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View Full Version : Ultra Lightweight Laptops, anyone got one yet?



Pamster
10-01-2008, 08:35 PM
Just curious, because there are a lot of them out there for around $400 for a nice XP system. They are not like a top of the line notebook, but something that is supposedly easier to make light, smaller hard drives and NO CD Rom drive....You can and should get one for it that is a USB CD Rom drive, that way you can install the OS and take care of it. :)

Dell has the Mini-9 (http://www.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/laptop-inspiron-9?c=us&cs=19&l=en&ref=hmpgwn1&s=dhs) which is a cool looking machine starting at $350, but really, starting at $400 because that's what you pay for XP...Otherwise its a linuix system. Then you gotta add the CD Rom drive at just under another hundred and you're up to $500 on this one, but really wouldn't it be worth it? :D

Asus has one called a Surf book and it looks pretty good. But I still prefer the Dell so far. :) Anyone have one of these yet? :D

willietheshakes
10-01-2008, 08:36 PM
I have been coveting for the last month or so...

Shadow_Ferret
10-01-2008, 08:42 PM
I have two laptops and neither is a mini. They were specifically meant to replace my desktop computer and still be portable.

Straka
10-01-2008, 09:07 PM
9" screen is a bit too small for me, cramps the hands too. I was actually just looking at the Vostro or Inspiron lines. Most likely the 13" screens

Horseshoes
10-02-2008, 04:03 AM
I have the Asus Eee, really like it for short term use...took some getting used to but soooooo portable, it's a relief compared to my big laptop.
I've never owned a desktop computer.

geardrops
10-02-2008, 04:16 AM
Another good minitop comes from Acer, with the same pricepoint as the Dell, but with the bonus of being an Acer (company with a good history--I've never been disappointed with an Acer).

http://www.acer.com/aspireone/

I'm considering it because I spilled on my current tiny laptop (http://www.shopaveratec.com/product.aspx?sku=3816372&culture=en-US) and the cost of repair is the same as the cost of the Aspire One.

If only it came in black...

Pamster
10-02-2008, 05:33 AM
I hadn't seen the Acer version yet, looks really good. :) Thanks for sharing the link dempsey! :D

Thanks for the replies everyone! I am not sure if we're just going to go for a laptop of normal size or if one of these surfbooks is in order. :) But something new is coming. ;) :D

geardrops
10-02-2008, 09:11 AM
No worries. I likes to casually keep up on hardware.

::grumblemutters about the new AMD benchmarks being worse than Intel ::

kuwisdelu
10-02-2008, 09:21 AM
Just curious, because there are a lot of them out there for around $400 for a nice XP system.

...starting at $350, but really, starting at $400 because that's what you pay for XP...Otherwise its a linuix system.

I'd recommend against that. Go with the Linux. Not only is it cheaper, but it'll run faster and better on the limited hardware of these subnotebooks. And these days, Linux isn't just for nerds, it's just as easy to use, and everything will still be compatible. Trust me. My 56-year-old mom has an EeePC with Linux and loves it. And she's completely tech-illiterate.

Also, one thing to keep in mind for writers is the keyboard size. If you're not sure you'll be able to adapt to a smaller-than-average keyboard, test one out before making a purchase.

Virector
10-02-2008, 10:00 AM
A friend of mine got the MacBook Air- it's performance is less than impressive, IMO, given the price. Talk about paying $$$ for a brand-name, instead of paying $$$ for quality merchandise.

Pamster
10-02-2008, 04:03 PM
I'd recommend against that. Go with the Linux. Not only is it cheaper, but it'll run faster and better on the limited hardware of these subnotebooks. And these days, Linux isn't just for nerds, it's just as easy to use, and everything will still be compatible. Trust me. My 56-year-old mom has an EeePC with Linux and loves it. And she's completely tech-illiterate.

Also, one thing to keep in mind for writers is the keyboard size. If you're not sure you'll be able to adapt to a smaller-than-average keyboard, test one out before making a purchase.

Good idea, I should check it out, one thing I am wondering about these little PC's, is viruses and hacking, I haven't seen anyone talking about Internet security suites coming with one...Wouldn't it have to have some internet security to be safe? And one thing about OS, isn't it Open Office that they give you that is compatable with everything they say? If so how well does it work? The compatability issue between it and WORD I mean, it's a non-issue right? :D

Claudia Gray
10-02-2008, 06:09 PM
Though I own a Mac (and am quite happy with it), I have several friends who own an Acer and have nothing but good things to say. If/when the MacBook dies, I would look at one of theirs.

