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I'm looking at getting a netbook for the company I work for. I've got one picked out but the boss has heard that netbooks don't run office type software well at all. He's heard from other people that "kids love em, adults hate em." I have a laptop with 1.6 GHz processor and have no problems for over 3 years.

Have any of you ever noticed that netbooks aren't up to speed. Get it? Up to speed? Sorry.

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6 Answers

What netbook do you have in mind? What are it's specifications? Also, what type of office work would you do on it? Simple documents and spreadsheets, or enormous spreadsheets?

If you're content doing your work on a three year-old laptop, a new netbook would likely be fast enough for your needs.

If possible, go to a store that has the model you'd like on demo and open up MS Office and play around, see how quickly it responds, how comfortable you are with the screen size/keyboard size, etc...

Your boss might be dismissing it because of something he's heard from someone dissatisfied. It will be a lot easier to convince him if you can tell him you've played around with the one you'd like.

Also, look at reviews online for the model you're considering, they often have benchmarks that will help you gauge the general performance compared to other models.

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The primary issue will be screen size, followed closely by keyboard size and layout. By their nature, netbooks are compact which limits the physical sizes of the keyboard and display. My MSI Wind (1.6GHz Atom) runs Excel 2007 just fine, and even better if plugged into a normal size monitor.

Really large sheets, or large PowerPoint presentations might suffer from the less optimized audio and video handling on these small beasts, but for straight writing tasks at a customer site or other non-office location, they are pretty close to ideal.

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For what most people do with office, they work great. Most people do not have 200+ page documents, excel spreadsheets with 100's of line of code for calculations, etc. It all depends on the type of work, but they work for most people because most people do not use half of office suite features.

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Netbooks are basically a reinvention of the Internet Appliance concept from a few years ago (think original iMac) as a mobile device. The biggest difference being the much smaller screen size. They are specifically designed to handle basic office applications and internet browsing and should be suitable for the average business use.

Most people purchase one as an addition to their main computer, not as a replacement. This way you have the convenience the netbook affords by being small and light but you still have a more powerful computer for activities the netbook just isn't capable of handling.

Keep in mind that not all netbooks are running Windows. In fact, most started off running a custom Linux distribution and later offered Windows. Most these days are available with either Windows or Linux. The Linux based ones will be less expensive due to lower/no licensing costs. If you get one that is running Linux, expect it to ship with an alternative office suite instead of MS Office. Most likely OpenOffice.org or a web hosted office suite like Google Docs.

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Surprisingly yes Both my mom and I have an Asus netbook, 1.66 dual core, she has 1 gig of ram, i have 2, and it runs office 07 very nicely, nice startup time, and no major issues. PPT did lag for me while using a lot of sound but that was it.

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while MSO 2007 can be sluggish on these 1.6 GHz Atom CPUs, MSO 2003 is blistering fast. compatibility issues can be resolved with the compatibility pack.

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