Netbooks - Testimonials
(expressions of Netbook Love)
INTRODUCTION - Why Netbook Love ?
In the 1995 to 2005 timeframe, I worked on Silicon Graphics IRIX (Unix) graphics workstations (supporting engineering 3D modeling software). I did not have a lot of time to spend on PC's at home, and I never had a laptop at that time. But I developed a lot of experience with writing Unix scripts using Unix commands in that time frame.
After I retired in 2005, I started doing all my computing on PC's at home. I started putting 'favorite bookmarks' together on web pages for a personal web site, and that (along with email and processing family photos) was one of the main uses of the PC for me.
I was using an aging HP desktop computer running the Windows ME operating system as my main computer. Around 2005, I ordered another PC, with Windows XP installed, as a backup --- but I kept using the Windows ME machine for most of my web development work and email.
Around 2007, I decided to assemble my own PC and started reading several different magazine articles and a couple of books on the steps involved in assembling a PC. It turned out that it boiled down to simply assembling about 7 main components.
I ordered parts and built such a PC. I wanted to use a liberating operating system on the PC, so I installed a version of Linux on it. I went through about 3 different 'distros' on the machine --- Mepis Linux, Mandrake Linux, and finally, Ubuntu 9.10 (2009 October, 'Karmic Koala').
In 2009, I finally moved my mail, documents, and web pages from the old PC with a Windows ME operating system to the home-built PC with Ubuntu 9.10 installed.
About that same year, netbooks became available and in their intial offering, some were equipped with a Linux operating system. I bought one with 'Linpus' Linux pre-installed. It was a stripped down version of a version of Fedora from that time period. Linpus sucked. I soon tried some other 'distros' and ended up replacing Linpus with Ubuntu 9.10 on that first netbook.
In the next several years (2009-2012), I bought 4 more Acer netbooks --- all with MS Windows 7 on them --- which I immediately replaced with Ubuntu 9.10 on a couple --- and Linux Mint (Gnome2) and Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) on the next two.
(In my opinion, that 2009 release of Ubuntu was a high point for Ubuntu. Ubuntu went down hill after that, as its developers started trying to imitate Apple --- but trying to do the imitation, a near-total re-vamping of Ubuntu, in a ridiculously short time frame. What were they thinking?)
I have documented my Linux installs on an Ubuntu Installs web page, which links to other pages on the Linux Mint installs.
Those pages document some of the reasons why I love netbooks. In short, netbooks are handy to use around the house --- especially, to get something constructive done while in front of the TV, while my fricking cable provider makes sure that I get at least 30% commercials per hour --- annoying, repetitive commercials full of 'useless information ; supposed to drive my imagination'.
In addition to being an alternative to dumbly watching useless commercials, netbooks are handy to use on trips and to use to give presentations.
Around 2012, it was disconcerting to me to see that the iPad started adversely impacting the sales of netbooks. People --- who were apparently not bothered by the restrictive (and expensive) nature of that operating environment (an operating environment that seemed to be leading its users around by rings through their noses) --- started making statements on internet sites that 'the netbook is dead'.
Not Dead Yet ! ("The netbook is dead. Long live the netbook.")
Although in early 2013, some of the main manufacturers of netbooks (Asus and Acer) announced that they were discontinuing manufacture of netbooks, at the same time, they started coming out with Chromebooks with similar hardware features --- smallish screens (11.6"), no CD/DVD drive, internet connectability, a built-in keyboard as well as a built-in monitor, and weighing about 3 pounds.
The Chromebooks were actually netbooks with an Android operating system instead of a Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 8 operating system. From 2010 up to mid 2012, most netbooks shipped with Windows 7 on them.
Some netbooks appeared in late 2012 with Windows 8 on them. However, soon after that, most manufacturers said they would not be making netbooks. This seemed to correspond with the fact that Microsoft was coming out with their 'Surface' computers with Windows 8 on them. Another netbook-like computer!
I think what those manufacturers meant to say is that they were not going to make any more netbooks with Windows 8 installed. As evidence that manufacturers may start considering other operating systems (other than MS Windows and other than the internet-oriented Chrome OS) ...
Around March 2013, I noticed that a new Asus X201E 11.6" notebook (netbook), with Ubuntu installed, was getting good reviews at bhphotovideo.com of New York City.
I define a netbook to be a computer with the following features:
I think it is not likely that such netbooks are going away soon. The computers of the 'One Laptop Per Child' (OLPC) project would probably come very close to fitting this definition --- and that project has not folded as of 2013.