Darzian
10-02-2008, 06:21 PM
I'm hoping to make a lappy purchase in the next few months, a cross between college use and gaming. The minis have too low specs for me. I need at least 512 MB video, and that is impossible with the minis. Also, I doubt I'd ever get used to the tiny keyboard. :D

I'm hoping to go with HP or Dell.

poetinahat
10-02-2008, 06:44 PM
We use a laptop for the home PC; the three-year-old Acer has been dying a death (512MB RAM doesn't mean what it used to, and the hinges have broken). So I decided to go big.

We just picked up a Toshiba (wanted something sturdy) - it's FANTASTIC so far. 15.4" screen, 4GB RAM, Centrino 2.5GB processor, 500GB hard drive, 512MB graphics, Vista Ultimate, fingerprint login, built-in webcam and stereo speakers. Yeah, we spent more, but (a) it's the home computer, and (b) it's still cheaper than the Acer was three years ago - by a long way.

But my writing is still cr@p. *sigh*

kuwisdelu
10-02-2008, 07:30 PM
A friend of mine got the MacBook Air- it's performance is less than impressive, IMO, given the price. Talk about paying $$$ for a brand-name, instead of paying $$$ for quality merchandise.

They're completely different kinds of notebooks, and not very comparable.

The Air is an ultraportable designed mostly for traveling business execs, who need the power of a full-size laptop in as small and light a package as possible. That comes with a major price premium. Unless hers is some kind of dud, the MacBook Air does perform better; it has a better processor, bigger hard drive, more RAM, and a full-size screen and keyboard. The problem is that when sticking better hardware while keeping a small form-factor, the price increases practically exponentially. These kinds of notebooks are aimed at completely different buyers from the stripped-down "netbooks"; they compete more with the similarly-priced Lenovo X61's and X300's (http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/web/LenovoPortal/en_US/catalog.workflow:category.details?current-catalog-id=12F0696583E04D86B9B79B0FEC01C087&current-category-id=135A781CA29B4ECB9ADAD8E72CF6FD61), etc.


Good idea, I should check it out, one thing I am wondering about these little PC's, is viruses and hacking, I haven't seen anyone talking about Internet security suites coming with one...Wouldn't it have to have some internet security to be safe? And one thing about OS, isn't it Open Office that they give you that is compatable with everything they say? If so how well does it work? The compatability issue between it and WORD I mean, it's a non-issue right? :D

If you're talking about XP, you probably have to get your own virus suite, then. If you're talking about Linux? Don't bother. There are hardly any viruses out "in the wild" for Linux operating systems, and UNIX and UNIX-like systems are generally much more secure than Windows, so--especially if you're on a protected network--your chances of getting hacked are extremely slim. The chances of running into a virus on Linux are miniscule, and as for hacking, just turn on your firewall (should probably have one built-in, even if it doesn't say) and you should be fine.

OpenOffice is a free, open-source, cross-platform office suite, much like MS Office. There are versions for Windows, Linux, and Mac, so if you have a computer at all right now, you can download it for free any time and try it out. It's a pretty impressive suite, especially for the price point. I used it for my first semester of college before I decided to buy iWork. It should cover pretty much all your needs, with its own versions of Word, Powerpoint, Excel, and Access; unless you're a power-user, you won't find anything lacking, and personally, I think it's better-arranged than Office. By default, it saves in the open-source ODF format, but if you want, you can change it to save in MS Office formats (.doc, .docx, .ppt, etc.) and, of course, good ol' RTF for text documents if you need to exchange a file with Office. But yeah, basically compatibility is a non-issue. You'll be fine.

CaoPaux
10-02-2008, 07:38 PM
I'm lusting after the Aspire One (Linux version, in Golden Brown). But I gotta be reeeeeally good for Santa to bring me one.

http://bestsmileys.com/innocent/1.gif

Tirjasdyn
10-02-2008, 09:36 PM
I've got an Asus eee Pc with XP on it. No cd drive...which is fine. I use it only for writing, nothing else.

It has a wireless card, usb ports and an SD slot. So I can get what I need for writing on the computer.

