Reviews, Travel Advice

The Netbook, the Traveler’s Best Companion

August 13, 2009 • By

The Netbook

This is the first in a series of infrequent articles that feature technology reviews for the budget traveler

Most people, whether they are traveling for business or pleasure, want easy access to the internet.It’s a rare soul who wants to escape totally from the modern world.Whether you want to send pics home to family or friends, catch up on what’s happening in the world or review reports, we are inextricably tied to our electronic paraphernalia.

Technology has in large part satisfied that requirement with the advent of iPhones and Blackberries. While that may address surfing the web, it leaves a lot to be desired if you need access to spreadsheets and documents. The typical notebook is between 15-17 inches, bulky, inconvenient and costly. Sure, prices are falling as a general rule, but imagine having all of the functionality of such notebooks in the form of a 7-10 inch sleek chassis?

  • As a writer, I’ve found that a netbook is the logical answer for me during my travels. It fits easily in my large purse, isn’t cumbersome and has all of the programs that I require for live blogging or simply taking notes for articles. After doing a bit of research, I found that the 10.2” Samsung NC-10 would suit me just fine. It has glowing reviews and the following specs:netbook4

All Photos courtesy of Amazon.com

  • 1024 x 600 WSVGA , 220 nits
  • Intel Atom processor N270, 1.6 GHz, 533 MHz Front Side Bus, 512 KB Level 2 Cache
  • 160 GB, 2.5″ SATA HD, 1 GB DDR2 800 MHz
  • Intel 945GSE shared, 802.11 b/g WiFi, Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR, 10/100 BaseTX LAN
  • 6-Cell Lithium Ion, Genuine Microsoft XP® Home with Service Pack 3, 1.3 Mega Pixel webcam, Kensington Key Lock, 1 year standard parts and labor, 2.8 lbs

What more could a girl (or guy) ask for?The HD is pretty huge for something so small, still you’d want to use flash drives whenever possible and save the HD for crucial software.Be aware when you are shopping that a lot of the cheaper netbooks have very small 8 gig HDs, a 3 cell battery and a smaller monitor.This beauty cost me $364.00 bucks at Amazon.com (with free shipping) and it’s worth every penny.You get two slots on the left for flash drives.I use a notebook cooler and piggyback its slot with a flash drive so that I end up using only one slot.

netbook2There is another built in slot for your SD card in the front and I’ve chosen to use a wireless optical mouse with the netbook, so there is a slot on the right to accommodate its snap in receiver. Just remember to remove it when not in use as it can drain your battery. Also, the keyboard is a lot bigger than I expected, so typing isn’t quite as awkward as it is with a smaller netbook. I’m a big girl, so my fingers would be too large for anything smaller.

netbook3There are specialized netbook bags that you can get for about 25.00 or less.If you plan to carry it in a messenger bag, I would recommend that you purchase a sleeve for extra cushioning protection.Note that prices will probably drop significantly especially on Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) when deals will be available on most electronic gadgets, so keep your eyes open for it.The Toshiba netbook rated pretty high too.The reason why I decided against it was that there were comments that it was difficult to access wi-fi….that would definitely be a problem for me!

Yours in travel,

Renee

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