And ... There will probably be other manufacturers who come out with netbooks like the Asus X201E (mentioned above) --- with a Linux (or Microsoft Windows) operating system installed.
And, if that fails to 'pan out', netbooks will probably 'rise up from below' --- from the small, less-than-50-dollar Raspberry Pi and Beagleboard and other computer boards that are capturing the imagination of many experimenters and developers.
In any case, the reason I find the phrase 'the netbook is dead; long live netbooks' so true is that we already (in early 2013) have multiple examples that the netbook is far from dead:
Netbook Testimonials (evidence of 'Netbook Love')
I am not the only one wants to be able to have the opportunity to buy a netbook in coming years --- say 2013 thru 2015. (Who knows what netbooks will morph into after then?)
When I do web searches for available netbooks, I keep encountering comments on the internet from people who share my love of netbooks. I will let their comments point out the many lovable features of netbooks. The testimonials of more than 40 people follow.
I've owned a dozen laptops and even the 14" ones are too big and
bulky for me. I love the portability of this machine [an Acer netbook]
and for the price, it's a really good value.
True -- it is not as fast as a dual-core processor laptop but that's
the point -- it doesn't need to be! I surfed the web, I watched
streaming video on both Netflix and Hulu, I typed a document and
you know what? It all worked great! What else can you ask for?
Any complaints? Yeah, it doesn't make me toast in the morning.
I don't understand what people are yelling about!
Simply great netbook, durable, and great for school students.
I honestly bought it for my nephew, and he loves it.
I bought two of these this past summer. I got tired of carrying
around my fullsize laptop at school. This little netbook is
so much easier to handle than my big laptop. It works great for
simple tasks like social networking, watching netflix, and
using Office 2007 for note taking in class ... I gave the second
one I bought to my mom for her birthday as she is always
complaining about lugging her laptop around as well. She loves
the ease of use and portability of this machine.
This netbook is awesome. It's compact, lightweight, fast and
holds a long battery charge. My son loves it. He just puts it in
his backpack and skateboards around college campus with no problem.
I actually want one myself.
I love that the netbook is so small and lightweight, but it does
what it's supposed to! I am not really a technical person -- using
this more for my creative writing than anything else. But it's what
I wanted and I am enjoying using it.
I travel for my business thus the reason for "downsizing" from my laptop.
... Given the size, the speed, other amenities and price, I am very happy.
For a presenter, it handles everything I need, including driving speakers
and a projector with no issues at all.
Bought this primarily for watching movies when we travel but have
found myself using it around the house quite a bit. It's no gaming system
but surfs the net with ease ... and can stream netflix without a problem.
This netbook is awesome! I am a teacher and needed something light weight
to take back and forth to school. I use it everyday to show Power Point
presentations, check email, and input grades into the school's grading
system. This netbook is just as fast as my home laptop and hasn't
let me down yet.
This is a great little computer for keeping me connected around the house
and on the road. It is no frills, so if you are looking for speed,
graphics, comfort and storage then look somewhere else. If you are
looking for a good quality, easy to use, portable, and inexpensive means
to get on-line you have found it! ... it does what I need it to do.
I typically use it to watch TV on-line around the house, connect to
social media and check on-line e-mail. ... The WiFi reception is good
and I can go outside while maintaining a good connection from my
Love it. This is a handy, dandy little netbook. I love the portablility
of it. Travels well. Battery life is excellent. It does everything a
computer of this size is meant to do.
Excellent Product. Great netbook with a long battery life. I was
looking for a better way to keep up with my e-mails and share photos
while I am on trips. This is perfect. Much lighter and smaller
than a laptop.
Just what I needed. My Acer netbook has been a lifesaver for me.
Lugging a laptop to several locations for professional meetings
became increasingly difficult. The Acer has provided me with all
the speed I need for my work and it is so light. It's great!
A geat product !! I bought this for my girl friend because she
always lugged a 17 1/2" laptop around with her. I thought
this would be easier for her to use and much easier for her to
carry. I was right on both accounts. She loves it and still
uses her big one at home but carries the 10" notebook every
where she goes and claims it's so very easy to use... I just love it!!
This computer is awesome. It has a long battery life. It's easy to
transport. It features a good webcam. Best of all it's thin and small.
