Netbook Showdown – ASUS v. Dell

I’ve been scouring the interwebs in search of the perfect netbook for me.  I already have an iMac, so I don’t need an uber-fast laptop to do crazy stuff on.  I don’t need to run Photoshop, or play screaming fast video games.  I just would like a laptop that’s portable, has good battery life, and on which I can surf the web and write (I am a journalist after all).

So netbooks are for me, they are small and cheap, but not as fast, which is okay.  I had my eye on the Dell Mini 9 (pictured right), which has a nine inch screen, Windows XP (read: not Vista), a 16 GB SSD hard drive, and an Intel Atom 1.6 ghz processor, all for the economical price of $400 (plus or minus $50 with different configurations, ie. less RAM, Linux Ubuntu OS, Bluetooth, etc…).

However, today Engadget posted that a rumor is circulating about a $300 ASUS Eee PC (read: the original “netbook”) that will supposedly boast Windows XP, a max 8 GB hard drive, a 7” screen and most likely an Atom processor as well.  So for less money, one would sacrifice hard drive space and screen size.

Verdict? I’m still leaning towards the Dell, and here’s why.

  • It’s Dell, a trusted brand with dependable customer service.  It just feels safer buying from a company that most people have at least heard of.
  • Speaking of Dell, I get a student discount through ASU on Dell laptops.
  • In the netbook realm, two inches of screen difference is HUGE.
  • More hard drive space.  XP alone is likely to take up 4GB, so eight ain’t enough.
  • Options.  Linux/Windows, Bluetooth/None, Webcam/None, Black/White/Red/Blue etc…
  • Personally I think it looks sexier than the ASUS.

So anyhow, even if ASUS slips under the Dell pricewise, the Dell is still a better buy for having a bigger screeen, bigger hard drive, and countless other options.  Also student discounts rock.  But we shall see what happens when/if ASUS confirms the rumors.

UPDATE : Innovative tech company OLO has introduced plans to create an iPhone-dock-laptop-thingy.  Basicly picture a laptop only where the touchpad is replaced with your iPhone which slips in and becomes a touchpad.  Supposedly then the iPhone would provide storage and internet connectivity for the remaining shell of a laptop.  Here’s a pic, this could be interesting if it’s not too expensive.

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2 thoughts on “Netbook Showdown – ASUS v. Dell

  1. Go for the Dell.
    ASUS isn’t a bad brand, I used an ASUS notebook in high school (I can’t remember the model off the top of my head but I can look for it). But Dell gives discounts and you can get more… stuff with them. And Dell has wayyyyy better customer service than ASUS does.
    It all depends on how much bang you want for your bucks.

  2. Your assessment seems about right. From experience, I’d say that a 7″ netbook is just a little too small, if you can get a larger one for the same price.

    I like the idea at the bottom, but what happens when you remove the phone? Entirely text based OS? they were popular in the ’70s.

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