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If you’re sold on Dell netbooks and want to buy one, this guide will tell you where to purchase your desired mini laptop.

Dell Netbooks: 5 Ways and Where to Get The Best Deals Ever
Buying Dell netbooks is relatively simple for a good reason: Dell sells its products including the netbook range directly to its customers via the telephone or its website. It does not matter where you are in the world (United States, Canada, UK, France, Australia and wherever you are). That’s on the Internet at Dell.com.

Offline aka in the real world, Dells has no stores like the Apple stores and so to shop for Dell netbooks, you have to go to the retailers that are authorized to sell Dell computers. You will come across some authorized stores that will try to sell you a Dell netbook but stay away. Yes, the price may be cheaper but what happens if your computer goes bust? You can’t take it to the retailer to fix because they cannot send it to Dell! But you may come across some stores that will offer their own warranties. (See: How to Find the Best and Cheapest Netbook Deals or our buying guide How to Buy a Netbook)

At this time of writing and if I am not mistaken, in the US (and most probably Canada), you can find Dell netbooks at Walmart, Best Buy and Staples if you are into offline shopping.

You can also find Dell netbooks online without going to Dell.com. You can for instance go eBay where you have individuals selling off their netbooks. In most cases, they will be used and sometimes you will find never opened boxes that probably “fell off the truck” and you can get them for a good deal. It’s a moral decision to make (buying suspicious stuff from eBay) and usually you usually are on your own when it comes to warranty.

If you head over to Amazon.com, you will see that there’s a small selection of Dell netbooks. That’s pretty normal because there aren’t many Dell netbook models anyway as I write this, there is only the Dell Mini 9 netbook. But you will also notice that Dell and not Amazon may sell these netbooks. That’s because anyone can sell stuff on Amazon including corporations just like people do on eBay. In that case, you’re better off going to Dell directly.

That’s about it. I can’t think of any other options. Sometimes you can find independent online or offline retailers who sell customized Dell netbooks. These computers will obviously be more expensive due to the extra touch. But if you really want a laptop that’s different from the one that comes out of the processing plant, this may be the way to go.

Are you aware of any other ways to score the best Dell netbook deals? Please share them in the section below. In the meantime, happy shopping!

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The netbook era will help the cloud OS movement spread its wings and fly higher. Cloud computing has not reached the mainstream yet and so if you’re not into web technology, you may be wondering what it is and what’s the big deal about it.

In this article, I will attempt to explain what it’s all about while leaving the jargon nonsense out.

Simply put, a cloud OS is an Internet based operating system. It means that the applications that you use to perform the different computing tasks that you need to do are Internet based instead of being on your desktop.

An example that will make it easy for anyone to grasp the whole cloud OS concept is email.

Most of us have a Hotmail, Yahoo or Gmail personal email account while at work we have an Outlook or other desktop based email client. You could say that Hotmail, Yahoo and Gmail are email cloud applications because the software (email client) and the data (the actual email messages) are stored on a cloud* (a metaphor used for the Internet) instead of your desktop.

With cloud operating system, other computing tasks beyond email such as document writing and file storing can be done over the Internet and so Microsoft Word in your computer is not needed nor is an external hard drive to store your data.

What does all this mean?

Well it means that your computer does not have to be that powerful and that you do not have to store everything on a physical hard drive because everything is stored on a server somewhere.

It’s the same principle when you upload your photos to Facebook or Flickr. While most people upload their pictures to such sites to share them with friends, some (me included) store them there because they would rather keep there than on a computer. In that case, they are always accessible no matter the computer used.

Cloud operating systems help out a lot because what you are doing is being on the Internet all the time. The only software that you load up from your desktop is your browser that you need to connect to the Internet to access all your web based applications such as email, photos, music, video and yes word editing (Google Writely or Spreadsheets or Google Calendar to name a few).

Cloud OS benefit netbooks because the netbooks do not need that much power to run the browser that controls the web applications. That’s why netbook manufacturers are adopting them en masse.