This is the second Acer netbook I've purchased. These little guys
are perfect for taking just about anywhere outside your home or office.
We travel and visit many places that wifi is available. When I turn
my little computer on it hooks up very fast to the wifi.
This net book is fast with Ubuntu [2010 Aug]. With a spread sheet
open, running a YouTube video and having the file browser open,
the system was only using a quarter (254 mib) of the 1 gig of memory.
This netbook is a great deal for the price.
Just a great easy to travel with netbook, has all I need!
Several of my friends have the same netbook and they all love it!
I had a lot of worries before buying this little guy. I was
afraid it would be too slow for my taste, but it actually
exceeded my expectations! For this price, it doesn't get any better!
and (some on Windows 7 'Starter')
Great computer, *LOUSY* OS. Love the computer, hate the OS. Windows 7 is OK in general, despite Microsoft's senseless screwing around with the structure of "My Documents," but the "Starter Edition" is an abomination. Seriously? An OS that prevents me from setting a desktop wallpaper? One that won't let me connect an external monitor at the same time as the built-in screen? This OS is a *huge* step backwards from the Windows XP Home that came on my previous Acer netbook, and Microsoft wants $80 to upgrade it to one without these atrocious and arbitary limitations.
Ubuntu Netbook Remix, here I come. This "Starter Edition"
may be enough to chase me off Windows for good. Thanks for
clarifying the situation for me, Microsoft!
I love my little Acer Netbook! It is so small and lightweight
and it has a great keyboard. ... Now I know everyone is looking
to ultrabooks as the future of mobile computing, but consider
this: For the price of one ultrabook one could buy a Netbook
for every person in a family of four. The price of a netbook is
so low, that parents who want to buy mobile computers for
their kids are more likely to be able to afford them.
Love My Netbook. I have a tablet and a netbook. When I'm at meetings,
I bring the netbook. Why? Because I do actual work on it. I'm not
interested in "sexy" as much as I am in "productive."
My techs also find netbooks quite handy in the field. Need to check
a network outlet's connectivity? Or maybe connect directly to a
switch to configure it? Our netbooks with their old-fashioned
copper Ethernet connections allow it.
3D humor. Being a long time netbook user, I loved your mentioning of
the hyped 3d that never seemed to make it [onto operating systems]. On my
Aspire One (upgraded to 2GB RAM) I can run Ubuntu with Compiz giving me the
handy cubed 6 sided desktop.
Netbooks are great! I love my netbook. Lying on the lounge,
playing scrabble, it's the most comfortable way to play.
It's light for travelling and gives me laptop convenience.
Love my netbook. I love my wee Toshiba Netbook. It is far
more useful, if you're doing REAL work, than a tablet,
and far more convenient to carry around. I'd be sad if
I was unable to buy a replacement for it at some point.
Retailers are killing the Netbook. I don't get the retailers. The company I work for stopped carrying netbooks even when we had customers continually coming in asking for them. They tried telling us to push the 12" laptops at $600 or more no one wanted. People wanted a small, light weight, inexpensive laptop they could AFFORD. They are the [Ford] Festiva of the laptop world. You get the low income young that can't yet afford the $600 entertainment laptop and make it of good quality so when they can afford a full size and full feature laptop they recall the quality your cheap beater had and make a bee line to your brand.
My wife and I have been running netbooks for quite a few years now.
They have actually taken over as our main computing devices.
I got a tablet but they're really just an accessory, I know no one
who owns a tablet as their only source of computing, I know I use
mine for surfing and listening to podcasts thats about it. They say
tablets supposedly killed the netbook but look at the prices and
they don't have keyboards for people like myself who type a lot,
given the explosion of social media. Where I work, the closest
thing we have to a netbook is an Asus Transformer $399 tablet alone,
then $150 for the optional keyboard, then there is the matter of STORAGE.
Last Aspire One netbook I saw around $300 had a 320GB drive.
What do the tablets offer? 8, 16, 32, or for the real big spenders 64GB.
The Netbook Isn't Dead, It's Just Resting.
I found it amusing that the same PC industry that was selling [netbooks] by the million didn't seem to like them very much [link here to http://technologizer.com/2009/07/17/sorry-consumers-you-still-mistakenly-like-netbooks/].
At the time, industry experts kept confidently predicting the imminent demise of netbooks -- but consumers ignored the experts and kept on buying 'em. ... it's obvious that netbooks peaked ... And yet ... It's not like lightweight notebooks, small screens and low price points will go away, even if nobody makes a computer that's officially called a netbook.
