Netbook vs. Notebook Created 7 years ago2012-09-06 21:59:52 UTC by DiscoStu DiscoStu

Created 7 years ago2012-09-06 21:59:52 UTC by DiscoStu DiscoStu

Posted 7 years ago2012-09-06 21:59:52 UTC Post #309658
Striker's thread just reminded me I wanted to ask for advice too. But I'll make my own thread to avoid stealing his.

I was considering the acquisition of a cheap netbook to be able to download the insane amount of pictures I expect to take while in the US. And get internet access while I'm at it. I originally thought of a Raspberry Pi because it is cheap+portable but I read they have some issues and also they are taking ages to deliver them.

So I went to the B&H site and looked up the list of netbooks, ordered by price. The cheapest was an Asus EEE PC that doesn't even have audio out jack, so I skipped that one. For a small difference, I found this:

Acer Aspire One AOD270-1410: $270
  • Screen: 10.1"
  • Processor: 1.6GHz Intel Atom N2600 Dual-Core
  • Memory: 1GB DDR3 SDRAM, upgradeable to 2GB for some $20
  • Graphics Card: Integrated Intel GMA 3600 with 64MB Dedicated
  • Hard Drive: SATA 320GB@5400RPM
  • Battery: 6-cell, 4400mAh, about 8h charge.
This should be more than enough for what I wanted, it's pretty portable, light and small, and relatively inexpensive, although more costly than what I originally intended to spend.

Then a friend came along and suggested I get a notebook instead, to replace my ancient desktop. About all of them are more powerful than what I have right now. But the cost goes up. I looked again and found this:

Acer Aspire E1-531-4444: $390
  • Screen: 15.6"
  • Processor: 2.1GHz Intel Pentium B950 Dual-Core
  • Memory: 4GB DDR3 SDRAM, upgradeable to 8GB for some $25
  • Graphics Card: Integrated Intel HD Graphics with up to 128MB Shared
  • Hard Drive: SATA 320GB@5400RPM
* Optical Drive
  • Battery: 6-cell, 4400mAh, about 4h charge
At this point you can clearly see I am going for price. I'd basically like to know if I'd really be missing out on a lot for those $120. I am a poor photographer and $120 does make a difference :P

I mainly need a thing to download my pictures into while I am away from home and the occasional internet access, and I intend to get a new desktop later this year if I can so replacing my desktop is not a real priority. But since I don't know a lot about current hardware, I ask for advice so as not to do something stupid.

As always, thanks for your attention :D
Posted 7 years ago2012-09-06 22:33:29 UTC Post #309665
Since you're asking for high portability, I suggest you go with the first one. Plus, it has an Atom.

The downside is having a relatively small screen of only 10". But as you can see, both the laptops have the same battery pack, so naturally the smaller one will consume less and work more on the same juice.

If you can afford it, and if the netbook permits it, you can buy an SSD instead of the HDD and make it trully portable. I suspect you'll add one more hour to the autonomy as well.
Striker StrikerI seriously doubt myself
Posted 7 years ago2012-09-06 23:47:06 UTC Post #309670
I would get the more expensive one, and throw in the extra few bucks for the RAM upgrade as well. The other one only has 1/2GB RAM which is a complete joke. The smaller screen size and especially the smaller keyboard will be a big pain if you're using it for any length of time.

You might also want to consider a different screen size. My laptop has a 13" screen which is a reasonably nice size. My last laptop was a netbook and a 10" screen is just too small IMO.
Penguinboy PenguinboyHaha, I died again!
Posted 7 years ago2012-09-07 01:37:58 UTC Post #309671
@Striker: What's special about the Atom? Or was that a TWHL joke?

@Penguinboy: Why is 2GB RAM a joke?

...I'm suspecting it's related to me not seeing the problem with my rolling ball no-scrollwheel mouse, right? hides

I don't have a big problem with having a small screen, but I'll bear that in mind.
Posted 7 years ago2012-09-07 01:46:14 UTC Post #309672
I'm staying away from netbooks from now on. For what they can do I would much rather get an ipad. At least an ipad has games, heh.

I have an Asus EEE and it's terrible. After you get everything installed for basic computer use it doesn't have the horsepower to do anything. It is slow for basic internet needs. It can't even run netflix or flash apps without the fans turning up to full-blast and still being really slow.

Just remember you get what you pay for. :P
TheGrimReafer TheGrimReaferADMININATOR
Posted 7 years ago2012-09-07 05:06:36 UTC Post #309674
What's a netbook? And a notebook? And the difference?
Jessie JessieLadytype
Posted 7 years ago2012-09-07 05:36:42 UTC Post #309675
I've always thought of them in terms of price/performance ranges.

Netbook = A laptop that can serve basic purposes only. They can't do very much at once. They are generally cheap, small, and really light weight.

Notebook = A laptop that has a decent size and average performance. Unlike netbooks it can multitask. It is perfect for most everything that isn't a graphics-heavy game.

Gaming Laptop = A laptop equipped with heat ray vents capable of second and third degree burns! Oh, and it can play modern games too.
TheGrimReafer TheGrimReaferADMININATOR
Posted 7 years ago2012-09-07 06:16:23 UTC Post #309676
I mainly thought of a netbook as a means to interact with my camera and pull all the pictures I'll be taking into a hard drive. I was thinking of it more like a portable hard drive with its own screen and keyboard than a full-sized computer. Internet access being only a side effect. The ability to function as a music player with a six to eight hour battery was also a bonus for long flights.

