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dustrho
August 20th, 2009, 03:13 PM
My wife asked me the other day to find a good netbook for her, as she would like to be able to surf the net in our family room (on the couch) instead of having to be tied down to the desktop computer in our office (totally different room). So, she's mainly going to be using it for surfing the net, but said she may try using it for other things (e.g. simple photo editing, listening to music, etc). I'm very familiar with Ubuntu, as I have been using it for several years now. I know that whatever netbook I choose, I'll be wiping the drive to put either Ubuntu Jaunty or Ubuntu Netbook Remix on it. I've narrowed my choices down to two netbooks, and I'd like to hear what everyone's thoughts are about the two. They have very similar specs, but not sure if one is better than the other. Plus, which of the two will work best with either of the two Ubuntu flavors I previously mentioned? Here are my two choices...

- MSI Wind U100-641US (http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=MSI+Wind+U100-641US&oe=utf-8&hl=en&cid=4907596380888763494&os=tech-specs#p)
- Acer Aspire One D250 (http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=Acer+Aspire+One+D250&hl=en&cid=11428603430675802515&os=tech-specs#p)

If there's something out there that's better than these, feel free to share. The one caveat for me is that I'd prefer these to be brand new (not refurbished), and to be somewhat "fresh" (not ones that are new but have been sitting around for well over a year or two).

Thanks everyone!

Penguin Guy
August 20th, 2009, 03:23 PM
Those two laptops come preinstalled with Windows XP (http://www.google.co.uk/products?hl=en&source=hp&q=Microsoft%20Windows%20XP%20Home%20Edition%20&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wf), so you're basically paying $100 for something that you're going to get rid of. You should check out Ubuntu Netbooks (http://www.google.co.uk/products?q=Ubuntu+Netbook&hl=en) or Linux Netbooks (http://www.google.co.uk/products?q=Linux+Netbook&hl=en) in general - this way you won't be wasting your money. Unless you plan on dual booting; in that case, go ahead.

dustrho
August 20th, 2009, 03:28 PM
I have no plans on using Windows XP on these, nor do I plan on dual booting.

Cheesemill
August 20th, 2009, 04:27 PM
I use a Samsung NC10, it's won alot of awards and has a practically full-size keyboard as well as a battery life of > 6 hours.

Also UNR 9.04 works with all of the hardware out of the box (WLAN, webcam, etc..).

dustrho
August 20th, 2009, 05:10 PM
I use a Samsung NC10, it's won alot of awards and has a practically full-size keyboard as well as a battery life of > 6 hours.

Also UNR 9.04 works with all of the hardware out of the box (WLAN, webcam, etc..).

Have you (or anyone else with a Samsung laptop) ever had to contact Samsung's support for any issues with that particular netbook? It looks like an outstanding laptop with tons of positive reviews. I shared links to the blue and pink models, and she went gooo-gooo-gaaa-gaaa over them. I told her I'm still looking at them for you, but she definitely likes the look of them.

How is the feel of that keyboard? It doesn't seem cheap does it? I know it's a bigger netbook styled keyboard, but does it feel cheap or does it have a high quality (well built) feel to it?

Thanks so far for everyone's input.

dustrho
August 20th, 2009, 05:16 PM
Also regarding the Samsung NC10...

Can the memory be upgraded to 2 GB or more? Nowhere online does it say if the RAM is upgradable or not, not even on Samsung's website.

Thanks!

Alf Stockton
August 22nd, 2009, 11:32 AM
I am quite happy with my MSI Wind U100 with 6 cell, despite it coming with a cut down version of XP.
It is now running Ubuntu 9.10, and that is not a typo, it is running 9.10.
BTW details of the hardware can be seen at www.stockton.co.za/wind.html

dustrho
August 22nd, 2009, 04:41 PM
I bought my wife the pink Samsung NC10 yesterday, and we should be getting it by Tuesday next week. Looking forward to playing with it, and if it's as nice as most people say it is I might buy the blue one for myself. :)

BTW, anyone know of a good place to order the 2 GB RAM chip for it?

jms1989
August 22nd, 2009, 10:41 PM
I've got a MSI Wind U123-003US from newegg.com along with a 2gb memory upgrade.

MSI Wind U123-003US Intel Atom N280(1.66GHz) 10.2" WSVGA 1GB Memory 160GB HDD Netbook - Retail (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834152115) - $376.99 USD
Crucial 2GB 200-Pin DDR2 SO-DIMM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Laptop Memory Model CT25664AC800 - Retail (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148162) - $27.99USD

The trackpad is a little cheap but it works ok most of the time, however, given the size and expected difficulty to operate such a small device, I also decided to purchase a bluetooth mouse to avoid dealing with a dongle taking up one of my usb slots.

SYBA Connectland Black 1 x Wheel Bluetooth Wireless Optical 1200 dpi Mouse - Retail (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826140046) - $15.99USD

I managed to get ubuntu 9.04 on it with a hacked external dvd drive connected by usb. Don't install anything related to ubuntu netbook remix otherwise, you'll have problems with the bluetooth cutting out and possible wireless connectivity loss. The basic install works great for me. Also, directly booting the cd had problems getting the desktop to show so I had to install by using wubi on windows. That's really the only problems I have discovered at the moment. You might have more success than me so have fun. Cheers!

SnappyU
August 26th, 2009, 03:46 AM
Ubuntu do not currently support the Atom N280 CPU properly. It limits the cpu speed to 1.33Ghz. Get one that is N270.

dustrho
August 26th, 2009, 04:13 AM
Ubuntu do not currently support the Atom N280 CPU properly. It limits the cpu speed to 1.33Ghz. Get one that is N270.

I already purchased the Samsung NC10 and it arrived today. While running Windows XP it's pretty quick, but I have noticed that surfing the internet is dog *** slow. Some have said that the wireless card in these aren't that good, something I learned of course AFTER purchasing it. If I can't figure out how to tweak it in XP, I'll be putting Ubuntu or Ubuntu Netbook Remix on it pretty quick.

dustrho
August 28th, 2009, 07:12 PM
First thing's first - I fixed the WiFi issue by downgrading to a version 5.x driver on the Atheros network card, and that seemed to help quite a bit. However, many sites (i.e. Facebook) were still dog slow. Since my wife is a heavy Facebook user, that wouldn't be acceptable to her.

I blew away Windows XP and put Ubuntu 9.04 on it, and it rocks! Fast as hell (for a netbook), plays ripped movies exceptionally well, and WiFi works just like it should. Great purchase!