View Full Version : Recommendations for a netbook

January 17th, 2009, 09:13 PM
Hello everybody!

I'm new to Ubuntu and new to these forums.

Do you have any recommendations for a netbook that works well with Unbuntu--reliable, easy to install Ubuntu and trouble shoot problems, etc.?

My main criteria for a netbook is that it have enough ports so that I can add an optical disk drive and an external monitor. I want something fast and durable with an atom processor and or SSD. Screen size can be 8.9. Not fussy because of the external monitor. As much memory as possible is good but not worried about how big the hard drive is. Oh, yes. And something that is cheap. :) I'm getting ready to trash my Mac G3 iBook so that I can learn how things operate. If I could install Ubuntu on the iBook, I would but am having problems getting the iBook to "see" the live CD.

Any recommendations you have are greatly appreciated. Thanks!


January 17th, 2009, 09:19 PM
Hi, it appears Ubuntu works very well in the iBook, hopefully someone will come along who has done it.


Or you could get a Dell Mini 9 with Ubuntu preloaded.

Edit: Try installing Hardy (see link):



January 17th, 2009, 09:23 PM
Many thanks for the thought about the Dell mini. Will definitely check that. Also, thanks for the link. Maybe there's hope yet for the iBook. :-)


January 17th, 2009, 09:25 PM
Disclaimer: I don't own one of these, so I can't comment on durability or compatibility with Linux. However, I've read that it should work.

With that said, I had a chance to play around with a Lenovo Ideapad S10 a while back and was blown away. The keyboard was very small but quite usable nonetheless, the screen was nice, the machine was silent, and the performance (OS = XP) was very impressive.

Product info:

Linux compatibility info:

January 17th, 2009, 09:29 PM
Cardinals-fan. Thank you! I was wondering about Lenovo and the S10. It's good to hear you were impressed with it.


January 17th, 2009, 09:37 PM
msi wind book is the best out there.(but it does not have any video output as far as i know)

January 17th, 2009, 11:24 PM
thanks, Binbash.


January 17th, 2009, 11:41 PM
I know there are many competitors in this market now but I have had my Asus EEE PC (701) for a year, including dropping it and carrying it around, and I think there are stories on the net about people scraping frost off the screen and it boots right away. So a lot of people speak well of it wrt endurance. Fortunately they aren't 800x460 any more, that is too small.

January 17th, 2009, 11:45 PM
I've heard good things about the eee pc too, but then I've also heard their customer/tech support leaves a lot to be desired. Have you had occasion to use them?


January 18th, 2009, 02:37 PM
Fortunately I haven't, but there is a forum where almost any question in the usual run of things has been answered. I think I remember some people made a point of buying from Amazon since they were good at replacing defective systems (?) but I am not sure how that is now. The netbook buy decision has gotten more complicated because the netbook market exploded so fast after the 701 came out. I hear there is now an HP with even bigger resolution (13?? x 720?) so it shows how fast it is changing.

January 18th, 2009, 02:46 PM
i picked up a Lenovo S10 recently--late xmas gift to myself :)--and it runs like a champ. i've got Xubuntu (Intrepid) on it, and all is well. the battery life is quite good for a 3-cell battery (keep the screen dim to max out the battery life!), wifi works, webcam works. i've never been one to use standby/hibernate/whatever, so i can't confirm if they function properly.

it has a nice matte screen, and the keyboard isn't too small for my hands (which are a bit big, i think).

January 18th, 2009, 07:00 PM
I'm running on my Dell Mini right now. I love it. Everything worked out of the box and I have zero complaints.

I have the 16 GB drive and 1 gb of ram. I get almost 4 hours of battery life. The thing is super lite, has 3 usb ports, a external monitor port and a sd card slot.

2 days after I got the thing I wiped it and put OSX on it. Ran great but I found Mac to be a very boring OS to run so I wiped it again and reinstalled off the Dell CD that ships with the Mini. In a half hour I was back to ubuntu 8.04 and everything "just worked".

January 18th, 2009, 07:15 PM
My wife and I have spent some time looking into these. I want the Dell Insperon Mini 9, she wants the Dell Insperon Mini 12 (we will be getting the 12 - it comes with more for less $$'s). The best part is that Ubuntu is pre-installed so you do not have to wonder if it will work, and it is 8.04, long term support.

January 19th, 2009, 09:56 PM
I recommend both the Lenovo S10 and Dell Mini 9.

I am using my Lenovo S10 right now to type this. It did not come with Ubuntu pre-loaded but will boot to a USB flash drive or USB CD/DVD-Rom drive for install. I got all hardware working. The default 3-cell battery gives me a little more than three hours web surfing/ writing time at coffee shops and can be upgraded with a 6-cell battery later. It has a standard HDD. Both the HDD and RAM can be upgraded very easily. I love the thing.

A boyfriend has Dell's Mini 9. It is his first Linux machine but he digs it. A lot. :D It had Ubuntu pre-loaded. I do not believe he upgraded to Intrepid yet, but that's fine. It gives him about 2-2.5 hours of battery life, but he uses a lot of flash apps (games, et-cetera). He loves the small size but decent power.

Of note: we both have extra ram in our netbooks. He paid for his from Dell when he ordered the Mini 9. I bought mine aftermarket.

January 22nd, 2009, 10:32 PM
I just ordered the Lenovo Ideapad S10, It was the best choice for me.
The 3 best out there are
MSI Wind
Lenovo S10
Samsung NC10

The Samsung is probably the best of the best. But the lenovo had more options and color choices, and I was able to get it for almost $100 cheaper. I havent used the Wind, but every website review says it is amazing. Personally I can't see wasting my money on something I can view and try first.
2GB of RAM cost about $25US shipped from Newegg.com.. It really worth upgrading these things to 2GB as 512MB isn't enough.

I suggest stopping by Circuit CIty or Best Buy or Fry's. You have to like using it. these things do take some getting used to and I made my choice based on my own personal need.

Jon Bradbury
January 23rd, 2009, 07:31 PM
Very little difference between Wind and Samsung NC10 hardware wise, except battery life. Plus, the NC10 does look a little more professional. However the wind supports more types of memory cards (including Sony memory stick), and has better arrow keys.

NC10 is a difficult Ubuntu install, mind. Getting the fn-keys to work as they do in XP is a real tricky deal. On the other hand, the LCD is superb.

I had an Advent 4211 (UK branded Wind) but I actually prefer the Sammy because it has superior battery life (think 6-8 hours) compared with the Wind (2.5 if you are lucky). Reviewers that rate the Wind over the Sammy are missing the point about mobile computing devices.

January 23rd, 2009, 07:37 PM
Old notebooks are great for this purpose. You can easily pick up one with a 10-12 inch screen for under 100. P3 aren't really much slower than Atoms. Just drop in some extra ram and a bigger hard drive, and you've got an ultra cheap netbook

Just today I came across the Cherrypal (http://www.cherrypal.com/) Bing. It can be picked up for $400 right now with a ULP desktop along with it. Seems like a pretty good deal to me