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A freelancer’s guide to choosing a netbook

I have been using a netbook since going freelance. Most of the time, when I power up the netbook, I will be asked by those around to recommend a netbook for them.

Here is one tip I usually give those who ask for it.

Tip #1: Go for battery life

The first netbook I used was the Dell Mini10 and the biggest problem was the short battery life.

It promised 3 hours but when you really put it to real use, it could be less than 90 mins. This even so when you are using the Starhub Mobile Elite 21Mbps (You will be lucky to get 1Mbps) which draws a lot of power from the battery.

So given the price is about the same across all netbooks with almost the same specs, go for one that gives you more value in terms of battery life.

My 20-month old son has since destroyed the Dell Mini10 by sandwiching the TV’s remote control between the keyboard and LCD screen and pressing the top to test the durability of the LCD screen. The result: the LCD crystals burst!

I have replaced the Dell Mini 10 with the LG X130. I got it at a promo price of SGD499 and it comes with a battery life of 8 hours. I shopped around and saw that the other brands were selling for about SGD699+ for 8 hours battery life.

The 8 hours battery life has proven its worth. I can spend up to 5 hours outside without the need to find a power point. Even with the Starhub Elite attached.

Performance-wise, the LG X130 is also able to run Microsoft Office smoothly. Windows Live Writer is my favourite blogging application and it also runs rather smoothly.

Only problem is running Youtube HD videos as it sort of lacks.

Still, the battery life for a netbook is most important consideration for purchasing a netbook.


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