Universal Netbook Car Mount Kit
OK, I'll come clean, unless your netbook has GPS fitted I can't actually think of a really good reason to buy a screen mount for it, but come on, it's a screen mount - for a netbook! Essentially a satnav mount writ large, the unit attaches to your windshield with the customary vacuum cup while the business end has a foam-lined adjustable grip that will hold laptops of up to 13in in screen size and 5kg in weight. Once installed it's surprisingly solid, allowing you to open the screen and use the keyboard but for the love of God, please don't use it while barreling down the outside lane of the M6. A smilar sentiment is repeated in big letters on the front of the user guide for the terminally stupid. The flexible gooseneck allows for a fair degree of movement so getting the perfect viewing angle is never a problem. When GPS becomes a more common netbook feature you will all want one.
Reg Rating 80%
More Info Ultimate Addons
Zoom 3G Modem
A netbook without mobile broadband is a bit like John Barnes' performance at the 1990 World Cup: a horrible case of unfulfilled potential. You could go to any of the major telcos for a dongle, but then you're stuck with their network and contract. So unless you are a heavy user and need an 'unlimited' data tariff, an unlocked dongle and a PAYG SIM is a better option since it will let you pick and chose your network as needs dictate. And this one's nice and cheap. Zoom's quad-band GSM/Edge, tri-band HSDPA modem supports speeds of up to 7.2Mb/s downstream and 5.76Mb/s up - not that you will ever see anything like those speeds in the real world, of course - and comes with a MicroSD slot good for cards up to 4GB in capacity. I tested the Zoom on the 3, Vodafone and T-Mobile networks and found it both reliable and easy to use. The embedded Windows and Mac software is rather good too, though like many combo 3G modem/Micro SD dongles, Ubuntu's network manager simply wasn't interested.
Reg Rating 85%
More Info Expansys
Ten Essential... Netbook Accessories
I don't get it
If you are adding accessories to your portable computer, won't it get less portable?
...which is of course much more likely to happen by the driver being distracted by the ridiculous contraption.
USB ports and packing all this stuff up
Okay; 3G Modem, Mouse, 8GB thumb, DVD Drive, bluetooth adapter. That's five USB slots....
Where the USB Hub "Essential?"
Lapdesk, Speakers/Soundbar... These are not "Essential."
Okay: $400 Netbook, $500+ of "Essential" netbook accessories. Then you suggest a case that doesn't even have space for all the accessories as being "Essential.".
I get the size factor of the netbook, but if you have to make all the additional purchases listed here, why not just buy a decent laptop for $900 and I'm sure they'll throw in a free case. If I had the time to break-down and pack the 9 "essential items (and a USB hub) in this review into a case to go on the road, I'd go insane.
Great product reviews and plugs for the various companies, though. But nothing on this list is "Essential."
That was my own and one of my fellow (equally technical) employees view after much testing on both customer returns (they were not happy that the two did not work together) and the brand-new units (to confirm). As a disclaimer I feel I should point out I am no longer working in retail and am in my own field (software engineering), and therefore no longer (not that I ever was personally - come to me and you got honest advice) biased towards selling better products.
If you noticed, there were a range of problems I mentioned, and of course we had firstly replaced the playback software and codecs.
Sounds like someone has a *major* beef with retailers...
...you should either stop believing your own (the companies?) sales twaddle or stick to the white goods section. I've never known any XP based Netbook to not play DVDs once DVD playback software (or more specifically, the DVD codecs) have been installed. Guess what, XP Netbooks will even do 1080p video too! And ANY productivity software you care to choose (albeit, in some cases, a little bit slower than a full-fat laptop). Not that the staff in a local major retailer will tell you that while simultaneously shuffling poor sods to the larger, higher priced (greater margin?) machines that they didn't really want further along the display.