Netbooks can do anything a notebook can do


Netbooks are just small laptops.  Nothing more and nothing less.  They run either Linux or Windows and can do virtually anything that their larger siblings can do.  Maybe they do it a bit slower but as a rule they can do it given enough time.

Many folks surf the web, watch videos and do email on their netbooks.  That’s not a surprise because those are the common tasks we tend to do on every computer we’re using.  The more adventurous netbook users may do spreadsheet work or word processing and that’s no surprise.  These are laptops after all.

My question to you (since it’s a slow news day) is simple: what’s the most "out of the ordinary" thing you’ve done on your netbook?  Kevin might say it’s installing OS X on his so that won’t count here.  I’m reaching out to find out what you use your little laptop for that might not have occurred to the rest of us.  Maybe we’ll all learn something from this.  Leave a comment and let us know.



I have a Kohjinsha SX3 strapped to my leg while flying. With a connected BT GPS, it provides a moving map display in tablet mode and is light enough to be wearable for long periods.

Kamal DS

I’ve used both of my EEEs 701 and 1000H for making few commercial based websites on the go. I use VS 2005 for that.

I have also done video editing on the 1000H and it is quite adequate for it. 1000H is little heavy to carry around though (1.5kg), but then you are carrying a full-featured netbook with awesome battery life.

And did I mention that I’ve edited office docs in the kitchen? You won’t want to put your big notebook on the kitchen’s slab. Would you? ;)


I use my netbook to impress girls but somehow it doesn’t seem to work too well.


My Aspire One is currently working as a Video Streaming Server with an attached USB DTV key to stream Webcam, Live TV, Recorded TV, Music, … to my iPhone 3G while I’m on the run. This works pretty fine over Edge, 3G and WiFi thanks to the Orb Server installed on the Aspire and the Orb Live client on the iPhone. The Atom processor manage video streaming with no problems. So looks like we can use a netbook even as a server/slingbox (UPS included).


I purchased a HP 2133 Mini Note back in October, you can read my review on it at my blog:

My main use for this HP netbook was to get a full-featured portable multimedia device. I use Cool Edit Pro for audio recording. The stereo line-in jack is great for feeding in an external analog audio source, or I can use the stereo mixer to record off the web. VOB files play back off the 2.5 inch hard drive using WinDVD easily, and the 1280 screen plays back High-Def 720p content beautifully. The standard 2.5 inch drive size means I can get 500GB of storage.

Another vital use for my 2133 mini note is being a mobile communications device. The webcam/mic lets me chat using msn with family/friends/contacts anywhere, I can log on and check emails, surf the web, keep a heads up on my finances and pay all my bills.

It works great to connect with my digital camera in the field, downloading photos and editing them on-site. Likewise, I can connect my camcorder in the field and download video footage to my netbook as it happens.

Once on my netbook, my broadband card allows me to connect to my blog and upload photos/videos to my blog as it happens. The outstanding keyboard on the 2133 mini note allows me to maintain my blog easily and effortlessly any time and from anywhere I may happen to be working.

Finally, I use mt mini note with apps like office, google earth, windows media encoder for audio/video, microsoft streets/trips with GPS, and for when I’m bored, fire up Hoyle Casino for some Blackjack/Poker action.

Connect my portable DVD burner, and I can burn data discs, home videos and music CD’s at home or in the field. With a portable HP printer, even printing documents/photo proofs is doable away from the desk. Likewise, I’ve got an express card eSATA adapter, allowing me to create fast full-system backups to my external RAID hard drive.

As I said in my blog, if a great notebook can replace a desktop, there’s no reason a great netbook cannot replace a notebook.

And for me, the HP 2133 Mini note is exactly that, a great netbook.


I attach my eee pc to a keyboard player to play midi files. The usb out of the netbook goes to the midi-in port of the keyboard. The netbook is small enough to place on the music sheet stand. The keyboard displays the notes being played and I can transcribe the notes to music sheet.

Since midi files can be edited, I remove the bass from the files and play the bass on my electric guitar. The small size of the netbook makes it easier to bring it anywhere around the house then my 15 inch laptop.


