New Netbook Purchased While on Vacation

The Charter at Beaver Creek

Sorry I didn’t have a post on Monday.  I’m finishing up a week of vacation in Colorado at the gorgeous Charter at Beaver Creek resort (see picture above, and more about the vacation itself later this week).  On the first day out here, my old laptop finally gave out.  The hard drive has been threatening to die for a couple years and it finally decided that it was time to move on to the next plane of existance. That next plane just happens to be the trash heap, by the way.  Given the problems I’ve had with that laptop I decided that rather than repairing it, purchasing a new one was the way to go.

Being without internet access was difficult for me (because I’m an addict), but even worse for my wife who was supposed to be working.  I had to decide whether to buy a new laptop while still on vacation in Colorado, or wait until I returned home.  So I reached out the awesome guys over at THE UNIQUE GEEK and asked for their advice about purchasing a new laptop.  They really came through with some fantastic suggestions!  Ultimately my buddy Ed and I talked about all the options and we agreed one of these new fangled “netbooks” was the best way for me to go. 

Acer Aspire One A150 Netbook

So I’m typing to you right now on my new Acer Aspire One A150 netbook.  It’s taking some adjusting, but it’s pretty cool.  The basic idea behind a “netbook”, rather than a regular laptop, is to be ultra-portable.  They are designed to be very small, light-weight, low-cost, energy-efficient, and primarily used for internet based services such as web browsing, e-mailing and instant messaging.  I only see three major differences between a netbook and a standard laptop: (1) netbooks are obviously much smaller; (2) netbooks don’t have very powerful video cards, so video gaming isn’t really an option; and (3) netbooks don’t have a CD-ROM/DVD drive.  The CD-ROM/DVD drive issue gave me pause during my shopping.  I wasn’t sure I wanted a laptop without a CD-ROM/DVD drive.  Then Ed and I talked further and there are other options.  Such as I can network my desktop with my netbook and run CD-ROMs/DVDs from my desktop directly to my netbook.  Alternatively, I can copy a CD-ROM/DVD onto a thumb drive (using certain applications) and run it on my netbook with the thumb drive.  Finally, I can simply buy an external CD-ROM/DVD drive if I get desperate. 

The stats on this little netbook are pretty good: 1 GB RAM, 120 GB hard drive, built in webcam, pre-loaded with Windows XP, runs applications as quickly as a 1.6GHz Celeron-based laptop, and only weights 2.7 pounds.  The best part is that it only cost $350.  As far as I’m concerned, that is a pretty good deal.

I know I don’t typically get real technical here at ONCE UPON A GEEK.  Sorry if I got too deep in the details for you, but I’m excited about this new computer.  If anyone is considering a new laptop, I’d recommend a netbook.  Pretty cool!

11 thoughts on “New Netbook Purchased While on Vacation

  1. I just got a regular sized Acer (well, a few months ago). No problems yet, and mine is on the much maligned Windows Vista 🙂 I was tempted to go with a solid-state drive with Linux version of a netbook, but got mine for about the same price, and I am not a big Linux fan (not for day-to-day use, especially with unknown or irregular releases).

    As far as the CD drive goes. If you have a desktop machine you use (or another laptop), it is possible (though sometime difficult depending on your OS settings) to share the CD drive on your desktop and mount it on your laptop as a network drive. I have done this in the past. I could read the CD, but forget if I could write to it. If you need to write, you could always share a folder on the desktop, move files from the laptop to it, then burn the CD, though thumb drives are making CD-Rs pretty obsolete in my book 🙂

  2. Also, consider using something like Google Docs for your word processing. It will prevent you from having to install an office program, and generally has much lower overhead.

  3. My thanks to everyone for the suggestions and help! Y’all are really great! I really appreciate such helpful tech-saavy people. You are all rare gems.

  4. Boy! That’s some Alpine Lodge you stayed at in Colorado. I hope the Boys from Brazil weren’t staying there too! Evil opulence!!

  5. Now that it has been almost a year since you bought this and have had a chance to really iron it out, I would love to read a follow-up post on your experiences these last 8 months with that netbook. I would especially like to know your experience with the keyboard and display.
    CompUSA is now advertising this model for $240.
    If not a read, then we can discuss offline sometime.

  6. Great memory, Ed. I would be interested as well. Regarding my Extensa, Acer set the management BIOS password, which I didn’t discover until I had problems. I can’t boot from CD or change the hard drive. I’ll crack it later, but right now everything is working.

    Other than that, I am happy. The wife is looking at a netbook though.

  7. Ed/Darius – Thanks for the recent comments. That is a good idea for a follow-up post. For now… the short of it is I still love my netbook. I’m replying to you right now on the netbook, and I’m going to blog tonight from the netbook. In fact, my 65 year old mother just bought the exact same netbook last week for e-mail and Facebook. I set it up for her and she loves it!

    Thanks again!

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