Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Netbook vs. Cheap Notebook Decision

As some readers might already know from my Twitter postings, I bought an Acer netbook this evening. Judging by the replies on Twitter there is some interest in my decision process so I'll highlight some of the factors that influenced my decision.

I don't make very much money and therefore don't have very much money to spend so price was a key consideration for me. Netbooks met my criteria for being relatively inexpensive (although anytime I spend more than $50 it's a major purchase in my mind). After researching them on the web, asking for comments on Twitter, and emails with people I trust, I was 90% certain that I wanted an Acer. Three stores in my area Radio Shack, Staples, and Walmart carry the Acer so I set out this afternoon to test the Acer and find my best deal. (Notice the being thrifty pattern developing). After trying the Acer I was sure I wanted to purchase it. But, then I stopped into Best Buy. Best Buy was running a sale on the base model Toshiba Satellite. For $50 more than I had planned to spend I could have bought the Toshiba with a 15" screen and DVD drive. That was where my shopping trip got confusing.

At the end of the day I bought the Acer Aspire One. I have a computer (Macbook) when school is in session that is provided by the district/ state. But during the summer I'm relegated to my very old Gateway at home. I wanted the Netbook to serve as my on-the-go blogging tool and web surfing tool. The Acer Aspire One with the 10" display seemed to be perfect for that. The Toshiba Satellite on sale at Best Buy was a much bigger machine in screen size and weight. Approximately 97% of what I do with a computer is done in the cloud, not on the computer itself. Getting the bigger Toshiba and spending $50 more was not something I could justify when I considered my original intent for a small, light blogging tool.

If you're considering buying a netbook for your personal use or your child's use here are a few things to consider.
1. If you don't have any other computer to use, a netbook might not be what you want. The 10" screen is a little too small to see the entire field of some websites and programs.
2. If, like me, most of what you do is online then a netbook could be a good choice for you.
3. For some people the size of the keyboard is a consideration. This wasn't a consideration for me because I never learned to type properly and have a "speed hunt and peck" technique.
4. To get the most out of your netbook you may want to consider stripping away any unneccesary programs that come installed on your netbook.

I've had my Acer for only a few hours now and so far I am happy with it. I've already written two blog posts with it. I will update this post tomorrow evening after I've had a full day of working with it.