Friday, May 1, 2009
Netbooks - Reviews, comparisons, hacks and hints
Netbooks are here to stay. These tiny computers are the rage amongst the Net Generation. Perhaps the first Netbook on the scene was the Sony VAIO Picturebook that came out in mid 2000. The Sony Picturebook was ahead of its time. Sure it had a small 1024x600 10" screen, built in webcam, no DVD drive, reasonable battery life (2 hours which dwindled down to 10 minutes after a year) and extremely tiny and portable. However, the necessary "environmental factors" weren't in place yet. And oh, it cost 6 times as much as a Netbook does now.
In 2000, there was very little WiFi. WiFi wasn't built into every system. One had to use ugly plugin cards to enable WiFi. There was also very little WiFi service around the world. The only place you could use WiFi was either at home or the office. Storage size and RAM was also low on the Picturebook - 128MB RAM and a 4GB hard disk. And there was no broadband Internet to the home.
Netbooks now have a lot of computing power, and yes, some can even run Mac OS X! (links later down the article for how to run OS X on your netbook). And all the environmental factors are in place for netbooks to thrive - WiFi, fast broadband Internet, cheap digital cameras, music on MP3s, YouTube, GMail, Flickr, Facebook and what not. The netbook has arrived.
First, some reviews:
What is a Netbook? (CNet)
How Cheap Little Laptops Hit The Big Time (Wired)
Some comparisons and reviews:
The Top 10 Netbooks
Wikipedia's comparision of Netbooks, at a glance
And here's how to turbocharge your Netbook into running Mac OS X, making it the coolest Apple machine!
First, ensure that your netbook is "Mac compatible".
Next, follow Gizmodo's easy tutorial on running Mac OS X on the Dell Mini.
But all's not rosy for Netbooks. They are a pain to use - especially a pain on the eyes because the screen is too small and a pain in the wrists, because typing on tiny keyboards will ruin your carpal tunnel nerves.