It's amazing that netbooks as we knew them did as well as they did, since the industry always had a passive-aggressive attitude toward the whole idea. One of the best ones was Lenovo's IdeaPad S12 -- a proto-Ultrabook that had a relatively spacious 12.1-in. screen and a roomy-enough keyboard. But Intel supposedly responded to the S12's introduction not by congratulating Lenovo for building a nice computer but by punishing the company by denying it chip discounts [link here to http://technologizer.com/2009/07/06/the-war-against-netbooks-continues/].
Microsoft, too, pressured PC manufacturers not to make netbooks too good, specswise, since their low price points forced the company into supplying Windows at a lower price than it liked.
Thanks in part to Intel and Microsoft's meddling, most netbooks were at least a tad underpowered and chintzy, almost by definition. Today, everybody in the industry is more excited by Ultrabooks (and variants like HP's Sleekbooks), in part because they're posher machines than netbooks and sell at higher prices with more room for a profit margin.
But just watch. The smallest Ultrabooks are similar in size to the
largest netbooks, and at some point their prices will tumble into the
sub-$500 territory where most netbooks lived. Once that happens,
the netbook will be back -- whether or not anyone in the PC business
I don't care what anyone says, I love my netbook. I have an Asus Eee,
and I build websites. Most of my work is done on my desktop, but when
I am out and about, I can pop open my netbook and start writing code.
It doesn't have to be very powerful, because all I need is a text
editor and Wi-Fi connection. And having the full keyboard is essential
for a typing-intensive activity like coding. I am glad I bought a
netbook when I did.
Despite efforts by Microsoft and Intel to hobble netbooks with arbitrary software and hardware constraints, they were popular because they were what most people wanted and needed: lightweight, small, economical, long battery life, and able to do everything most people needed them to do.
Too bad the powers that be were so quick to abandon them in pursuit of
poorly executed me-too iPad knock-offs.
A year with my netbook
... the reality is I love my netbook, and I mean REALLY love it.
From code, to chat, to gaming, really it does everything I want
and does it very well. A lot of people complain about CPU speed on
netbooks but I think these are stupid people who don't understand
they can disable garbage that came with it or tame the apps and
software they do use.
Nov 21, 2012.
I know, I know, it's so horribly old-fashioned in a tablet world,
but I am the happy owner of my second ASUS eee PC. It's a perfect
machine for traveling, whether to downtown or halfway across the world.
Mine is loaded with the full version of Microsoft Office, so I can do
any work I need to from anywhere. It fits on an airline tray table,
it is small enough to fit in my bookbag, and no one wants to steal it.
Why I Love My Acer Aspire One D250 Netbook!
I purchased it from a local Target and have been very pleased with
my choice. ... The first time I booted it up and began using it,
I fell in love! I might be a big guy with big hands, but after an
hour of using the small keyboard, my fingers felt quite at home.
... using it for light reading, emails and typing is not difficult at all.
[And see more netbook-love comments in the responses at the bottom
of this page.]
ChromeOS is entirely reliant on internet connectivity and keeps you trapped into doing everything using SaaS [Software as a Service] apps; great for Google because it can ruthlessly invade your privacy in order to sell more advertisements. Bad for us because it cripples the OS in order to achieve this goal.
Microsoft, similarly, has little interest in meeting the needs of people using computers on the go. Instead, we get this enormous bloated operating system that takes up way too much space and costs too much power. ... That's without getting into the ridiculous farce that is the Metro user interface.
In today's hype-fuelled world of incomplete UIs and desperate attempts
to gain lock-in and increase the average revenue per user, is there any
manufacturer out there brave enough to risk the wrath of the dominant
operating system vendors? Is there a hardware maker brave enough to
provide not what the tech giants envision, but what users actually
need? I hope that by the time this netbook of mine is ready to give
up the ghost, the answer is yes.
Problem in a nutshell. Netbooks were too good; they cannibalised laptops.
So the industry decided collectively to sell expensive ultrabooks, and
tablets that are not actually good enough for any daily work.
No-one will put Linux on them.
The Linpus that was on the EEEPCs was barely fit for purpose -
you pretty much HAD to swap it out for another distro or XP if
you wanted to do anything. Things like that killed Linux on the
Tablets are nice but there is no real replacement for having
2 windows open side by side and a real keyboard. ... Am i the
only one who will mourn the death of the netbook market?
