Okay, I’ve been let down by netbooks before. I’ve tried a string of Samsungs and Dells and even an Eee PC (daring), and often times it was the little things that sunk them. Like a right shift key smaller than a candy Chiclet. Or a screen simply too small. Or a Linux OS that was fun, but not ready for prime time.
Latest flavor– the Lenovo IdeaPad S205:
So far, we have seven of these. Some are deployed as long-term student loaners. Some are second-machines for travelling desktop users. One is in my cycling backpack right now.
Pros: great keyboard, great price (£280), smaller charger, decent size and weight, good reliability so far, plenty of ports (including HDMI and 5 in 1 memory card reader), five hour battery, Windows 7 home, good size HD, slick boot-up optimizer for faster start time (67 seconds), fun face recognition login.
Cons: just big enough screen, somewhat slow when many apps open (0n 2 gig memory model), no DVD drive (not expected, either), etc.
Overall, this is probably the best, inexpensive netbook I’ve used so far. It doesn’t have the chip speed or ultra-thinness of a small Macbook Air, but I could also buy almost three of them for a single Macbook Air. That means less heartburn if my son drops it, or its stolen, or if we decide to upgrade after “only” two years. One of our Samsung netbooks is now over three years old, so it’s hard to say that they wear out any faster than most laptops.
More on this netbook to come…
Full disclosure: What do we have at home at the moment? Wife has a Macbook Pro, two years old. Son has a Macbook Pro, less than one year old. Daughter has a one-year old white Macbook from school. I have a Lenovo X1 Thinkpad, and the Ideapad S205 on loan for testing. My main squeeze at work is a Lenovo X200 in a docking station, which I take mobile at least twice a day.