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Macbook Air or Netbook?

annz

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  • Added on: January 7th, 2011
Hi! I couldn't decide whether to bring an Asus Netbook or an 11 in Macbook Air. I've been a Mac user for more than 4 years and I really don't want to switch. But I'm traveling to SE Asia for a few months and I'm concerned in taking a Macbook air with me, which is more prone to getting stolen. Any tips/ suggestions/ links from other travelers there? Thanks! :)

Renee

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  • Added on: January 7th, 2011
I liked having a netbook that I didn't have to worry so much about it being stolen/damaged/dropped/lost/etc... I love my Mac (am now on my MacBook Pro) but so glad I didn't bring a high end computer with me on my 8 month RTW. That's just my two cents....

Tania1971

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  • Added on: January 8th, 2011
I would much rather take an inexpensive $400 notebook rather than a $1500 Mac Air! Dont risk it, I would be doing more travelling and seeing than typing on a keyboard, just saying.

blueberrypicker

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  • Added on: January 8th, 2011
My mac was stolen out of my house in San Francisco last year, just as I was making plans for my trip (which isn't that big...just 5-6 months through Central and South America). So I was faced with a decision -- to buy myself a new mac and just get over the theft, and take the new mac with me on my trip, or buy a notebook for $300 ish and take that. I got lots of advice both ways. I bought an HP notebook a few months before the trip and ended up returning it (to COSTCO) because it was painfully slow, I mean PAINFULLY slow. I'm not a techie or anything, but I couldn't take slowness.

So, I bit the bullet and bought the 13" macbook pro with a discount. I bought a hard black plastic case (it locks onto the outside of the mac...I think they sell them at the Apple store) and put surfer stickers and skateboard stickers and duct tape all over it so it doesn't look, at first glance, like a macbook.

I'm not saying my trip has been worry-free because I do stress about it, but I do a lot of things on the computer and planned my trip that way, so I needed a machine I felt comfortable with and would get enough use out of to make it worth bringing. Also, I had a few long-term stints staying with people I knew and so I haven't been locking it in a hostel locker 100% of the time.

I think that if you are a die-hard mac user and are used to macs, a notebook would be annoying. That was my experience anyway. The notebook keyboard was awkward, it was super slow, and I had forgotten how much the popup windows with all sorts of Microsoft messages happen all the time. That is annoying to me just because I'm not used to them anymore.

Good luck with this decision. Whatever you decide, make sure you bring a small back-up drive just in case. I recommend foxnomad's blog... (http://www.foxnomad.com/)...he discusses traveling with technology a lot and I found some of his posts helpful.

annz

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  • Added on: January 10th, 2011
Thanks so much for all the suggestions. I decided to get the netbook instead. It will just take me a while to get used to a small device and MS, but I think that's better than carrying the MBA and worrying about it getting stolen while traveling. Any good netbook suggestions/ links? Thanks!! ;)

Little J

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  • Added on: January 12th, 2011
My ex boyfriend was a Mac person, but was very happy with a small (10 inch or less) Eee PC by Asus. We got the one that came with Linux, rather than Windows. The reason for this, aside from the $100+ discount in price, was that we put Eeebuntu (a free operating system in the Ubuntu family) on it.

Though there are differences, the Ubuntu family of Linuxes were the most like OS X for him. The reason for this is that Mac's regular operating system is a specific flavor of NIX. Linux is also a specific flavor of NIX. They have similar bones.

He found Eeebuntu easier and more intuitive than Windows. And cheaper.

Andromeda

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  • Added on: January 13th, 2011
I run a Mac in the real world and really like it, albeit it's a much bigger laptop so not really travel friendly. I've considered switching to an Air (I currently have a 2 year old netbook from my first rtw) but decided against it for a few reasons, mainly the price of a netbook vs a MacBook and how if the netbook gets stolen by this stage I'll be sad but survive as it was $300, and can't say the same thing about a MacBook. I'm a firm believer that you should never go on long journeys with things you can't handle the thought of losing!

Regarding the person who said his netbook was too slow, how many programs were you running on it at once? The trick about a netbook (and the reason they're so cheap) is they have next to no RAM, meaning they're not designed to run more than one or two programs at once without slowing down. So if you're just going online or playing with your photos that's fine, but you can't run your music in the background too while talking to friends on Skype. I mean it's a $300 computer, if you want to do more than you have to pay for it.

blueberrypicker

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  • Added on: January 14th, 2011
I need to respond one more time since "I'm the person who said my netbook was too slow..." I had literally JUST purchased the netbook and had it for maybe a week, and installed absolutely nothing on it and ran only the absolute basic on it and skype...that was it. It crawled. When I needed to do email or web surf for travel research, I had one window of Explorer open and that was all...I didn't put photos on it or music or anything.

I returned it pronto because I had visions of trying to use it on my trip and it being so slow I threw it over a cliff. Yup, $300...I wasn't expecting much, just a bit more speed for basic internet surfing than what I used to get with dial-up.

