Poll: One last netbook question

Yes, we’ve already done a netbook survey, but you know how those things go—some great addition can come to mind a little while after the fact, when it’s too late to make changes. Since our front page poll also needed an update, though, we decided to indulge ourselves.

Our last question is quite simple: is your netbook your primary PC, a laptop replacement, or a third system you use in addition to a laptop and a desktop? The results should be interesting, especially in light of the limited hardware and display real estate netbooks deliver. Do TR readers find these systems capable enough to replace full-featured PCs?

The previous front page poll was about keyboard design preferences. 46% had no qualms with regular Microsoft and Logitech keyboards, while users of clicky and ergonomic keyboards were almost neck-and-neck: 13% favoring the clicky option, and 14% preferring their keyboards split. Next up were laptop-style keyboards (9%), followed closely by pimped keyboards filled with buttons and dials (those garnered 8% of the vote).

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    • ChangWang
    • 11 years ago

    Although I don’t own a netbook, I probably would buy one as a “toy” if I could get something like the green teams Ion platform with a res a little greater than 1024×600.

    • Ubik
    • 11 years ago

    I put down “second laptop,” but I probably could have voted “laptop replacement” instead. I have a 14″ Lenovo from about a year and a half ago that never really gets used unless I’m on a very long trip or need to do music recording and production work with somebody. My Aspire One, however, goes with me to work and on most of my trips out of town. I much prefer its portability, and the only power-hungry applications that would merit using the Lenovo are full-quality music production (I run my software at slightly reduced quality on the AAO so it can function as a “sketchpad”) and Photoshop (which is a rare need and can usually be fulfilled by GIMP anyway). The laptop doesn’t have very powerful graphics either, so high-level gaming is a moot point and is only done on my main machine. Everything else I want to do, the Aspire One can accomplish more than adequately.

    What it comes down to is that the Aspire One can do 95% of what I want in a laptop, but with a far greater degree of portability that allows me to tote it around in my backpack without even noticing it. That’s well worth the performance tradeoff to me.

    • roont
    • 11 years ago

    I dont have one yet, but ive been looking into one. Recently I had been looking at the e-book readers. which are around the same price. maybe a little cheaper. but since i enjoy reading AND writing, i thought the netbook might be good if i have some brilliant idea on my 2 hours subway ride home everyday. plus i can read all my ebooks

    • Hattig
    • 11 years ago

    Whilst I put second laptop, that’s only because my primary laptop (my old iBook) is used most of the time at the place I stay during the week (changed jobs, credit crunch means I can’t sell old house, hence living in two places right now). I wouldn’t have a netbook as the iBook is still good enough for that role being more portable than your typical 15″ laptop.

    However if starting out afresh, I would have a home PC, and a netbook.

    • Tarx
    • 11 years ago

    Laptop replacement (I have a desktop PC at home).
    No, the netbook isn’t fast and the screen res is small but the netbook is so small and light I bring it (and use it) everywhere.
    I use to have a business notebook but it was so heavy/bulky that it just stayed in its bag in the corner until I just returned it back to IT.

    • DrDillyBar
    • 11 years ago

    *smacks the easy button*

    • kilkennycat
    • 11 years ago

    Interesting discussion. Now let’s put it in perspective. What IMPORTANT function can a netbook do that an iPhone 3G cannot do as a secondary “computer” to either a laptop or a desktop, remembering that the iPhone 3G also has mobility in its internet connections that cannot be matched by a laptop?? Methinks that netbooks, at least with their current CPU horsepower and limited connectivity are a passing fad. Overpriced for their very limited feature-set and underpowered.

    Now, put a decent computing core with the nVidia MCP7/9400M single-chip IGP core… and you get…. the very handy new Macbook notebook series, the least expensive “plastic” version being ~ $1000. Expect PC versions (non-Apple) of the same to turn up very soon at a much lower price with a Bluray Rom-drive as an option-alternate to a standard DVD-burner….

    BTW, I do not own an iPhone and have never owned a Mac….

      • Hance
      • 11 years ago

      Nothing can do the type of GPS stuff that I do with my netbook. Lets see an iPhone plan a trip that covers 5 states with 200+ way points which are imported from an excel spreadsheet and auto plotted for me.

      • zealeus
      • 11 years ago

      Being able to actually type a report or create lightweight media and do web browsing on a screen that won’t drive me insane after half a minute?

      The netbook’s target audience are people on the go who actually do the type work I just mentioned for a very good reason- netbooks serve their intended purpose well, much better than any phone.

      • Tarx
      • 11 years ago

      You have to be kidding. Yeah, I’ll just get Oracle running on the iphone… or visual studio… or power point… or plug it into a 22″ LCD with keyboard… or run full fledge (albeit a few years old) games… firefox

      • swaaye
      • 11 years ago

      I see “smart” phones as PDAs that are even smaller than too small. They are phones that have lost their way. 🙂

      On the other hand, these 9″ notebooks are just that: notebooks. They are basically as capable as any other comp, outside of gaming and heavy duty apps. Are they the be all end all of the notebook world? Nope. Can they be incredibly useful and convenient? Abso-fraggin-lutely.

      They are the first little notebooks to be as cheap as they are. This kind of tiny computer didn’t exist just a few years ago. You had the ~12″ machines that were $1500+ or the PDA mininotes that were incredibly limited and several times the price of a netbook.

      Actually, I have had tons of fun setting up old games on it. The hardware is basically similar to the hopped up Athlon/P3 1000s + GF3s of yester-enthusiast-year. They’ll run anything from 2002 and earlier. And frankly that includes an awful lot of games I like to go back to occasionally. So it has become a sort of portable retro game machine outside of the other computing things I do with it.

