Our youngest daughter had been without her computer for a few months, partly because it was slow and partly because she had kicked the case in one evening when she became upset with it when it kept shutting down on her. She had gotten use to using her phone for all her internet connectivity but she really wanted a laptop that she could take with her where ever she went and she kept hinting at this with the special instructions that it must have a web cam.
Our oldest daughter, although she has a desk top, has been fawning over the Netbooks now for months. She's a CDDJ and she's been considering a netbook so that she could set up some of her equipment and run some things from a netbook. I'm not familiar enough to say what those things were so I can't/won't begin to explain that.
As Christmas drew nearer and I kept coming up empty as to what to buy our girls I kept mulling over the idea of getting each of them a netbook. December 24 I finally found myself standing at Staples looking at a cute little red machine - an Acer Aspire One with 160gig hard drive, 1 gig of DDRam, a 10.1" screen and the cutest little keyboard! It also has a video/webcam that works reasonably well in low light. This one came with the WinXP operating system although some are available with Windows Vista. There is no DVD player with Netbooks but there are 3 USB ports which allows for the user to plug in an external DVD player, USB sticks and a mouse or other peripheral as needed.
Our next purchase was done at Best Buy. We ordered this one on line and it arrived on Dec 31. It is a Blue Acer Aspire One identical to the one above. Both were manufactured in 2009.
The girls LOVE them. The one issue we've been having with the Red aspire is internet connectivity - however we discovered that our router worked better if we assigned all the IP addresses rather than allowing the wireless internet connections to seek out their own IP address. Once we did this, everything has worked perfectly.
Although these netbooks are extremely light and compact that doesn't mean they aren't rugged little things. I read before purchasing them that someone who had owned one had sat on it, dropped it, and basically had been less than careful with it on a number of occasions and it was still working great. Neither of my daughters are rough with their stuff (ok well the kicking in of the desktop above is not a normal thing for my youngest ;)), so I imagine that these machines will continue to last them until they decide they need a bigger laptop or want to revert to a desk top.
The netbooks turn on quickly, have plenty of hard drive space (160gig), the screen is very crisp and clear and actually while you are working on it...the size of the screen doesn't seem to really bother you...it appears larger than it actually is and viewing things on the Netbook is as easy and comfortable as viewing them on my larger screen laptop.
The staff member at Staples tried to sell us an extended warranty claiming that the hard drives in these Netbooks are known for their failure (now, I'd say that isn't the right thing to say to someone who is buying one...right?) I waved the additional warranty simply because my youngest isn't planning on keeping the Netbook forever...and I expect that in a few months she'll buy a laptop and that little fellow will become MINE!!! ;) Yes, I had an ulterior motive for buying these...and further I had read reviews on them and had never come across any that indicated hard drive failure was an issue so I am confident these Netbooks are relatively reliable.
The keyboard does take a little getting use to but this isn't a very difficult thing to do especially considering that many of us are use to the keyboards that come with cell phones today. The ability to become quickly familiarized with the keyboard essentially makes the small stature of it a relatively minor drawback.
To-date both Netbooks have proven very reliable, sturdy and of course useful.