Need/want a $200 netbook?

We’ve been home for about a month from summer travels and haven’t made the time for our last Summer Update of 2010.  We’ll get busy with that soon.

And now for something completely different…

This will be my first post in an occasional series for “John’s Geek Closet” – hopefully it will be news that’s interesting and useful.  I have been messing with personal computers since the 1970s and have been building my own systems for years.  I enjoy the challenge of bringing a pile of parts to “life” and by building my own, I spec it out to exactly fit my requirements.  But I digress..

Thanks to a friend, I started watching an on-line business called PC Parts Unlimited for deals.  They sell inexpensive new and used desktops, laptops, netbooks and parts.  Their service is okay, not A+,  more like a B- at times, but some of  the deals are really good.

The current PC Parts Unlimited promotion is for an Acer Aspire One 531h, 10.1″ screen, Win 7 Home Premium, 1 Gb memory and it comes with a 3G card (for cell phone broadband.)  I bought one for Jane a couple of months ago but added another Gb of memory when I ordered it for an extra 30 bucks or so.  Here’s one review of the Acer netbook.

Jane’s did not have the original Acer packaging, no documentation and the lid had some scratches, but the price was right.  Her Acer has performed extremely well and I continue to envy her 10.1″ screen (my netbook is eight or nine inches!)  In fact I’m tempted to buy another one and ditch my old netbook – don’t tell Jane!

It is easy to find netbooks in the stores in the 250+ dollar price range, but they all come with Windows 7 Starter (reduced features), not Windows 7 Home Premium.  Plus you get a 3G card (if that’s important.)   So for about $230 plus shipping, you will have a nice brand new good performing netbook with 2 Gb of memory, Win 7 Home Premium, and a 160 Gb hard drive.  If you have never owned a netbook before, you don’t know what you’re missing :-) .

One caveat – the included battery (three cell) is a lower capacity version, so battery life is an hour or two.  You can buy a six cell battery which would greatly increase time away from the AC outlet.

Get going and stimulate the economy!