C.M. Daniels
10-02-2008, 09:48 PM
A friend of mine has the Linux Asus Eee, and he absolutely adores it. He's a writer as well and sings its praises for both writing and school work. I've got two iBooks that I love.

rhymegirl
10-02-2008, 11:33 PM
What's a lapstop?

benbradley
10-03-2008, 12:09 AM
What's a lapstop?
The end of a lapdance?

geardrops
10-03-2008, 12:52 AM
We just picked up a Toshiba (wanted something sturdy) - it's FANTASTIC so far. 15.4" screen, 4GB RAM, Centrino 2.5GB processor, 500GB hard drive, 512MB graphics, Vista Ultimate, fingerprint login, built-in webcam and stereo speakers. Yeah, we spent more, but (a) it's the home computer, and (b) it's still cheaper than the Acer was three years ago - by a long way.

Just wait until the heat problems kick in. I've yet to meet a Toshiba owner who's not complained about heat issues.


If you're talking about XP, you probably have to get your own virus suite, then. If you're talking about Linux? Don't bother. There are hardly any viruses out "in the wild" for Linux operating systems, and UNIX and UNIX-like systems are generally much more secure than Windows, so--especially if you're on a protected network--your chances of getting hacked are extremely slim. The chances of running into a virus on Linux are miniscule, and as for hacking, just turn on your firewall (should probably have one built-in, even if it doesn't say) and you should be fine.

OpenOffice is a free, open-source, cross-platform office suite, much like MS Office. There are versions for Windows, Linux, and Mac, so if you have a computer at all right now, you can download it for free any time and try it out. It's a pretty impressive suite, especially for the price point. I used it for my first semester of college before I decided to buy iWork. It should cover pretty much all your needs, with its own versions of Word, Powerpoint, Excel, and Access; unless you're a power-user, you won't find anything lacking, and personally, I think it's better-arranged than Office. By default, it saves in the open-source ODF format, but if you want, you can change it to save in MS Office formats (.doc, .docx, .ppt, etc.) and, of course, good ol' RTF for text documents if you need to exchange a file with Office. But yeah, basically compatibility is a non-issue. You'll be fine.

What he said.

Kirby
10-03-2008, 02:34 AM
I've got an Asus eee Pc with XP on it. No cd drive...which is fine. I use it only for writing, nothing else.

It has a wireless card, usb ports and an SD slot. So I can get what I need for writing on the computer.

I have an Asus, too. It came with Linux, but I couldn't get the hang of it and loaded it with XP and Word 2007. Now I love it for writing. I backup my manuscript to a jump drive and by e-mailing it to myself. Highly portable and easy on the back. For on-line support, I go to http://forum.eeeuser.com.

Saanen
10-03-2008, 03:29 AM
I've got an Asus eee too, with Linux. I got it last year when they came out and I absolutely love it. I drag it with me everywhere--it only weighs about two pounds.

Norton
10-03-2008, 04:16 AM
Asus Eee PC 900 with XP.
I love it.

Darzian
10-03-2008, 06:26 AM
Toshiba has heat issues? omg I don't even know that, and I've been researching lappys for more than a year.....

Chasing the Horizon
10-03-2008, 07:54 AM
I have an ultra-portable laptop too, a PowerBook 2400C. It measures about 8" x 11" (slightly smaller than a piece of standard-sized printing paper) and fits in my purse. It has the miniaturized keyboard and no built-in disk drive just like these modern 'lightweight' laptops. I've had people be surprised by its weight when they pick it up (just over 5lbs with battery), but I think it's pretty good when you consider all the internal shields are extremely thick solid metal (they don't make 'em like they used to, trust me).

My little PowerBook is a great portable word-processor, and I seriously doubt anyone could beat the price I paid ($10 for the entire system and accessories!).

Pamster
10-03-2008, 03:17 PM
I have an ultra-portable laptop too, a PowerBook 2400C. It measures about 8" x 11" (slightly smaller than a piece of standard-sized printing paper) and fits in my purse. It has the miniaturized keyboard and no built-in disk drive just like these modern 'lightweight' laptops. I've had people be surprised by its weight when they pick it up (just over 5lbs with battery), but I think it's pretty good when you consider all the internal shields are extremely thick solid metal (they don't make 'em like they used to, trust me).

My little PowerBook is a great portable word-processor, and I seriously doubt anyone could beat the price I paid ($10 for the entire system and accessories!).

