So I have an old laptop that my son and wife use, my son uses it to play lightweight online games (CartoonNetwork, Roblox, etc) and my wife uses it for surfing the net and doing some home business type work. My son's birthday is coming up and my wife and I had talked about getting him a netbook, but I am having a tough time deciding if I should spend $300 on a netbook or spend the same amount to upgrade the internals and OS on the laptop so that it runs better.
The laptop is a Toshiba Satellite A105-S4011, it currently has an Intel Solo T1300 1.66 GHz processor, 2 GB of DDR2 RAM and is running Windows XP. I have come up with a couple of options for upgrades on this laptop that I think will make it a much better machine. Option one is to install an Intel Core 2 Duo T7200 2.0 GHz processor, 4 GB of DDR2 RAM, upgrade the Hard Drive to a 128 GB Solid State Drive and install Windows 8. Option Two is to install an Intel T7600 Core 2 Duo 2.33 GHz processor, 4 GB of DDR2 RAM, keep the current hard drive and upgrade to Windows 8. Both of these options cost about the same, I just don't know if skimping a little on the processor speed is worth it to get the speed and functionality of a Solid State Hard Drive. Another advantage to the laptop is that I had purchased a second battery for it, so battery life is not an issue.
If I get a netbook, I have been looking at one of the Asus Eee series, though I am not sold on that so feedback on netbooks is welcome too, but trying to cap the cost at $300. I think I know which way I want to go, but figured I would throw it out there and see what everyone else thinks.
If you can upgrade the laptop I don't see the need of a netbook however these updates are tricky and may also cause overheating but still if you decide to upgrade the processor T7600 with 4GB Ram it is a good choice. I don't really see the use of SSD for you because of the use of laptop you mentioned, a 7200rpm hard disk would just do fine.You can also go for the new Hybrid drives.Regarding the OS it is completely your choice as if you want a new revamped OS or stick to good old Win 7.
I ended up going with the Asus Eee series 1011CX. It has a 1.6 GHz dual core Intel Atom processor and 1 GB of DDR3 RAM. It is a nice little machine and so far is working flawlessly, thanks for the feedback, I may still upgrade the laptop just to see how the upgrade works out.