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cajun

NETBOOK

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Hi,

They are cute, that's about it.

They're great if you have hands the size of a 3rd grader and your primary interest is in having something to cruise the net or stream videos on; otherwise they are a bitch to type on and the programs they run are kind of limited.

They process very slowly compared to most devices today. For the same money, you can purchase a decent notebook on sale over the net with a full-sized keyboard that will allow you to work faster with fewer mistakes. Or, you can wait another year to be able to buy a tablet computer with a touch screen and a very fast processor that you can use an inspection program on for about the same money you'll spend for a netbook today.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I have a Toshiba full sized laptop and a HP mini. I kinda like 'em both. I was inspecting with the mini for a bit, but it really wan't practical - setting up and breaking down.

I do the majority of my data collection on site with an HP Pocket PC - no typing, just tap... tap... tap... and then load it into my Toshiba at home to finish up. It works marvelously.

The mini did OK, as long as you didn't load a bunch of programs on there you don't need. So, if you're going to do inspections on a mini, DON'T put anything on it that you don't need to perform inspections. In other words, dedicate it to inspections only, or, as Mike says, it will become pretty slow. Using a mini is ALL about understanding resource management - RAM...

I just found that I was spending 30 minutes setting up, booting up and breaking down my mini on site, which was stupid. So, I stopped. I hate wasting time.

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I have an HP mini as well that I use around the house, on the patio, whwn I travel, etc. like my laptop. I have not used it on any jobs simply because I do not have my reporting software loaded on it. I think once my little PDA craps out I will use the mini on jobs.

I really see little difference between it an a full size laptop other than the size. My mini has 1gig of RAM and 60gig hard drive, so it has plenty of power to do just about whatever you need for it to do. Heck, it has more power than my 6 year old desktop computer I use in the office. The HP mini keyboard is 80% of the size of a full size laptop. The only drawback with the mini I see is that it does not have its own CD drive, you have to use a plug-in drive. The battery on my mini will last about 12 hours, that is about twice as long as my laptop.

I paid $299 for the HP mini.

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I have an HP mini as well that I use around the house, on the patio, when I travel, etc. like my laptop. I have not used it on any jobs simply because I do not have my reporting software loaded on it. I think once my little PDA craps out I will use the mini on jobs.

I really see little difference between it an a full size laptop other than the size. My mini has 1gig of RAM and 60gig hard drive, so it has plenty of power to do just about whatever you need for it to do. Heck, it has more power than my 6 year old desktop computer I use in the office. The HP mini keyboard is 80% of the size of a full size laptop. The only drawback with the mini I see is that it does not have its own CD drive, you have to use a plug-in drive. The battery on my mini will last about 12 hours, that is about twice as long as my laptop.

I paid $299 for the HP mini.

And, one thing that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE about a mini: every time I fly, I'm able to work on projects on the plane the entire flight because:

1. you can actually open a mini on a plane and see the screen! (most aircraft seats make it darn near impossible to open the screen fully without the laptop being up against your chest.

2. A mini has a battery life of about SIX HOURS! That will get you anywhere in the country - two flights and time in the connecting airport.

Most of my best software improvements have happened at 28,000 feet. [:-thumbu]

The minis out now are pretty powerful and come with 169 gig hard drives. That's ridiculous (good). Some even have dual cores.

Mike's right, though - the first minis were not much good.

Mine is solid state - no hard drive to crash. But, I'm limited to 15 gigs. So, I load all of my software to boot off a 15 gig SD card, which works just fine. It's cramped, to be sure, but works like a charm.

Personally, these days, between my camera, a digital voice recorder and my reporting software on my pocket PC, I can be on and off site in about three hours with more information than I could ever fully put into a home inspection report.

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I do all my reporting on my netbook. Mine is an Eee which is the manufacturer for Acer. I use mine solely for inspections and do not have any issue with it. If you don't want to lug around a full size notebook a netbook it the way to go. [:-thumbu]

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I carry a Panasonic Toughbook with me. It's big, heavy and obnoxious (just like me!) but it has daylight readable touchscreen, can take a fall to the pavement with no problem and doesn't mind getting rained on. I get about 5 hours use from the main battery but if I pop the dvd drive out and slide the auxiliary battery in it's place I get about 11 hours. I can leave it in the truck in the winter - the hard drive has a heater cable to warm it up.

My wife has a netbook that she uses around the house; I had considered getting one but they just seem a bit delicate. They're plenty powerful, but I'm plenty clumsy.

-B

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I've carpenter fingers. The keyboards on the mini's are too small to be comfortable typing with 9 digits. I'd rather tote a 14" laptop around, and I've done so for 8 years.

My wife has slender fingers and types more than I do. She had a Sony Viao once but she doesn't want another mini, for a different reason - monitor too small.

Marc

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I stopped bringing computers/handhelds etc to inspections and just take all my notes on a digital voice recorder. I do the whole report from the comfort of my couch now instead of using realtors/clients time by typing partial or full reports at the inspection. Either way beats the old method of handwriting reports on site though lol. I could not live without my recorder nowadays lol.

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I use a netbook basically to check email, etc. when I'm on vacation or sitting on my patio. It's really light to carry when traveling and serves its purpose, and I don't like virtual keyboards. I would not consider it for on site inspection use.

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