Netbook and Powerpoint?
April 20, 2010 4:02 PM   Subscribe

Can a netbook effectively run Powerpoint? If so, any recommendations? The primary use would be regular ol' netbook tasks (browsing the net, email). However, as an attorney, I also occasionally need a laptop to display Powerpoint slides via the courtroom's newfangled electronic display system (through the VGA port). Will a netbook be able to do this in a passably quick manner with an older version of Powerpoint / a similar program? With added RAM? Please justify my purchase of a $350 toy.
posted by seventyfour to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Sure. I've run Powerpoint on low-end machines like that. It's somewhat cramped for creating content but simply to play back slides, especially through the standalone viewer, should be simple.
posted by GuyZero at 4:04 PM on April 20, 2010

I have an Asus EEE 1000HE and have spoken on here before about how much I love it. I upgraded the RAM to 2GB, which might be standard on the machines now, not sure.

It does work great. The only thing you need to be aware of is that most netbooks will only have a VGA port (although some have HDMI, I can't speak for your actual model) and you may need something like a VGA > DVI adapter to be able to cover all possible connection types.

But it'll work fine, an added bonus is the extreme battery life, you probably won't have to carry your charge cord into court with you if you've topped off the battery beforehand.
posted by DMan at 4:07 PM on April 20, 2010

yes, my netbook (ASUS 1000h) came loaded with a ppt viewer that works just fine. some projecters don't deal well with the image though so that's something you need to be careful about - it just comes out wonky and there's nothing you can do about it especially if the netbook is running XP lite or some such. I find that Star Office Impress works far better and saves as either PDF or PPT for greater flexibility. the only problem is when you receive a ppt made on a mac - sometimes that may not come through properly.
posted by infini at 4:07 PM on April 20, 2010

ah, what DMan said far better re: wonky :)
posted by infini at 4:08 PM on April 20, 2010

I bought an Acer 1410 ($399) that runs Photoshop (CS4) and the Office suite fine. I upgraded to 4gb of ram and am running Windows 7 (64bit). It's a fantastic machine.
posted by null terminated at 4:10 PM on April 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Yep, it'll work just fine. I use my Toshiba nb305, and it works like a dream with Office (including powerpoint), as well as a number of more intensive things.
posted by SpacemanStix at 4:23 PM on April 20, 2010

And also, like Dman said, I've never had to take a power cord with my anywhere due to the nice battery life, so it's been pretty awesome.
posted by SpacemanStix at 4:24 PM on April 20, 2010

Have you tried Google Apps? There's a reasonable facsimile of PowerPoint in its presentation app, depending on what features you need.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:27 PM on April 20, 2010

The only reason I wouldn't purchase a netbook is so that you don't get depressed how many of your computer needs can be fulfilled by a netbook. I have two fast computers, but I use the netbook most often for web-based stuff and MS Office use.

If you're willing to poke around a bit, decent netbooks can be found for under $250 on different deal sites like Slickdeals and Fat Wallet.
posted by speedgraphic at 5:26 PM on April 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Thank you, Metas, this is exactly what I wanted to know!
posted by seventyfour at 7:39 PM on April 20, 2010

I'm going to double triple recommend the Acer 1410. I picked one up last year, and since then 4 of my friends and family members have picked them up on my recommendation.

Bigger screen and faster processor than most NetBooks (a 'real' processor instead of a mobile one). I upgraded mine to 4GB of memory and it runs great. I sent back the Netbook I'd originally bought and upgraded to this machine - it's significantly more powerful, and the extra inch or so of screen space makes a big difference.

I'd suggest this one at Amazon - it's $480 but has the faster processor.

Everyone who's picked one of these up at my recommendation has been extremely pleased with it - I'm sure you would be, too.
posted by syzygy at 12:51 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

As others have said, works fine. Couple of points:

1. Bear in mind that the aspect ratio of a netbook is different to that of many pc's. In other words, your screen is slightly squatter. As such, going full screen on the netbook will often give you black bars on either side. Not a big issue.
2. If you can, up your memory to 2GB.
3. Just because your screen is squat, doesn't mean that you'll suffer when using a projector or external monitor. Most netbooks will happily display 1024x768 on an external screen - some even higher.

I used a Samsung NC10 running Powerpoint hooked up to an external monitor for an interview and it worked just fine. Got the job too.
posted by mr_silver at 12:53 AM on April 21, 2010

Yep; you can even keep an external monitor at your favorite desk and then just plug in the netbook to have a big screen for making your powerpoints...

I've been using the eee 900 for about two years, and it's been wonderful. I've used it for many presentations at this point, without a hitch. You can even hook up an external DVD-rom and project movies.

I would strongly recommend bringing your power cord to any presentation, though! Showing up and _then_ finding out you have no battery is far worse when you're expected to present something.

Also, be sure to check out Open Office as a power-point alternative. It's free!
posted by kaibutsu at 9:23 AM on April 21, 2010

Open Office is good - I have it on my original eeePC the little 701 - better than Star Office even, in some respects

kaibatsu, since you bring this up - would you (or anyone else here, Dman?) know what kind of adapter to get for my external CD R drive which was part of the kit from my old Acer Travel Mate? Its not a USB cable but slightly larger adn heavier ... I really don't feel like buying anohter just for the cable's sake

I like using an external monitor too... it spoils you
posted by infini at 9:36 AM on April 21, 2010

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