Tag: notebook

How to Choose a Mini Laptop Or Netbook Computer

By Ian E. Wright

Mini laptops or netbooks are the new category of laptops, they are designed as a secondary system that you can carry anywhere you go. Their size is a little bigger than a paperback book, they weigh less than 3 pounds and have battery-saving features. Mini laptop displays are about 7 to 10 inches together with about 512MB to 1GB of RAM and a traditional hard drive. Unlike other laptops, netbooks have slower energy saving processors, so games won’t run as well.

If you are in the market for a netbook here are some things to look for and watch out for:

  • First you have to know what you want to use it for and what your budget it. If you are looking for a full featured laptop computer then don’t buy a mini laptop or netbook. The processor of a netbook is less powerful than a common laptop, this is to provide longer battery life. Mini laptops are good for doing homework on a word processing program, surfing the internet, working on spreadsheets or other office work and presentations.
  • Buy a netbook with a screen size of 8.9 inch or larger, because if your screen is small the disadvantage is you won’t be able to read an entire web page. This is less of a problem if you have a larger screen.
  • Get a 6 cell battery for it will offer you a whole lot more running time compared to the standard 3 cell batter. Aside from the additional cost you may find it a little heavier, but I think the trade-offs are worth it.
  • Try out the keypad first, and see if you’re comfortable with it.
  • Also check the software that comes pre-installed. Is it everything you need?
  • Shop around, list all the prices you find and compare them.

Do not load heavy applications on your mini laptop, since they are mini they do not have as much memory compared to normal laptops. It is also important for you to know which operating system is best for your mini laptop. Here is some information of the two most commonly used operating systems on mini laptops.

Linux: It considerably lessens the chance of a malware attack because of its smaller user base. The makers also designed its interface to be as easy as windows. There is just one disadvantage, you might have a hard time installing new programs and may need to do some tinkering in the command line. On the whole Linux is getting easier to use all the time, but I would still say only more computer savvy people should choose it for now.

Windows: This is mainly the most common operating system for mini laptops. This OS is compatible with almost every accessory or software program in the market. But because of their massive market share, they are targeted by malware attacks. So you have to have a strong security program.

Mini laptops are much cheaper compared to a normal laptops. So it is easier for you top find a cheap mini laptop deal online. Today there are lots of trustworthy sites online, and if you are not sure if they can be trusted you could always check reviews of them online.

Ian Wright can help you find cheap netbooks. Just visit his cheap new laptops website.

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Well, I tried to get Puppy Linux installed on my old Presario notebook PC as I wrote about recently, but I just couldn’t get the install to take.

Old Compaq Presario

Old Compaq Presario

For some reason we could not get the Grub boot loader to boot it up properly. No big deal, that gave me a good excuse to try another distro, and I’m glad I did!

CrunchBang Linux 8.10 is the distro that I was interested in trying on this old machine because it was advertised as being lightweight, and made for lesser machines. I tried the “Lite” version, that ran very well, so I the opted for the “Standard” version, and it’s been great ever since. It installed without a hitch.

CrunchBang is tightly based on Ubuntu with Openbox as the window manager, a much lighter-weight one than Ubuntu’s standard, Gnome.

CrunchBang Linux 8.10

CrunchBang Linux 8.10

It is also interesting looking because it makes use of Conky, which is a free software system monitor for the X Window System. and since it is prominently sitting on the desktop, it makes it seem easy to check it out and start to configure it, with all the examples out there it really isn’t that tough. CrunchBang ran great on that 192MB of RAM dinosaur with Firefox running (with the included Adobe Flash, by the way!), only bogging down when the Package Manager was also running.

All in all, whether or not your PC is old and worn out, CrunchBang Linux is a great player in Linux arena!

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I am currently trying to find the best live Linux CD for an old notebook computer I have, a Compaq Presario 1700 XL260. This computer has a 500 MHz Pentium III processor, 192 MB of RAM, and over 5 GB of hard drive space. It looks like it also has a DVD-ROM, two USB ports –One currently used by my mouse, the other buy either a USB memory stick, or a USB wi-fi adapter.
Compaq Presario 1700
Initially I tried to get the PC working with a Linux distro that would allow me to get online wirelessly with my router using that USB wireless-G adapter mentioned earlier. I was pretty sure that I’d have to use a lightweight distro since the dearth of RAM would be probably the biggest limiter in my distro selection choices.


My first try was with …. DSL — Damn Small Linux. dsl-42xWeighing in at 50MB, the highly-regarded, extremely light weight distribution proved to live up to its billing, however it certainly wasn’t as user friendly as I would have liked. It comes with JWM and Fluxbox, no Gnome, or KDE with this one, obviously. One big problem I encountered with this version as I occasionally did with subsequent ones is that getting Linux to talk to a USB wi-fi adapter is much tougher than I would suspect a PCI wi-fi adapter. Not to mention I’m sure all distros will connect to a network with no problem these days using a hard-wired ethernet.

My next Linux distro to try was Puppy Linux, the 100MB powerhouse. This was truly an exciting version to use since it had so many advanced elements for such a small size that it really seemed like that could be a daily user that could keep up with the big fellas in the Linux world. puppy-linux-4-2-was-released-2It was really fast, too, since it booted itself entirely into the minuscule RAM on the computer! The distro ships with JWM / IceWM + ROX Desktop user interfaces for your convenience. So, it’s still a small distro but it has more modern desktop environments than the previously mentioned DSL.

I eventually tested around a dozen distros, and understandably the more “packed-with-features” distros like the Ubuntus and the Arch Linux types were really too much for the mature system. Unfortunately since the system doesn’t have an ethernet port, it really limits the functionality of the networking aspect.

It’s certainly true that there are some modern albeit light-weight distros out there today that can certainly bring life back to this baby. It still has Windows 98se installed on its hard drive, and I certainly wouldn’t consider trying XP but it’s a lot of fun looking at the latest in mini-Linux and seeing what this machine is still capable of.

Buy Linux today

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