My nexus 7 is great but typing on a physical keyboard is
just so much quicker and my netbook has a matte screen and
i don't have to clean the screen once every half hour. I will
really miss these cheap machines that do a good job once you
install a lighter os on them.
I love mine and will continue to run it till it dies
a natural death. It runs great with linux.
I also love my netbook. Having a physical keyboard makes
all the difference. I can basically do everything I normally
do on my PC, and I can easily lug it around the house.
i like the idea of a ultrabook ... what i don't like is the price.
i don't expect to be doing any hardcore work on something that
is meant to be mobile. i think of mobile devices as something
that i do my web browsing/video watching etc on. if i had the
kind of money for a macbook air i would rather buy a $300 netbook
and a $700 desktop instead of just getting the laptop.
The Linux distributions that they shipped with also did not do much good for the netbook. If only the good netbook friendly distro's we have now had been available when they came out!
I bought an EEEPC 701 4G in 2008, it came with Xandros. Not terrible, but not great either. (It runs Lubuntu 12.10 now and lives in a box together with an USB HDD to be my NAS). I bought an Aspire One in 2009 that came with Linpus. The OS broke within a year. It happily runs Lubuntu 12.04 now (and also has Unity, Gnome and XFCE).
If those devices originally would have shipped with an OS the same
quality as Lubuntu, the netbook market might have been more successful.
Just yesterday I saw someone using an iPad with a full blown keyboard
and mouse in a case that turned the whole assembly into a --
wait for it -- overpriced netbook.
I love my netbook. it kicks ass and is 1/4 the price of your little
ipad or whatever, with your $200 keyboard accessory that essentially
you use to turn it into... a netbook.
I love my netbook. Do you? Since last year, I've had my
netbook and I love it to bits. It is so cool. [New Zealand school boy]
You will have to pry my netbook from my cold, dead hands.
Love my netbook. Just as functional as an iPad at half the cost.
To me the competing devices for netbooks are tablets, not full sized laptops.
Netbooks cost less and to my mind work better. I recently took a long train
trip with my older Atom N270 Acer ($180 at the time), surrounded by tablets.
Those were either hand held or inflexibly propped on the meal tray with users
tilting their necks and uncomfortably pawing on them, while the netbook sat
securely with a full keyboard and screen tilted to a comfortable angle.
As for Linux, I'm dual booting W7 with older Lubuntu 10.10, which
runs blazingly fast.
ManfredtheWonderDog - Jul 17, 2013
This is for those folk who say everything that is low cost is garbage.
Lots are, not all.
wirelesscaller Jul 19, 2013
We could go on forever. If you want more evidence that a significant number of people actually like (and even love) their netbooks, try a Google search on 'love my netbook 2013'.
On a Linux magazine forum, someone pointed out that the painter Paul Delaroche, when he first saw a photograph in 1839, said "From today, painting is dead!". Reminds me of the people who are saying "The netbook is dead.".
At this time (2013 March), I feel fairly certain that netbooks (as I have defined them above) have enough devotees to cause manufacturers to take notice and keep coming out with machines that appeal to their desires for a small, portable, highly-capable, low-cost, unrestricted (not 'locked down') computer.
It is my hope that manufacturers will find that there is a large market for such small computers --- ones that are not Chromebook-like, restricting one to using apps across the internet and storing (nay, risking) their data 'in the cloud'.
It appears that, in 2013, many of the PC manufacturers --- HP, Asus, Acer, Gateway, Lenovo, etc. --- are trying to only offer laptop computers in the 450-plus dollars range. But most of their offerings are ridiculously overloaded:
Hopefully they will come to their senses soon. They have probably entered into 'backroom deals' to not undercut each other anymore with sub-250 dollar laptops.
But I do not think that will last for long. They are leaving the door open for others to fill the demand of many millions of PC users all around the world who would leap onto sub-250 dollar laptops.
Among those millions, there are many millions who do not want the ad-heavy, subscription-heavy, dictatorial laptop environments being offered by Google, Microsoft, and Apple. There are millions of Linux users who know there is a much more 'freedom-filled' way to build PC's.
In the next several years (2013-1015), I may add links to this page to provide information on availability of these small, freedom-enhancing computers. For example, see the link to bhphotovideo.com, which was referenced above.
And when that link goes dead, try my Computer Bargains page.
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Page was created 2013 Mar 22.