Wow how did you get so lucky as to come across it for that cheap? Amazing! Thanks for posting about it, it sounds great. How is the heat issue with this little machine? :D

Selcaby
10-03-2008, 04:27 PM
I have an Acer Aspire One, which I chose for its better-than-average keyboard. I find it very easy to type on. It's the basic model with Linux, it weighs under 1kg and fits in my handbag, and it's all I need for writing on the move. I have no CD drive for it. There isn't much point because I can download everything I need or put it on a USB drive. The only thing I have bought for it is a sleeve, since it didn't come with one. (I'm not sure why not. It seems to depend on where you buy it.)

It isn't my main machine. I have a full-size laptop for that.

Straka
10-03-2008, 04:44 PM
I just don't think I could work on the Asus Eee PC 900 due to the small keyboard, my wrists hurt as it is.

I was curious, can MS word run on Linux?

meriel
10-03-2008, 04:56 PM
I was an early adapter of the ASUS Eee. I have tweaked and hacked it, and have quite a few accessories. It's my only computer, not a supplement to a desktop. It is truly amazing what this little thing can do, if you sign up for the forum listed above, and are willing to spend some time learning and experimenting.

I like the linux, but needed XP to use a hack that allows me to use my cell phone as a modem. I prefer MS office to OpenOffice, because of the wealth of tutorials and books available. Palm desktop only works with XP for syncing my phone.

And then I play with my little toy, so...enjoy all that XP allows me to do.

The Eee gets REALLY hot too, but I installed a hack called eeectl that allows me to make the fan run faster and now all is well :-)

poetinahat
10-03-2008, 04:58 PM
Just wait until the heat problems kick in. I've yet to meet a Toshiba owner who's not complained about heat issues.

Yep... it does put out a lot of heat. I told my wife tonight that I'm going to look into cooling fan-type gadgets on which to sit it.

Even the touchpad feels hot after a while.

But it really is a joy to work with.

(And thanks, Darzian - you're right, it's GHz, not GB!)

Darzian
10-03-2008, 06:10 PM
Yep... it does put out a lot of heat. I told my wife tonight that I'm going to look into cooling fan-type gadgets on which to sit it.

Even the touchpad feels hot after a while.

But it really is a joy to work with.

(And thanks, Darzian - you're right, it's GHz, not GB!)

*Pouts*- can't keep anything hidden from mods!

Cooling pads are quite cheap. From what I've heard I suggest you avoid the plastic ones and go with a metal one. Plastic ones apparently do not last long.
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/category/category_slc.asp?CatId=3486&name=Notebook-Coolers

Kirby
10-03-2008, 06:29 PM
I just don't think I could work on the Asus Eee PC 900 due to the small keyboard, my wrists hurt as it is.

I was curious, can MS word run on Linux?

I had a little Jornada before the Eee, so it wasn't that big of a transition for me. I can see how it would be a problem, though. I wouldn't recommend the Eee either if you have big fingers.

My understanding, MS Word will not run on Linux, but OpenOffice will. I know people who prefer Linux because it doesn't have the virus problems like XP, but I just couldn't get use to Linux. For me, I need XP and Word.

kuwisdelu
10-03-2008, 08:46 PM
I just don't think I could work on the Asus Eee PC 900 due to the small keyboard, my wrists hurt as it is.

I was curious, can MS word run on Linux?

Nope, but OpenOffice can. Personally, I prefer OpenOffice to Word, and Linux to Windows. It depends on your needs, but most things you need MS Office for, chances are OpenOffice can do it just as good.


I know people who prefer Linux because it doesn't have the virus problems like XP

Oh, there are more reasons than just that...far more.

rhymegirl
10-03-2008, 09:16 PM
The end of a lapdance?

Oh. Okay.

geardrops
10-03-2008, 09:30 PM
I was curious, can MS word run on Linux?

Computer says no.

For writing in a Linux environment, I recommend OpenOffice. You're able to save .doc files and it'll largely do what you need it to do. I've been using it for ... three years now? Four? It's been fantastic.

Some Linux environments will come with their own document-writing software. For example, I'm running RedHat here at work (Enterprise) where I have KWrite. It's pretty mediocre, comparing to Wordpad more than MSWord. I finagled IT into giving me permissions to install OpenOffice :)

Uncarved
10-13-2008, 09:12 PM
I scored a new Dell XPS with a 8800 video card, fingerprinter hickey thing, webcam, 3gb ram, 2.10 core duo processor. Its lighter than my Inspiron and it is tons cooler and sturdier. And it has pixel shading so it plays all of my wicked games now.
And I needed it for work so its a big tax writeoff as well :)