1. The max upgradable ram amount? Sounds like 4gb.
2. Will 4gb of ram kill the battery life? Help performance enough to justify itself? Or would 2 gb be good enough?
2b: if it does drain battery life sooner, by how much?
3. What is the normal battery life on this model if I'm just browsing the internet, say, browsing newegg 24/7?
My main uses for this are:
inSSIDer with GPS logging
peer block with perm allow frequently used (very cpu intensive)
netstumbler with GPS logging
firefox and thunderbird
Side note: people in newegg reviews report the screen is "glossy". What does that mean? Is the screen clear? Does it use glass like the sony vaio notebooks? I tried a sony vaio notebook and the screen was unbelievably clear.
1. Windows 7 Starter edition is limited to 2GB of RAM.
2. No amount of RAM would kill the battery life. 2GB will definitely help. Windows 7 Starter is limited to 1GB in the Netbook when shipped.
3.. 6hrs is the claim. Your experience will differ. Try and find an independent review for your model for the best available info.
I have the same netbook (AO522-BZ499), I don't know what the difference is, but the specs seems identical. Anyway as it was stated before, Windows 7 Starter will limit the RAM to 2GB (excluding the 256MB used by the GPU I think), but it can physically support 4GB (only 1 DIMM). Upgrading should change much to the battery life as the voltage required is controller, anyway with only 1GB the netbook seems slower so it might be less effective to keep only 1GB. For battery life, my personal experience is 5-6hrs using wireless, but not watching HD video.
If you want to upgrade your netbook, you can go check my blog entry on my experience doing so.
My problem with putting an SSD in there is mostly price. I mean this netbook costs 250-300$ and, unless you don't need lots of storage space and 64GB is enough, an SSD might actually double that price :-/. Moreover, the CPU is "only" a dual-core 1GHz, it's not like it will ever be lightning fast. Just by adding the RAM, you will see a nice speed improvement, I don't know if it's worth putting an SSD on top of that.
For that kind of product, Walmart would be as good as any other; this is a sealed box, it's not as if they could have done anything to make it worst . As for the memory, Patriot is is good brand and the spec seems to match what I bought so I don't see why it wouldn't work.