Most websites today are designed at a resolution of 1024×768, and guess what: there’s not one single (good) Netbook on the market today that that can display that. All of the current crop, including the new 10.1” Acer Aspire One AOD150 max out at 600 vertical resolution.
If all you do is browse websites, this may not be a pain, but just wait till you need to interact with a site and you can’t find the action buttons. You’re in for major scrolling up and down (the touchpad is typically a weakness on these units anyway) – your productivity drops big time.
If my rant here sounds familiar, that’s not a coincidence: it’s an almost verbatim reprint of an earlier post, except then I discussed the ASUS eee PC 1000HE. And therein lies the rub. Not a week goes by without a new Netbook announcement, but these new units are barely differentiated, manufacturers keep on adding fluff instead of making them really useful for Web-based work (i.e. deliver the Net part of the NetBook).
Conference season is coming, I badly need a Netbook, but I want one I can actually use. The first version of the HP Mini had a generous 1280×768 on a small screen, but while HP should be commanded for lowering the price on the second generation, they blew it by downgrading the screen to 1024×600. For now there is only one model that comes close, but it requires a step up in size: Dell’s Mini 12 comes with 1200×800 resolution, and now that they are offering Windows XP instead of Vista which caused the early units to barely crawl it’s actually becoming quite usable. Too bad it only comes with a hard disk, SSD is not even an option, unlike on her smaller sister, he Mini 9.
So that still leaves me waiting. Am I really asking for too much? A lightweight Netbook with:
- 1024×768 screen resolution
- decent keyboard
- no moving parts (SSD vs. hard disk)
- Netbook price (below $500)
I’m waiting, ready to buy. Who will deliver?