Author Options:

What accessory or attachment, that doesn't exist today, would you love to see in your dream netbook? Answered

Asus, a sponsor of Instructables, has put together WePC where they are asking for input on their next generation laptops. As part of their sponsorship, they've asked my opinion on various aspects of laptops. Most recently What accessory or attachment, that doesn't exist today, would you love to see in your dream netbook?.

Here are two things I would love to have integrated into a netbook: internal power adapter and standard wireless accessories.

I don't think anyone really carries a netbook to cafes, on airplanes, or wherever and cavalierly leaves their power adapter at home. Some people don't even leave without their phone's power adapter -- the risk to reward ratio is just too great. So, with lower power consumption and better power management of netbooks, I'd like to see one with an integrated power adapter. It should plug directly into 120 VAC with an integrated cord, or use a standard power adapter cord. Just because people are used to having a separate power adapter, doesn't mean it's the right thing. Once one manufacturer does it, the rest will need to follow suit.

A netbook is great for carrying around and working, but eventually most users will take it home or to the office, and want to use any number of accessories that make their work more comforatble: external keyboard and mouse, second monitor, USB headset or microphone, cell phone cable, etc... Both at home and at my office, I have USB hubs setup to handle all the things I need to plug into my laptop. The cables are ugly, collect, dust, and get in the way. I preferentially buy wireless devices when possible, but they still require a USB port for their receivers. My dream netbook would wirelessly pair with my peripherals through Bluetooth or some other standard, leaving my USB ports free for stuff that really needs them.

What's your dream accessory? Let me know here, and leave a comment or idea on WePC. If it's good enough, they just might make it...

Finally, I'd like to know what you have thought about this Asus campaign. If you would be kind enough to take this survey, I would really appreciate it. Comments here are also good. Thanks!


- Bluetooth - Some Way to use it as a cellphone - Wirless N - USB 3.0 - 200gb+ HDD - Touch Screen - Linux Operating System - Tough so I can whack someone with it.... - Spillproof - Quiet - Touch Keyboard ? - Onboard GPS ? - Built in Cellular Capabilities - LONG lasting Battery 20hrs+ - Low Cost - HDMI - Sound outputs/inputs - Stylish and original....

touch screen keyboard is not very good.... i usually keep a couple fingers resting on keys while i'm typing

For myself, as long as it had speed and memory capabilities above average, AND had a really decent sized HD, I would want software / OS capabilities built in: Like dual boot Linux / Windows; and lots of security tools built in.

Most netbooks have 1GB RAM/160GB HDD, but you can upgrade the RAM to a 2GB max and you can upgrade the HDD of course. Plenty of people have dual-booted on netbooks; I've even see Windows 7/OS X/Ubuntu 8.10 triple booted on an Eee PC.

Well, Like I said, I don't have any experience with them, so I probably should not have commented. The last portable I had was a 286 laptop given to me by my place of work, since it was being replaced with a much better machine at the time.....this was awhile ago :-)

I don't have any experience with them, soI probably should not have commented.

If you ever say that again, I will flag you ;-)

I just thought I'd let you know; netbooks aren't exactly desktop replacements, of course... But I've been researching them for about a month now; I'm getting one to replace my 512mb RAM/60GB HDD/2.0ghz Pentium 4 xD

Which half of that sentence do you consider flag-worthy :-) The not having experience, or the should not have commented portion?

Both. The lack of experience is the biggest lie I've heard in my life, and the "should not have commented" is the most blatant breach of Kiteman's law I've seen to this day. You should be ashamed of yourself.


Well, the not having experience with anything smaller then a laptop and newer than the 80286 laptop, is not a lie, really. The last one I held in my hand and used for awhile was the 286. And DOS was still king ;-)


9 years ago

OLED screen A long, long battery life An integrated solar panel in the lid

Why, of course a giant laser baem!

An internal power supply with multiple input voltages for the traveler e.g. 110VAC, 240VAC and possibly 12VDC


9 years ago

I just received a netbook today. I'll be using it a lot over the next few weeks and will get back to you!


9 years ago

My laptop spends most of it's time docked to a full-sized keyboard and mouse with big flat-screen display. The convenience of the laptop (or netbook) format only comes into play "occasionally." (this may make me atypical.) I'd like to see easier "docking" to such a desktop setup, and/or better interaction with a desktop environment. Right now, the best of the laptop docs require a laptop-sized spot of (rare and valuable) desk space. How about something vertical, perhaps something that could be mounted on the legs of the desk, or behind the flatscreen display? Less important is solving the sacrifices of a netbook when docked. I'd like a "dock" environment that pulls me up to the performance levels currently seen only (mostly?) in desktops: four or more CPUs 4G+ RAM, zippy graphics engine. This would probably mean that the docked netbook would be little more than the system disk for the desktop (which would be "matched" to the laptop to be able to use the same system install.) I don't know whether the economics would work out well, though.


