#1 By: Chris Hoffman, September 30th, 2013 04:04
Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/173037/3-ways-to-make-your-old-netbook-suck-less/
Netbooks are terrible, as most people now agree. They seemed like a good idea at the time, offering a cheap laptop experience in a small package. But they were ultimately too slow, small, and poorly built.
#2 By: Naman Sood, September 30th, 2013 05:41
NAS.... nice idea. I'll be trying it.
#3 By: Stef Korporaal, September 30th, 2013 06:50
I can vouch for the server idea, I used an old Eee for the longest time. You have a screen and keyboard for debugging, a built-in UPS (battery), small form factor and low power usage.
#4 By: Lady Fitzgerald, September 30th, 2013 08:56
I thought Win 7 Starter could run only three programs at a time?
All three of the netbooks I had ran XP. I avoided ones that had Vista and Win 7 Starter because they just didn't have the pony power to run them (not to mention Starter was too limited for my needs). The first two were Acers and they were poorly made. Both died prematurely, had batteries that rapidly lost capacity, and had keyboards that started bouncing not too long after I got them. The third one was an Asus Eee which actually was a pretty nice little machine. I replaced it after two years because the wires going through the hinge to the display were going bad (I had to angle the cover just right to get it to work). It might have been a simple fix but I needed to move on to Win 7 (not Starter) and needed more pony power and capacity so I got my present notebook. As much as I love the notebook, I miss the smaller size and weight of a netbook when on the road. The notebook needs it's own case; the netbook fit into my small carry-on.
#5 By: Peter Maloy, September 30th, 2013 10:33
I have a Dell netbook that originally came with Linux, so it has 2GB DRAM rather than the 1GB maximum mandated by Microsoft, but I hadn't used it in a long while until I decided to install CrashBang linux and plug it into our home stereo system to use as a Pandora/RDIO player. CrashBang gives very short startup times, and the poor wee beastie is perfectly capable of playing the music streams without breaking a sweat.
#6 By: Keith Smith, September 30th, 2013 10:59
I've got three of the old Dell Mini 9s. One's been completely torn apart (only using the motherboard and the screen) and turned into a teleprompter (extremely small, portable, and I can plug keyboard and mouse into the USB ports if I need to do anything substantial). One's been turned into a Hackintosh which I use to test compatibility (doesn't need to be fast; just needs to see the web). The third is awaiting a new life as a media center in one of our cars.
#7 By: Harisson_Ford, September 30th, 2013 11:18
HTG, this type of commenting is terrible. Please bring the old one where you just comment under the article.
I planned to turn my NB200 into a carputer.
#8 By: Ryan C, September 30th, 2013 11:40
Win7 Start can definitely run more than that - there's no hard-coded limit. However, the question is: can it run more than three WELL? - and the answer depends on the applications.
I had a netbook for years - it's even going strong as I refreshed it back to factory and gave it to my neice, so she can do her story writing and homework on it. Works great for her, especially since she's 12, and has smaller hands.
#9 By: Screenman, September 30th, 2013 11:53
I have had 2 Samsung NC10's for 5 years and they both still last over 4 hours on the original battery. The quality is excellent. We used them when we were travelling. As we both now have ipads they were put to one side.
I am now using one as a web server (Win2003) - with 30 domains and for my email server. I also have a travel database that is accessed by travel agents throught the day.
So - I disagree. Netbooks are not at all useless - but if you buy rubbish then you have to expect the worse.
#10 By: John Geldreich, September 30th, 2013 12:59
I have an old Dell netbook that came with Ubuntu on it. It was good for email and web browsing at the time, but little else. I eventually passed it down to my daughter after wiping it clean and replacing Ubuntu with Jolicloud, which runs a whole lot better on those underpowered machines.
#11 By: John Hogan, September 30th, 2013 20:48
No, netbooks were great! Win7 was never a good idea though. I had the two fastest Asus ones (I use "fastest" advisedly!) and they both ran XP nicely. The second one was the -HE model and that battery would run 10 to 14 hours straight, which meant 2 days of practical use. I must have sold a dozen netbooks based on how good mine were. A friend bought another Asus though with the newer dual core Atom and Win7 and performance-wise it was a dog. His would be a candidate for what you're describing but a decent Asus running XP with an extra 2gigs of RAM was a niftly little gadget! I lost one and gave the other to a friend's mother who is still using it! I've got an ultrabook now with superior performance but poor battery life.
Anyway, your initial contention got my back up. You get what you pay for and netbooks were cheap and cheerful - they'd have gotten better and better were it not for the advent of tablets.
#12 By: Larry McLemore, September 30th, 2013 21:42
I would normally agree with everything said here, but I have an Acer netbook that I have had for about three years that has a Intel core 2 processor, 2gb ram, 250gb hard drive with Windows 7 home premium. It is about as fast as my other laptops, I suppose this would be the exception to the rule. When I was shopping for a netbook, I was about to settle for the normal 1gb ram, 160gb hard drive and Windows 7 starter when I ran across this one at Fry's Electronics. My question is, will any of the above suggestions improve my performance even more?? Thanks
#13 By: John Hogan, September 30th, 2013 22:47
Nah, it sounds like your machine might be netbook in size but not in specs. Yours might have a CULV processor - a few steps up in grunt from ye olde Atoms! If so, and if it's running OK, why bother? Best thing might be to just reinstall the OS regularly to keep it running nicely. Make sure you keep an OS backup handy - netbooks tend to go more places than normal laptops and are hence more susceptible to the kinds of knocks that damage hard drives.
#14 By: rshewmaker, October 2nd, 2013 01:15
I've been on Windows 8 and most recently 8.1 with a Dell Inspiron 11z. I never load any huge programs like Corel, Intuit, or Office (Usually a remote connection handles everything) but it's a fast little bugger. The best $100 from Sprint I ever spent. It's best features are still it's speakers. The airport still gets a good laugh when getting scanned asking, "What is it? It's not a laptop."