I know everyone’s all about the iPad and Samsung Galaxy tab and all the other tablets out/rumoured to be coming out, but I’ve gone old school and picked up a netbook.
It’s a Samsung N210 Plus in white, but I got it for a bargainous £238 rather than the current listing of £285, because they seem to have put the price up in the last week and Amazon had a nice 10% off voucher code as well.
It’s cute, bigger than I expected (my main laptop is only 11” after all, although it’s almost twice the thickness because it has a DVD drive), and runs pretty well. I am a girl who used to run Photoshop CS2 on 512MB of RAM though, so I’m quite tolerant. I could upgrade the 1GB RAM to 2 for about £20, which I might do in the future to get more use out of it.
A lot of people complained because you can’t change the desktop background with Windows 7 Starter, but to be honest it doesn’t bother me that much, and a quick Google shows you can download something to fix that if you really want to. I don’t know about you, but the only time I stare at my desktop is when my computer’s booting up, and the Samsung N210 Plus takes less than five seconds to come out of sleep mode and not that long to boot up either.
When I got my first laptop back in 2005, it had a 70GB hard drive – crazy to think that tiny music players have more space than that now. Where will we be in another five years?! Walking around with 1TB phones, probably. This netbook has a nice big 250GB hard drive, so more than my other two laptops combined. I’m planning to put lots of films on there for journeys.
I haven’t installed much on there yet, just Google Chrome (I need the extra screen space which is why I haven’t gone with Firefox), AVG free, and Open Office. To be honest, I’ve uninstalled more stuff than I’ve installed because it came with a load of crap on it. It took me probably about 2 hours just to set it up and remove all the junk, not least because the crazy Samsung set up process took forever.
So, why did I pick up a netbook when everyone’s about the apps? Well, I have a Samsung Galaxy S phone to get my app fix. Tablet computers are crazy expensive; the wi-fi only 64GB iPad costs £599 (about $1,000) here and it’s a far lower spec. Plus I have Christmas presents to save up for. And thirdly and most importantly, I do a lot of typing. I want to be able to draft pages for Blossom, complete freelance writing assignments, write articles and so on. A touchscreen keyboard just doesn’t cut it. And there’s no way I’m going to be thinking about creating and editing graphics on a touchscreen device.
There’s the disadvantage that I need a wireless connection to be able to get online, but to be honest, it’s sometimes nice not to have the distraction of the internet. I spend ridiculous amounts of time on the internet, I need it in the morning like people need coffee, I’m hooked up to it 9-5:30 every work day, and I go home and work on my own website and various other things. Often I find it difficult to get anything done at home with the distraction of social networking websites, email, blogs and so on. And then there’s my Settlers of Catan addiction to battle with as well.
Now I just need to buy a nice sleeve for it, and I can chuck it in my bag and use it on the train, and take it out and about with me whenever I like. I was a bit concerned about the battery life because there seemed to be a lot of conflicting reviews, but after changing the default setting I think I can get about 8 hours out of it for light browsing and program use, which is good for what I need.