It’s interesting how many of these comments are “boring.” That’s NOT a bad thing. It just highlights the fact how easily these fit into mainstream life. Indeed, it shows that the makers of these little marvels are right on time. If I ever need to replace my HTC X7501 (oh tragic day!!), I would seriously consider one of these netbooks…..

Mike H

I do everything at home on my HP Mini 1000. This is coming from an OQO 02, to a Flipstart, to an Aspire One and finally landing on the Mini 1000. The keyboard and screen on this are ideal, and the fact that I can easily touch type on this makes it open for anything. I’ve done commercial software development on the OQO, so I’m fine with the Mini.

Actually, the main thing holding back netbooks in my opinion has been the keyboards. Even the
Aspire One had a keyboard that made touch typing harder and needed more concentration and patience. With the keyboard on the HP, it’s as good if not better than my T61 that I have for work.

And the Atom performs well enough to do pretty much anything. It may not be smoking, but it’s fast enough for anything I can think of, with maybe the exception of some gaming, which I don’t do on a laptop anyway.

Cody B

I use my Wind as a remote control for my media PC. I use synergy over wifi. I use it for everything else, but thats one interesting thing I use it for.


I use my 1000HA for

Diablo II
Writing my book away from distractions (and outlets)
As a TV (hulu) while I’m coding on big laptop (15″ + monitor)
Controlling my big laptop off site via logmein
Conversation Starter
A really big “usb flash drive”


My 8g eee 702 have Visual Studio 2008 on it. It runs it pretty well. It lets me leave my big laptop (dell xps m1730) at home and still get stuff done. It has the MS Expression Studio 2 on it also. That can bog it down at times but still works, and still better than lugging the 10lb laptop around.


I use an Acer Aspire One with a 3G USB modem. I own two beauty salons that are 20 miles apart. During the day I might be out at either salon, on the road, or out doing other things. I need to keep an eye on my Point of Sale System. Sometimes I need to help my staff with pricing issues or other problems when they are checking out customers.

With my netbook and 3G no matter where I am I can either use the Point of Sale system client software, or VNC or Logmein to get access to either of the salons. I can then manage the POS system, or get access to any reports, or watch daily progress from anywhere.

The netbook also has copies of ads, employee data, and other things I might need to access. It gives me 24 hour a day access to my business. Before I had the netbook I used a Dell XPS1330 but it was too big, or a Nokia N800 but it was too small and would not run the client software; I had to rely on VNC which isn’t always that good. I’ve also tried using iPhone for this but it doesn’t work that well.

The netbook is the perfect size and weight with enough computing power to do the job. It also helps that it runs XP, which is the most compatible OS with my POS.

Gordon Cahill

I use my Mini-Note as a PVR with a digital TV tuner as a portable media player (with itunes). I watch ripped DVD’s on it (which it is AWESOME at).

I’m also a pro photographer and have Photoshop and Lightroom running on it. Works great as long as I don’t try to load my main Lightroom catalogue (120K images) and stick to smaller catalogues. Mine has a 120GB drive and I carry a 320GB external so storage is not an issue.

Really wish it had a touch screen though. May have to have a look at a Fujitsu P1620.



Well, my Eee 1000h is now my only laptop, and I do all the stuff I used to with my HP 2710p sans inking.
Things I couldn’t (afford) do with previous laptops but now can are carrying it without a case and letting my kids play with it. Why not? I paid $350 and it’s cheaper than what I used to comfortably pay for a PDA.


i use my eee 701 for watching my favorite shows on hulu, word processing for school, and i also use eee rotate for reading ebooks.


I use my Asus eee 901 as the primary platform for a service business. I needed something in a hurry, didn’t have a bunch of money to devote to a bootstrap startup idea, and wanted ultraportable. ASUS eee PC to the rescue!

After installing the full-boat Ubuntu eee, I now run evolution (Outlook replacement), OpenOffice (office suite), Firefox and Tomboy Notes (OneNote replacement).

Oh.. I also use FBreader to read ebooks I get from the Gutenberg Project.

With these tools, my business is fully equipped with tools comparable to those I have for my day-job, AND highly portable. All for a grand total of $325 once you factor in the eee’s carrybag.


I’ve done a few things that could be deemed “unusual”

-playing World of Warcraft
-video editing and blogging with the webcam
-basic 3d modeling (for part of my job)
-advanced photo editing with pictures that I take on my camera.