Scritch

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  • Added on: January 17th, 2011
The new Atom processors (Oak Trail), are set to be much more powerful and energy efficient. And for many of the new Android devices, the dual-core Tegra 2 seems a giant leap forward.

I'm holding out to see how these newer "sliding" tablets turn out. Samsung has one coming out that runs a full installation of Windows 7, and Asus has its own that's going to run Android.

http://www.engadget.com/2011/01/05/samsung-sliding-pc-7-series-announced/

http://www.engadget.com/2011/01/04/asus-eee-pad-slider-and-transformer-are-here-for-those-that-can/

annz

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  • Added on: January 27th, 2011
Little J wrote:My ex boyfriend was a Mac person, but was very happy with a small (10 inch or less) Eee PC by Asus. We got the one that came with Linux, rather than Windows. The reason for this, aside from the $100+ discount in price, was that we put Eeebuntu (a free operating system in the Ubuntu family) on it.

Though there are differences, the Ubuntu family of Linuxes were the most like OS X for him. The reason for this is that Mac's regular operating system is a specific flavor of NIX. Linux is also a specific flavor of NIX. They have similar bones.

He found Eeebuntu easier and more intuitive than Windows. And cheaper.


Thanks for this info. I was actually thinking of installing ubuntu on the netbook since I've been a long time user of mac. I'm afraid of getting viruses & all those annoying pop ups. ;) Anyway, how were you able to put the eeebuntu OS on the netbook? I'm just not sure when I buy the netbook from Amazon if I could have linux installed instead of microsoft. Thanks!
Last edited by annz on January 27th, 2011, edited 1 time in total.

annz

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  • Added on: January 27th, 2011
Scritch wrote:The new Atom processors (Oak Trail), are set to be much more powerful and energy efficient. And for many of the new Android devices, the dual-core Tegra 2 seems a giant leap forward.

I'm holding out to see how these newer "sliding" tablets turn out. Samsung has one coming out that runs a full installation of Windows 7, and Asus has its own that's going to run Android.

http://www.engadget.com/2011/01/05/samsung-sliding-pc-7-series-announced/

http://www.engadget.com/2011/01/04/asus-eee-pad-slider-and-transformer-are-here-for-those-that-can/


Thanks for this info. This actually looks good to me as well. I'm not leaving til May so i have time, I can wait. I also don't mind switching to an android device because of its openness. I'm considering as long as its not windows. ;) The slide keyboard is very interesting too. I'll wait. Thanks! :D

Little J

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  • Added on: January 28th, 2011
annz wrote:Thanks for this info. I was actually thinking of installing ubuntu on the netbook since I've been a long time user of mac. I'm afraid of getting viruses & all those annoying pop ups. ;) Anyway, how were you able to put the eeebuntu OS on the netbook? I'm just not sure when I buy the netbook from Amazon if I could have linux installed instead of microsoft. Thanks!


I downloaded the disk image onto a flash drive and booted the computer with the flash drive in the USB slot. It didn't automatically boot to the USB, so I had to change the boot order in the BIOS. I pressed F7, I think. After that, it booted to the disk image from the flash drive, and one of the three options offered at boot was "Install". I clicked and Eeebuntu took care of the rest. (The other two options are"Shutdown" and "Try".)

With my netbook, I put the disk image on an SD card. MUCH harder to get to work than a flash drive, so I don't recommend it unless you are knowledgeable enough about computers to be able to do all the work necessary to make an SD card bootable.

When looking to buy from Amazon, it tells you what operating system the netbook comes with, but you can also use price as an indication. If there are two identical netbooks but one is over $100 less expensive, that one has linux. It will also usually have a smaller had drive. This is because linux doesn't need much hard drive space. I have a 4GB hard drive in my netbook and still have 600MB of that space free after a year and a half of using it as my primary computer. I have a 32GB backup SD card to use to put downloaded movies and music on, but it is currently empty.

MrPlow42

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  • Added on: January 29th, 2011
Yes, netbooks are slow. They're also carried by most of the travelers I see. One needs to adapt one's expectations and usage to the hardware.

heymikey

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  • Added on: February 1st, 2011
Scritch wrote:The new Atom processors (Oak Trail), are set to be much more powerful and energy efficient. And for many of the new Android devices, the dual-core Tegra 2 seems a giant leap forward.

I'm holding out to see how these newer "sliding" tablets turn out. Samsung has one coming out that runs a full installation of Windows 7, and Asus has its own that's going to run Android.

http://www.engadget.com/2011/01/05/samsung-sliding-pc-7-series-announced/

http://www.engadget.com/2011/01/04/asus-eee-pad-slider-and-transformer-are-here-for-those-that-can/


Thanks for posting those links! I've never heard of the sliders before and the Samsung one looks really good. It's probably the closest thing I am looking for. Unfortunately, it doesn't have a DVD drive though, but it got me thinking if I actually need one in the future.
"This is your life and it's ending one minute at a time" -- Fight Club

Ewan

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  • Added on: February 2nd, 2011
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...


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