Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Aspire “Two” Greatness
While I was in town for Aviation Day 2009, my dad wanted to go “netbook hunting”. He has seen my Aspire One D150 and since they are the greatest thing ever, we headed out to best buy in CF to look. My biggest concern was to find him something that would fit his needs more than a toy. He is still using my Dell L400 as his primary computer at home, which is getting old and slow. I tried to explain to him that computers themselves don’t really slow down, but he keeps trying to run newer versions of programs like AOL that eat up more and more of his little 128mb of ram.
Best Buy had a few notebooks and I was surprised to find a whole section devoted to netbooks, but their selection was not that great. I was able to show him some of the main differences in netbooks like screen size vs resolution, glossy vs matte, SSD vs HDD, etc but they still only had a few brands. I also tried to show him smaller full notebooks, and explained the sacrifices made by netbooks like the CD drive. I also showed him the low end macbook but he was pretty set on the netbooks, so we headed out to Micro Center in Lyndhurst.
I have to say I much prefer Micro Center to Best Buy, sorry Will. They have a better selection and the salespeople aren’t quite as obnoxiously pushy, although they are still hovering around. Micro Center did have everything BB had and more, from a $150 Eee PC to a holy-shit Alienware mainframe replacement. He wanted portability to take it to a class at CSU, so the main things we looked at were battery life, screen size, and we stuck with HDD versions.
In the end we were left with two netbooks with 1024x600 10.1” screens, an MSI Wind and the Acer Aspire One D250 (the slightly bigger version of mine). In the end, the deciding factor was the keyboard. The Acer won out because the MSI keyboard had shrunk the comma, period, and forward slash keys, among others. Once I pointed that out, he noticed and didn’t like that. The computer is basically the same as mine, with the same CPU/RAM/HDD combo I have. His screen is a little bigger at 10.1” vs my 8.9”, but uses the same resolution. I found that while using his, I preferred the 10.1 screen to my own. I still like the small physical dimensions of mine though, for it to fit in my flight bag. He also had nice features like bluetooth, a 6-cell battery for 7 hours of use, and mouse buttons that are under the trackpad! A little jealous…yeah maybe.. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a traveling laptop.
Since we were in the area, we took it up to CSU to make sure he could connect to the university wireless and get him set up with their provided antivirus. Getting on the network there was highly unusual, so I’m glad I could help him out there. And it was fun throwing the help desk off when we showed up to get the antivirus CD. They kept asking me for my ID when he was holding his, of course they assumed I was the student! Since they only provided the software by CD, we had to use a lab computer to copy it to a flashdrive. He seemed comfortable with the computer and I think it will work well for him.