Friday, March 6, 2009

Geek Toy Friday - Netbooks

Anyone who has read this blog at all knows that I'm in the midst of shopping for a new laptop computer.  The market is full of fantastic options right now, and for the right price, you can get a machine with as much, or more, horsepower than a desktop computer.  There are monster "notebook" computers out there with quad-core processors, 18.4 inch screens, dual screens, full keyboards, 8GB of memory and 1TB of hard drive space.  It's enought to make any geek drool.

But what about those of us who want to go a bit smaller?  There is a small-but-growing market out there that is catering to just that market.  They call it a "netbook", and they're everywhere.

With screens ranging in size from 8 to 10 inches, and prices ranging from $300 to $750, these things are small in every way.  They typically either run a flavor of Linux or Windows XP Home, and are typically powered by Intel's Atom CPU.  Models such as the Acer Aspire One come with 1GB of RAM and 120GB hard drive.

One thing you won't be doing with a Netbook is play high-end video games like Crysis or World of Warcraft.  What you can do, however, is check email, browse the internet, write documents and balance your checkbook.  You can keep a schedule, keep a diary, and keep up with your friends on Facebook.  And you can do it all with a computer that fits easily into a purse, backpack, or messenger bag.

So here's to the Netbook, today's Geek Toy.

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