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Poll: Would you buy a Netbook?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / December 17, 2010 5:23 AM PST

Would you buy a Netbook?

-- Definitely!
-- I'm considering it, but let me read the member's answers first.
-- Still debating between the Netbook and the tablet. (What are your reasons?)
-- I may buy one, but only as a secondary laptop. (What are your reasons?)
-- I already did!
-- No, it's not powerful enough for my needs. (How so?)
-- No, never considered it. (Why not?)

Discuss the poll here.

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No, never considered a netbook...
by kd5 / December 17, 2010 6:25 AM PST

Why would I want a little toy computer with no CD/DVD drive? I own a full size laptop and a desktop computer that I built with my own 2 hands. If I want portability I can take my laptop with me wherever I want to go, I have no need for a little POS netbook. -kd5-

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Not with all the tablets
by orlbuckeye / December 23, 2010 11:49 PM PST

that are available. Actually with all the features on my smartphone it would be a definite NO.

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One of the worst buys ever
by Mad Katt / December 17, 2010 6:42 AM PST

Netbooks are highly portable; for me, that is about the only good thing about one. I was looking for a very portable laptop; this isn't it. Poor processing power, anemic audio (my pda has better sound!), inadequate, outdated video, temperamental touchpad, not enough memory. Slow internet speeds, screen size is just awkward for doing anything useful. Does very little well.
Some of these problems may be brand specific--I got an Asus which I would not recommend to anyone--but the processor, memory and video are pretty typical, and pretty minimal. I upgraded the memory, which contrary to all the reviews I read, did NOT help--so in addition to all the other inadequacies, I may just have gotten a lemon.
DO think carefully about what you want it for; they have their uses, but are very limited (& limiting) if any of your expectations or your applications are at all demanding.

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"Netbooks" = pointless
by mongo2006 / December 17, 2010 6:46 AM PST

It's a compromise device that does basically what a smartphone does, but not what an actual laptop computer does.

The best smartphones are essentially hand-held computers with the same capabilities people are told they will find in a "netbook". Get an iphone or droid, plus a Core i7 laptop computer, and you have all you'll ever need in terms of computing capability and network access. Zero need or use for a "netbook".

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Different strokes for different folks
by GiacomoZ / December 17, 2010 6:50 AM PST

We bought one just to see how well they work, with the idea it might be handy in the kitchen. It is about as slow as I anticipated, certainly tolerable for web browsing, and it is a spare when one of us is using the desktop. Since it came with wireless as well as an ethernet port, getting on the home network was easy. We did buy a wireless mouse and an external hard drive for back-ups. And since we don't have an external CD/DVD drive, I bought an 8GB flash drive to create a recovery "disk." Some netbooks may not have the software to do this, but I found it in the <brandname> tool folder off the main menu.

Main drawback: the screen is a bit too short for some websites. I keep the toolbar in the browser hidden until I need it, to get an extra quarter inch of display. The model we have has pitiful audio - not loud enough to hear unless the room is dead quiet.

Nice things include battery life, portability, and I have to say that Windows 7 Starter is a pretty full featured O/S for such an inexpensive machine. The 250GB HD in the netbook probably will never get full.

I copied some recipes to the machine in the kitchen. Instead of printing a copy from the desktop, we can pull it up on the netbook and set it right on the counter while preparing a meal.

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Would be of no use to me
by msecour / December 17, 2010 7:47 AM PST

For the ways that I use my computer, nothing but a full-featured laptop will suffice when I am away from my desktop. As for internet access, I welcome those periods of my day when I am away from the internet. E-mails do not have a constitutional right to be answered immediately.

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In Addition To -
by nscave / December 17, 2010 8:00 AM PST

I bought a laptop or notebook computer as an addition to my desktop computer to be used when mobile and traveling. Likewise, I have a netbook computer that is in addition to my laptop when traveling. For example a 17" screen laptop takes a lot of space in certain circumstances such as while actually on the road. The netbook allows sending/checking email, using Skype and other such daily tasks very easily. While stopped of course, or in a motel overnight. It is a handy addition that makes life easier while on the move. Definitely not a replacement for a laptop/notebook computer. The nebook is certainly useful and valuable to have, but not as a sole device for anything important.

