Are netbooks such a great deal? Compare carefully before you buy!

By | February 20, 2009

If you’ve already spent your stimulus checks or your vouchers, that’s a pity. There are some great deals to be had if you bide your time, keep your wallet closed, and your eyes open! Many well-known retailers, online and offline, are now on various kinds of perpetual sale as they try to prise every dollar out of their customers’ pockets that they possibly can.

For tech-loving people, this makes some decisions quite difficult. Why? Let me explain. Recently I bought an Acer AspireOne, one of the brand new breed of inexpensive ‘net’books, fully-featured PCs in small form but minus some of the carbuncles that come with regular notebooks. The deal? Less than US$500.00.

The problem? The deal sounds pretty good. Well, these days new, refurbished, and end-of-line models of full-powered notebooks can be even more affordable. Take this IBM Thinkpad T43 with 512mb ram running XP, albeit with a smallish hard disk. It is refurbished, but highly affordable as a notebook. The price, not even $300.

thinkpad t43

Or how about this Toshiba Satellite A215 series with 2GBs of RAM, a dual core chip, DVD Burner, and a 250GB drive for just under $700. And it’s running Vista Home Premium. That’s a lot of extra value for just $200 more than I paid for my netbook: bigger screen, dvd burner, big drive, much faster chip, …

toshiba t215

It’s becoming difficult to justify paying nearly $500 for a netbook, when there are more powerful, more fully featured alternatives at eye-watering prices? For manufacturers, perhaps it’s time for them to reconsider what they are putting into a notebook or netbook.