You can speed up a slow netbook with some tricks. First, if it has single core CPU, install Windows XP and it will work much faster than Windows 7. Then, add more memory (RAM), at least 1GB for Windows XP and 2GB for Windows 7/8. If you have many active programs (bottom right), uninstall some you really don’t need, it will help much.
Here is the best part. Netbooks are shipped with ordinary hard disk (HDD) installed, but you can pull it out and put a solid state disk (SSD) to get enormous speed up! The big SSD’s are expensive these days, but you can buy cheap 64 GB or at least 32 GB SSD. This is enough for system and common programs, to store some personal data, but not for much videos, music and pictures.
The system and programs require about 7 GB space for Windows XP and about 15 GB for Windows 7. The rest is enough for documents, some images, even for few DivX movies and music. But you can buy external 2.5 inch HDD case and put HDD from netbook into it, so you can carry all of your data, copy images from camera on your vacation, put many videos etc… You can use it only when you come back to hotel or whatever, so you don’t need to carry it all the time.
With this tips you can really use your netbook for traveling almost like your home laptop.
Netbooks are very popular these days, even compared to tablets, because they can do much more, it is easier to type and you can install all programs like at home computer. But how to choose the right netbook? It’s not that easy.
The netbooks are made so small (usually 10.1 inch display) to give you mobility while travelling, so they have not much space inside to put all that is needed to be good as ordinary 15.6 inch laptops. The main problem is speed. Most of them has some Atom CPU’s (low power Intel processors) with embedded Intel graphics, working at arround 1.6 GHz. This is really slow for everything except internet browsing and office. Even Youtube video stucks on slow CPU and graphics. You can not later add a faster CPU, so it is very important to choose a dual core CPU! On a single core processor, it is recommended to install Windows XP because it is much faster and resource friendlier than Windows 7 or Windows 8. The loading of Windows and programs depends on CPU speed and hard disk speed.
Next important thing about netbooks is display size. While most of them has 10.1 inch LED display with resolution of 1024×600 pixels, it is much better if you can buy a 11.6 inch with resolution 1366×768 pixels. With that size, even the keyboard is little bigger, display is pretty good and all graphics can fit on screen. This is very important, as you can work on netbook without much trouble with constant scrolling left-right and loosing buttons at bottom of program windows.
Big capacity battery
Ordinary netbooks can work about 2-3 hours with standard power settings. Bigger screens and faster processors eat more energy, so think about what is the most important for you. Furthermore, bigger battery raises netbook 1-2 cm from surface, enabling much better cooling.
The netbook can get very hot and uncomfortable for use, you can even get skin burns. This is something you can not know until you try netbook, so if you have that option, use it at least 10 minutes with full CPU usage. For example, play some video and pack some big folder into ZIP. After 5-10 minutes, it will get as hot as possible and you can decide if you can use it or not. Never put netbook on some fabric because it can not suck cool air thru holes below, and it can burn motherboard and hard disk. Keep it good ventilated.
One more thing… using touch pad is not much comfortable, so take a wireless USB mouse with you.