Laptop v netbook, advice , please.
Thread poster: bookwormkt

Local time: 05:34
French to English
+ ...
Jul 26, 2009

My laptop 'died' recently and I thought it would be useful to get a netbook. They are much more portable, which is a bonus.

The first one, with a 10" screen and a good keyboard, was absolutely great - quick and easy to access internet, reasonable size screen for most things, including using this site, word processing etc.

Unfortunately, after 10 days or so it refused to work off battery. Not sure how that happened! I took it back to the shop and could have had it repaired, but was told this is a known problem with that model (though no-one mentioned it when I bought it!).

I upgraded to another netbook. Couldn't work my way round the strange system to connect with our wireless network at home. Took it back, was shown how to do this, it still didn't work, so they gave me a refund. Which was great, but portable computer!!

Laptops that I can afford seem underpowered and I am loath to buy another netbook without some impartial advice, Should I keep saving until I can afford a more powerful laptop, or is there a good, reasonably priced netbook out there? I would want to use it for work as well as to check on emails and find out about jobs and other internet activities. I am not ready yet to invest in mobile internet!

Any advice would be appreciated.


Stanislaw Czech, MCIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:34
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
What do you need it for? Jul 26, 2009

Hi, it would be much easier to help you if we knew how you are going to use it. Are you going to use it for actual work (if so - only occasionally for a while of frequently for hours), do you trave a lot, is it important for you to have a machine which is very light, or is performance more important.

In general - for occasional use (checking e-mail, browsing websites, etc.) netbook should be very good solution. However if for example you are looking for a machine which you could use to translate when you are away from home than netbook with its tiny screen, tiny keyboard, etc. is not the best solution. However in low pricerange if you require high performance you may need to sacrifice portablility - machines which are both powerfull and light are also very pricey.



Oliver Walter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:34
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
A possibility Jul 26, 2009

As Stan wrote, it depends what you want it for. If you're sure a netbook is appropriate, I would consider one from morgancomputers, e.g.
(note this link will probably be out of date in a few days). This is a Toshiba netbook for £220 with an 8.9" screen and Windows XP Home (you don't need Windows Vista unless you have a specific good reason for wanting it). It's a "factory rework", so it's probably about a year old. I have bought "rework" and other new equipment from Morgan, including the Toshiba laptop about two years ago, on which I'm writing this and I'm happy with their prices and service. Their nearest branch to you is in Manchester, but they also do mail order.

Note about this netbook (and probably other netbooks also). They have no CD/DVD drive so the only way to get data into them and from them electronically is via the USB ports and a network (WiFi or cable to a router or another PC).
I wouldn't want to use such a netbook for translation work - screen too small and not enough resolution. I can use my laptop reasonably well (1024 x 768 pixels, 15" screen) but I normally use a desktop with a 19" screen and 1280 x 1024 resolution. If you need the portability, the netbook may be OK, and you can transfer files between it and another PC via, for example, USB memory sticks.

Hope that helps and/or you can provide some more information.


Quamrul Islam  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:34
Member (2009)
English to Bengali
+ ...
Laptop, not netbook, should be a better choice !! Jul 26, 2009

It's true that netbooks are gaining popularity very rapidly, especially among the youngsters. But I believe laptops can be a portable replacement for a full-fledged desktop computer, ready to perform the toughest job you want it to do. But netbooks only have their marvel in their small size, as if prepared to assist the secret users to carry them anywhere they like. Speaking of their disadvantages, firstly, they have smaller battery, powering the device for a limited time only, if it is used outdoors. Secondly, having no optical disk drive, a netbook is rather a sort of ebook reader or email viewer at its best. You are to arrange an optional plug-n-play CD burner if you want to burn or copy a CD. Thirdly, with a maximum of 10 inch screen, you have to renounce most of your graphics activities due to the screen constraints. Therefore it appears that a laptop has a good number of advantages over the netbook.


Local time: 05:34
French to English
+ ...
Thank you for your help. Jul 27, 2009

I am still without a laptop or netbook and the sky hasn't fallen in yet!

I am not doing any translation work beyond that for family and friends at the moment, so the need is less pressing than it would be if I had projects to complete.

My advisory teacher post will be fill time from September until at least Christmas, so translating will go on the back burner until 2010. This will allow me to mull over what I really need and let me save up for it.

Part of the attraction of a netbook is that I work with pupils with physical disabilities such as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, muscular atrophy and other muscle wasting conditions. The netbooks MIGHT be an excellent tool for them, as the reach across the keyboard is less, the keys respond to a light touch, they can be used on a tray attached to the wheelchair and the netbook can be carried more easily from class to class.

I guess my experience of buying and taking back 2 different types of netbook shows that there is more research to be done on this, as I had the problems mentioned in my first post - refusing to work from battery with one and refusal to connect to the wireless network with the other! Also battery life was disappointing with both models. Some types offer 7-9 hours as battery life, which would be far better for school day use. Constant re-charging and working with the netbook plugged in poses trailing lead problems and limit where a pupil can sit! A 10 inch screen is quite useful, but I suspect a 12" one might be better for word processing and website viewing.

Actually, I have learned a lot from this failureicon_smile.gif

Your advice re suitability of laptops for translation was very helpful. I still haven't given up the idea of doing translation work for pay. The appeal of working from home is considerable compared to my current job where I drive about 1000 work miles a month, not all of it claimable, as my base is a 90 mile round trip!

Thank you again!


Local time: 06:34
English to Hungarian
+ ...
battery life Jul 27, 2009

Quamrul Islam wrote:

Speaking of their disadvantages, firstly, they have smaller battery, powering the device for a limited time only, if it is used outdoors.

Netbooks trounce traditional laptops when it comes to battery life.
The models with larger batteries (many netbooks have a 3-cell and a 6-cell version) will easily do 4 to 7 hours of casual use as opposed to the 2-3 hours most laptops offer. The battery may be small, but tiny screens and frugal processors more than make up for it.

As to the OP, you gave us zero information about your requirements, preferences and usage scenarios so we can give zero advice.
What software do you use, is this going to be your main work computer, how much do you travel, where are you going to be using it and for what, do you plan on hooking it up to a monitor and a proper keyboard, will you be translating on it, do you plan on using it on planes, trains, buses and in waiting rooms everywhere etc.

Edit: your last post gives some info on this... I'd say a netbook is best. Get a 6-cell and you get fantastic portability and great battery life. An Asus eee or MSI wind should be fine.

[Edited at 2009-07-27 10:41 GMT]


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Laptop v netbook, advice , please.

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