      I wouldn’t want to be stuck with it as my only notebook though, of course. Even though 9″ of screen blows away a PDA or a “smart” phone, it’s still tiny and a workout on the eye sockets.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 11 years ago

      OK, really, a phone is not a netbook. A phone is not a suitable replacement for any kind of computer. Mobile web browsing? Sucks. Mobile productivity isn’t really an option.

      • Ubik
      • 11 years ago

      Let’s see, what do I do on my Aspire One that I can’t do on an iPhone?

      Music production (Propellerheads Reason 4, Sound Forge), lightweight gaming (everything from NES emulators to System Shock 2), document creation and manipulation (using OpenOffice), image manipulation (using GIMP), working on my website (using CuteFTP and Nvu), reading comic books (using CDisplay), remotely accessing work materials and programs through Citrix…

      I can do this all day, but I think I’ve made my point. Your argument is flawed in that even the most modest functions of an actual computer, beyond very basic internet and media browsing, cannot be adequately replicated on a dataphone or PDA.

    • designerfx
    • 11 years ago

    Prior to winning the contest, it was my primary. now it’s my “whatever” 😀

    • elpresidente
    • 11 years ago

    HP 1035NR from Circuit City liquidation, FTW! It’s really a wonderful little 2nd notebook, and I’ve found myself using it quite a bit when I’m not around my big desktop computers, or when I want to check “my sites” when I’m laying in bed or on the couch.

    Also, in an entirely unrelated note, Win7 runs beautifully on it, with the exception of a random pop from the speakers every once in a while. It’s driver related, as it never did that with WinXP ULPC (lol, ultra low cost pc) edition.

    • marvelous
    • 11 years ago

    why have senseless polls? Are you writing this down? Is this part of some kind of experiment?

      • indeego
      • 11 years ago

      Keeps readers on the page & brings in ad revenueg{<.<}g

    • Meadows
    • 11 years ago

    I wonder what “something else entirely” is.

      • SecretMaster
      • 11 years ago

      Agreed

      • sroylance
      • 11 years ago

      Based on my coworker who bought one: a toy/extra machine just to leave around the house. The $300-$400 pricepoint is in the ‘what the hell, it’s only a couple hundred bucks’ disposable income range.

      • glynor
      • 11 years ago

      I can answer why I chose “something else entirely”. I use my netbook for a specific work purpose.

      We have a number of photographers at my job who often go on fairly extended photo shoots. Often, while at a shoot, they want a way to download the contents of their camera cards and review them with the client/subject. This provides two benefits: (a) they can be sure they “got the shot” and (b) they have a backup of the camera card contents on a hard drive.

      We initially considered getting an Epson P-7000 Photo Viewer, but for $700 a much more versatile option was an Asus eeePC 1000H with Lightroom installed. This allows them to fulfill all those needs, gives them the UI of Lightroom that they all ready know how to use, and allows them to hook the netbook up to a large HDTV and use it as a very nice “preview” with the clients. And it can work as a regular laptop too (as a bonus) so they can check their email, go online and get directions on Google Maps, and other things.

      It has been a huge success!! Our photographers love how light and portable it is. It has plenty of power to use the Photo Organization and Preview features of Lightroom (though the low resolution is annoying in the import process so I had to come up with another method for that). I wouldn’t want to be getting in there and doing heavy-duty editing with the 1000H, but that’s not what we need. We needed a Viewer/Organizer/Importer only, and this fits the bill perfectly.

      And, it was 2/3rds of the price of the Epson thing we almost bought!

      • Hance
      • 11 years ago

      I am another “something else entirely” person. I have had two netbooks and both of them were purchased to run Microsft Streets and Trips. The first one was an EEE 7 inch model and it was just to small to be very useful. Now I have an Aspire One its usable for most daily tasks but it was still purchased as a better way to run Streets and Trips. The stuff I do in streets and trips is absolutely impossible to do with any stand alone GPS unit.

    • Bombadil
    • 11 years ago

    My 1000HA replaced a NEC Mobile Pro 900C. It is my primary personal computer, but I have a standard desktop PC for 3D games. A lower power netbook with more GPU and CPU performance (say a 2GHz Atom with a G45 variant) would be nice.

    • paulWTAMU
    • 11 years ago

    It’d just be another toy for me…and I’d really rather spend the money on games or another pet python 🙂

    • swaaye
    • 11 years ago

    I have (or have had) notebooks that span the size spectrum. 17″, 15.4″, 14″, 12″..). I wanted one that was as tiny as possible while still being quite usable. I’ve also used quite a few PDAs over the years and while those were neat gadgets, they were too small. My 9″ Eee900 is small, extremely usable, and fun/easy to take places.

      • SonicSilicon
      • 11 years ago

      My issue with PDAs is that they aren’t flexible enough and are too dependent on a full-fledged desktop system to synchronize with, specifically on installing applications. I manage to make good use of my 8 year old PocktePC with independently installed applications and an SD card, but it still is limited, especially at 240 x 320.

      I’m going to look into the pocketable x86 MIDs when they finally launch later this year. Atom processors will finally be moving into a form factor more fitting for them.

    • bowman
    • 11 years ago

    Laptop replacement. The laptop isn’t useful due to its bulk, battery life and weight. The netbook is.

    I guess for the people that don’t travel it might be..

      • Voldenuit
      • 11 years ago

      Was your laptop a desktop replacement? :p

        • ludi
        • 11 years ago

        Mine was a relatively lightweight Centrino-package 2.13GHz (1 core) with a 15″ widescreen, and it barely gets 2-2.25 hours on the OEM battery while being a bit unwieldly on an airplane.

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