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I wanted something for the road
by rxmangriff / December 17, 2010 8:21 AM PST

My main computer is a desktop I use at home. I wanted something to take on the road to stay in touch. My daughter has a 8.9" netbook and I found it convenient but limited. I don't need much. I found a 13.1" unit by MSi with a 3 year warranty. The 13.1" is still somewhat small and can be difficult to see and scroll around but that's fine with me. I'm using a wireless mouse. I do NOT care for the pad. The keyboard is different and that was difficult to get used to. My only drawback was no drive but I picked up a portable drive by MSi for $50 that we can use for the 8.9" Netbook also or whatever we might need it for. That problem was solved. Mine has HD capability, ultra low voltage with 9 cell battery pack, and a Centrino processor with Windows 7 (not starter). I can get up to 7 hours battery life. I also like being able to do video phone calls back to home. I have been using Google Phone for that and it's free. I also use it around the house along with my desktop when I'm posting, editing, etc at the same time. I'm glad I bought it. Oh yeah, it's faster the the 8.9" too.

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Missing option on the poll
by 1 XM Fan / December 17, 2010 8:29 AM PST

There was one option missing from the poll.
Never again!
The first problem that I ran into with mine was when my Internet Security that came with my Netbook kept asking me to backup my files/system (emergebcy backup) on a CD. At that point I knew it was a mistake purchasing it. That along with a unviewable viewing screen that requires a magnifying glass to be able to read. The first recieved email containing photos was a joke. Having to scroll so long to see them (individually) was a waiste of time.

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Already did
by tek-ed / December 17, 2010 8:36 AM PST

I have a Netbook, I got one for my wife, and one for my mom.
My netbook and my wife's netbook are Dell 910's running Dell's Ubuntu. What's slick about these things is that there is no hard drive. It's all solid state. Sure, it's only 4gb of storage, but it has an SD card slot that I've populated with an 8gb SD card. It has WiFi and 3G (not using the 3G part though). The thing runs forever on the batteries. My only gripe is the keyboard. It's very small, and they had to make the quote key is in a really weird place that take's some remembering what you're typing on. Oh...and also there's that Ubuntu thing...I hate Linux, and while Ubuntu is the least offensive for the consumer, it still sucks...
The best thing though is that these netbooks cost me $199 each on Dell's refurb site...they had a ton of them and was able to get an Onyx for me and Coral (it's pink) for my wife.
I got my mom a Dell 10 inch. This runs Windows 7 home, a 250gb HD and WiFi. She loves it and takes it everywhere with her. Oh...and I only paid $230 for the thing...also on the Dell refurb site with a coupon!
The most important thing you want to remember about a Netbook is that these are not an everyday computer...they are specialized and while they will serve everyday tasks, there are some where they just won't do too well at. Web, email, documents? Great! Gaming and HD movie playback? Not so good...I use my netbook as a couch computer so that while I'm watching TV, I can have a computer at my beck and call (10 second startup from sleep is awsome!)

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Adore my netbook
by cny123 / December 17, 2010 9:39 AM PST

Yes I have a netbook and love it. No it is not as fast as my full size laptop, But for just surfing and email it is cool.

I too wondered why anyone would want a netbook, no DVD/CD burner, low ram, speed ect... but then I moved back with my father. I now have one of the smallest bedrooms possible. My 15.6 inch laptop was endangered daily of falling off of shelves and dressers too small to hold it and a lamp and alarm clocks. Answer Laptop stays in living room and netbook in bedroom.

I have enjoyed it on trips because of the light weight, I still can upload my photos and email them from my camera. No no fancy editing, but they are backed up until I get home.

One draw back is watching videos, I uploaded my Itunes movie on it to watch on the plane to Vegas last week. real slow and did not play as well as the same movie on my iPod.

Oh yeah my father liked my netbook so much he bought one for himself to use for surfing and travel.

just remember it is a basic computer. not a work horse.

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I really like my netbook.
by fredlave / December 17, 2010 10:05 AM PST

18 months ago I bought an MSI Wind U100 with an extra one gigabyte ram stick. With shipping the cost came to $412. What was the big attraction? Simple. I partitioned the 160GB into two halves, installed Windows 7 on one partition and Mac OS X 10.6.2 (now upgraded to 10.6.5) on the other. Both OSes install easily and run well; in fact, OS X runs better than W7. Since I prefer the Mac OS and since I plan to use it to surf the Net, email and some other low intensity tasks (like watching movies from the HD) when I travel, it fills the bill very well. (Also, the cheapest MacBook with sales tax and AppleCare costs $1300+.) I have an Intel iMac for the more demanding jobs.

