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Old 02-11-2012, 11:39 AM   #1
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Default Building travel Netbook

I want to build a netbook, designed for travel, with these features, can anyone recommend what I would need to put under the hood to make it happen. Cheap is the aim of the game.
- webcam for skype
- music playback through headphones only
- video playback (internet or usb only; no dvd drive)
- photo storage
- basic photo editing
- Surf the internet

That is all it is required to do. The more crap I can trim off it the better. With that said; it does need to be able to do those things to a reasonable standard.

So what I am ultimately asking is all the simple questions like:
- how much ram?
how much storage?
what kind of hardrive?
what kind of processor?
what kind of graphic and audio cards?
etc etc

i need as much info as possible so that i can take it to someone and get an immediate quote on how much it would cost to build.

I am sure there is a million variables that i have not taken into account, however, please just go with "the minimum standard of what is required to achieve those tasks". Multi-application abilities are not a huge deal, however, i need it to remain fairly responsive with a lot of internet tabs open at once.

Thank you in advance for any help you are able to provide.

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Old 02-12-2012, 01:22 PM   #2
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Default Re: Building travel Netbook

Where is it that you can have a netbook built to your specifications? I've never seen a company/shop with that service.

I've owned/purchased a number of netbooks. My take is that 2G is enough RAM to multi-task 1-2 apps (depending on how graphics/processor intensive they are). Most can do video fine, either off the local disk or streaming (if decent internet connection). Netbooks generally have on-board graphics so you don't usually get to pick which video card to install but different netbooks have different video chipsets installed with different capabilities.

I prefer an ssd, my current netbook came with a 320G hdd which I replaced with a 120G sdd. With Win 7 HP 64-bit loaded and a few choice apps, I have 70G free. I also have a 16G flash card that I use as a data drive to store pics and video.

You didn't mention battery life. Netbooks come with 3-cell, 6-cell and 9-cell batteries. Generally, the more cells, the longer the battery life but more cells also means more bulk & weight.

Most netbooks come with an Atom processor which is designed more for low power consumption than performance which is why netbooks aren't up to handling apps that are particularly graphics or processor intensive (such as high end gaming) but are great for the less intensive tasks such as you listed.

You should also consider screen size, netbbooks can have anywhere from 7 to 12 inch screens. Decide for yourself what your preference is but bigger screen also means bigger size (generally means keyboard is larger too).

Then there is the OS. Most netbbooks run Windows (most often Win 7 Starter currently) but you can find them with XP or Linux or even Android OS so you need to decide that too.

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Old 02-14-2012, 11:52 AM   #3
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Default Re: Building travel Netbook

Another thing to consider is that the AMD based netbooks, on either the C-xx or E-xxx series APUs will knock your socks off compared to the Atom based netbooks.

I have an Acer Aspire One 722, it uses an AMD C-50 APU (1.0 GHz CPU clock, 350ish MHz GPU clock) and it absolutely spanks the 1.6 GHz Atom based netbook I have here at work. There's no contest - the AMD wins every time.

I also upgraded the hard drive in the netbook to an SSD and it further sped up the system. The AMD APU based netbooks are insanely capable. As an example, the work netbook can't play Minecraft or any games that were made within the past 5 years. I've loaded (and played!) recent games on the AMD netbook without too much trouble, but obviously lower graphics settings.

I don't know which Netbooks come with just Windows 7 Starter, as the ones we've bought recently come with Windows 7 Home Premium or 7 Pro. I myself loaded 7 Ultimate on my netbook and it runs great. I also only have 2GB of RAM, but my coworker installed 4GB into his (he has the same system) and it sped up accordingly.
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Old 02-14-2012, 02:11 PM   #4
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Default Re: Building travel Netbook

Yup, I have the same Acer netbook. I upped it to 4G and replaced the hdd with an ssd. It also comes with an ATI Radeon HD 6290 GPU with 256MB.
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backpacking, building, netbook, notebook, travel

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