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03-30-2010, 12:49 PM   #1
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how many people have..

A laptop and a netbook? I am thinking of picking up a netbook for travel and when I dont feel like lugging around my 15" laptop. Does anyone else out there own both or does it seem overkill ? Just curious about what others think since I am waffling about it, have it in the cart just waiting to pull the trigger.

03-30-2010, 01:14 PM   #2
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I have both, but don't really use the laptop much. in fact, it's primary purpose is really just to be a wireless interface for connecting my xbox 360 for xbox live. my gf gave it to me after she spilled cranberry juice all over the keyboard. Still works as long as you plug in a wired keyboard and forget about using the keyboard that's on the laptop.

My netbook is great, but let me warn you of this. I was unable to get photoshop loaded on it, so i had to keep my desktop computer around. The netbook is pretty limited when it comes to this really isn't a surprise. I'd love to have a powerful laptop to go along with my netbook, so if that's possible for you I'd say go for it.

my gf's dad has a beast alienware laptop that I hope to acquire from him sometime in the future. I forget the specs for it, but he paid about $3000 for it a year and a half ago.
03-30-2010, 01:35 PM   #3
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I would never use a netbook but I will be getting an 3G iPad when they come out in May.
03-30-2010, 01:38 PM   #4
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I have both and use both just about every day. I got the netbook because I needed 3g broadband connection when I started getting strict deadlines for some photographs and had to send them from the shoot. I wish I had waited - a month after signing a two year agreement with at&t, clear came to Philly and offered faster speeds for $20 bucks a month less than at&t. Could've just stuck with my macbook Now I feel obligated to use it, or it's money down the tubes.......

03-30-2010, 01:43 PM   #5
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I went the two Laptops way - Dell XPS M1730 (bought new) and a used Dell D60 14" for some Trips. A netbook would not meet my needs and the used Dell D60 did not cost me much more than a good netbook.
03-30-2010, 01:53 PM   #6
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I have a P4 3.2Ghz HT notebook running XP & a AMD ZM-84 running W7 64. The old P4 is the fastest, AMD a close 2nd, and the Acer netbook with 2GB DDR2 that I used a year ago was not even close. MS Office was slow, internet loading was slow, and I cannot imagine how slow it would be for PS. The CPU was simply underpower, and the 1024x600 10" LCD was no fun to look at after awhile. IMHO, get a 12" notebook if it was for anything serious. Netbooks are nice toys.
03-30-2010, 02:34 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
I would never use a netbook but I will be getting an 3G iPad when they come out in May.
The only down side with the IPad is that you have to by one of their adaptors in order to access a SD card where most of the netbooks I have looked at have a reader already in them. I know thats minor but its another exspense I dont really want.
03-30-2010, 02:37 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
IMHO, get a 12" notebook if it was for anything serious. Netbooks are nice toys.
I wouldnt be using it for anything serious it will basically be used for storage when I am on vacation for pictures and web acess. I dont plan on doing editing or anything that needs high processing capacity.

03-30-2010, 03:15 PM   #9
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I use only laptops. From 1980, when I soldered together my first HeathKit H8 micro, to 1995, when I got my first Toshiba T1200 laptop, I used only desktop machines, and I spent more time f*cking with cards and rewriting BIOS's than doing anything useful. Since '95 it's been laptops all the way. And I actually accomplish stuff.

We now have 4 running in the house, from a couple tiny 10" Sony Vaios that have been hauled in daybags everywhere north of Nicaragua, to the POS 15" HP I'm on now, to a big 17" graphics machine that gets planted on a desk and stays there (different desks in different countries sometimes).

Netbook -- not for me. The newer 10" Vaio (1.2GHz P4, 256MB RAM, 160GB drive, CDR/DVD drive, <3lbs) stopped working last year. I thought of getting a netbook for maybe US$250-400. But they're diskless, and we used the Vaio as a (tiny) movie / music machine when traveling. Get the latest DVDs in Mexico for <$1, eh? So I got it repaired for US$170 and it's right as rain. If you need media disks, or need to burn photos etc to disk, a submini laptop with an onboard media drive is a lot less cumbersome than a netbook + external drive, IMHO.

