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Love live the Netbook


March 22 2015

A couple of years ago, I lamented the end of Intel-Atom based netbooks. I had spoken too soon.

==Long live the Netbook!==

Let me introduce you to the ASUS X205TA-HATM0103. This is a Netbook. To wit:

  • Costs about $200. Check.
  • Intel Atom CPU. Check (it’s using an Atom Z3735f, which is one of the cheapest Atoms out there, but is a good deal faster than the N450s and N455s which drove the 2009/2010 Netbook craze, and has VT-x to boot).
  • Maximum memory 2gb. Check (that’s the amount of memory it has; Microsoft has long since stopped requiring Netbook makers to not put more than 1gb in their cheap computers)
  • Small solid-state file system. Check (just like the original netbooks, before they started putting cheap 160gb hard disks in them).
  • Small size. Check (They have stopped making these critters 10 inches — the keyboard was just too cramped at that size — but it’s a tiny 11 inch computer)

My biggest annoyance with the current crop of netbooks is that they no longer have a mechanical drive, but instead use a pathetically small amount of solid state storage. 32 gigs is really not enough storage; I would not want to install Microsoft Office on one of these, but would instead put on Softmaker Office (maybe even the older Softmaker Office 2006 which I still use today — its word processor, TextMaker 2006, uses only 20 megs of disk space).

While Netbooks are no longer driving the computer world, they have come back and still fill a niche. Now, whether I will actually get one of these is another question.

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