9 years ago

How about a wicked audio system? :D

I would love to have a plasma speaker in a netbook, that would be sooo cool looking

. Loud music (especially bass) = big batteries. :(

Via Mobile-ITX, with Linux on a 4G micro SD (instead of a HDD), copy to RAM on boot. Everything should fit in 15 sq. in. looking at it from the top, leaving TONS of room for Li-Po battery... and a built in power brick. The case is grade 5 titanium, AND is the heatsink... it's pressed right up against the mobo, so no fan is required. You could also seal the case, so waterproof, and grade 5 titanium is TOUGH. OLED screen and lighted keyboard. You could also make this 1/2 inch thick... I'd like to see Apple beat that one. Wired I/O ought to be minimal, but it should have built in wireless everything... 802.11n, bluetooth, W-USB, the whole mess. The part that would be really expensive is the titanium, so maybe we should just make do with aluminum...


9 years ago

Anything we plug into a laptop should be recessed. (I've repaired too many laptops that were moved with something sticking out of them. When the sticky-out part gets hit... well, it is kinda like getting hit on the pencil in your mouth; the damage is... intimate.) Flash drives, etc. should be recessed. Additionally, any cords attached to a laptop should be by "breakaway" connections. When some heavenly body passes near enough to become attracted, the cord should pop off instead of inducing the laptop to leap to the floor.

More security features would be nice...out of the box encryption and the like. More fancifully, a solar panel (possibly that unfolds, or has an additional slid out panel) on the back of the monitor would be nice. It's wasted space right now.

I would like a universal serial adapter. Not usb, but pins. So that monitors, video game controllers, printers, networking cables, etc would all fit. Not sure if that's even possible though.

I fear pins are incredibly old school, now new devices are made with pins just about....

I know they're old school, but I just can't bring myself to throw away perfectly good equipment.

*shrugs* Donate, give it away, take it apart and make something !

the more various types of connectors, adaptors etc... the bigger the laptop and net books are designed to be light, and portable, so you can surf the interwebs wherever you want

Yes, but I'm speaking of one adapter that would work with any device using a pins connector.

you could probably find some on ebay, but support would be crap

The VAIO P has something along those lines, it's a dock connector which can carry (IIRC) VGA out and ethernet with the relevant adaptor.

OoooOOo! I have an old laptop with a dock...I wonder if it would work similarly...

No, I mean more like an adapter for the stuff that dosen't have a usb end. Older things that have huge honkin' serial connectors. So I don't have to buy new stuff/hack the cords on all my old stuff. :D

There are serial to USB adapter cords, I believe.

I suggest, making it more like a super portable computer,

  • Pocket sized, so i can easily be taken around
  • A Touch screen, so there is not ultimate need for a keyboard
  • A decent battery life 16 hour plus
  • A simplified OS with a good info structure, and support for easy to create programs
  • Easy to sync with a primary desktop machine

</description of my iPod Touch>

Not being really "into" music or games, the only things that attract me to the Touch are internet browsing and photo-store. How does it compare to, for instance, the Eeepc?

The internet is really bad on an ipod touch.

Not into music?? :'( Going through life without music is, as they say, like going through the desert without water.

Oh, I listen to music, but I don't have hundreds of albums and thousands of downloads like some people do.

Well, the actual spec of an iPod touch is, 400mhz cpu, 128mb ram, and a very good built in on chip graphics. Your best bet, would be to pop into a shop where you can have a play. If you want to access the internet alot, or quickly, but dont want to carry around your mini laptop, its worth a look. Eg i wake up in the morning, quickly download my latest emails, and check them while i wait for my life. Lift arrives, i pocket the touch. carry on with my day.

That's what I do, I wake up (it's my alarm), check my email, check facebook and do a little light surfing while i have breakfast. I really don't have any reason to have my laptop on anymore.

A neon thing on the back of the lcd screen, that you can custom order from the company what it says, and it goes there! Like the apple on a macbook, but you cutomize it!

Integrated GFX. But Intel turned down NVIDIA's Ion (specifically made for netbooks) last month :( Still, I'd love it. Also, bigger keyboards. Even if it means an 11" shell with a 10" screen... The keyboard on my friend's Eee PC 900HA is cramped IMHO. I'm gonna have to second LinuxH4x0r's backlit keyboard idea... I use my laptop in the dark a lot. His "cameraphone as a mouse" sounds cool too, I'd imagine that would work through some bluetooth interface? And if you could keep it all under $500 that'd be great ;-)