Long-time subscriber Tom Linton wrote with comments and questions after my Dell Mini-10 article in my email newsletter last week:
You have me a little confused. How can you classify a Dell Mini-10 netbook as a “desktop replacement” device? I too am looking for a new laptop. The one I have been using for the past two years has to go back. (It belongs to my camera club and I will no longer be the digital competitions director.).
So I have been looking for a “desktop replacement” laptop that I can do all my regular computing (email, web browsing, documents, digital file dump when traveling, and some minor digital editing, etc.) and dedicate my desktop to doing image manipulation and management.
From the specifications on all the netbooks I looked at, none would come close to giving me the screen size – resolution combination to easily read what is displayed. (I am getting weak eyed in my old age.) Also, the processing power would be a very noticeable hit. (I have become impatient now that I have been spoiled by faster PC’s) My current desktop is almost 3 years old, but it still runs circles around any netbook I have tried.
As far as OpenOffice, I have been weaned off MS Office for two years now and have never regretted it. OpenOffice wil NOT yet handle .docx and .xlsx files. A few club members have sent submissions using these formats. I had to have them resubmit using .doc or .xls. There was no change in information content.
Personally, I think the change in formats was just a ploy to keep other programs from being compatible.
Any way, if you weren’t taken by this Dell Mini-10 netbook, what other “notebooks” were you considering?
I wrote back to Tom to say that I wasn’t classifying the Dell Mini-10 netbook as a desktop replacement device. It’s obviously not. It’s smaller, slower, less memory (1GB maximum), and not expandable at all.
My netbook is my interim backup until I get my Windows 7 desktop replacement laptop (my wife has already given her okay!). I’ve written in in my email newsletter that I’ve become concerned with my Inspiron 8600.
I didn’t want to get a Vista machine this late in Vista’s life, so the XP Home netbook becomes a useful choice at a reasonable price. The Mini-10 gives me a viable alternative in case the I-8600 dies before I get a new Windows 7-based notebook — my real Desktop Replacement. There’s no question that any recent desktop will run circles around the netbooks onn the market. I’ve sold my Asus Eee PC, which was one of the first commercially available netbooks.
I agree with Tom that OpenOffice is a great alternative to Microsoft Office. I haven’t been able to drop MS Office, though, because I’m stuck with Office at the office. We’ve been using v2003, but are now migrating to Office 2007, so I have to be able to handle docx and xlsx and every function that MS Office 2007 uses.
Finally, since I’v had my Asus Eee PC 701 since November 2008, I really wasn’t seriously looking at the netbooks on the market — until I saw the Mini-10. My Eee PC 701 had such a tight keyboard that I couldn’t type with both of my big hands. The Mini-10 fits them much better.
After seeing the Mini-10, I started looking at other netbooks. I also looked at HP’s, which was all I could find locally. I also was thinking about the Acer netbook, but didn’t find one locally. (I found out later that Office Depot carries them).