Rich Freeman on 20 Dec 2010 17:48:57 -0800

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Re: [PLUG] Need Advice: Netbook for Christmas?

On Mon, Dec 20, 2010 at 8:16 PM, Casey Bralla <> wrote:
I've been considering using some (well, all of it, actually) of my Christmas
loot to buy a netbook.  But I'm worried that I may find a netbook too slow and
confining.  What does the group think?  Are they "worth it"?

Well, I always tended to think the same thing, but I just got a Cr-48 last week and I have to say that I'm finding it useful.  I still do find myself doing certain things on my desktop, but if they get an NX client working for this that might clinch it.

However, it really does confine you to the cloud.  I've moved over to Gmail for 2 days now and I'm finding that it works just fine.  Of course, you do have to embrace the fact that it is going to work really well for some things, and not well at all for others.  Perhaps if Chrome OS takes off and the app supply goes up it will be a different story.

Here is what I'm looking for in a netbook:

1.  Excellent portability
2.  Long battery life (should be able to fly to Europe (~ 6 hours) on a
battery charge
3.  Linux (natch)

Obviously I've gotten all of this, but I'll defer to others who can make a case for something you can buy in a store.  Of course, they are still giving out Cr-48's so you might consider signing up...

Has anyone bought a netbook recently?  How do you feel about 6 months later?
Would you buy one again if you had it to do over again?

Obviously I can't say much for how it will be going six months later - but maybe I can give you a six-day report later this week...  :) 

One thing I will say is that it was readily apparent to me an hour after getting it that I'd really have to change a lot of things to make it work.  Web-based apps are just different, so I've been trying to rethink things.  Along the way I've been thinking about the features I'm giving up, and whether they really add much value.  For example, with the switch to gmail I've ditched sorting mail almost entirely, except for whatever tags I can automate.  I tried roundcube but it was more traditional and drag-and-dropping emails to sort them was a real time-sink with the trackpad.  I thought about it and realized that searching is just going to be more effective, especially considering the effort I sink into sorting all my mail.

Trying one out in the store isn't going to do you much good - except for the superficial (keyboard/etc).  You really need to rethink how you work to make the most of it...

I posted a few of my initial thoughts on my blog, which is on Planet PLUG.

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