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Netbook recommendation

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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December 3, 2011 12:37:21 AM

Hi!

I am interested to buy a netbook and would like some recommendations.

Use: I want to use the netbook when I travel because it's small and don't want to have to carry a big laptop. I don't own a tablet and don't want one. I want to surf the internet, check my emails, backup pictures, listen to music, watch movies, edit documents with Open Office.
Country: I'm from Canada
Budget: 300$ CAD
Screen size: 10" or 12"
Games: No
Hard drive: Does not matter.
Memory: Min 1 gb ram, preferably 2gb.
I want the netbook to have the following things: HDMI port, RJ45, USB ports, WI-FI, webcam, memory card reader (SD, SDHC) and finally I want it black (I hate those pink, blue, brown netbooks)
Brands: I've always owned lots of ASUS stuff and would like one from them but I am ready to go in another brand if it's worth it.

I will buy an external USB dvd drive.

I also have a few questions:
-Win7 starter will be fine for the use I want to do?
-I believe that upgrading the memory from 1gb to 2gb myself is very easy and will cost about 20$. Am I right? Will it void the warranty?
-Is it possible to watch HD movies on netbooks?


Tell me what you think. If 300$ budget is not enough tell me what would be more realistic.

Thanks a lot!

More about : netbook recommendation

December 3, 2011 12:56:20 AM

I recently bought an ASUS netbook with a dual core Atom, and though I'm okay with the slow speed of the CPU, the incredible weakness of the integrated Intel Graphics kills me. Video up to 480p plays fine, but even hiding/unhiding the taskbar is choppy. I suggest an AMD dual core APU or at least ION graphics.

2gb RAM is $13 - buy a stick with the netbook if the one you choose only comes with 1gb.

Good luck finding the HDMI port - most in the $300 range only come with VGA.

And finally, here's some expert advice.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/5177/holiday-2011-laptop-...
December 3, 2011 1:20:34 AM

I agree with both jesster and the anand recommendation, for $100 more the dm1z is signifcantly more capable than the atom offerings because of the graphics, plus hdmi is standard.

$400 from HP's website gets you the base config with a 1.3 ghz dual core and 4 GB of ram, and you can often find coupons from logicbuy on this website for 30-50 off of this netbook.

I have an E350 board powering my main HTPC. It is reasonably fast and plays anything I throw at it, plus it very low power so battery life on the netbook is quite good as well. I had a single core atom netbook before this that wasn't even close in performance.
December 3, 2011 1:57:24 AM

Go for an AMD E-350 based laptop. I have an E-350 based nettop and an Atom based netbook (without Ion), so I can compare both.
* My nettop has the E-350, and I can watch HD video, and even go the extent of playing Portal. All this at a resolution of 1920x1200. For a 1366x768 resolution it will be very good. Atom's graphics chokes on HD even at 1024x600.
* The E-350 CPU is not a powerhouse, but good enough that I use it for day to day work (music, Office, email, etc.) I only fire up my big rig for gaming. Atom is fine for very light tasks, but even browsing Javascript intensive websites throws it into a tizzy.
* The E-350 supports 4 GB of RAM, which gives you future upgradability. Atom's netbook CPUs top out at 2 GB, nettop CPUs at 4 GB.
* Go for minimum 2 GB of RAM, it roughly breaks down as 1 GB for Windows at idle, plus 1 GB for you.
* Note that the E-350 has no dedicated video memory, so you'll need to allocate it from system RAM. I'm using 256 MB for my resolution, for a netbook resolution you can get away with even lesser (this is another reason to pick 2 GB).
* Go for Windows 7 Home Premium - it comes with the codecs for various video formats. I'm running the 64-bit edition of this on both nettop and netbook, and am satisfied with its performance on the E-350.

Looking at the HP site for Canada: http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/ca/en/ho/WF25a/321957-32...

* All feature the E-350, minimum 3 GB RAM*
* Black colour
* Memory card reader, webcam, wi-fi, Bluetooth, Gigabit ethernet
* No mention about HDMI. The E-350 itself supports HDMI and VGA output, so its a matter of checking with HP/reseller.
* Prices not listed on their site, so you'll have to check...

Newegg (http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683...) lists the dm1-3245ca (LY074UA) as $430 (CAD). That's quite a bit over your budget, so you need to decide whether its worth it. That Newegg page also mentions it has a HDMI port.


* I suggest 4 GB RAM, because that helps you maintain a dual-channel configuration, which does make a difference to video memory bandwidth for the E-350.
!