Should You Buy a Netbook?
Is a Netbook right for you
In the past year or so Netbooks - the new back to the future, feature deficient. low powered and light weight laptops, appear to have really sparked the consumer's interest. Current model netbooks include the Acer Inspire One, Asus Eee range and the MSI wind all use an Intel Atom processor which is small and low powered and is good for what a netbook is - a cheap and most importantly, small laptop.
A netbook typically has an 8-10" screen on the diagonal, a slightly under-sized keyboard, wireless networking, a network connection and several USB ports.
A netbook is designed to be small light and cheap - all are under US$500, the entry level Asus eeepc 4g currently retails for around $250. At this price, and with a size which is smaller than your average guide book they have obvious appeal to anyone who is on the road. For a fraction of the cost of a an iPhone or a Blackberry and no requirement to sign up to an on the road data plan these netbooks are really starting to take off as a usable alternative to someone who really wants to type on an almost standard sized keyboard.
What to look for in Netbook
Run Linux Operating Systems Not Windows!
Less is more. Manufacturers are trying to persuade consumers to buy the upgrades to run a "familiar operatng system" i.e. Windows. Don't. One of the most annoying features of laptops is the time they take to boot up and down or even got into sleep mode. Windows may have one the marketing war but it doesn't mean that it is a good operatings system especailly if you want speed a light foot print.
Basic netbooks run Linux - an alternative operatng system which will take a Windows user about 30sec to get used to using and is a lot easier to teach a total beginner or a child to use.
Connections You Will Need
Most netbooks are bought as an alternative to a larger desktop computer or laptop not as a replacement as such keep them as cheap as possible to do the job that they can do well.
Make sure you have 3 or more USB ports to connect external hard drives, USB drives, external mouse or keyboard.
Netbooks for Web Surfing
Netbooks are great for connecting to the Internet on the go they come compete with wireless and a LAN connection, though not usually a phone line connection.
Netbooks for WordProcessing, Spreadsheets, and Presentations
Netbooks come with OpenOffice already installed. This is a free alternative to Micosoft Word etc which still allows everyone but the power user to do all the spreadsheeting, wordprocessing and presentations that they need. Openoffice runs on both Windows and Linux and most users wouldn't be able to tell the difference!
Updating a business presentation at the last minute on the plane would be much easier with a netbook than with either a phone without a decent keyboard or a large laptop which won't fit on an economy class seat tray on the plane.
Making Calls and SMS
Netbooks come complete with Skype installed. You have to have access to broadband, but then you can make calls for no extra cost to other Skype computer users or for a few cents to landlines.
Managing Photos and Videos
Backup your holiday snaps on the go before you loose the camera or accidentally reformat the camera's data card
Netbooks Have a Great Future
While companies such as Apple would have us believe that, according to Steve Jobs, they couldn't build a quality laptop for less than $500, companies such as Asus and Acer seem to have proven them wrong. In many cases the cheapest netbooks also have flash memory rather than a traditional hard drive, making them more robust and better suited to anyone who want to travel extensively with them. The internal memory is usually small : 4GB in the entry level Asus eee, but this can be supplemented by using either a SD card which are nowS available in up to 16GB but also any external harddrive with a USB connection can also be plugged in as well as the common USB stick.
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- Skype official website – free download and free calls and internet calls
With Skype you can make free calls over the internet to other people on Skype for as long as you like, to wherever you like. It is free to download. You can also call lnadlines and mobiles at great rates.
- OpenOffice.org - The Free and Open Productivity Suite
OpenOffice.org: The Free, Open Source Office Suite
- Netbook - CNET Australia
Visit CNET Australia for the latest Netbook Reviews, Netbook News, Netbook Features, Netbook DIY and Netbook Downloads
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