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Netbook recommendation


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18 replies to this topic

#1 stillwaters

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 04:05 PM

Hi!

My sister is thinking about buying a netbook. She only uses her computer for internet, online videos, and the occasional office document. Can netbooks run MS office? Also any general advice about price and features would be much appreciated. Thank You!

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#2 ndg2006

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 01:35 PM

I would highly suggest going against a netbook, especially if this is her first computer. Most people don't realize the amount of work they do on a computer until they get one that doesn't meet their needs. You'd have better luck with a computer like this in doing her kind of work than a netbook:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?sk...d=1218092959299

If you do decide to go with a netbook, yes, it can run MS office, you just will either have to download it from the microsoft's webiste and register it, or you can always use Open Office.

My personal preference with a netbook is:

Acer One

or

Asus EEE

Either of these models I would upgrade to 2 GB of RAM for better performance with the lack of a dual core processor.

#3 txtchr

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Posted 31 August 2009 - 07:52 PM

If your sister is indeed looking for a small, compact, lightweight computer for just what you stated (internet connectivity and basic Office documents), then a netbook is not a bad deal, IMHO.

I have two systems that I work with: a large desktop (Pentium) that runs all of my higher-end programs and a netbook. The netbook is set up at a desk in my kitchen and used just for what you said your sister wants to use it for -- connection to the internet and occasional construction of Office documents. I have a Samsung NC10 that I bought about six months ago. I've traveled with it (very impressed with its battery life), but most often it is connected to the electrical outlet at the desk.

I was fortunate to be able to obtain a legal copy of Office 2003 Pro from my school district that was on a flash drive since these little machines have no optical drives. There are, however, specials at some stores (Costco, for instance) that give you a free external USB optical drive and wireless mouse with the purchase of a netbook (in Costco's case, it's an Acer Aspire One).

My Samsung has the capability of being upgraded to 2 GB of RAM, but I have left it at the 1 GB that came from the factory. I'm able to run Macromedia Fireworks and Dreamweaver 8 without any memory issues. I've had multiple windows open without any white screens (something that does happen with my desktop). And I consider Dreamweaver and Fireworks a bit more than the usual software.

I've been very happy with my netbook. It fits in my purse and is less than 2.5 pounds. It has over an 8 hour battery life. I use Excel and Word regularly on it. Videos from the internet run smoothly. The speakers are not the best, and the touchpad is small, but if you're looking for a small machine, I highly recommend them. Just do your research and make sure to get one with a 6-cell battery if you do. Plus, since my desktop is several years old, this netbook is the one I use when I need to bluetooth anything to my phone, since my desktop does not have that capability. And, since it's so small, it doesn't take up very much room on the desk -- I love than it's not obtrusive at all.

Some people think they're great. Others think they're not. It's all a matter of opinion.

#4 NonTechyMan

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Posted 22 September 2009 - 09:24 AM

I'm also looking for a lightweight solution as I'm often flying and need something that doesn't take up the whole of my handbaggage allowance. I've been looking at the ACER Aspire One 751 which comes with an Intel Atom Z520 chip and 1Gb of RAM but the only prob. is, that in addition to using Dreamweaver, I also use Photoshop alot and I'm not too sure if the processor these netbooks come with is sufficient to run this. Any thoughts??

If it's not capable, are there any lightweight laptops out there, say below 1,5Kgs, that would run Photoshop? I thought of the MacBook Air, but it's not only somewhat more expensive than I wanted to pay, it also, obviously, runs on MacOS, which would mean buying my software again...........................

Any help muchly appreciated.......................

#5 hamluis

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Posted 22 September 2009 - 02:19 PM

Systems...have been running Photoshop...since the Duron series/PIII era.

Photoshop is just a RAM-hog (like any graphics/video editor)...if this is properly addressed, any 2-bit system can handle it or any other graphics editor.

We are not talking about Pentium 166 systems with just a touch of memory and just teeny-weeny hard drive.

http://photoshop-fan.blogspot.com/2009/06/...quirements.html

Txtchr seemed to be able to discern fact from fiction pretty well, IMO :blink:.

