The Netbook Experience (short piece #6)


 

It is time for a new laptop and I did a little search online and found myself caught between the Netbook and the laptop. I settled the challenge, for my own purposes, long time ago in favor of the laptop. However, the Netbook seemed to have a few advantages. My research revealed a few good things and I happened to walk by Verizon Store and walked in to check the phone stock where I noticed the tiny netbooks sitting alone in a corner. I really did not care much since I know a good deal about them except I had to try something. The keyboard is very important to me because I have to do much typing on a regular basis.

I bought my Dell Inspiron laptops years ago. At that time, they cost $1645 each which was the cheapest possible for that type of laptop by using Dell online. I was learning networking and needed a backup laptop also. I can never convince anyone why it makes sense to have two laptops. The laptops did great forever except both of them have one touch-key missing. They still function but is interesting the missing keys are the only problem I had. I read online some netbooks have keyboards so small that is impossible to touchtype. That sounds scary to me. I wouldn’t know what to do with the netbook if I have to type and make mistakes or get tired of the tiny keyboard. I jumped on the netbooks and tried all of them. They were all 10.1 inches or bigger which I read online was the minimum screen size that was practical. The keyboards actually worked well. I tried ATT store also and my conclusion has been HP Netbooks have keyboards almost identical to regular laptop. One model had huge keys and another had larger than standard. Both were great for regular typing. The truth is the other netbooks have very comfortable keyboards also though not as large as the HP.

I thought about it and a couple of other things crossed my mind also. Netbooks makes sense for several reasons. One is the weight which is less than 3 lbs and the netbook can be dragged everywhere at all times. The hard-drive for these models were 160GB which is great if you have to shoot occasional video or digital photos. One has to carry a portable hard-drive to make sure no media is lost if shooting a lot. Netbook can do the job and I cannot think of any other use for a huge hard-drive anyway. The built-in WiFi, Bluetooth and cell access (if buying Verizon or ATT capable models) allow you to be as mobile as possible. The operating systems are good and personally I prefer XP for its speed. The built-in camera allows you to do quick video-messages (similar to voice mail) or do quick posts for a videoblog. I find that useful and practical because of the 1.6Ghz processor and 1GB of memory. The only thing I could not get answers for was the sound card. If I am to use voice activated software, the soundcard will be very crucial and can make the difference of all or nothing. I couldn’t find comparative reviews online based on sound cards and got blank stares from the store staff. They had no idea of the sound card quality. The video cards are powerful but sound is always behind in a tiny model for obvious reasons.

I think netbooks make good companions for very busy people. Laptops are indispensable depending on the profession but for general business use, a netbook can do the same job as a laptop without being a burden. It can always be in the car or your bag and not matter. The weight is only 3lbs and the size is no bigger than an average book. Personally, voice activation is very important to me so I may end up getting a normal laptop versus a netbook for the sake of the sound card but otherwise netbook can be a good replacement choice also. They remind me of when cellphone service first started to be as good as landline and some folks began disconnecting the landlines and keeping the cellphone for both purposes. Today that is very common. The netbook can become such strong replacement that regular home computer and laptops are removed for many users.

*This post belongs to this week’s edition of Wine by Cush Magazine blog and published early in World of Cush also.

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