Netbooks Finale

This is my last installment on the topic of netbooks. Although it is not my choice, you have the option to install Linux as your operating system. The most popular edition or distribution of Linux is Ubuntu.

There are a number of accessories you can use with your netbook to make it easier. You should get a mouse. It can be a normal one, or better yet a Bluetooth mouse to skip the wires. There is a VGA port on the netbook that allows you to connect an external monitor. Be warned that this will be your second screen, not a replacement for the small screen that comes with the netbook.

The killer app for netbooks is Microsoft Office. You should minimize the ribbon if you are working with Microsoft Office 2007. You do this by clicking the small black box at the top of the screen. It will give you back a lot of screen real estate which is crucial on the small screen netbook. You can install Office on the netbook, or try the web version called Office Live.

There are alternatives to Microsoft Office that are compatible with the file formats. One example is ThinkFree which costs $50. A free alternative is OpenOffice. Google has an online alternative called Google Docs which is also free of charge.

You can use a small Outlook Express on your netbook to do email. However it it probably better to use a web mail site like Gmail to handle your email needs. The netbook keyboard can be small. But if you choose the 10 inch screen model, the keyboard will be almost as big as a laptop keyboard. When typing on a netbook, you should prop the thing up if you hold it on your lap. Use a book or pillow to do the job.

If I do purchase a netbook, I will share my hands on experience with you in the future.