Nov 25, 2009

[Computers] Netbook Musings

Last week I talked about my camera considerations in my efforts to replace the one that was stolen pretty much last year. Now I'm thinking of getting around to replacing my stolen laptop from the time...but perhaps a laptop isn't the way to go anymore.

: ASUS Eee PCImage via Wikipedia

More and more I've been thinking about getting a netbook since (1) I mainly want to use it for blogging on the go, (2) I don't run many applications anymore, (3) I do a lot of work on the cloud and (4) they're a heck of a lot cheaper. Plus apparently netbooks can still handle certain games pretty well, so I guess it can't be that bad a venture. Then Google decided to really help me figure out what I want in a mobile computer in this one video:

What is Google Chrome OS?

So now I'm pretty dead set on getting a netbook and with Google Chrome OS at least a year away before release, I'm down to looking at the existing market.

Initially I was attracted to the HP Mini line of netbooks because of the promise of the largest netbook keyboards in the industry. The size of netbooks remains both a boon and a bane since you want the added mobility but the smaller interface can drive anyone nuts. Thus the HP Mini netbooks seemed like a good idea at first because of their relatively larger size. But beyond how pretty they look, they've become a bit underpowered in the current netbook market plus I don't see a lot of rave reviews for how long these netbooks last compared to some other brands.

They've just released their new HP Envy line of higher end netbooks but with a $1,700 price tag, this seems so against the netbook paradigm.

So I decided to go smarter and read up a bit more.

So that brings me to my main consideration - the Asus Eee PC 1005HA. While it doesn't boast the same keyboard size, it has a slightly more powerful Intel Atom N280 processor, 1GB 533Mhz DDR2 RAM and a decent 160GB hard drive. It promises to be a bit faster than the current generation of netbooks, plus it has gotten rave reviews for performance and most importantly battery life. With the release of Windows 7, I'm sure it's going to be a pretty good venture, especially if I can bump up the RAM to 2GB.

The main things holding me back are (1) I know I need more money to get the kind of digital camera that I want and (2) I'm always worried about the next generation of netbooks that are bound to get released. Sure, the challenge of keeping up with current technology is a race without end, but then I also want to make the most prudent buying decision.

What do you think my fellow geeks? Do I bit the bullet and get a netbook before the year ends or should I hold out and wait for better releases in the first quarter of 2010? I admit this is mainly a second computer and I don't need some heavy, high-powered laptop. I just need a way to connect to the internet, to quote the Google video. Leave your thoughts in the comments!

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