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  #1  
Old 10-01-2010
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To Netbook or not to Netbook....



I've put off getting something to use onboard. To be frank, not a big enough need , other priorities and cannot be bothered lumping a full sized notebook around. When crewing on mate's boat last weekend I was somewhat taken with his netbook. An Asus, this would be the probable model I'd be looking at. Can be 320gb hard drive and 2meg of ram. 10 inch screen 1024 x 600.

ASUSTeK Computer Inc. - Eee - ASUS Eee PC 1015P (Seashell)

Relatively inexpensive, emminently portable.

Anyone use something similar ?

Half the price of an Ipad but obviously not as portable.

Thoughts ?

edit...err umm, fuzzy is as fuzzy does....make that 2gig of ram....thanks SD
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Last edited by tdw; 10-02-2010 at 05:24 AM.
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Old 10-01-2010
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I picked up a netbook last year with the intention of using it on the boat. I had a gps that can send position data over bluetooth, so I thought I would use it for charting. I found it to be too much of hassle to set up in the cockpit (and move down below at the first hint of rain). I didn't complain when my son claimed it for use in college. This past summer I got to play with an iPad and I really liked it. Just the fact that it has a built in GPS makes it much more useful aboard IMHO.
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Old 10-01-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdw View Post
Thoughts ?
Go for it. It is relatively cheap.
If you are unwilling to get an Pad, Notebook is the way to go. Although I still bring my MacBook with me every time I sail.
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Old 10-01-2010
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I just switched to Lenovo convertible netbook-touch tablet. It's a convenient little box - very versatile. Until this one I was using my Macbook Pro which is a good machine but too big and too expensive to risk it like that.

PolarView colors are designed to be as high-contrast as modern displays permit, so I just keep it inside but such that it is directly visible through companionway - kind of a "best of both worlds" (though it does mean I have to go below to change routes etc)
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Old 10-02-2010
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Netbook advantage - runs standard applications, inexpensive. Can multitask; very compatible with your standard PC. Typically robust, convenient.

Disadvantage - not as cool as an iPad, thicker, no touch screen. No inbuilt GPS.

One word of warning - netbooks (and iPads) have very puny processors, so don't load it up with apps like a regular laptop. Load the minimum; lots of memory-resident background tasks will kill it. Keep it light and it'll run sweet.

Personally, it I wanted to read books and surf the web, I'd probably go for an iPad. If I wanted to use widely-available standard apps (and view flash!) I'd go for a netbook. Both form factors have their limitations; if you are happy with those limitations, either will work.

BTW, I continue to hear bad things about solid-state drives. They are very cool in principle, save on battery power, but add cost; however I was chatting to a guys at Fry's (a big electronics outlet in Silicon Valley) and he says they only last about a year before developing problems....
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Old 10-02-2010
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I use an Acer aspire one D250, 160 gig SATA HDD, 1.6 gig processor and 10.2" screen ($299 @ Walmart). This one has covers on the bottom (earlier models required case disassembly to upgrade anything) to get at RAM, HDD etc..

I love it but you do need to get used to the smaller screen vs. a regular 14"+ Laptop.

I also have the Virgin mobile USB broadband adapter and $40 a month unlimited 3G service w/o a contract.

The Netbook actually fits in most sport coat or foul weather gear pocket.
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Old 10-02-2010
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Hey el T,

I have done the last 10000+nm on a 2003 dell notebook with 10G HD 256 ram.

It was 2nd hand so very cheap on ebay. It was in the cockpit, running on 12v and had the chartplotter, wxtides, internet when available on the wireless, and was the entertainment system (dvd & tv ) as well.

You know I am a cheapskate, but it works.
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Old 10-02-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by St Anna View Post
Hey el T,

I have done the last 10000+nm on a 2003 dell notebook with 10G HD 256 ram.

It was 2nd hand so very cheap on ebay. It was in the cockpit, running on 12v and had the chartplotter, wxtides, internet when available on the wireless, and was the entertainment system (dvd & tv ) as well.

You know I am a cheapskate, but it works.
I'm working right now on a five year old Medion with 100gbHD and 1gig of Ram. When I bought it the hought was for it to ed up onboard but unfortunately it is getting a bit flakey and requires constant (daily) reboots. I'm guessing it is going to die in the not too distant future, indeed I keep all my important stuff both backed up and copied onto a couple of portable hard drives so as and when it does go to god I'll lose nothing.

We have a chart plotter and two other GPS handhelds on board already so that is not a priority. I'm really just looking for something cheapish and lightweight for onboard surfing, keeping notes and the odd online book reading. Right now I can even write the thing off against the business which is an added bonus.

ps - miserable bloody weekend down here. shame when we have three days off.
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Old 10-02-2010
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daily reboots? Yeah - You need a new one. Ours just keeps going.

They draw a lot though ~4A, but it its another step towards the cruising life - with normalcy onboard.

Sorry to hear about the weather- Murphy ('s law) was a sailor.
Its been a S%$ season. Still hear from friends on the HF still struggling in some rolly anchorage after a week & no end on sight.
I think just getting down to the boat is therapeutic. [even if you are chasing the elusive O-ring!]
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Old 10-02-2010
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Fuzzy—

It better have 2 GB of RAM, as you can't run anything with 2 MB of RAM anymore...

The one major issue with the 10" netbooks is the keyboard size, which is a bit smaller than standard and can be a really PITA to type on if you have bigger fingers. You should definitely try before you buy.
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