The Netbook, the Traveler’s Best Companion

The Netbook, the Traveler’s Best Companion

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 a 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

  • 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 (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 King
[email protected]
  • Monica
    Posted at 17:55h, 28 January Reply

    So now that you've had your netbook for a few months, do you still like it as much as when you first purchased it?

    I use Macs and I love them. I've thought about getting a netbook for travel only but I hesitate because I HATE Vista but XP was ok.

    I see 2.8 pounds. My old Macbook is about 5 pounds and I took that one to England. It was pretty heavy, though. I took my MacAir to Spain/Italy this last time and it only weighs 3 pounds but the hard drive is limited as I bought it refurbished first generation (40G hard drive–pretty much useless). I'm thinking about giving my mom the Air and buying a 15″ Macbook Pro but it weighs 5.5 pounds and the 13″ is 4.5 pounds.

    The weight is the biggest reason I'd consider buying a Windows OS computer…of course, the iPad was introduced yesterday…what are your opinions on that?

  • aviewtoathrill
    Posted at 21:07h, 28 January Reply

    Hey Monica!

    Yes, I still love it…it's very convenient and lightweight. My daughter loves Macs because she's a graphic designer….I think that they're superior too but so darn costly. I have XP on mine and so far, no technical issues. I think if you just need something that is basically a means to record your trip/upload pics, etc. it's great!

    I'm not sold on the iPad…mostly because you can't multi-task with it. If you can't do that, it will be virtually useless to a traveler or any other person who needs to check their twitter account and upload a pic at the same time among other things. You can't remove the battery, doesn't enable flash and it has no GPS. I do like the fact that it has a virtual keyboard, which is where computers are trending anyway.

    I like the ease of use when reading newpapers online. This will probably enable troubled news entities to find a new venue for those who have shunned the tactile version and get on board with the NYT and start charging subscribers. But it does only weigh a pound and a half! At this point, I think I would stick with the Air or Pro…..I think Apple will need to work out some of the negatives that exist in future generations of the iPad.

    By the time you add peripherals to it, it will weigh roughly what the Air or Pro does…..;-( Thanks for commenting!

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