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Macbook Air or Netbook?

JasonT

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  • Added on: February 4th, 2011
Ewan wrote:Netbooks aren't that slow, I can even run Photoshop on mine. I upgraded to 2GB of RAM which I suppose makes a difference. I have a Samsung NC10...


I'd also agree with this. I've been on the road for 6 months using a Samsung N110 (also upgraded to 2GB Ram). I run Photoshop, After Effects and Premier Elements on it. Obviously it does take longer to render video, but it does do it.

I removed Windows 7 and replaced it with XP and made some tweaks here and there to the registry and services to reduce load on it.

Works well for me and I'm very happy with it.

I did switch out the power adapter and cord for Kensington netbook adtapter; as the original power adapter and cord weighed almost as much as the computer itself.

DavidAM

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  • Added on: February 5th, 2011
I've been asking myself this same question. I feel like going for the Air because I won't be moving as much on my next trip and it's lighter, slimmer, and a much better system overall in my opinion. The only drawback is the price. The cost of the laptop is potentially a plane ticket to another country. Or at least a few more weeks in any one location. So just on that note alone I'm still debating my next laptop purchase for this next trip out. My laptop now is an HP Dv4 14.1 inch screen. Overheats all the time, just recently crashed on me where I lost 120 gigs of data. And in the meantime, while I repaired it, I was using my mom's MacBook Pro. I mean I prefer the Windows OS simply because I've been using it since I first started using computers so it's like second nature to me, but I'm also aware of what a Mac is capable of and so a change couldn't hurt anything but my wallet.
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annz

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  • Added on: February 9th, 2011
Target has a weekly deal on a netbook this week and I already got mine for $199 http://bit.ly/hKxpV5 It's so light 2.4 lbs and really thin.. I'm liking it so far, and even if this thing gets stolen during my RTW trip, I really won't feel that bothered compared to losing a macbook air.

AndrewN

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  • Added on: February 11th, 2011
a few questions:

How long are you guys going to be away to need to bring a netbook/laptop? (I assume there's a lot more freedom than having to occasionally go into internet cafes?)

Have you found that WiFi is common enough in hostels and elsewhere that the netbook/laptop comes in handy a lot?

annz

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  • Added on: February 15th, 2011
AndrewN wrote:a few questions:

How long are you guys going to be away to need to bring a netbook/laptop? (I assume there's a lot more freedom than having to occasionally go into internet cafes?)

Have you found that WiFi is common enough in hostels and elsewhere that the netbook/laptop comes in handy a lot?


Minimum of 6 months.. Yes you could go to internet cafes, but I read somewhere that the costs of going to internet cafes add up. Plus I need a computer to store my photos.. If you're traveling only for a few weeks/ a month, I wouldn't recommend it as internet cafes will do. I did that in Bali.. Plus I want to take it so I could keep in touch with family through skype.. The netbook that I got is 2.4 lbs it's very light and I got it for $199.. I wouldn't mind carrying that just so I have the convenience of having a computer when I really need it.

Little J

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  • Added on: February 15th, 2011
Because I just taught my roommate this, I wanted to make sure the internet as a whole knows that if you have a smart phone (of any make or model) or an iTouch, you do not need a computer to access Skype. They have an app for everything that will let you install apps. And if not, then one of the all-IMs-in-one apps will allow you to Skype. It is voice only, but saves you the lugging of even a netbook. And is completely free if you use it on WiFi. And if not on WiFi, then it will just go against your data plan (as opposed to your minutes).

Of course, you already knew this ;)

heymikey

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  • Added on: February 18th, 2011
AndrewN wrote:How long are you guys going to be away to need to bring a netbook/laptop? (I assume there's a lot more freedom than having to occasionally go into internet cafes?)

Probably 4-5 years (maybe even longer) so I guess I need something that is a combination of a desktop replacement laptop and an ultraportable.

AndrewN wrote:Have you found that WiFi is common enough in hostels and elsewhere that the netbook/laptop comes in handy a lot?
Most of the hostels nowadays seem to offer free wifi.
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Scritch

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  • Added on: February 22nd, 2011
heymikey wrote:
AndrewN wrote:How long are you guys going to be away to need to bring a netbook/laptop? (I assume there's a lot more freedom than having to occasionally go into internet cafes?)

Probably 4-5 years (maybe even longer) so I guess I need something that is a combination of a desktop replacement laptop and an ultraportable.


If you're going to be gone that long, it seems like you could easily just hold off. If you need a full-powered machine, get one later. Or you could invest in a decent netbook, and if it turns out you need the extra functionality and horsepower later, upgrade.

