My Next Project

41hcbx9yotl_sl160_Something I am suddenly finding myself in need of is another laptop computer. The MacBook has been passed down to teh Lad and still working great, but I’m wanting something very portable, very small and very light. With enough power to write, do some light surfing, watch a video or Hulu and maybe process photos. Easy stuff.

So I have found myself eyeing the latest crop of Netbooks and I have to tell you something. They are pretty small. I mean, like tiny.

I thought I would cruise through BestBuy, just to see what they had so I could check them out. They had the Dell Mini 9 and the HP1000. Both seemed capable enough, but the 8.9″ screen is barely useable for me. And the Dell keyboard is awful. The keys are about the same size as those found on a pocket calculator and they are spaced even closer together. It’s completely unusable for someone with moderate-sized hands that can touch type (much like myself). The HP on the other hand had a very nice keyboard and everything was laid out as it should. But it still only had a 8.9 inch screen.

A little Amazon searching and some review reading later and I think I have settled on the Asus Eee PC 1000HA. 160GB hard drive, 10″ display, 1GB of RAM and the Intel Atom processor, plus a few other features that I think are cool. From what I can tell, the only true downside to this device is the fact that it’s running Windows XP. Not really a problem, but boy wouldn’t it be cool to have one running Leopard.

So more searching (and crowd sourcing) brings me to the OS X Netbook Compatibilty chart that BoingBoing has assembled. And what do you know, the Asus is on the list with almost 100% compatibility.

I poked around some more and it looks like a doable project that should keep me occupied for the better part of a few days. I’m hoping that when I do finally purchase this device and start the transformation that I can actually use it to dual boot OS X and Windows XP.

Is there anyone among us that is using a Netbook now? If so, which one and what do you think of it?

And don’t say buy another Mac. Both of money trees are dead and I didn’t win the lotto this week. Even from the refurb shop, the best deal I can get is either on a Macbook ($899) or an Air ($999). But with the pricing of the Eee PC (with 2GB RAM upgrade) coming in just under $400, it’s much more attractive to me. That and the fact that it _kinda_ works, which means I’ll get to tinker a bit. Fun stuff!

By Don

Lead bottle washer at donburnside.com, host at whiteroofradio.com and tech guru for the MotoringFile family of sites.

1 comment

  1. For Christmas we bought Teri’s daughter an Acer netbook, not sure which one but it was about $350 in Target. I think it was 160GB hard drive and 2GB of RAM.

    I didn’t get to play with it much but I was impressed with the readability of the screen and how fast it was to start up. She uses it for school (wifi there, and wifi at home) and I think really likes it.

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