Which netbook should I get?
April 18, 2010 12:02 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a thin, lightweight netbook. Please help me pick one!

I'm in the market for a netbook(or laptop, I guess, but probably not)! This is kind of a two part question,

1) I've heard some really great things about MSI from friends so I picked out the MSI Wind U160. This is the laptop I'm considering buying due to it's small size and impressive battery life. The only thing I don't like is how the 6-cell battery protrudes from the back.
Anyone here use an MSI before? Maybe you even have the U160?

2) I would also like to compare the U160 to some other similar netbooks before I buy anything.
My three requirements are:
  • Small
  • Long battery life. AT LEAST 5 hours, but the longer the better
  • Light
I've read some other similar threads on here and while they have been helpful I feel like I have many less needed features then some other posters. I'm grateful for any help!
posted by Funky Claude to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a big fan of this one Touchbook It is nice because of the internal USB ports which will allow you to expand its functionality without adding size. It has a nice battery life, and it can run ubuntu, android, gentoo, etc.
posted by runit at 12:35 PM on April 18, 2010

Don't overlook the Toshibas. If it matters to you, you might step up to the slightly-above-netbook size to avoid Windows 7 Starter -- but they have less battery life than the smallest models. For further comparing, also see the Aspire One. Mentioning these because we have the Acer (two of 'em, actually) and a long history of good experience with Toshibas.
posted by sageleaf at 1:18 PM on April 18, 2010

If you don't need one immediately, the Lenovo Skylight is supposed to be available in July. Engadget liked it but were a bit puzzled by its market positioning (guess they don't get the whole small and light thing). I love Lenovo notebooks and I was sold on this by the Lenovo demo video: at 2 lbs weight and 12 hours battery life, I am definitely interested in one, when it its eventually available.
posted by Susurration at 2:56 PM on April 18, 2010

The Dell Mini 10v allows one to convert it to a mac based laptop as well, otherwise called a hackintosh.

My only advice to you is to definitely get a netbook with the 92% keyboard size which I believe is the highest. Whatever you do, that keyboard is going to make a big impact to your shoulder and neck muscles.

Usually, you'll have to go for a higher cell count battery, like a 6 cell count or what have you in order to get the highest battery life.
posted by iNfo.Pump at 3:16 PM on April 18, 2010

Just bought the Toshiba 305 a couple of days ago - I'm enjoying it so far. It is a Windows XP machine, which was actually a selling point for me (Windows 7 Starter looks too much like a scam for my tastes). They're claiming 11 hours on the battery, though I haven't had opportunity to try that out yet.
posted by Ponsonby Britt at 5:24 PM on April 18, 2010

I like my ASUS UL30A. I chose it based on the answers in this thread. Also realized that I didn't mark the right answer best answer, oops!, fixed now It's really thin and light, it's quiet, the battery life is amazing-- about 7 hours when I first got it, but maybe 5 now of continuous use (at school, typing notes and browsing the internet for that long basically non-stop) with the screen on the brightest setting. It's super fast, Windows 7 is awesome, and it has great specs for a great price (Macbook Air, who?). It doesn't have a CD drive, but external ones are cheap, and rarely needed nowadays anyway.
My only problem is that the hard drive will start making this clicking sound occasionally. ASUS tech support got back to me within a day and their solution worked temporarily but it started again. My only other complaint is that the shiny black plastic keyboard surface is a fingerprint and dust magnet, but that's just cosmetic.
Other than this issue (which will hopefully be resolved), I am very happy with it. Waaaay less bloatware than you'll get on a "brand name" like a Dell (of which I've had several and will never again buy).
posted by ishotjr at 5:28 PM on April 18, 2010

I should add that I was looking for a netbook originally, but decided that a thin-and-light was really better for me because the full size keyboard is better for all the typing I do. I didn't actually know that thin-and-lights existed as a category when I was first looking for a new laptop. If you don't type a lot, then keyboard size may not be a concern for you. The ASUS has the chiclet keys, which are awesome. People are constantly commenting on how thin my laptop is, and it's SO light. I used to have a Dell Inspiron and that thing is a beast compared to the weight/thickness of the ASUS.
One other complaint I thought of, though: the speakers suck, but that will probably be a problem with netbooks, too.
posted by ishotjr at 5:33 PM on April 18, 2010

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