Netbook Number 5 and Still Rolling Along

There have been a number of vexatious posts along the lines of ‘Netbooks Growth Virtually Dead. Blame the iPad’. As usual we need to turn to the level-headed Paul Thurrott in his post to debunk the myth – 45.6 million netbooks are expected to be sold in 2011. 

Over the last couple of years I have become very dependent on my netbooks whenever I leave my study at home or my office at work. The netbook is with me at all meetings of a professional nature, whenever I travel, on long weekends and longer holidays. Although I totally aspire to work in the cloud exclusively I still need a minimal set of locally installed apps the most important being:

  • Evernote for my life database of notes
  • Live Mesh multiple machine synchronisation with web backup
  • Skype
  • Windows Live Essentials, particularly Live Writer and Live Photos
  • Tweetdeck with Adobe AIR

(With my iPad on order it will be interesting to see how it performs v a netbook.)

Nine months ago I was lucky enough to receive a free HP Mini 2010 netbook with the newly released Windows 7 Ultimate at the Microsoft Australia TechEd2009. After upgrading at some cost to a 6-cell battery my HP netbook has performed exceedingly well but suffered from two annoying problems:

  1. lack of Bluetooth
  2. display size; vertical height of 576 loses OK button on several key dialog boxes

Last week it was time to correct those problems.

Here I just wanted to record the christening of my new netbook, a Samsung N210. This is number 5 in the sequence of EeePC 701, EeePC 901, EeePC 1000H, and HP Mini 2010. So far this has moved much further to perfection but it is still not 100% there. A simple comparison between netbooks 4 and 5 is:

HP Mini 2010

Samsung N210


No Bluetooth Bluetooth Problem 1 solved
1024 x 576 display 1024 x 600 display Problem 2 solved
Shiny display Matt display Distinct benefit for N210
~ 5 hour battery ~9 hour battery Big bonus and reason to choose the N210
2 GB memory 1 GB memory Downside for N210
2 USB ports 3 USB ports Big win for N210, need 3 ports fairly often
Windows 7 Ultimate Windows 7 Starter Can live without aero

So my netbook use has taken a noticeable leap forward and the only improvement might be to increase the memory to 2GB, I’ll see how Windows 7 copes without it to begin with.


About Michael Rees
Academic in IT interested in Web 2.0 and social media

One Response to Netbook Number 5 and Still Rolling Along

  1. David Tangye says:

    That is another interesting post for me. I cannot justify a netbook at present, but with a future expected change in circumstance, I probably will want or need one. Its great to see what is out there. The N210 sounds great. I have been keen on Samsung products for over a decade now. The 1GB RAM would be OK for Linux.

    I am probably 95% in the clouds these days. :-), and almost certainly could be 100% when on a netbook. So I guess that points me logically towards a tablet instead. I am looking forward to GoogleOS or Android on something good later this year or next year.

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