Louis

#6 NonTechyMan

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Posted 22 September 2009 - 04:46 PM

Sorry...................... But is that a "Yes" or a "No"............................... :blink:

#7 txtchr

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Posted 22 September 2009 - 07:20 PM

I would not -- let me repeat -- WOULD NOT -- attempt to run Photoshop on my netbook.

Especially since the upgrade to CS3 and CS4.

The Fireworks version that I'm running on my netbook is Macromedia Studio 8. It's not as memory-intensive as even Photoshop Design Suite (version 7). I am sure that if I tried to run Photoshop on this little baby that it would cough and choke quickly. And I only use Fireworks for very basic editing -- nothing real fancy, nothing requiring rendering, nothing that's going to kick it into overdrive.

That's why I have a desktop computer. That machine has got much more memory, a more powerful processor, a larger fan, and is capable of running the higher end programs.

My netbook is a convenience. It gets me on the internet, allows me to connect to email quickly, and I can do Office tasks easily. It's portable. If I needed a portable workhorse for high-end photo editing, I go with a Macbook Pro or a comparable Win laptop. I would not buy a netbook for that purpose.

#8 NonTechyMan

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 05:40 AM

Tkx for the info, guys............... Looks like I better bite the bulllet and go for the MacBook Air then.......................

Better get saving..................... :-))

#9 Swordie

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 04:30 PM

The MacBook Air's screen is a 13.3" Screen. I have seen NORMAL laptops with the same size screen, even some 12.1" and 13.1" for about 66% less then what the AirBook costs (which is a number close to 1500.).

Perhaps you should go shopping, looking for the smaller types of laptops. They come in Dual Core Pentium and perhaps on a higher scale even Core 2 Duos. 320-400 GB HDD, 3-4GB RAM. Webcam.

I'd hope a dual core and 3-4 gb ram can handle Photoshop.

Okay, so I lied about the price.. I'm going to try to find you a few TYPES (I wouldn't buy it from Best Buy, but they have a large stock so you can keep an eye out)

Edited by Swordie, 24 September 2009 - 04:32 PM.

Who said I couldn't have everything?

#10 Swordie

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 04:35 PM

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?sk...d=1218094583196

At 849.99, it is MUCH cheaper then the 1499.99 you would be paying for an AirBook.

Or you can take this one:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?sk...d=1218094343304

You have alot of options, besides a netbook or an AirBook.
Who said I couldn't have everything?

#11 NonTechyMan

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 03:58 AM

Tkx for that Swordie, will go and have a look. Been off-line for a couple of days as my 'pooter was down with a Trojan..........
God knows how..................

#12 txtchr

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 07:49 AM

I would also check on the Macbook Air's ability to adequately run Photoshop. If memory serves me correctly, you need something a bit more powerful than the Air. That's why I had stated that the Macbook Pro is really what's needed for Photoshop.

#13 Swordie

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 02:55 PM

The air is basically identical to a netbook, only with 2GB of RAM instead of 1. The computers I showed you have graphics cards, 4GB RAM, and 250+ GB hard drive. They are considered "ultracompact" laptops, in between full-size and netbooks. I would strongly suggest those computers, and if you can, a 14.1" screen may save you hundreds of dollars, I have seen 14.1" HP's selling for 549.99 with same specs as those I showed you.
Who said I couldn't have everything?

#14 txtchr

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 07:30 PM

Screen size is an extremely important factor when you're working with graphics programs, too.

The maximum resolution that I can set this netbook on is 1024 x 600. So, when I launch Dreamweaver 8, some of my property inspector windows are literally off the screen and not visible. I have to collapse them completely. It's a tad frustrating. The only reason I use Dreamweaver on this netbook is for emergency purposes (back-up reasons and when I'm not at home and need to make a quick, text-based update to a site). Otherwise, site construction would be an absolute chore.

I cannot even think what graphics construction would be like on a 10.1" screen. In this case, bigger is better. I've got a wide screen monitor on my desktop and wouldn't trade that for the world when I'm working with Photoshop.

#15 Swordie

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 08:54 PM

See, in compactness and in relative usefulness, I would pick a 14.1" screen over everything else. Some 14.1-14.4" screens offer 1280x960 and 1280x1024 as screen resolution. In comparison, that is much bigger then the 1024x600 your Netbook offers.
Who said I couldn't have everything?




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