Netbook recommendations sought

So I’m considering finally entering the modern age with a netbook. I want a 64-bit capable Atom based N450 or N475+ system, to which I will add my own SSD (something that actually is known to work with “TRIM” and not just claims to, and not whatever it may come with). I intend to run Fedora on it, for development purposes, so there’s no point in looking to Android or other environments. It’ll be solely for ease of hacking, battery life, etc. It’ll probably run Rawhide and test kernels, etc. I have a shiny laptop for the times when a shinybook is required to fit in at the coffeeshop.

I’ve seen the more interestingly unusual stuff from Nokia and friends, but it’s pretty much come down to a choice between ASUS and Acer (apologies to the Dell Mini). I don’t need built-in 3G, nor WiMAX because in the US those are not sane and sensible choices at the moment. I think, on balance that the ASUS Eee PC 1015PED is probably the best choice right now, over the Acer Aspire One. The Acer does offer the same kinds of things, but the reviews aren’t treating it as nicely and the ASUS has a reasonably long line of heritage by now. So I think it’s basically the ASUS…but this post is intended to catch the case that I’m missing something very obvious.

Anyway. I’ve seen the Fedora wiki pages, various Google feedback on the ASUS, and I also know how to use the Internet :) So I don’t need generic advice of the form: “hey, look at this webpage blah blah blah”, nor do I care if I need to compile some driver or do something on a unit that will already be for hacking anyway. What I would like is a few specific, personal recommendations of the form: “yep, I have that and it’s a great choice”, or “I have this and find it better because…”. Jeremy bought one of the older Acer Aspire Ones, so that’s an interesting data point. You out there in Fedora land, what are you running right now in the way of a netbook?


8 Responses to “Netbook recommendations sought”

  1. Jeremy Katz says:

    I bought one of the older Acers because they were just becoming available and needed to get some hardware to play with, not for any deep, meaningful reason :) So I wouldn’t use that as an indicator one way or the other.

  2. Chris says:

    The Samsung NC-10 and HP Mini Note are notable for having relatively large keys, unlike the Eee line.

  3. Johannes Christenson says:

    My wife is running fedora on her Acer One (the first model, can’t remember the version number right now) and it works really well after raising the memory to 1.5 GB and putting in a faster (and slightly bigger) SSD.

  4. Luca Botti says:


    I agree for the NC-10 – good as it gets, but, for netbooks as a general, you will find they are too low spec for mostly everything (screen resolution being a major issue).

    I just replaced my NC-10 (still on sale, but 32 bit only if interested) with a 11,6″ Acer 1810TZ. Nearly as small, but more powerful. Not the Atom madness.

  5. Jan Vlug says:

    I have a ZaReason Teo Netbook, which I recommend. I got it with Fedora 13 pre installed. I like the fact that they are a dedicated Linux only company:

  6. James says:

    I got an N450-based Aspire One 532 (from Sainsbury’s!) a couple of months ago. Works perfectly with Fedora. The G31-based VGA gets complaints from Windows users, but for Fedora it’s great.

    Two issues: Acer say it’s not expandable beyond 1 GB of RAM, and the BIOS disables XD,

  7. Peter says:

    Having had people query me about this sort of thing alot due to my involvement with Fedora Moblin/MeeGo and Sugar on a Stick I have found most netbooks to be pretty well supported except wifi. The EEEs usually have a rt2860 chipset which isn’t well supported at the moment in Fedora (not tested F-14/F-15 rawhide recently though. The Acer on the other hand generally uses Atheros wifi so works pretty well. The rest comes down to personal choice and that usually revolves around whether you like the keyboard or trackapad.

  8. mat says:


    got a aspire one from Acer.(model with hard disk)

    When I bought it (more than one year ago), there were positive linux review on it.
    Nevertheless, the review mentionned atheros wifi and mine came with a broadcom wifi (-> proprietary driver, argh)
    Come with a intel video card. Since F13, compiz now work great.
    Battery is ok. Report of battery life was not working well with F12 but it has been corrected.
    recent vlc can now show a video fullscreen on it.
    The bad news is that power saving is completely messed up.
    With F12, sleeping to disk was ok, sleeping to ram was not working (no screen at return time and no error message)
    With F13, it sleeps in both case but resume is somehow broken and can lead to corrupted memory (it’s not broadcom fault, I can replicate withtou it). Also it has always tried to go sleeping when unplunging the power cable, which is very strange….

    If you don’t mind this and the small keyboard, it’s still very useful.

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