Printed 2017/08/21 10:16AM

The Netbook

By Tim Mitchell, 2009/07/11

I like my main laptop.  It’s big and wide and bright, with lots of power and all of the bells and whistles.  Still, it’s inconvenient to carry, it takes a while to boot up all of the software I’m running, and the battery life sucks is less than I’d hoped for.  I’ve been eyeballing a couple of netbooks for a while, to use as a secondary machine for when my big laptop isn’t convenient or practical to bring along.

After spending the past few weeks researching, I’ve finally selected and purchased the Toshiba NB205-N210 from Fry’s Electronics. I chose the Toshiba because of its long battery life (reported to be 9 hours in some cases), memory (1gb included, upgradeable to twice that), and ease of use.  I had been looking at an Acer as well, but when I tried it out, the keyboard and touchpad were both awkward and difficult to use.  The Toshiba, while the same dimensions as the Acer, has a slightly larger keyboard and a more friendly touchpad.

After an hour or so setting it up and uninstalling the included trialware and crapware, I was up and running.  I ran the install for the client tools for SQL Server, and surprisingly I didn’t get any warnings or errors when running the installer.  I may go back and actually install the database engine to see how well it performs.  I’ve noticed a few hiccups every now and again where the mouse seems to hang when switching tasks, but other than that, it’s what I would have expected from a computer the size of a small phone book.  Battery life so far is good – I’ve been off of the A/C charger for almost 2 hours now, and I still show 84% battery remaining.

It’s still early but so far I’m happy with the Toshiba.  I’ll post a follow up in a few weeks and let you know if I’m still satisfied with it.

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