I know I'm late to the netbook party here. I've wanted them, sure, but I never figured they were worth the money and fell short on too many tasks. Well, I was right about that, but with our upcoming European vacation, I found a gap it could fill: semi-disposable computer to keep our photos and videos organized and properly backed up, when I wouldn't care all that much if it got lost or stolen.
Everything you've heard is true. The keyboard is cramped, the trackpad is too small. The processor is very slow, it lags in simple tasks. But, it'll do the job.
I did have an inner conflict. I wanted to use Ubuntu Netbook Edition, since it was made for small screens. I loaded it on without much difficulty, and it worked amazingly well for most tasks. It did fall way too short on being able to work with video from our little camcorder we're taking along with us. So, I decided to try loading OS X to ensure proper compatibility with our iMovie and iPhoto libraries.
My netbook, the Lenovo S10 is actually prime Hackintosh material. Loading OS X was no problem at all, along with the card reader, wifi, sleep, and all USB ports. The webcam and inner mic, however, do not work. They worked fine in Ubuntu, which sort of makes me want to partition off a part of the drive to use with Ubuntu.
I bought this netbook on eBay, used, for pretty cheap and they included a 9-cell battery, on accident I think. So this little guy gets about 6 hours of battery life using OS X for simple web browsing, which is kind of nice.
The few attempts I made at fixing my audio issues resulted in completely crashing the setup and having to install from scratch, so I've given up the dream of making it all work. It does what we need it to to get us through our trip, and that's enough.
If anything, this crappy netbook reminds me why I love Apple and OS X so much. I hate having to deal with drivers, incompatible software and hardware, constant restarts to make sure things are working. With my Macs, it all works, all the time. With my netbook, I've been through Windows XP, Windows 7, Ubuntu and now OS X. Some things work, some things don't. It's ironic that the software that works the best for it was never meant to be loaded on in the first place.