Jul 16 2009

ANNOUNCEMENT: ASK NBB #7!

At long last, ASK NBB #7 is available for your reading pleasure. Today I’m discussing the virtues of wireless internet with the mother of a college student, and perhaps you can learn something too.

Wi-Fi

We’ve got six other questions on ASK NBB, but if they don’t strike your fancy, be sure to ASK your own question instead!
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Interested in getting your own question answered on ASK NBB? Here’s how! Be sure to check out ASK NBB #3 for my projections for the future of the netbook industry, or ASK NBB #4 for some discussion of the evolving Eee PC.

Jun 18 2009

ANNOUNCEMENT: ASK NBB #6

Today’s Asker has a few things in mind when looking for a new netbook. Are matte screens good at reducing glare? Which netbooks work well outdoors? And are antimicrobial keyboards unhealthy?

I think I’ve got the answers to a few of these questions and more, so if you’re interested, come check out ASK NBB #6: Choosing A New Netbook!

Super clean keyboard

Picture via Shopakos.

Jun 12 2009

ANNOUNCEMENT: ASK NBB #5

Our fifth ASK NBB is available, with the latest in user-submitted netbook questions answered for your interest. Today, it’s about the most basic but crucial question of them all:

What is a netbook?

I think you’ll find it illuminating, and I’d love to hear your feedback. Take a look!

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Interested in getting your own question answered on ASK NBB? Here’s how! Be sure to check out ASK NBB #3 for my projections for the future of the netbook industry, or ASK NBB #4 for some discussion of the evolving Eee PC.

Apr 20 2009

ASK NBB #2: 3G Netbooks

Today we’ll be focusing on something that seems to be on everyone’s mind – 3G netbooks. I’ve gotten several emails asking about the matter, so today’s ASK NBB hopes to conquer the question once and for all.

QUESTION:

“I’m curious about 3G netbooks. Could you tell me about some netbook models that use 3G and what the future of 3G is for the industry? And what is the best mobile broadband plan for netbooks?

Thanks a lot!”

Steve M.

ANSWER:

I’m glad you asked, Steve. Since the release of the iPhone 3G the usefulness of the feature has been demonstrated in the hands of everyone lucky enough to get their hands on one. Adding 3G to netbooks makes them truly wireless tools, released from the bounds of the internet you’re getting at home or at work.

With 3G capability, you can use your netbook as a GPS system in the car, for last-minute work during a morning train commute, or while relaxing in a park far from Wi-Fi access. Sounds pretty good. So what netbooks out there will get you 3G?

Recent weeks have brought a horde of new 3G netbook releases, with both the Neo 101 and 720p Dell Mini 10 being released in the past few days alone. Lenovo also updated its virulently successful IdeaPad line with a new 3G netbook just four days ago.

The swift gains in 3G netbooking are no surprise – China Mobile, a 3G wireless provider, recently partnered with six other netbook manufacturers in order to spread 3G far and wide. The Dell Mini 10 was a product of that union, and with manufacturers “Lenovo, Founder Technology, Tsinghua Tongfang, Haier Group, [and] Hewlett-Packard” on board as well it’s looking like China Mobile’s netbook 3G is going to get very big very quickly.

So what about mobile broadband plans for netbooks? The main contenders are Verizon, which plans to subsidize the HP Mini 1000 according to a recent leak, and AT&T, which intends to offer a wide variety of netbooks including the Dell Mini 9 for as little as $49.99 nationwide.

It’s hard to say which plan is better – the cheap netbooks are a huge bonus, but both plans can get quite pricey as one unfortunate Oklahoma woman recently learned. I can’t give you a definitive answer about which to choose, but be sure to take into account more than just the initial cost of the netbook or the monthly rate – many mobile broadband companies charge extra fees for going above storage allowances, which could end up punishing your wallet if you aren’t careful.

In the end, 3G is an extremely useful feature which has become more and more widespread in the very recent past. It won’t be long before nearly all netbooks come with 3G, and if I may say so myself, that sounds pretty damn good.

Good luck to you, and as always, happy netbooking!

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Interested in getting your own question answered on ASK NBB? Here’s how! Be sure to check out our first ASK NBB for some guidance on buying a new netbook.

Apr 12 2009

ASK NBB #1: To Buy A Netbook

Today’s edition of ASK NBB focuses on an asker with a specific set of preferences for an upcoming netbook purchase.

QUESTION:

“I want to buy a notebook. That is like the asus 1000he but with a graphics card.
Is there any netbook out currently that has those features?
– a graphics card
– superb battery life
or is there one that you might know of but has yet to come out?
would love to hear your suggestions”

-stanTLs

ANSWER:

So, you’re looking to buy a netbook?

The first thing I thought of when I saw your email was the MSI Wind U110 Eco, a netbook whose graphical capabilities are expected to be good enough to manage any kind of HD video, and whose battery life may last as much as 9 hours. Be sure to read the article at the link for more info.

On the downside, the U110 Eco netbook may take a few months to be released. It all depends how long you want to wait to get your new netbook!

A second option is the Dell Mini 10. The battery life is decent enough, with the 6-cell option getting you 6-8 hours of life according to a release by Dell. Its graphics will get you up to 720p video, and the machine will come with a few other awesome media accessories as well (like a TV tuner). Check it out.

If you’re looking to use your netbook for gaming, your options will be pretty severely limited. You could, however, take a look at the ASUS N10J, which rocks a GeForce 9300 graphics card. Unfortunately it costs $699 and its battery life is standard.

Be sure to note that whenever you’re using higher brightness settings or engaging the graphics chip heavily your battery life will be quite diminished in any case.

I hope this helps. Good luck!

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Interested in getting your own question answered on ASK NBB? Here’s how!

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