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Old 18th October 2008, 17:50   #1
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Default Netbook

I'm currently looking for a netbook. I'm kinda sick of lugging around my fullsized laptop on the motorcycle (and/or train). I'm getting a new one at work soon (to get rid of that Dell D630), but that'll be full-sized & with higher performance. What I want now, is a netbook to complement it.

The toughest piece of software it'll be required to run is MS SQL Management Studio 2008. I know the display won't really make it easy to use and that it'll run slow, but as a sysadmin I'll probably need to be able to run a few queries when I'm in a pinch (from whatever location I may be at that point in time). Other sysadmin stuff for when I'm cornered will be remote desktop and Putty/SSH/WinSCP, though those are obviously less stressing than the Management Studio.
I expect to be typing out quite a few of reports (which I never get time to do at work), so a rather user friendly keyboard would be nice.

As an odd quirk perhaps in the netbook market, I'd personally prefer a normal HDD over solid state drives. Why? Well, various reasons, some of which probably not entirely correct (since I'm not totally up to date on the solid state technologies).

Wishful thinking on my part would be that the netbook has the ability to transform into a tablet with a touchscreen. It would certainly be an asset for reading documentation, reports and even e-books on the move (in the train, while waiting somewhere, etc).

As there is always some time to kill somewhere, I'm also hoping to run some really old games on it, like Fallout 1 & 2. Systemrequirements wise, this shouldn't be a problem, but it would be totally awesome if I could play that with the touchscreen.

The pricerange I'm looking at is around 500 euros, so that really means most netbooks can be taken into consideration (I'd be willing to pay more for a touchscreen tablet netbook however).

So, in short:

- min 1Gb RAM, pref even 2 Gb RAM
- Intel Atom 1,6+Ghz CPU or alike
- wireless adapter
- ethernet port
- pref a larger normal HDD (80+ Gb) than a small solid state one

- bigger than 9"
- smaller than 13.3"
- pref around 10-11"
- resolution no smaller than 1024x600 (give or take a bit)

- ideally 1kg & lower
- 1.5kg max

Battery life:
- min 3+ hours of decent activity (mix of remote desktop, word processing, browsing, old games)

- Windblowz XP (NO VISTA! or Linux)

Wishful thinking:
- touch screen
- ability to lay flat (real 'tablet')

Things I don't especially need:
- webcam
- flashy attentionwhore looks
- bluetooth

Potential candidate:

The most obvious candidate would be the Gigabyte M912M (not M912/M912X), but as mentioned above, it suffers from some annoying flaws, such as a rather badly designed keyboard (though that's mostly because it's cramped), rather active fan (causing more noise than average, but that's to make up for the sucky cooling on the M912X) & sucky battery (though there's a new battery out, which should perform better, but it might weigh more? I'm not sure. 3 hours seems like absolute maximum now with the standard battery). The screen is also 8.9", which might be just a tiny tad too small (though I suppose it's a matter of being used to it). It's also 1.3-1.5Kg, which is a tad heavy for a netbook.
the highlights you can see at:

What do you think?
Old 18th October 2008, 17:54   #2
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Doesn't MSI Wind fit the requirements too? 120Gb HDD, and some versions come with 2Gb ram
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Old 18th October 2008, 19:11   #3
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Originally Posted by jmke View Post
Doesn't MSI Wind fit the requirements too? 120Gb HDD, and some versions come with 2Gb ram
the M912M has a faster HDD (with capacity of 160Gb btw).

as for memory, it can be upgraded to 2Gb on demand.

so the Gigabyte still wins. certainly with the touchscreen & swivel.
Old 18th October 2008, 20:59   #4
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8.9" is really a very tiny screen, MSI has 12" and I found that to be quite small too, but swivel & touchscreen are l33t features indeed which give the Gigabyte M912M the edge
where are they for sale in .BE?
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Old 18th October 2008, 21:09   #5
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I don't know. There's a lot of european stores that have it for prices around 530 euros, though. QWERTY kbs however. But I'm told the keyboard is actually the same as the Asus EEE's, and you can order the Azerty from if you wanted to.

But I'd check it out and actually get it confirmed before actually doing so.

(QWERTY wouldn't bother me really. i can type both blind.)
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