Need Help Choosing a New Netbook/Laptop!

Hey all,

So. I had an ASUS Eee PC 1005HAB for a few years. I loved it. It was lightweight, boasted a long battery life, and had the juice to handle the kind of tasks I needed to take care of business while on the road or far removed from my desktop.

Then the hard drive started to die.

At first I thought I could easily replace the hard drive as I'd done in the past for an old (and still usable, but extremely underpowered and saddled with a short battery life) HP Pavillion ze2000; from experience with that laptop I thought that swapping out defective or dead hardware in a laptop would be not much harder than doing so in a desktop, of which I've had plenty experience.

I was wrong. Not only was I wrong, I'm pretty sure I've left my Eee PC a brick by trying (and failing) to get to the hard drive. Doing so on a Eee PC is a nightmare, requiring that you practically disassemble it completely. Throw in the amount of screws that would not budge and wound up getting stripped (as well as the touch pad cable's connector getting snapped off because the guides I followed did not make it clear how to open it), and you can see how utterly angry and frustrated I am right now.

Sending it off to ASUS or leaving it at a comp shop was out of the question to begin with, because I would only do so if I could remove my hard drive first, if only to ensure the data remains in my possession should it be recoverable.

So ... I've given up trying to save this thing. I need a new laptop, or netbook. And I need one really soon, because I was planning on using my Eee PC for note-taking and in-class coursework in my university classes.

Here's my requirements:

The laptop/netbook should have easily removable parts. Hard drive, definitely. Maybe RAM, too. I should be able to get to the hard drive without having to disassemble the whole thing if the one in the machine is going bad.

Ideally I should be able to remove the hard drive (and possibly RAM) just by opening a latch and pulling them out, or with just one easily accessible screw. Not buried by other parts.

The laptop/netbook should have a reasonably long battery life. This was originally the primary criteria for which I sought the Eee PC 1005HAB; it has an 8.5 hour long battery life when used conservatively. But long battery life means nothing if I can't bring the machine back from a dead hard drive or defective RAM, so that's taking a back seat now.

I am not that concerned about other specs; the 1005HAB has a 1.6 GHz CPU and 1 GB of RAM, and that was sufficient for the tasks I wanted to do on the go. I figure that current netbooks/laptops will be at least as powerful as that.

I also don't require an optical drive built in to the netbook/laptop, because I use a SATA/IDE to USB adapter to hook up a Blu-Ray drive externally to computers when needed.

I greatly appreciate any suggestions or feedback from the laptop/netbook gurus out there.
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  1. Heh, man, even as something basic, that trumps the specs on the Eee PC. Do you know if it's easy to remove the hard drive in those?
  2. Best answer
    Real easy if you wanted to upgrade RAM or HDD: here is a video showing how easy they are:
  3. Wow, that's almost like replacing parts on a desktop! I checked the manual for that model just now, too ... I'll do some checking into this, see where they might be available. What's the battery life like for an IdeaPad?
  4. 6.5 Hours max, depends on what your using it for really, keep the brightness down, don't keep too many programs open, and be sure to shut it down or put it to sleep when not in use and you should have a good battery life. And if you aren't happy with a laptops battery life there is always aftermarket batteries.
  5. Both solid but I was trying to keep it as low cost as possible
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