They can still include slow processors as long as they can run the browsers that run the cloud applications.

I hope that this makes sense for now. If you have questions, please feel free to drop me a line at the usual contact email address. 

*Photo: notsogood [in malaysia nov18-dec4th]

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Netbook naysayers like to tell us why it will be almost impossible to get anything done on these low priced and ultra portable laptops. They say that running some complex applications will be impossible. What they do not take into consideration is that if there’s a will, there’s a way: after all, the device does not have to adapt to software but software could adapt to hardware.

GigaOm put together an article showcasing some applications that can get any job done but do not require great processing power. Check it out at: 10 Ways To Trick Out Your Netbook for Free

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A Forbes article by Brian Caulfield entitled “Why Nokia Could Kill The Netbook” explains how the new Nokia N97 smartphone is going to stop the low cost laptop craze.

Five Reasons Why the Nokia N97 Smartphone Aint No Netbook KillerThe Nokia N97 and no other smartphone for that matter will be no netbook killer. Mr. Caulfield provides arguments that seem logical to someone obsessed with gadgets but in reality have nothing to do with the average person, the ultimate user of the Nokia N97 or any netbook computer.

1) Mr. Caulfield writes: “After all, the Nokia N97 and even Apple’s iPod Touch promise to do everything a netbook does with one key difference: You can actually slip these suckers into your pocket.

Who said that the average netbook user wants a mobile computing device that is that small?

I really think that everyone who writes about the netbook craze should first put his or her ear to the ground and figure out why people buy netbooks. 

People buy netbooks because they are cheap and portable versions of laptops. I will get into the price issue later but let’s talk about the portability now. A netbook is a mini-notebook. That’s what the average consumer is buying. He or she wants to do the basic computing tasks. Notice that I say computing. In his and her mind, a Nokia N97 is a phone with smart functions while a netbook is a computer that can do the basic tasks and still be portable. 

2)  If you own a smart phone, however, you will use it every day”, also writes the Forbes columnist. That’s a supportive argument to what the Intel executive said: “If you’ve ever used a netbook, it’s fine for an hour,” Stu Pann, vice president of sales and marketing at Intel, told investors at a Raymond James IT supply chain conference. “It’s not something you’re going to use day in and day out.”  (See: Intel Thinking Of Bailing Out of Netbooks)

Let’s make one thing clear. Mr Stu Pann meant that the netbook is not a computer that you can use all day, meaning that you can you could not for instance write a whole novel on a netbook as you would need a bigger and more comfortable keyboard and a wider screen.

All netbook owners are aware of this. If you had to run a poll, you will find that they do not use their low cost ultra portable laptops for intervals longer than an hour anyway. I still have to hear of netbook owners who do. And those who do, won’t mind anyway because they’re comfortable with it.

Saying that people would use the Nokia N97 is a little bit deceiving. Yes, they would have it in their pocket 24/7. But it’s not as if they will be actively doing even minor computing tasks like checking out Facebook (Robert Scoble dubs the Nokia N97, the ultimate Facebook device).

Does Mr. Caulfield really want to convince anyone that for example, a Nokia N97 user will spend all day crafting motivation letters to send to prospective employers? But, it’s more likely that the same person would do the same thing on a netbook.

3) Mr. Caulfield writes: “Putting the smarts of a computer, together with the Internet, into a pocket-sized device is the multibillion-unit market that Intel is scrambling toward. For Intel, netbooks are just a waypoint on that journey”.

If I understood correctly, he is saying that what computers can do so can smartphones (at least in the months or years to come).

Just because a smartphone can run a productivity application just like a netbook does not mean that people will want to write their autobios from their phones. What will happen and what is happening instead is that there are different types of apps being developed for the different devices.

For instance, I was reading the other day that in London, one of the bets selling iPhone app was an advanced police trap finder. Why would anyone want to use that on a laptop no matter how small?

4) The last quote from the article is: “And both Apple’s iPhone and Nokia’s smart phones boast hours of battery life.”

