I bought a new Dell Inspiron 1545 this summer and I love it. I use it everyday. It's great. Fast processor...plenty of hard drive space...good battery life. The only problem is that it's heavy. I like to carry it around campus all the time to check email, surf the net between classes, type the occasional paper, etc... But it's getting to the point that it's just too heavy to carry all the time. I still plan to use it for my everyday computing at home, but I need a netbook to carry around all the time. Yes, I know all the limitations of them: no optical drive, small screen, smaller keyboard, slower processor...none of that bothers me. So please, don't try to talk me out of getting one. I'm going to get one. It's just a matter of which one. (don't mean to sound pushy, just being frank about it)
I've been looking at netbooks for a few months now, and I can't decide which one I should get.
I was fully intending on getting the Asus Eee PC 901 and replacing the SSD with a faster, larger one. I came very close to winning several bids on eBay for this model. But I later found out that the right Shift key is in a really bad spot. Looking around at the other Eee PC models revealed the 1000 model with a larger screen and SSD, but the same Shift key problem.
I was hard set on getting one with an SSD, but glancing through the rest of the list, there are others that have regular hdd's with super battery life.
The 1005HA and the 1000HE are the ones that stand out. Both have great battery life, but the 1000HE is heavier and bulkier. I went to BestBuy today and used the 1005HA. It's pretty light. The keyboard was okay, but the touchpad was a major turn-off. The dimpled touchpad combined with a rocker-style, single mouse button will keep me away from this one.
I couldn't pick one I liked, so I started looking at other brands. Nothing interesting revealed itself there.
Here are my selling points:
dedicated left and right mouse buttons with good sized touchpad
correctly placed right shift key
preferably 92% sized keyboard (I haven't tried typing on a 8.9" netbook yet with the smaller keyboard, so I don't know)
6-cell battery is a must/long battery life (preferably 7+ hours)
I'd like to have a webcam, but I could overlook it not having one if I found a netbook with all the other things I'm looking for.
color: anything but black! (my Dell has a black body with a blue lid, I want something different)
less than 3 pounds (a must!!)
operating system is irrelevant as I will just wipe it and put my Windows 7 Pro on it
1GB RAM (seems to be the standard)
I was zoning in so hard on the SSD models at first that I haven't been able to look at all my options. And after looking around, I can't find anything that suits me. If Asus would put the 1000HE touchpad and keyboard in the body of a 1005HA, I would buy it in a heartbeat (best of both worlds). I'm wondering if you can swap out the stock keyboard that comes in them (any 10 inch model), and replace it with a replacement keyboard designed for a model with a better keyboard (i.e. replacing the keyboard in the 1000 (screwy shift key) with a replacement made for the 1000HE, giving a SSD netbook with the correctly-placed right shift key).
Basically what I need is options to look at. A small picture (front open view with good look at keyboard) with a list of basic specs including the following would be great:
battery size and life
processor (most are the same)
I can do my own price-hunting, but if you find a bargain, I want to know about it. I just need some models to look at.
Sorry if I sound picky. I just know what I want, and can't find it.
Can you help me?
If there was a store with all netbook models that exist lined up in a row, that would be great. I would be able to handle each one, type, mouse-around, etc...
But unfortunately, BestBuy is limited to about a dozen models (mostly Toshiba, which I will not buy). All of their Asus netbooks are the same model (1005HA). Walmart only has 3: Dell Mini 10, HP Mini, Acer Aspire One yada yada...
Edited by keyboardNinja, 06 January 2010 - 12:00 AM.