38 Comments

Summary:

I am sick, I admit it.  It started a long time ago but I had suppressed it for a good while.  I started getting the fever again when I played with Kevin’s MSI Wind in San Francisco.  So small and light yet a real fighter.  Still […]

I am sick, I admit it.  It started a long time ago but I had suppressed it for a good while.  I started getting the fever again when I played with Kevin’s MSI Wind in San Francisco.  So small and light yet a real fighter.  Still I held on and fought the netbook fever.  Even yesterday seeing the little Asus EEE PC in Best Buy I fought the sickness although admittedly that was easier with the too tiny keyboard on the Asus.

Lenovo_case

Lenovo_u110

Then today I get ready to head out to the coffee shop where I know I’ll be safe.  No way I’ll see any fine netbooks there to get my motor running and bring the fever back to a high boil.  Then I made a big mistake.  I threw the Lenovo IdeaPad U110 into its little sleeve and headed to the coffee shop.  Sure the U110 is not a netbook, it’s way too expensive to meet that category requirement.  But it was too late, the small form factor with its 11.1-inch screen is just barely bigger than those 10-inch netbooks.  The nice keyboard is only slightly bigger than those on the bigger netbooks and the 3 pound weight is near netbook weight.

As I sit here typing this the fever is growing nearly out of control.  A full-featured netbook can do this so easily and carrying it around couldn’t be easier.  Darn you Lenovo and your U110.  I was so close and now..

Now to decide on the perfect netbook if one exists.  My needs are simple, it must have a 10-inch screen so the keyboard will support touch typing with my big hands.  It must run Windows XP so I can use all the utilities I already have honed to perfection to do this kind of work.  A 6-cell battery is a must and probably a second one to come along for extended trips.  That’s about all of my requirements for the moment.  Which one best fits the bill for me?  There’s just SO MUCH netbook information out there I can’t digest it all.

  1. Sounds to me like the MSI Wind or the ASUS EeePC 1000h.

    Share
  2. The 10″ screen can be misleading. Turns out the 8.9″ Aspire One has a larger keyboard than the 10″ Lenovo S10. I’m leaning towards the MSI Wind. Honestly, though, the U110 is a much better computer. I would just stick with it. Or sell it to me cheap.

    Share
  3. Oh I have to add an ExpressCard slot is a must unless I get a USB modem which is possible if I have to.

    Share
  4. I have the Eee 1000h and it has been spectacular so far — at least for my needs. Some people have gotten flexy keyboards, but mine is great. I can get 4 – 4.5 hours with wi-fi on and in a higher performance mode, 6 hours in energy saving mode and no wifi. Bright screen, XP runs great, 80g hard drive is plenty for me. No complaints.

    Share
  5. Looks like a 6-cell MSI Wind is what you need.

    I’m still holding out for a unit with a touch screen, and I’m not a writer so a 8.9″ in a smaller frame would be a better fit for me – such as the Gigabyte M912.

    Check out: http://www.umpcportal.com/products/

    For a quite exhaustive list. Hit screen size to bring the 10″ displays to the top.

    Share
  6. Jeremy Charette Tuesday, September 30, 2008

    Buy the Lenovo S10. It’s shipping, and it’s the best one on the market. Mentioned this in another post, but I’ve owned the 7 inch and 9 inch EEE PCs, and had an Acer Aspire One on order with Amazon. This is the only one I’m keeping.

    Best keyboard, best screen, best performance, thinnest profile, and most solid build quality. Absolutely fantastic. I played a few midsize DIVX files with no lost frames or skipping whatsoever.

    It’s also one of the most easily upgradable. One panel on the bottom gives you access to the Hard Disk Drive and RAM slot. I popped a 2GB Kingston stick in it, and Windows shows 1.99GB RAM. I’ll have to take another look but the HDD looks to be a standard 2.5″ notebook drive, so it should be easy to swap it out for a bigger/faster drive.

    My only complaint is battery life, which should be solved when the 6-cell hits the market (hopefully soon!).

    Share
  7. I’ve been using the S10 a lot over the past week and while I really like it, the smallish keyboard is tough for me to use since I have big-hands.I really prefer the keyboard on the U110, but that alone is not worth the 4x price bump.
    Also, no 6-cells are available yet.

    Share
  8. Hi James,

    I can highly recommend the MSI Wind. I’ve put my Fuji-Siemens P1610 to one side and bought the UK equivalent to the MSI Wind (the Advent 4211).

    Part of the attraction was that it will run Mac OSX which I have never used before. In the last four days I’ve upgraded the RAM to 2GB and swapped the WiFi card for a Dell 1490 which OSX detects as an Airport and then got OSX installed with XP available as dual boot.

    I’m loving the little machine and my first experiences of the Apple OS.

    The screen and keyboard are beautiful and when I go back to the P1610 I can’t believe I used it for so long. It seems so cramped and dim – although the higher resolution on the P1610 does allow you to see more where the Wind is a little cramped at times.

    Long live the netbook! If only it had built in HSDPA like my P1610 does. Have you come across anyone who has hacked a 3G card into their Wind yet?

    Simon

    Share
  9. Hey Jeremy C. — are you a touch-typist? Last I saw the Ideapad S10 had a shrunken right-shift. Is that true?

    MSI Wind and Acer Aspire One seem to have the only touch-typeable keyboards out there. For me that’s an absolute deal-breaker.

    Share
  10. I have a 6-cell MSI Wind. Like Kevin, I have to have a right shift key. But there’s another key thing I look for in a laptop: one that runs cool. The Wind (no pun intended) runs cooler than any netbook I have tested, including the Acer, EEE and Mini Note. I haven’t seen the Dell or Lenovo.

    James, the only possible issue that I could imagine you would have with the Wind is that while it is definitely upgradable, you’ll have to break the warranty sticker to add another GB of RAM or a bigger HDD. I got around this by purchasing my Wind from a guy who is authorized by MSI as a tech.

    Bill

    Share

Comments have been disabled for this post