Musings of an infosec nerd

Which netbook to entertain a 3 year old on a plane?

The Enemy family are of on our holidays this summer, and now that version 2.0 is 3 she is getting very hard to keep entertained. We have a 4 hour flight ahead of us, and who knows how long waiting around in departure lounges, and having Disney on tap would be a very good thingTM

Our first thought went towards getting a portable DVD player, a quick look on Amazon and we're looking at at least £100, and for that you only get 5 hours of playback. Next we thought, how about a tablet? iPad at £400 with only 32GB, no thanks. Android tablets are priced about the same.

For that amount of money I could get a kick ass netbook, maybe that's the way to go with this. It also means I don't have to lug 10 kilos of DVDs around with me as most come with 160 or 250GB HDD drives.

Much research later I have come down to the following 2 netbooks; the Acer Aspire One D260 and the Samsung D220.

Acer Aspire One D260

  • Intel Atom N450, 1.66GHz
  • 1GB RAM
  • 10.1" screen
  • 160GB HDD
  • 1.3Kgs
  • 5-6 Hour battery
  • Windows 7 Starter edition.
  • Wireless LAN, bluetooth blah blah blah

This seems to be the standard spec going for netbooks these days. In fact the only thing that these modestly priced netbooks have to distinguish themselves from each other  are the screen, HDD, keyboard and touchpad. The best price I could find for this model was a refurb from at £193.

Samsung N220

  • Intel Atom n450, 1.66GHz
  • 1GB RAM
  • 10.1" screen
  • 250GB HDD
  • 1.2 Kgs
  • 10 hour battery
  • Windows 7 starter edition, with a linux quick boot option.
  • Wireless LAN, bluetooth etc.

Once again, fairly standard spec, however a bigger HDD and a much better battery, and this is what is making me lean heavily in it's direction. On top of that it also has a matt screen that minimises reflections which should make it easier to look at in the sun, which hopefully there will be plenty of. Best price I could get this for is at at £243.

So there we have it, from a field on what seemed like hundreds of 10.1" Atom n450 powered 1.66GHz netbooks down to 2. The cheap and cheer full Acer which would be great if you could get between power points within 5 hours, and the more modest Samsung with more storage a "better" screen and huuuuge battery. I'm probably going to get the Samsung. Whichever one I go with I'll drop 2GB in it to help it along, but if anyone reading has any more experience in this area and would like to suggest anything else, I'm all ears.

Oh, and if either one of these, or another sub £300 netbook is better at running backtrack 4 r2 then that would be nice to hear about ;)

The personal blog of a UK based penetration tester