The intel atom is good enough to do almost anything at a casual level. Only thing I don’t like the is the resolution restriction they all seem to share.

Luis Alberto Arjona

Well, I´ve used several mobile workstations from Toshiba and HP and now Im actively using a little Asus NetBook (1000H) that has work impresively well.

It has definitively surpass my expectations and I believe that almost all NetBooks are gaining more market than traditional laptops, just because most people (I would say, a 90%) do not need anything more powerful than a NetBook.

For testing, I´ve been able to transcode media, install basic video and audio editing software and they simple run. Atom has prove to be a robust architecture and it has yet a lot to offer.


I have edited many of my videos with my netbook(s).. takes just a bit longer, but works..

.. actually takes less time with netbook than editing with my desktop as it takes time to go back home/office if i’m OnTheRun ;)


i find it to be an excellent conversation starter for meeting hot young girls at coffee shops.


In addition to the multimedia uses noted here, I too run Visual Studio on my netbook. VS is not a lightweight application and although I prefer the screen real estate of a full monitor and compile times of my full laptop, it is VERY usable. The capability really is limited most by your patience (and less so than I originally thought).


I have.. uhm. The most stress I’ve put my 1000H to must be playing Diablo I and II, and they are from 1994 and 2000 respectively!
And occasional compressing/decompressing ISOs and RAR files (50mb-8gb, takes time but that I got).

Never had the need for anything other than that. I’ve realized that I will never buy a desktop pc again, and never ever a laptop bigger than 13.3″ (which would account for a desktop). I find the 1000H’s 10″ too BIG and the netbook is too bulky and heavy to carry around, and I’m looking forward to getting a Fujitsu U820. Mobility is underrated, power – however – is overrated for 80% of all users (although 5.6″ might be too small for most people, connect an external screen at home/the office and you’re set).


I store photos and videos (minor editing). there great for presentations at work. itunes downloading for music, tv shows and movies works fine for me. email and web surfing is a breeze. I have mine hooked p to a external moniter and use it as desk top. Since my big hp failed on its my main computer right now. So far im very impressed and satisfied. it may be my main computer for a good while because what use for its perfectly fine.


I used my 701 Eee PC, with an external USB to SCSI adapter, to test tape drives in the field. It was really nice being able to just throw that tiny machine into my regular bag, instead of having to lug around an extra laptop bag in addition to all of my other equipment.

Netbooks are great tools for people who have to perform on site service. It really lightens the load.


I use an Asus EEE PC (winXP) as my main travel PC and do everything I used to do on my Thinkpad X41 while on the road (except ink). My X41 sits on my desk patiently waiting my return. Recently, (after reading one of Kevin’s posts) I turned my EEE PC into a kindle (sort of). Using my Verizon broadband access modem and EEERotate I download and read ebooks using Mobipocket. Seems more convenient than reading on the X41 tablet just due to form factor (size and weight).

Tiernan OToole

Dont know if its an “odd thing” to do, but i have Visual Studio 2008 installed on mine and write code on it most days. if i am stuck in a meeting, i can easily pull out my MSI Wind, fire up VS and start coding. Talks nicely with Team Foundation Server too! :) Might try install LightRoom on it and see how it preforms for RAW photo work…


Not very “out of the ordinary”, but I use my Eee 901 (2Gb Ram and 4+64Gb SSD) for :

– play old video games (using dosbox)

– backup my photographs when on the field, edit them and show/send them to my customers (I’m a pro photographer)


Glad you asked. Penetration testing is very easy with a netbook and the right wireless card (and Ubuntu). Much easier to do this since you are more mobile. Also makes it easier to test signal strength. Netbooks are also great for having as a supplement to a desktop machine instead of buying a powerful desktop computer and dropping $1000 more on a laptop, keep the powerful desktop, buy a $350 netbook and be done with it! Great for the living/family room for web surfing. Have you seen the Gizmodo article (maybe here too) on the guy that made a remote webcam robot with an aspire one, while giving commands over wireless? Functions as a (more)portable dvd player with a decent external slim player – preferably usb powered.

IMO netbooks are well worth the price of admission and I could go on and on how in some aspects they are superior to notebooks, for a fraction of the price.

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