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Author Topic: Netbook or 11.1 inch laptop  (Read 5187 times)
K7NHB
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Posts: 226




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« on: January 30, 2013, 05:57:40 PM »

I tried a search on this topic but most of the posts were a bit dated - outside the current technology window.  I'm looking for something to pair with a KX3 for hiking and kayaking.  One past post suggested a "tough book" and that is bigger/heavier than I need.  I was initially interested in those 10.1 inch netbooks - as long as I got one that could be upgraded to 2GB. But the next step up, the 11.1 (or 11.6?) inch devices usually can be upgraded to 4GB and are a "real", but still small computer.

I would only be running ham software on this - not trying to combine it with a work machine. I'd just use it for HRD, DXSuite, my DXSoft and Afreet programs; stuff like PSK and CW interpreting software (CWGet, maybe CWType of a Serial to USB dongle will pass the RTS/DTR switching).

Would a $200 10.1 netbook with Atom processor be up the the tasks and not break in a year (Acer vs Asus). Or, would I have to go up a little more in $$$ and throw a dual-core processor and 4GB at it?

I noticed that one Compaq I was looking at comes with built in GPS. That would be useful if programs were available that could use the GPS input and put my location on a Topo map.  I see that external GPS, like Bad Elf, costs about $100. But that's a little off this topic. I am mostly interested in finding a little "playmate" for the KX3.

Any advice is appreciated.
Thank you and 73,
Paul
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KC0RZW
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« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2013, 07:31:38 PM »

I've used a acer 10.1 netbook everyday for about 2 years now, just for internet and work.  I am a mechanic, and it gets covered in dust, dirt, grease from sitting in the shop.  Good basic light weight computer.  As long as you don't need any cd/dvd drives or plan on doing any extreme computing, you would probably like one.  I certainly wouldn't hesitate purchasing another one.  I should note about 99% of my usage is internet.  When out of town I use Skype and Netflix which works good, but I haven't tried running a bunch of programs simultaneously.
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W8JX
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« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2013, 07:58:35 PM »

As long as you get a Netbook with the newer N2600 dual core Atom and increase memory to 2 gig you will not be disappointed. It will do a decent job, run cooly and have excellent battery life too. The 2600 is a big upgrade over old signal core Atom because besides dual core it also has much improved video hardware too. When you move up to 11.9 inch laptops they are not usually Atom based and use a lot more power and run warmer too. Asus does make the Eee PC 1025C dual core atom powered with a 12 hr rated battery life. 
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All posted wireless using Win 8.1 RT, a Android tablet using 4G/LTE/WiFi or Sprint Note 3.
K7NHB
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« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2013, 01:53:39 AM »

Boy, this isn't easy. That 12hr battery life is precious, and I bet it would be longer if I put in a SSD. But though that model was near $200 a few months ago, it has taken a jump in price and the only one I could find (Amazon) is now $350.

On the other hand, for around $300 I can get an 11.6 inch Acer AO725 model that includes windows 8 os (for an extra $35 I've found it with 4GB RAM and Bluetooth) better than the Win 7 starter in the others. It is only rated at 5hrs but that's with a small battery (3-4 cells) and the battery could be replaced with a larger one.

Do you have any experience with the Acer AO270 series. They also use the N2600 and are only $225. I've seen some just under $200 on clearance.

I would definitely increase the RAM to 2GB (or four if it will take it) and would strongly consider putting in a SSD (solid state Drive) - though that starts to be a real investment. Maybe that will be an "update" for next year.

