Wireless netbook capabilities?

  stlucia 08:15 26 Apr 2009
Locked

I'm interested in a small portable computer of the type which I think is generically called a netbook -- i.e. much smaller and lighter than a normal laptop.

I know some of them come with operating systems other than Windows, which doesn't worry me so long as they also have basic word processing, spreadsheet, etc. installed. But I believe they also usually (or always?) come with some kind of wireless capability and internet browser.

I'm not into wireless at the moment, so can someone advise me whether there's some kind of wireless system/protocol that I should be looking out for that's better (or worse) than others? If I get one, will I be able to sit in a Starbucks or similar outlet anywhere in the world and log onto my email account?

  mgmcc 08:40 26 Apr 2009

Wireless networking conforms to universal standards - 802.11b, 802.11g and 802.11n.

802.11b runs at a speed of 11Mbps (Megabits per second) and is more or less obsolete now. 802.11g is the most commonly used protocol running at 54Mbps and the latest protocol is 802.11n with nominal speeds of around 300Mbps.

>>> If I get one, will I be able to sit in a
>>> Starbucks or similar outlet anywhere in the
>>> world and log onto my email account?

Basically, "Yes".

Netbooks run either a version of Linux or Windows XP but, if you want to use word processing and spreadsheets, Linux isn't going to run Microsoft Office. You will have to use something like Open Office, which is free but IMHO not nearly as nice to use as MS Office, although it is compatible with MS Office file formats.

  Taff™ 10:00 26 Apr 2009

IMHO Open Office is perfectly adequate for word processing and spreadsheets and can just about handle PowerPoint presentations created in the MS application. It has it`s own program called Impress which like all the OO programs might be described as fairly basic but concentrates on the 80% of functionality that most people require. i know several small businesses, more than a few students and dozens of individuals who rely on it as a cheaper alternative to MS Office. Granted mgmc that it doesn`t have all the "bells & whistles" of Office 2007!

You can even try it out under Windows click here

  mgmcc 10:11 26 Apr 2009

>>> Granted mgmc that it doesn`t have all the "bells & whistles" of Office 2007!

I still use Office 2003 (because I hate that "ribbon" at the top of 2007), but I do have Open Office installed in a Mac and just don't like it - I haven't actually found a Mac spreadsheet that I do like and so stick to using Excel in Windows. ;)

  stlucia 11:11 26 Apr 2009

Thanks for the input.

So, as far as wireless compatibility is concerned, I just need to make sure that whatever I buy is loaded with version 802.11g or better. I propose to use it as a replacement for my Palm Tungsten while travelling, so I don't think I'm going to be concerned too much about the pros and cons of preinstalled software -- so long as I can exchange the data somehow with my PC. And I understand that, if I get one with Linux, there's plenty of software available on the net if I don't like what's installed.

  realist 11:30 26 Apr 2009

For your consideration:
click here

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