Do you have a netbook? If so, what do you use it for?

28 Jul

I have been considering getting a netbook for quite a while now, and finally at the end of this month I will have the money to do so. Now is the moment I have been dreading, decision time.

I think it will be a great asset, it will be a useful tool for my family history research (and blogging) but the problem is that it is not essential for what I do. Sure it will probably make my life easier, but do I really need it?

There are lots of things I could use it for, the main one is probably for note taking at archives or libraries, but several other uses have come to mind as I wrestle with whether to buy or not.

  • I would like to use it as a temporary digital photo album. In connection with my external hard drive I could use it to share my digital photos, and especially my family history photos, where I can also use it to capture memories and additional information.
  • I love the idea of being able to blog and check email while I am away from home, perhaps even when I am out walking.
  • I would love to have access to the internet when I am out and about, so I can check train times, ending eBay auctions etc.
  • I want to have something else to do on the bus going to and from work. Just think how much work I could get done in that half hour each way.
  • With a small scanner I can take it with me when visiting family members as a portable scanning unit for photos and documents.
  • Of course I would have my family history loaded on there so I can show everyone and anyone my family tree at the drop of a hat.

But still at the back of my mind is the nagging fact that I don’t actually need it, it is more of a convenience rather than a necessity.

So if you have a netbook please let me know in the comments what you use it for? What interesting ways have you found to use it in your research? I need all the help I can get to convince myself that I should have one.

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4 Responses to “Do you have a netbook? If so, what do you use it for?”

  1. Thomas MacEntee July 28, 2009 at 10:55 pm #

    I have had my netbook for about 3 months now and I absolutely love it. I just wrote an article for Digital Genealogist magazine which reviewed five different models. I selected the Asus Eee PC 1000HE priced at $389 US (http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-1000HE-10-1-Inch-Black-Netbook/dp/B001QTXL82/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1248817985&sr=1-1).
    It is under 3lbs, has 160GB storage, 1GB RAM, 10.1″ screen and most important: 9.5 hour batter and a keyboard which is 90% of the size of a standard laptop keyboard.

    I use it when I travel to keep up on the 500+ genealogy blogs I read everyday as well as answer email and work on my writing. No longer to I need to carry a large laptop and all the chargers and peripherals with me. I also intend to use this on research trips this Autumn as well as when I do genealogy presentations in October.

    • wanderinggenealogist July 29, 2009 at 7:43 pm #

      Thomas, thanks for your input. I too have been looking at an Asus Eee PC, like you say the battery life looks pretty good. I am glad to see that you are getting your money’s worth from yours.

  2. Alex July 29, 2009 at 6:51 am #

    Seconded! I too am absolutely in love with my netbook (an Acer Aspire One FYI).

    For me it means we don’t have to fight over the desktop computer quite so much any more. I can access my Genealogy data directory on that main computer, and the printer, while working on the netbook from the comfort of my couch. Another genealogical use is reading all the goodies downloaded from Google Books and the like – set the PDF to rotate clockwise and fill screen and hold the netbook sideways in one hand to read, almost like a real book!

    • wanderinggenealogist July 29, 2009 at 7:48 pm #

      Alex that is an excellent idea. I was going to get an ebook reader last year (when my wife said we had enough printed books in the house already) but managed to talk myself out of it, but that is a wonderful idea. There are plenty of free PDFs available that I would love to read, with a netbook that could be just about anywhere and any time!

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