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Happy with my netbook
by cyberfysh / December 17, 2010 10:53 AM PST

I like my netbook, probably because I'm not a hard-core gamer, software developer, composer, etc, just a basic Internet user, e-mailer, and document writer. The netbook is very portable and has good battery capacity; and at home I use it connected to a flat-screen monitor, which gets around the "squinting at a tiny screen" problem that some have complained of.

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Maybe in 2011, if ....
by daddywalter / December 17, 2010 2:24 PM PST

I *almost* want a netbook enough to buy one right now. Web-surfing and e-mail make up probably 90 percent of everything I do away from my desktop machine, so a netbook has a lot of appeal for me. But I still want the power to do a little more when I need to, and the newest netbooks are nearly there now. With a large enough hard drive, slightly more powerful graphics and two or more USB ports, a netbook could replace my current big notebook when the wife and I travel.

But I'd still want more than *just* the netbook. I've never liked touchpads and carry a wireless USB mouse now; I'd continue to do that. My travel kit would also include a portable (AC-powered is fine) DVD burner, blank discs, an extra battery and an AC power supply/charger. The result would be a smaller, lighter version of what I travel with now -- but I'd always have the option of taking just the netbook with me to the local coffee shop, the same as every other person who uses the delightful little machines.

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After further thought ...
by daddywalter / December 25, 2010 5:47 AM PST
In reply to: Maybe in 2011, if ....

I have decided that I've been expecting too much of a netbook. These are essentially niche-devices, designed to fit in between smartphones or PDAs and larger, heavier, more expensive notebooks. I want the greater portability and long battery life; since I have more powerful machines available to me now, I'm willing to make the trade-off. IOW, I think there's a netbook in my future.

(Unless someone produces a netbook-sized tablet with a slide-out keyboard. That would be the best of both worlds IMHO.)

Of course, I still won't be able to enjoy what some consider the full "netbook experience" very often, since the nearest Starbucks is over an hour's drive away. Happy But my cigar-friendly front porch is a more-than-acceptable substitute.

Btw, a very Merry Christmas to all!

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would I buy another netbook
by carguy61 / December 17, 2010 6:46 PM PST

I've had an HP Mini 110 for about a year and it is truely a piece of garbage. Doesn't do much right, extremely slow, made a mistake on this one.

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Would you buy a Netbook?
by chows2175 / December 17, 2010 9:30 PM PST

Yes, I am one of a minority. I bought a Toshiba NB205 last January. I added a gig of memory before I ever took it home. At the recommendation of the big box store I had all of the junk removed and did not use Norton. I was told that it was too heavy of a program and it would slow down my pretty new toy. which has done very well. I ended up with Kaspersky instead. I have been very impressed with the speed. My daughter and my sister bought Dell minis at the same time and theirs are both painfully slow compared to mine! One has Norton and the has AVG so perhaps its the memory not the antivirus that makes the difference. I was used to a Dell XPS12 so the size didn't bother me too much. I do really notice the difference when I go back to it. I only do email,ebay and research and pictures on it but it suits my needs very well.

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by kennyrct / December 17, 2010 10:00 PM PST

Bought one. Took it back. Didn't expect it to run circles around my laptop, but it didn't finish the circle. People will buy millions of them if for nothing else just because their friends have one. The old monkey-see-monkey-do syndrome. I would have thought that netbooks would have evolved somewhat more than they have by now, but I guess not.

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I already did!
by mappir / December 17, 2010 10:57 PM PST

And I'm delighted with this purchase! It resulted in a wonderful tool assisting me in my profession when going onboard ships for annual safety inspections and completing the blank forms stored in the hard and/or pen drives for being later on printed with the ship's printer and finally signed by the Master or the shipowner, whovever be available at the moment. I strongly recommend to people who have to perform word processing or other computing tasks away from his home or office environment.

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Am Buying One
by eskiemom / December 18, 2010 1:32 AM PST

I'll be getting a hip replacement this spring and will use the netbook for an e-reader, internet bill paying and email because it will be small and compact and easy to store and carry around. I'm a writer so I'll be able to use the word processing to work while I while away the tie in rehab.

