Aug 31

OSx86Before you start do install Mac OS X on a Netbook there is the issue of hardware and Operating System distribution that needs to be settled.

In this post I go over 1) Hardware Compatibility, 2) Screen Size & Resolution, 3) Keyboard Layout, 4) Price, and 5) Touchpad. There are the 5 things that were most important to me.

Issues I considered in selecting the hardware

1. Hardware Compatibility — I started with the boingboing chart from their Mac OS X Netbook Compatibility Chart blog post. I read through a lot of the 300 plus comments to see what issues there were with different Netbooks and to see how people were dealing with thyem.

The chart is currently not up to date but the information in the comments indicate that the Dell 10v hardware works 100% with Mac OS 10.5.x.

2. Screen Size & Resolution — This was a pretty easy decision. I like a lot of screen real estate so I decided against the 9″ screens right away. The questions was 10″ or higher. Most Netbooks are 10″ so the decision to go with 10″ was pretty easy.

You also want to consider the resolution that the screen can do. 1024×600 is pretty standard so this was an easy decision.

3. Keyboard Layout — This is one area where I wasn’t willing to compromise. A lot of Netbooks have put two keys where the Enter key normally is. This means when you reach over with your left pinkie instead of getting the left side of the Enter key you get the PIPE/BACKSLASH key. Also the placement of the arrow keys and whether there are dedicated F1-F12 function keys should be an issue.

4. Price — Prices for Netbooks range from $229 for a refurbished 8.9″ HP Mini to $469 for the 10.1″ Toshiba NB200-002 so this is something you have to consider.

5. Touchpad — Some Netbooks I have looked at have what I would consider a very poorly designed touchpad. Even though I plan on using a wireless mouse there will be some times that it won’t be convenient to pull out the mouse. So this is something that you have to take into consideration also. The best way to make sure you are comfortable with the touchpad is to try using it for a while.

The higher price is many times the extras you get like 6-cell or 9-cell battery, built in GPS, built in GSM modem (WWAN), built in Bluetooth, upgrade to 2GB of RAM, Card Readers, and SSD drive.

Dell Mini 10v Netbook

I ended up selecting the below Dell Mini 10v Netbook for $331.

Dell Mini 10v Netbook

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