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back to article Back-to-school 10in Netbooks

The summer hols are over, and it's back to school for the kids. Or to college, for the older ones. Whatever their age, though, your offspring - perhaps even you yourself - are likely to have their eye on a new computer for the new term. And with prices never being lower, there's no longer a financial reason to restrict junior to …

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Anonymous Coward

Not a single one

with Linux. I was genuinely interested, but I'm not jumping through the hoops for a Windows refund. Sticking with my EEE 900A.

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Love my Lenovo

I have just purchased a Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3 and am delighted with it. Compared to my Lenovo X200, it is considerably lighter and has 6 - 7 hours battery life in normal use. I didn't find the touchpad required undue pressure but as I detest any type of touchpad I use a small wireless mouse. Although there is a SIM slot I haven't been able to make 3G work yet; I suspect my model (M33D3UK) doesn't support it. However, if you are prepared to work with WiFi instead, then it is great value at £279.00 (from Lenovo UK on-line)

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Silver badge

A bit subjective perhaps?

Large hard drive? Fast wireless? Why? so you can use it as a small laptop? So you can install some redmondware on it? For me price/value for money and weight are far more important.

And while we are at it why choose the ASUS that has a fancy touchscreen to compare to all the others that don't? Was it so you didn't have to choose it as the best?

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FAIL

More important than HDD Size...

... is HDD format. I am more than happy to have a smaller HDD in my Aspire One if it means I get the flash based drive. Yes, it's smaller, but I worry much less when it comes to chucking it in a rucksack and commuting. Y'know, that thing Netbooks were originally developed for.

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Stuck in the past

So we're still trying to squeeze all fashioned technology in to a smaller format. Gigs of this and gigs of that. Instead of us techno geeks sitting in a lab expounding on how well this works, shove some of these steam engines into the hands of teenagers and students along with an iPad and see what happens... Wipe out! Already seeing a sea of change in device registration at my University! Not saying Apple will be the only one, but they are the first. Get with it guys.

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What about 11/12" and Linux?

For me, the ideal size is 11.6/12", 1366x768, good enough to type all day; I also need something Linux ready (even if now all netbooks pay the redmond tax), as I won't be using MS bloatware on something that is supposed to be light and fast. I'm still using my 1101HA even if Intel seems to be unable to support the GMA500 chipset, but I'll be looking for a non-intel alternative soon, and would love a comparative review of the 11.6/12" netbooks out there!

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Gates Horns

Windows 7 Starter for all?

Why are they all running Windows 7 Starter (32 bit) aka "how do you change the wallpaper", even the machines like the Lenovo that is running Linux?

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Cheap computers

I had a go of a netbook and I'm not impressed. It was too small to do anything except casual web browsing. It was a Sony but had a pretty poor glossy screen.

What is up with the poor quality screens? the non-widescreens were flicker free before the change.

I'm going to find a mini 9 to have a look at, it's more compact size might excuse the cheapness of it.

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re: the above post

"I had a go of a netbook and I'm not impressed. It was too small to do anything except CASUAL WEB BROWSING."

I thought that was pretty much the main point of a netbook?

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Windows crippled edition

@Jose Bernardo B R Silva

I haven't tried it yet (my Dell Mini still has the 8.04 install on it), but reportedly there's FINALLY an easy overlay for Ubuntu 10.04 to add GMA500 support. It's the same old drivers, I don't know if they patched them to work with newer XOrg that 10.04 has, or if they just replace 10.04's XOrg with the older one that works with the GMA500 drivers. But who cares? Either way, pain-free GMA500 support on 10.04.

@Sir Wiggum, ahh yeah Windows Crippled Edition. I'm sure the students will LOVE that 8-).

I think you know this but for the record crippled edition disables changing the screen background, disallows changing the visual appearance and audio theme (i.e. startup and shutdown sound and such), removes Aero Glass, removes DVD playback support, removes Media Center, removes multi-monitor support (so if they hook the machine up to a projector for a project it mysteriously won't work) plus some other somewhat less important stuff. I would like to note right here Ubuntu -- even the netbook edition -- will let the user do all this including the fancy semi-tranparent window borders and such (there's an extra download for DVD support usually, although if you buy a Dell with Ubuntu they include the codec preinstalled.)

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Drivers for Ubuntu 10.04

I am glad to see that for you the drivers in Ubuntu 10.04 are pain free. I can assure you that for me (jbernardo @ubuntuforums), Lucazade, Yves, etc., it has been all but pain free to force the old psb drivers to work with 10.04. We patched them, repackaged them, got more patches from Mandriva, Fedora and others, and finally have a driver that has vaapi (1080p video acceleration) and some 3D working. Still, it is like squeezing a fuel guzzling, outdated, huge, american car engine into a Fiat 500. There is a limit to what you can do, and it won't ever work as well as a new, designed for the purpose engine. And the new Intel EMGD drivers are even worse, a binary only crap that only works on Meego and Fedora 11.

Seems like they can't even copy Nvidia's binary driver strategy...

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"if they hook the machine up to a projector for a project it mysteriously won't work"

I bet the external VGA port will still mirror the primary display though. As anyone who's ever had to hurriedly hook up a laptop to a projector will vouch, although it's not the most flexible approach, it's the one most likely to work without most of the audience walking out with boredom waiting to see a video rather than a magenta rectangle.

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JDX
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Linux

Why blame MS...

Couldn't the netbooks come with a proper version of W7, with Aero disabled - or even with XP - for the HUGE majority of people who want a PC that works the way they expect?

If you only want a netbook for internet access then a low-spec Linux box is a great choice but is that the most useful thing for school/college? I don't want to buy my kid a netbook so they can spend all day on Facebook at school...

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