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Best thing I ever bought
by Learner7 / December 18, 2010 2:11 AM PST

I bought an MSI Wind netbook, and I love it. Its brilliant. I can touch type, use it for emails, communications, video phone calls, photo editing, spread sheets etc. If I really need a larger screen I have a socket to connect it to my TV. It fits in my handbag if I want, its light, and a delight. Although I have a regular size laptop, its become a permanent desktop computer now, and I rarely use it. I have a very neat little and lightweight Samsung USB DVD read/write drive that does not need a power supply, so I can use it anywhere. The battery power is excellent and long lasting, so if I am watching an on line video I can carry it to where I am working without the power lead.

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Don't need one
by ESUNintel / December 18, 2010 2:30 AM PST

I already have an iPad and an 11" MacBook Air, so have no need for a NetBook. I do know there's a use for NetBook's, I just hate the Atom processor, lack of supporting at least 4GB's of RAM, and some can't be upgraded to a SSD. Most netbooks look ugly too, with the exception of the Vaio P, and the Viliv models (which is more of a tablet).

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It's both fun and usefull
by iwoolle / December 18, 2010 2:47 AM PST

When I renewed my Web and Walk contract with T-Mobile, I purchased an EEE PC for 70,00 Euro.
For portability i'ts hard to beat and for surfing the web and email it's super. I also watch movies recorded as virtual DVD's on an external hard drive and with 6,5 hrs battery life It useually lasts me for a full work day.
That said, for serious work it dosn't come close to the comfort of my Notebook. I have MS Office 2010 on the EEE and it runs well, but the small screen real estate, makes Excel Word and Co uncomfortable for more than a few minutes...
All that said I am very pleased with it and can stick it im my briefcase instead of carrying a laptop bag as well.
For me it's both a fun, and within it's limitations, a useful addition addition to my gadgetry...
And it didn't cost the earth..

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Poll: Would you buy a Netbook?
by bernieamck / December 18, 2010 7:13 AM PST

Yes, I bought one 18 months ago prior to a trip to Europe. It was much easier to carry on the plane as well as on daily trips while in country. The main purpose was to check email accounts, both personal and professional, post photos on Picasa, compose documents with Open Office, and take care of personal business online. It still works fine when I need a computer, but don't want to take along my bulky laptop.

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I would get one as a companion for my laptop...
by rstevenson1976 / December 18, 2010 11:04 AM PST

but I only want one for two uses in the kitchen:
1) reading and writing recipes
2) researching recipes on the internet

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Netbook Use!!
by stratman60 / December 19, 2010 3:03 AM PST

I have a laptop which I use most of the time. BUT, when I would go into the living room, I had to haul the laptop too. So I bought a little Netbook $199 i think. Now when a thought pops up, I want to check email, send a note, look at FaceBook etc..I just pick up my NB. I have offline storage which I synch both computer over the month. So for me, a netbook is very convenient! I also had a plug in CD/DVD drive so it's easy to use.

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Waiting for iPad 2.0
by CalicoTude / December 19, 2010 6:39 AM PST

I want the portability for times I don't need all the power/capability of my 13.3" MacBook .... sometimes I just need to deal with email, surfing, and kocking out a short document (will be getting Pages - which I also use on the desktop). Once the next generation of iPad comes out, I'm heading to my favorite Apple store!

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Netbook - Not for me
by Wharf_Rat / December 21, 2010 6:23 AM PST

I bought An EEEPC and loaded Ubuntu on it. It worked great as an email reader and web surfer. But, it was just too small of a footprint for me. I finally gave it to my niece.

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(NT) computer like but hardly a computer.
by theofficedoctor / January 14, 2011 9:27 AM PST
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computer like but hardly a computer
by theofficedoctor / January 14, 2011 9:37 AM PST

purchased a dell netbook with an intel atom processor and some form of windows 7 lite. It runs slow...with everything. yes, you can access the internet but it is slower than my laptop. it will skype relatively well, one of the main reasons it purchased it for my wife. however for doing anything other the simplest tasks, it is a poor substitute for a laptop. my wife wanted a small computer to carry around. basically, it is a really big smartphone. slow processor, underpowered memory (2gb), no disk drive, not even that great of battery life. truly not the computing experience i was hoping. don't waste your money on a netbook. get a small laptop, a 12 inch macbook. you will be tremendously more satisfied, albeit significantly poorer. Still, the laptop will be useful for years to come. I am ready to toss the netbook after only 14 months.

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