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Old 02-20-2009, 05:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Netbook Performance Questions

I was considering buying a netbook sometime this year (before the next semester of school starts in August), but was wondering about how well they perform. I was hoping for a very easily portable computer that I could just take with me - I have a 14" laptop, but it ends up getting a little bulky in my backpack with books and everything. My campus is split up, so I can't exactly run back to my dorm between all my classes.

I'd want to use it somewhat for writing code (apparently a lot of my future classes are big on MATLAB) and also for occasional CAD work (either Autodesk or SolidWorks, not sure which), along with gaming (old stuff, like Civilization 3) and some media playback (music, some non-hi-def converted DIVX video files). Probably a bit of standard coursework too - Office 2007 and the like.

It doesn't need to do any of the above particularly well - my desktop and laptop can do a lot.

I was wondering if anyone here has tried using a netbook for things like this, and how it performed? Also, would it be worth getting one now, or should I just wait until sometime during the summer for the nVidia Ion architechture to come out?

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Old 02-20-2009, 09:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Netbook Performance Questions


I used to have a netbook (an Asus Eee PC 1000H) which I used at university. However, after a few weeks, I sold it and bought a notebook.

I bought it with the intention for it to replace my old notebook. User tasks would primarily involve surfing the Internet, checking email, listening to music, programming and using Microsoft Office. Unfortunately, I couldn't adjust to using a netbook. Despite the high portability and superb battery runtime it offered, the size of the screen and mediocre performance made it difficult for tasks like PHP coding, reading lecture slides, researching and essay typing; especially when reading through and switching between articles which lots of text. I felt it was affecting my overall productivity, and because I'm on the go alot and rely heavily on using a portable computer for my studies, I opted for a larger 12.1" notebook with better performance (which I actually recently replaced with a 14.1" notebook).

Some people are seemingly able to use netbooks for their studies just fine, though. Different users have different preferences. I see a number of people using netbooks in my lectures at uni (most with 9" or 10" screens, some with 7" screens). If you want my opinion, I don't think a netbook will be well suited to the needs you've mentioned (especially an Intel graphics equipped netbook). Still, if it's not going to replace your current laptop and desktop, then it will do for tasks like surfing the net, instant messaging, listening to music, watching videos and typing up lecture notes. I'd suggest using system with a larger screen and better performance for programming, CAD and typing up reports/essays.


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Old 02-24-2009, 02:47 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Netbook Performance Questions

If you're using it as a main PC, I'd get something with a bigger screen.

I have a Toshiba NB-100, that I just take into uni with me, to use when I am working in the library etc. It's got an Atom with 1GB ram, and runs XP very nicely. They'd be fine for coding, and mine is plenty fast enough for Maple, which has similar requirements to matlab.

You might fall down on the gaming, since they only have the intel integrated stuff, and it's probably be no good for CAD here either. Probably be pretty laggy.
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Old 02-24-2009, 10:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Netbook Performance Questions

Wait untill the summer.
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Old 02-28-2009, 12:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Netbook Performance Questions

yeah there are going to be alot better ones and cheaper also come summer time

check this site out for netbook news

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Old 02-28-2009, 03:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Netbook Performance Questions

I have serious doubts that you'd be able to run any of those applications on a netbook. Netbooks are designed for basic functions like web browsing, e-mail, and word processing. You're looking to run some very graphic-intensive apps. Even low-end, full-sized notebooks would struggle.
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Old 03-05-2009, 11:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Netbook Performance Questions

I have gone from a 8" notbook to a 10" Netbook. The bigger display, keyboard and track pad makea big difference.

Netbooks do quite well for office, surfing the internet and enjoying media.
Games.... nothing stopping you from running older games there. Like I know some people that play CSS on a netbook with lowsettings. However the battery life you going to be murdered.
As for CAD. I really don't like the idea of some one trying to 3D modeling on one of these. And even if i was only doing 2D cad work, i would definalty not want to be doing that on any less than 12" display.

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Old 03-06-2009, 12:18 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Netbook Performance Questions

Not sure you can do CAD on a netbook, they don't have very much for graphics...even your Dell has a dedicated GPU with video RAM, netbooks don't. As for media and such it should be fine though. Is 14" really "too big"?


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