Scritch

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  • Added on: February 22nd, 2011
Another option for folks caught between deciding on a netbook or a Macbook Air is the HP Pavilion dm1z.

It's almost exactly between the two in terms of performance and specs, but at a very reasonable price of $450.

It weighs about a pound more than an 11" Air or netbook, but outperforms netbooks by a fairly large margin (and is even capable of 1080p HD video playback). Performance-wise, you're looking at roughly half the horsepower of the Macbook Air, although it does have superior battery life. Another plus is that it has a CD/DVD drive if you need one. If you wanted to invest in an SSD instead of traditional hard drive, I'm sure you'd shave a few precious ounces off the weight. Of course, then your savings won't be nearly as pronounced ($740 vs. $1,000 or $1,200 for the Air).

http://www.engadget.com/2011/01/17/hp-p ... on-review/
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2375736,00.asp

Still, for those folks who aren't committed to the Apple ecosystem or don't need OS X for their work, it's not a bad compromise. Slightly heavier, at half the price. You won't be playing any bleeding edge video games on it, but it's more than capable of handling HD video editing and playback and other basic work tasks.

If you hunt around, you can find similar "notbooks" (Engadget's term) for around the same price utilizing the same AMD hardware. Some are slightly more expensive, some cheaper, depending on setup, RAM, single vs. dual core processor, etc.

Bubbha

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  • Added on: February 24th, 2011
My Asus netbook is fast and perfect for travel. I absolutely love it.
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heymikey

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  • Added on: February 26th, 2011
Scritch wrote:If you're going to be gone that long, it seems like you could easily just hold off. If you need a full-powered machine, get one later. Or you could invest in a decent netbook, and if it turns out you need the extra functionality and horsepower later, upgrade.

Thanks but I will be going on working holidays for the first 3 years so I need a decent computer that I can do word documents for resumes and other things, as well as having the required horsepower needed for whatever job requires it. I also need something that would last that long without having the need to upgrade it.
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Scritch

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  • Added on: February 26th, 2011
heymikey wrote:
Scritch wrote:If you're going to be gone that long, it seems like you could easily just hold off. If you need a full-powered machine, get one later. Or you could invest in a decent netbook, and if it turns out you need the extra functionality and horsepower later, upgrade.

Thanks but I will be going on working holidays for the first 3 years so I need a decent computer that I can do word documents for resumes and other things, as well as having the required horsepower needed for whatever job requires it. I also need something that would last that long without having the need to upgrade it.


Almost anything can word process at this point. A netbook could easily do that. Portable computers period don't have the horsepower for whatever job requires it. Even the high end ones. If you mean basic video editing and whatnot, a netbook or "notbook" could do either.

I'm just pointing out these are pretty vague requirements. And doesn't change the reality you could easily start small, and then if you run into a "high horsepower" job, just buy a better computer. Especially since the original investment is so low, especially if you're pondering 3-5 years at a time.

mrdarcys_cravat

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  • Added on: March 16th, 2011
Just thought I'd add another option for Mac lovers: the iPad.

The new one just came out, so older versions are available on the cheap. They're light, connect to Wi-Fi, and you can download books/travel guides without the weight or hassle of lugging around books. Also, there are some USB connectors available on the Apple website; they're listed as a way to connect your camera, but the reviews (I haven't been able to try this out yet) say that it works just like a regular USB port.

If Skype via video is a huge must, only the new ones have a built-in webcam, which is a downside.

Anyway, something to consider. It also means that you can use one charger for both your iPod and iPad.

For me personally, the iPad wins over netbooks. Especially now, since people are practically giving away the older models in favour of the new.
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vagabondette74

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  • Added on: March 19th, 2011
I agree, netbooks aren't that slow. I have an Asus EEEpc and I love it I fun my business off of it and I can't imagine I'll ever use another brand/type of laptop. As far as speed goes, I have a standard 1G RAM netbook and I currently have the following programs open and running and am experiencing no speed issues:

Firefox (with about 20 tabs open)
Notepad
Fluenz
PDF
Skype
Outlook
RDC
Utorrent
Rank Tracker (VERY memory intensive)

If I can run all of this with no issues, a light user should have no problems at all...
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Markus

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  • Added on: March 23rd, 2011
Using Adobe Lightroom to load 8-16 GB of of RAW images, sort them, tag them, and to then export a few for flickr on my Aspire One with the standard 1 GB of RAM was a tad slow, but perfectly reasonable evening load for my netbook. In the future, I'd splurge on that extra GB of RAM (for what, $30?), but I was able to run a few basic presets on some groups of photos and use incremental backup software to duplicate to an external drive with little to no trouble.

When the iPad gets Lightroom, I'll be pretty excited.


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