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Thursday, January 29, 2009

My Netbook pick

mini notebook - mobile computing SAMSUNG

What started out as a tangent in response to a single caller on the show last week, ended up taking over the show. Netbooks vs. laptops vs. desktops. What to buy and why?

I've warned against the faddishness of new product categories that geeks go ape over for no practical reason. It's an ongoing problem with technologists. It's new, it's neat, you need to buy it. NOT!

Netbooks are NOT in that category. It's one of the most practical value based new technologies introduced in years. I was really impressed with the first "netbook" the IBM z50 introduced in 1999. It was ahead of it's time, showed great promise but was overpriced and seriously flawed. Too slow, too limited, and too crippled on the Internet.

The netbooks of today are available at less than half the price, are MUCH more capable, and optimized for the Internet. Can it get any better?

Just know that netbooks are not necessarily laptop or desktop replacements. They are much less powerful in multi-media performance, and do not include optical drives.

I've discussed the Lenovo S10, the HP mini 1000 series and the MSI Wind before. They are all decent computers. Of all netbooks today, I would buy the Samsung NC-10. Best configuration, keyboard, price and appearance. Up to 2GB RAM, 3 USb ports, 160GB hard drive Windows XP (not Vista) and a beautiful 10.2" non-glare screen and peerless keyboard that's 93% of a full sized keyboard, and nearly 6 hours of battery life.

The NC-10 is my pick. Nearly Apple like in it's appeal. Buy it.