Small form factor and a very light weight are things you start to consider seriously when you already are carrying other equipment for work. With camera, flash, lenses, batteries, chargers and other necessary items, my camera bag weighs in at about 6kg in average work days. And very often I have to carry it around on me, because leaving it somewhere is not an option.

Netbooks can have largish hard drives, iPads (or any tablet) run on SD cards with a capacity that is nowhere near the capacity of a hard disk. So that would require me lugging around an additional external hard drive. Every gram adds up.

A notebook on the other hand can provide extra processing power for the occasional Photoshop session, although I am not sure how often that would happen. Notebooks also have more ports and an optical drive, which netbooks don't.
Posted 7 years ago2012-09-07 09:10:59 UTC Post #309679
Netbooks are obsolete, i would recommend an Ultrabook but those are freakishly expensive. Buy a used notebook and an external hdd problem solved.
rufee rufeeSledge fanboy
Posted 7 years ago2012-09-07 19:00:29 UTC Post #309693
Checked back and they stocked a new model today.

For the same price it gets a 2.3GHz i3 dual core and 500GB hard drive, although a slightly shorter battery life.

The idea of a notebook is growing on me but I still like the long battery life part. Stupid batteries.
Posted 7 years ago2012-09-07 19:40:01 UTC Post #309695
I don't know about any of those particular models, but for some laptops at least you can get extra-sized batteries. These tend to be around twice the weight of the normal battery though, and not far from twice the price.
Posted 7 years ago2012-09-07 22:12:39 UTC Post #309699
I just have a netbook for the rare occasions I travel, and a desktop for everything else. I still can't see why I'd ever want a full-size laptop. They're kind of a pain-in-the-ass when you're used to the immense luxury of truly full size keyboards and huge screens, not to mention infinite expandability. So much more ergonomic too.
Posted 7 years ago2012-09-08 05:44:21 UTC Post #309705
I'd be happy with a laptop capable of handling Goldsource and hammer. A halftop if you will. It would be nice to be able to map and play mods on the go. :P

I don't have 200 quid lying around though.
UrbaNebula UrbaNebulaGoldSourcerer
Posted 7 years ago2012-09-08 06:08:55 UTC Post #309706
on a side note, have you ever tried mapping with a laptop touch-pad instead of a mouse? It's an absolute nightmare.
Posted 7 years ago2012-09-08 06:23:28 UTC Post #309707
I have. I bought a cheap USB mouse the very next day. :P
UrbaNebula UrbaNebulaGoldSourcerer
Posted 7 years ago2012-09-08 09:23:16 UTC Post #309716
I actually got surprisingly far with one of those IBM "nipple" pointers, back when I had my Thinkpad. But it's amazing how much dexterity you need just to create really simple stuff.
Posted 7 years ago2012-09-08 09:31:10 UTC Post #309718
Those "nipples" are way better than a touchpad at least for me, my dad has a thinkpad and its awesome to use one of those
rufee rufeeSledge fanboy
Posted 7 years ago2012-09-08 11:35:19 UTC Post #309719
Yeah, you can actually play FPS games with them. Can't say I feel the same about touchpads....
Posted 7 years ago2012-09-08 22:02:12 UTC Post #309729
I've heard a few complaints about them, but I much prefer them to touchpads.
If only there was some way to install one onto my laptop, I'm often in situations where I don't have an adequate surface for a mouse.
Posted 7 years ago2012-09-09 03:02:16 UTC Post #309732
@Urby: I do have 200 quid. But I intend to spend them on a Canon 85mm/1.8. I'm thinking of borrowing the extra 200 from my father :P

I never quite figured out nipples. Of course, I never had a laptop with that so I haven't really had many opportunities to test them.

So what I have so far is:

Netbook:
+ small form factor / light weight
+ longer battery life
  • bad processing power
Notebook:
+ much better processing power (good for photoshop and occasionally gaming)
  • half the battery life
I might be stupid.
Posted 7 years ago2012-09-09 05:18:35 UTC Post #309734
if you're looking for cheap, why not go for a refurbished one?
Tetsu0 Tetsu0Original Cowboy
Posted 7 years ago2012-09-14 02:52:32 UTC Post #309757
I'm looking for small and lightweight, the price isn't really that different between the two.

[Update:]
Why is it that when I find a pretty decent model for a reasonable price, it is completely unheard of in the manufacturer's website? What's the point of having a website at all if you're not going to list all available models?

I found several models on vendor's sites that are mentioned about nowhere else on the internet. Not even in the manufacturer's official website. The lack of some details kind of pisses me off. And this happens with many models and brands.

I hate shopping for things.Clothes, computers, photography gear, anything. I hate it.

Anyway.
Seeing what's available, I think I'll most likely get this one:

Acer Aspire AS5750 ($400, down from $530)
  • Processor: 2.3GHz Intel Core i3-2350M Dual-Core Sandy Bridge
  • Memory: 4GB upgradeable to 8GB for I don't care how much because I'll do it anyway
  • Screen: 15.6" LED
  • Hard Drive: 500GB 5400RPM SATA
  • Battery: 6-cell 4400mAh, 4.5 hours
Minor bonuses:
  • USB 3.0
  • 10/100/1000 ethernet (very few models seem to have it)
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