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W8JX
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« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2013, 07:57:59 AM »

The focus of the Atom from the start was low power drain and as it evolved it became even more power efficient and quicker too with the "Cedar Trail" series like dual core N2600 which uses only 3.5 watts max to power CPUs and integrated video in chip too. You can find lightly used Asus 1025's on Ebay. The 11 inch models use a older AMD CPU and chipset and for the price of a little more speed they use a lot more power up to close to 20 watts. The rated 5hr life is with a mostly idle CPU. You can get a extended battery for Asus too. I have no experience with Acer but Asus kinda wrote the book on netbooks. Netbooks kinda got a bad rap because they never shipped with enough ram. As far as SSD it would help some but not as much as you think for battery life. One more important tip with a netbook, DO NOT let it manage swap file size. Set it to about 768k with 2 gig of memory. The bigger the swap file,the less actual memory you have available for programs and you swap more and slower it runs.
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K7NHB
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« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2013, 10:05:02 AM »

Where to you set that swap file size?  Control Panel ...... ?
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W8JX
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« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2013, 10:37:06 AM »

control panel > system and security >  system   then select "advanced system settings" on left  then "advanced" tab and then settings button under performance then in new box called "performance options" select advanced tab again.  

They buried it pretty deep......
« Last Edit: January 31, 2013, 11:07:36 AM by W8JX » Logged

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K7NHB
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Posts: 226




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« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2013, 02:18:20 PM »

Thank you. This will be fun.
73,
Paul
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W8JX
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« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2013, 03:51:16 PM »

Thank you. This will be fun.
73,
Paul

Asus also makes a 1225C which has a 11.9 inch screen and a N2600 or N2800. The 1225B is AMD powered and has much shorter battery life.
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2013, 08:51:40 PM »

I have a Netbook and a larger laptop.  Believe me, doing something like operating digital modes, you WILL want the larger screen and keyboard!
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W8JX
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« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2013, 09:16:59 PM »

I have a Netbook and a larger laptop.  Believe me, doing something like operating digital modes, you WILL want the larger screen and keyboard!

I used my netbook on field day and it worked fine and never got warm. As far as keyboard I use a wireless keyboard and mouse when i do a lot of typing on any size laptop.
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K7NHB
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Posts: 226




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« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2013, 11:38:00 AM »

It doesn't get easy. Going to 11.6 jumps the price $50 to $100 or more and halves the expected battery life. If I'm going to carry the weight of this on the trail or waterproof protect it in the kayak, I don't want it to last for only a day or two of operation.

I see this little 10.1 machine and for a few dollars more - but for more features than I'd use - don't need HDMI output, don't need Beats Audio, etc. the 11.6 units look so much better.  But I already have a "real" laptop.  This is just to use N4PY's software or Digipan type programs, DXSuite, maybe HRD - thought that has demanded more and more CPU performance.

If I were using this all the time at Home, I WOULD want a larger screen. But if I can size the window on those ham apps to  fit in 1024 x 600, I should be fine. The smaller keyboard won't be fun - but I'm not a fast typist anyway.

So far the 1025C is leading the desirability pack. I almost bought one this morning and some joker jumped in with a bid of $510! If he doesn't pay it - what a jerk; kind of ruined the auction for the rest of us.  Canada is selling some, even New, but and premium prices, plus healthy shipping.
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W8JX
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« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2013, 03:55:31 PM »

Asus makes a decent keyboard on net books. As far as HDMI out, its existence does not cost much but it requires hardware speed to support 1080p with it. It is getting to be kinda standard equipment these days. It was not possible on older single core Atoms. Also, be advised that with a 1025, in task manager it will show 4 virtual CPU's because each core supports 2 threads. The 11.9 inch AMD one is dual core but not hyper threading and only shows two virtual CPU's. Intel invented hyper threading about 10 years ago because it was found that a CPU can waste 30 to 40% of its cycles waiting for data to process. By adding a second 'front end' on CPU to support a second thread at same time it enables a higher utilization of CPU as one thread executes while other is fetching data.
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K7NHB
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« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2013, 03:23:18 PM »

What do you think about the sellers who list as refurbished (and from Canada) that seem like companies rather than individuals? I've noticed that the descriptions have changed since yesteryear. In the past, it seemed they were more specific to a specific item. Now they are all copy/paste of the specs - which I'm guessing most people already know or can find out in other places, and for the device itself, they just copy the same "Boiler Plate" description. So it is difficult to choose one over another. I wonder if the refurbished one from Canada will send "Ay" instead of a period?
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W8JX
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« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2013, 04:57:44 PM »

Check your messages..
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