Consumer Reports Misses the Mark on Netbooks

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Consumer Reports Misses the Mark on Netbooks
I'm a big fan of Consumer Reports magazine, having been a subscriber for many years. However, when it comes to computers, their reports often disappoint. The review of netbooks in the June 2009 issue is such a case in point.

There are three reasons people buy netbooks: portability, price, and Windows XP. Nowhere does the article mention that netbooks run Windows XP Home Edition rather than Vista. Certainly the familiar environs of XP play a part in the popularity of netbooks. For many, XP is what they know and they want to stick with it. Vista is very different and not everyone wants to undergo the learning curve it entails. At retail, netbooks are the only machines offering XP.

There is a factual error regarding Internet access. The article says that without 3G communications "you'll need a Wi-Fi connection to get online". In fact, every netbook includes an Ethernet port.

The Asus Eee PC 1000H on the cover of the magazine has a left and right mouse button under the trackpad. Nowhere does the article warn that some netbooks place the buttons on each side of trackpad or that others have a single bar under the trackpad rather than two distinct buttons. I think its fair to say that two buttons under the trackpad is the best approach.

While Asus giveth, they also take away. The 1000H also has a glaring deficit. If you look closely, you'll see that the right shift key is in the wrong place. No one knows why. Touch typists probably couldn't use the machine.

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