needs. It supposed to do things using less computing power and less HA space, so that is a plus, especially if you up it to 2gigs, then running multiple tasts is a breeze.

Hope this helped. Oh.... Look above in my earlier post for the youtube video of the Samsung 120 if you haven't seen it, it does a pretty great job of explaining the features.

OH..... About the wireless at home. Not sure on the Acer, but the Samsung recognises 802.11g/b wireless router connection (G being the most frequent router channel) you simply plug your cable rom the cable modem into the routher, a cable that comes with the router (usually) then plugs back into your computer - and it now has a hard connection to the main computer and is broadcasting wirelessly a signal that any of the netbooks will pick up. And according to the router and more specifically its location, you can literally get a thousand feet or more from it. To reduce the distance (if you do not secure the ports) you can place it more central in the house, away from windows, etc, and the turn the antenna horizonal, all these will greatly limit how far a signal will go out to the wireless device, keeping you range safer from people using YOU as their hotspot and surfing for free on your dollar.

All these routers cost from $40 to $60 typically, can be bought almost anywhere and will handle as many wireless PCs you have around, so if your daughter brings friends home with THEIR netbooks or laptops, they will also have connection.

I think that is all I can come up with that the video doesn't cover, I do recommend checking any of the units out in Youtube by people who have bought, and used them. Unbiased reports is usually the best way to learn small but important differences. But minus a third processor and a Linix version of the netbooks, there is really only the two types and a few bells and whistles. Searching isn't to difficult once you grasp the difference.


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« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2009, 08:48:48 AM »

let me know how she likes it.  my laptop is about TU and i was thinking of a netbook for travel.  that's all i really use it for and a full size laptop is a pain.

Hope all this typing and reviews have helped. Curious what you think?
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« Reply #17 on: September 04, 2009, 04:13:14 PM »

SC-BEES??

Steve, did you ever see this??
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