It depends. If you are going to watch movies on your iPhone mid-Atlantic flight, I doubt that you will make it to the other side with your device still on. I know that you could not really do the same with a netbook.

On the other hand, with some netbooks you can take notes from some university lectures all day and never need to be on the lookout of a power plug.

My point is that battery life in itself does not mean anything. It depends on what you need it for. You need long battery life on phones so that you can be reached all the time. You just need long netbook battery life to get you through what you need to do for short period of times (3-4 hours).

5) One think that tech insiders seem to forget is that netbooks and smartphones are different categories and the consumer (the person who actually dishes out his and her hard earn money) sees it as such.

To the consumer, a netbook is a cheap and portable laptop computer while a smartphone is a high end mobile phone.

A netbook is more of a necessity while a smartphone is a luxury.

I find that comparing netbooks and smartphones is like comparing buying a car to buying a bicycle.

The Nokia N97 is the Rolls Royce of mobile phones while netbooks are the cheapest and/or more portable brands of computers.

You can get some super expensive bicycles such as the ones used to ride the Tour de France and you can still get super cheap automobiles such as the Tata’s $2000 car.

A real smartphone user (such as the president-elect) is not carrying around a Blackberry, iPhone or Nokia N97 because they want an ultra portable computer. A real netbook user wants to save money on a computer and/or wants a computer that is ultra portable.

Saying that the Nokia N97 will kill netbooks is like saying that a Hyundai will kill the $20 000 bicycle because the Hyundai is cheaper.

The netbook will be killed by a cheaper/more portable and yet more powerful netbook or laptop. The Nokia N97’s job is to kill the iPhone and the Blackberrys and that’s will be quite a daunting tasks in its own as Nokia has been trying with all the N Series.

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Top Tech News reviews the Acer Aspire One A110 netbook and concludes: “Overall, the A110 will meet the needs of users who want a quick Internet access device. It is not really meant to be your primary workstation, but if you need to use the A110 extensively for more than one hour, it would be good to install Windows XP. “. Read the rest of the Aspire One A110 Netbook review

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In, Battle of the Platforms: iPhones vs. Netbooks, I mentioned a report that wondered who would come up on top. I have just read an interesting article that tackles the same debate and gives a bold prognostic: iPhone v Netbook for Gaming? It’s already over…

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Product Reviews alerts us on the Acer Aspire One A150-1672 pink netbook. I will admit that them saying that it makes a perfect gift for this holiday season is a pretty good idea that I will cheer on.

the main features on this cute netbook include Intel Atom N270 1.6GHz, 1GB, 160 GB (5400 RPM) SATA Hard Drive, 8.9″ WSVGA display, 802.11b/g, Webcam, Multi-in-one card reader, Microsoft XP Home, 1024 MB DDR2 (PC2-4200) RAM, 3 x USB 2.0,...” Acer Aspire One A150-1672 Netbook in Pink

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One of the biggest changes in the Mini 1035NR is the use of the ubiquitous Intel Atom N270 processor compared to the slower VIA C7-M. This gives it a significant boost of performance over the older 2133 Mini-Note and is more on par with similar 10-inch netbook offerings.”, writes About.com in the HP Mini 1035NR netbook review.

Read the full HP Mini 1035NR Netbook Laptop PC review

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The so called Nokia netbook is the N97. Now, I don’t think that it can be called a netbook or a netbook killer for that matter (See:Five Reasons Why the Nokia N97 Smartphone Ain’t No Netbook Killer) Check out the video below and make up your own mind.

Full news: Nokia N97 to be a social media PC

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I kept wondering where the Cyber Monday netbook deals were happening but it turns out everyone was fighting out at Amazon. If you check out the best-selling lists at Amazon, netbooks dominate the charts so to speak.

“Netbooks took seven of the top 10 spots on Amazon.com’s computer bestseller list by the end of the day Monday, with a few high-definition LCD monitors from Samsung and an Apple MacBook taking the remaining three spots.”, writes PC World via the IDG News Service. For more details, read: Netbooks Dominate Cyber Monday on Amazon

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