Last edited by RioRico; 03-30-2010 at 10:04 PM.
03-30-2010, 03:27 PM   #10
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So what you're saying is that you want someone to push you over the edge and buy one

I frequently travel by motorcycle, so size is a big concern. My 15" MacBook Pro was always too big to bring on the road. My 10" HP fits in my LowePro Stealth Reporter 400 along with a K20d/DA* 50-135 and a K-x/DA* 16-50, with room left over for some primes and other road gear. A netbook is great for downloading photos at the end of the day (mine has a 160Gb HD) and doing some light surfing/cloud computing. I've got Open Source tools for reviewing and light editing.

Post-processing RAW files is painfully slow though due to the slow CPU, 5K RPM PATA drive, and tiny screen. In situations where I need to edit and upload from the road I stick with JPG and work extra hard to get things right in-camera.

The iPad looks like an interesting alternative, but the limited storage capacity (64Gb) would be hard for me to work around. It also remains to be seen what kind of photo workflow tools are launched for it, and whether the CPU is up to the task of massaging 14 megapixel DNG files while still maintaining decent battery life.

If you're interested, here are a couple of recent blog posts about netbooks and iPads from a rider's perspective FWIW:

Netbooks - Digital Rider Blog: Good Things Come in Small Packages. Better Things Come in Small Aluminum Packages.|RoadRUNNER Magazine

iPad - Digital Rider Blog: iPad. You want?|RoadRUNNER Magazine
03-30-2010, 03:41 PM   #11
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I currently have a 15inch "powerful" laptop and a 12 inch work laptop. The 15 inch has Xp while the 12 inch has Ubuntu (which I'm typically on) as well as Windows 7 (usually just for tethering abroad).

The 15 inch has been collecting dust since October for the most part, and, ironically, the 12 inch even has more hard disk space.

My best recommendation would be to buy laptops in the 11-13 inch range so that you can still run relatively intensive apps such as photoshop, but to avoid 15+ inch laptops as they just get too bulky and desktops are both cheaper and faster in comparison. Netbooks are handy, but their screens are just too small, and the Intel Atoms aren't quite up there yet IMO.

Sony Vaio has some really nice pro compact laptops in that range (the SR and TT series come to mind), but they're overpriced- you can get a generic equivalent for a third of the price.

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03-30-2010, 05:55 PM   #12
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13" is about the sweet spot i think. Its small enough to sit on your lap comfortably and still carry about, yet the screen stays large enough to actually see things. I have used my mates netbook and really don't like it, i think its a 10" sony, everything is small, the screen is too small and the keyboard is tiny and they have no power. But its personal preference as well. The people i know with 13" laptops tend to be happier with them than the 15"people i know. Even using my sisters 14" seems big. I have not any 11 or 12" ones though.
On a side note I carried my 13" macbook most days on my 5 week trip in europe, as well as my camera and 2 extra lenses, using my Booq backpack, never had a problem with the weight.
03-30-2010, 05:58 PM   #13
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I still use a 12 inch laptop that I bought back in 2004 for travel. The monitor is large enough for general purpose use and the size is a nice compromise between portability and usability. It's about as powerful as an Atom netbook (more powerful processor, less RAM) but has a nicer screen and keyboard than the netbooks I've seen, plus a DVD drive that has been handy from time to time. I would suggest something around 12 inches if you want to use the computer for more than just mobile internet.
03-30-2010, 06:14 PM   #14
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When my wife and I were looking at Christmas last year, we decided that we'd spend our money on Netbooks/Laptops instead of trying to outguess each other with surprises.

I gave serious consideration to a Netbook for my use and a Laptop for her use. Ended up with two Laptops with 12.5" screens.

I couldn't get the features I wanted with the netbook. And, by the time you pick up the external components, you've just about paid for a Laptop.
03-30-2010, 09:15 PM   #15
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Ummm, we have 3 laptops and a netbook Two HP laptops we own, one IBM Thinkpad the US Gov owns that still goes around on many of our travels, and our newest gizmo, a Toshiba NB305 (CNET Review of mini NB305-N410BN | Toshiba Laptops, Netbooks and Accessories). The netbook is intended for use as a "check email and do some web access" machine when traveling, and I suppose I would use it to dump copies of photos as well. It's not going to be a photo-editor machine, for sure. Screen quality and keyboard are OK, it's small and lightweight (and far easier to haul around thru airports...).


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