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Choosing the right Ultra-portable Laptop. HDD or SSD? Linux or XP?

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I am looking to purchase a ultra-portable laptop for school and at the same time I do not wish to spend too much. I have been looking around local computer stores and on the net.The Asus Eee Pc 901/1000/1000H with the new Intel Atom processor caught my interest; ultra-portable and long battery life. Its less than 3lbs and its perfect for me to bring it to to class with me. Because there are two different Drives(HDD or SSD) and OS(Linux or XP) to choose from, I do not know which combination would best suit my needs.

Here are the specifications:

Intel Atom 1.6ghz

1GB DDR2 SDRAM

80GB Hard-disk drive(HDD) OR 12-20GB Solid-state drive(SSD)

Linux OR Windows XP Home Edition

7-8hrs battery life. 5hrs for video playback

8.9'' screen

Should I go with HDD or SSD? I know HDDs will give me more storage space. However, HDDs are not as sturdy as SSDs. How about performance and power consumption wise?

Should I go with Windows XP or Linux? I know nothing about Linux but I wouldn't mind trying it.

Any comments or suggestions are appreciated. Thanks!

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well what would you be useing it for takeing notes in class? writing papers and web browsing?

there are + for both the os and hdd, im pretty sure if you go with the ssd you will get more out of your battery but at the expence of stroage.

As for the os it really just whitch one do you feel more comfortable with both are great OS's.

linux bening opensourse you will fine a lot for free programs on the web,

but if it was me i would pick the one with xp, if you get tired of xp and want to try linux you can allways download what ever distro you would like and install it on the Eee what. most of the linux distros are extreamly easy to use and configure and there are plenty of experienced linux users here so if you want to go the linux way there are many people that can help and answer your questions

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The basic stuff like taking notes, web browsing/researching, checking my email, listening to music, streaming videos, and doing my homework.

It shouldn't require much space anyway. So guess ill go with the one that is more expensive, the one w/ the SSD. There is a SD card slot available, I can get a 32GB SDHC card for additional storage. In terms of data writing, I hope SSD is fast and not time consuming.

Yeah, I should probably go with Win XP and if possible I can find a guide on dual-boot XP and Linux.

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I purchased the one with windows xp + ssd. My first impression was that it was lighter than I expected. The battery weighs more than the laptop itself. :P Since it is windows xp it took less than 45 seconds to boot up as opposed to the 5 min boot up on my core 2 duo laptop running on vista. In terms of battery life, it runs for around 7 hours with wifi on. I was able to install and play WoW on it..The video card is pretty decent but not high end. Lol this laptop is great. i would highly recommend this to any college student.

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Too bad you already got it, the Dell Mini 9 might have interested you, at a much cheaper price

http://www.anandtech.com/mobile/showdoc.aspx?i=3399

I might get one myself and give my current laptop to my sister. The main downside I find is the small hard drive, especially if I want to install Matlab (at least 510 mb), so I might want to upgrade to the 8 gb model. Do you guys think that XP or Linux takes less space on the hard drive, once all the programs are installed? 4 Gb is quite small, but then again I can remember my windows 95 pentium 2 which could not have a partition larger than 2 Gb  :grin:

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I knew about the dell inspiron mini 9 before I brought the Eee. I was comparing them before I decided. Sure the Mini 9 can be as cheap as $349 thats with less storage(4GB), half the amount of ram(512MB) and Linux. If you were to upgrade to 16 GB and 1GB ram with windows xp it would cost around the same as the Eee pc. When you weigh both laptops with their battery and ac adapters..the Eee weighs around 3lbs total and the Mini 9 weighs 6lbs. The Eee comes with a 6 cell battery. Whereas, the Mini 9 comes with a 4 cell. They both have the same integrated videocard. Eee's video card is 128MB and the Mini 9's is only 64MB.

Dell Inspiron Mini 9 - $449

Windows XP Home Edition SP3; 1.6GHz Intel Atom; 1,024MB DDR2 SDRAM 533MHz; 64MB Mobile Intel 945 Express; STEC 16GB SSD.

Asus Eee PC 901 - $499

Windows XP Home Edition SP2; 1.6GHz Intel Atom; 1,024MB DDR2 SDRAM 400MHz; 128MB Mobile Intel 945 Express; 12GB Phison solid-state drive.

I decided to go with the Eee even though it has less storage than the Mini because I can always change it to a larger ssd. But the integrated graphics cannot be changed. Oh, and the Mini 9 has a glossy display, making it kind of hard to see in a well lighted room. If you add bluetooth and built-in camera to the mini 9 it would cost the same as the Eee.

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