Netbook recommendations

What are the best netbooks these days? Is the EEE still tops?

My priorities are (in descending order):

  1. Decent keyboard
  2. Battery life
  3. Screen quality

No netbook recommendations? Man.

  1. Keyboard is personal. Obviously the Dell one with the apostrophe next to the spacebar is insane, but a lot of them have fucked-up right shift, which is apparently okay for some people. I thought it might be okay until I tried an Eeeeee at Best Buy, and it’s not even close to okay for me. Therefore, I say the only acceptable ones are those that have a cursor layout below the right-shift. That narrows it down to the Acer Aspire One, and the Samsung NC10. (The MSI Wind might work, but I wouldn’t gamble on it without trying.)

  2. Samsung NC-10. Seven hours is pretty much unbeatable. The MSI Wind 6-cell is also good, and has the virtue of being available right now (the NC10 is Asia only right now, but is coming to the US soon).

  3. I’d guess they’re all the same here: Shitty but sufficient. I mean, you’re not Photoshopping on them, so it hardly matters if the colors aren’t perfect, you know?

I think the NC10 is your best bet, but it is a rather steep $499.

IBM Thinkpad?

  1. ThinkPad isn’t a netbook. There is the S10, but it still has a lame keyboard.

  2. Lenovo, not IBM.

OH, my bad. I thought “notebook” recommendations. Wtf is a netbook?

There are three with very good keyboards:

  1. HP Mini 1000 – best keyboard, but the 6-cell battery isn’t available yet.
  2. MSI Wind – only annoyance is the small period/comma/slash keys. Bugs you for about a day.
  3. Asus Eee PC 1000H – Great keyboard, but the up-arrow and Right Shift positions are killers for those who use Right Shift. I discovered I only use Left Shift. :)

Battery life: MSI Wind 6-cell, followed closely by the Eee 1000H. Both in the 5.5 to 6 hour range.

Screen quality: The HP Mini 1000 has a glossy screen, if you like those, and is super-bright. (But a little washed out.) The Eee 1000H and Wind screens are almost identical – and very good.

The Lenovo S10 would be a close contender as well, but its keyboard is .8 inches smaller than the other three mentioned here. Not as bad as the tiny versions of the Eee, but nowhere near as comfortable as these three. Acer Aspire One has a similarly dinky keyboard.

I own an Eee 1000H (mine) and a Wind (my wife’s). Like 'em both. The Eee’s slightly bigger, but still small and light. I use the Eee because I have the six-cell battery for it; my Wind is an early 3-cell.

Just got an Acer Aspire One yesterday, and haven’t got enough experience with it to make a firm recommendation. $349 shipped from Newegg, with WinXP, 1gb RAM, 120gb HD. Any higher and I wouldn’t have sprung. $500 gets you into the territory of bigger screens and built-in optical drives.

I like the keyboard layout, it’s about as good as it gets for the form factor. The trackpad has a huge number of customization options, but I’m wondering if it’s not drowning under all the tweaks. Two-fingered scrolling works, but not reliably. I probably need to turn some of the “zones” off. I can’t say that’s a dealbreaker for me, I’m using a mini MS laser mouse with it anyway.

Screen is very nice, highly visible, but like most netbooks only 8.9". This doesn’t hurt it for me, since I bought it for net surfing around the house, retrogaming, and keeping the kids from messing with Mom’s expensive MacBook.

Diablo II looks a lot better at 800x600 on the 8.9" One’s screen than it did on my 22" 1680x1050 LCD in the office. On a whim, I threw KOTOR onto it, and that seems to be pushing the upper limits of what it can do, it still chugs a bit at 800x600 on medium settings.

The lack of an optical drive means you can either spend time throwing CD’s onto a thumbdrive, mapping an optical drive from another PC on your network (don’t bother doing this over WiFi), or going full-digital by using gametap or

Sometimes called a subnotebook, it’s basically a general term for a small (8-10" screen), light (under 3 pounds) and inexpensive (<$500) notebook computer.

That’s so cool - wish they had those when I was in school.

Small, low-cost, low-power, lightweight, ultra-portable laptops: most are under $500 and 3 lbs, with 10" or smaller screens. Asus got the ball rolling with their Eee PC 2G & 4G last year; since then we’ve gotten other netbooks like the MSI Wind, Acer Aspire One, and HP Mini.

EDIT: D’OH! What I get for replying without finish reading the thread - didn’t see malphigian’s response.

Or you can buy a USB DVD drive or throw an old DVD drive in a USB enclosure. Or if you’re really cheap and lazy, just buy one of those IDE/SATA to USB connectors.

How would you say a netbook compares to a tablet PC in terms of capability? I’d love to lug something around just to take notes and do some math on. I don’t mind giving up the touchscreen aspect of the tablet PC if the netbook’s keyboard and trackball can hold up.

The HP mini is by far the nicest netbook, but like the man said, its battery life is lacking. Depends on your priorities.

They’re worse but cheaper than an expensive light notebook, and they don’t have any tablet functionality. If you want the tablet stuff – and for notes, I think you really do, I love love love a Tablet with OneNote – and have the money, get the good thing. But if you’re short on cash, a netbook may be better than the bulky, cheap laptops you can get for $500.

I keep looking at these, since 90% of what I do with a laptop is writing. But they hit the low end of the laptop market, and once I get myself back into thinking “laptop” I start thinking about the MacBooks again.

I ended up going for an Acer Aspire One. Will post impressions once I’ve had a chance to poke around a bit.

Target’s now got the Eee PC for $299 in their stores for the holiday season. I’m trying to convince my wife it would be a great purchase for her for work (Flight Attendant), and then I’d get to work on it while she was home. It’s a slow campaign so far.

I use a EEE 900 for notes. It runs OneNote fine (using WinXP of course). The battery life is horrible, so I keep it tethered unless actually in a meeting. Typing on it is much like typing on a cell phone - it’s doable, but don’t ever think you’re going to get touch-typing speeds on the thing.

I used to have a tablet PC laptop, and when it died I never replaced it because I never, ever used the tablet functionality - it was far quicker to just type, and even hamfisted pseudotyping on the EEE is faster than my writing speeds.

I know the EEE1000 has a larger keyboard, but it’s still too small for me to touchtype on, and the EEE900 is both cheaper (I got it marked down at Best Buy for a little under $300) and smaller - literally the size of a trade paperback.

It’s not the writing that makes a tablet worth buying (though maybe it’d be better for a slow typist, because handwriting recognition really does work astonishingly well, and lets me write as fast as I normally do on paper), it’s the reading. A tablet in slate mode is perfect for web browsing or e-book reading.