Two weeks with a Netbook

I’ve been away from Blogging this week since I have been working hard planning Utah Code Camp and SQL Saturday #54.  Things should pick up for me again next week when I’ve got some of my to-do items done for these events.

I spent the last two weeks with my netbook as my primary mobile computer. My screen went out on my laptop and the turnaround time was less than reasonable on getting the screen fixed. I wish I could say this was Dell’s fault but that wouldn’t be the truth.

To give some background when I’m home I typically do everything on my laptop. My primary home desktop is my family computer and rarely do I use it for work. Basically everything I do at home is done on my laptop. Without it I found myself using my netbook all week-long. So if you’re thinking of getting a netbook here are some good and bad things about it.

Cons

Keyboard is small. I’ve gotten use to this and don’t have too many issues with this. Except

1. The HOME and END keys require you push the Fn key to make them work. These are keys I use frequently and still cause me problems to not have them easily accessible.

Screen size. My netbook is a 10.1” screen and RDP’ing into machines is less than optimal. The clarity is fine but many windows don’t resize well with this small of a screen. It’s ok to write SQL on the netbook but doing so in an RDP window is pretty difficult most of the time and I tried to avoid it as much as possible.

Power. I don’t mean the battery life. My version only has 1GB of ram and really can’t handle most intensive applications. I think by adding another GB that will probably help but this machine is still not intended for any major processing.

Sound The sound card is incredibly weak. Listening to a movie or anything on headphones is not very loud. It cannot get over the sound of a plane in case you like to watch movies on a plane like I do.

Pro’s

Power I do mean battery life here. The netbook can go 5-6 hours without blinking even longer sometimes depending on what it’s been doing. While I normally keep it plugged in when at home when I’m in the office I use it throughout the day and in meetings and still have plenty of battery life when I get home.

It’s very mobile which is the point right? Its small lightweight and I can get data access anywhere because of a built-in Verizon card. It has a webcam and everything I need right on the spot to be able to do any task I need. This makes it a great tool for me to use anywhere.

I used my netbook for a couple of presentations now and it’s worked very well. It shows SQL code just fine and does slides very well.

If you are looking for a netbook then make sure you are buying it for a mobile purpose. A netbook is not a replacement for a laptop. I would suggest a netbook if you want to be very mobile and you can handle a smaller keyboard. If these are things that you would have issue with then you should look into a full size laptop.

Here is a link to another review and more detailed specs.  http://www.laptopmag.com/review/laptops/gateway-lt2016u.aspx

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2 responses to “Two weeks with a Netbook

  1. I can’t imagine using my netbook as a desktop replacement, but I’ve been very happy with the mobility. Also, the memory upgrade to 2GB could help a lot, I’ve had no trouble with performance so far (the only cons have been the small screen and keyboard). In case you haven’t seen it, I blogged a two-part series on my netbook experience.

    http://noelmckinney.com/2010/07/sql-server-on-a-netbook-part-1/
    http://noelmckinney.com/2010/07/sql-server-on-a-netbook-part-2/

    • Thanks Noel I checked out those posts. I think I remember seeing that but re-read it anyways lots of good info. I’m happy to be back to my laptop but will still be using my netbook throughout most of the day at PASS when I need to do something. 🙂

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