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Netbook on a Student Budget

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Hi Everybody,

Thanks for creating this wonderful forum and keeping it alive through sweat and what sound like occasional tears! Here's my story: after being laid off I'm returning to school this fall and am looking for a netbook (preferably one still on the market) that can do/has the following:

Intel core (x) as long as it's supported past 10.6.1.
Upgradable RAM and HDD (I'm thinking a 64GB HDD should get me through surfing and writing the occasional paper/watching much more frequent multimedia streams).
As little work as possible getting her going OOB (I'm willing to work for it but as my handle suggests I'm a n00b).
Potential to upgrade to Lion (not necessary, but it would be nice since my next project is a customac desktop).

Can anyone offer suggestions or talk me out of going down this route? I've tried searching the board but I'm either using the wrong search terms or I'm in a unique position. Any help is appreciated greatly!

Thanks,
Bernie
 
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It's really hard to find netbooks/laptops that are compatible, but you can always have a look at the corresponding sub-forum.

Otherwise I'd rather suggest getting a base MacBook Air. I know it's expensive on a students budget, but it's an awesome machine for the money you pay.
 
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n00Bernie said:
Upgradable RAM and HDD (I'm thinking a 64GB HDD should get me through surfing and writing the occasional paper/watching much more frequent multimedia streams).

Netbooks aren't the easiest thing in the world to upgrade when it comes to the HDD.

flatfoot said:
It's really hard to find netbooks/laptops that are compatible
Agree completely but that doesn't mean its impossible...
 
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I'm posting this from an MSI Wind U123 that I bought for $200 off of Ebay and loaded it up with 10.6.6. I call it the Macbook Nano. :cool:

Not the most flawless solution on earth, but for $200 (can probably find one for less now), I'm more than happy to deal with the occasional GSOD or :beachball: .

It runs most everything short of video editing apps flawlessly. I can even run Photoshop CS5 (albeit not super well :p ). Video playback varies. SD content streams ok off of youtube, hulu etc. but you won't get much more than that.

I wanted something as cheap as possible that still had "acceptable" performance. At the time I was looking (about a year ago), the U123 was the best option available for the least amount of money.
 
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bezrrk said:
I'm posting this from an MSI Wind U123 that I bought for $200 off of Ebay and loaded it up with 10.6.6. I call it the Macbook Nano. :cool:

Not the most flawless solution on earth, but for $200 (can probably find one for less now), I'm more than happy to deal with the occasional GSOD or :beachball: .

It runs most everything short of video editing apps flawlessly. I can even run Photoshop CS5 (albeit not super well :p ). Video playback varies. SD content streams ok off of youtube, hulu etc. but you won't get much more than that.

I wanted something as cheap as possible that still had "acceptable" performance. At the time I was looking (about a year ago), the U123 was the best option available for the least amount of money.

Sounds like a great idea! I'm just surprised it would run that well with only a gig of ram
 
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Sounds like a great idea! I'm just surprised it would run that well with only a gig of ram

Mine has a 2 gig stick. Easily upgradeable. However, most of the time you can find them pre-installed on units from Craigslist or Ebay.

Also, if you want wifi to be recognized by the system as "airport wireless," you need to get the U123 model with included internal bluetooth, as it contains the most compatible wifi card (atheros??). Bonus there is you also get the built in bluetooth, which is recognized by OS X and fully functional. My roommate bought that model for like $300-350 and had the fully functioning model. I bought mine for $200 and had the "gimp." :thumbup:

Mine has the Realtek wifi module internally, so I have to use Realtek's WLAN client utility. Nothing major, just not as "pretty" as the "airport wireless" solution. I was also able to add a generic bluetooth USB dongle ($1.30) for the bluetooth functionality.

So, if you want seamless, I'd go with the U123 model with included bluetooth and fully recognized wifi card. If you want best budget friendly solution that "works," go with the one I have.
 
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Also, I know Tony already posted it elsewhere on this site, but if you haven't seen it, be warned; OS X Lion (as of this posting and apparently in perpetuity) will not work on Atom based processors.

10.6.6 is the latest update that runs on the Wind U123 with full stability. Be sure you don't upgrade past that point if you get one.
 
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