I have an Acer Aspire One netbook which came pre-installed with Windows 7 starter and an Android partition.
Within a few days of having the netbook I decided to get rid of both and via a bit of distro hopping which included Ubuntu and Fedora I ended up with the brilliant Bodhi Linux which for me is the perfect distribution for running on netbooks due to it being lightweight and flexible.
There are occasions when it would be handy to have Android running on the netbook however and so I found myself scouring forums working out how to get a version of Android back on the netbook.
There are two or three reasons why having Android available is useful.
- There are Android apps that are either useful or quite fun that are not available elsewhere.
- Android is incredibly lightweight and loads very quickly making it possible to get online very quickly.
- Battery life lasts forever.
There are also reasons why Android is painful on a netbook such as the lack of scroll bars. This is because Android has been built for tablets and mobile phones with touch screens.
There is also an issue that some apps cause the screen to rotate and if you didn’t realise this before turning off the auto rotate option then it is awkward finding the way to rotate the screen back to normal and to also turn off that option. The mouse ends up working the opposite way to how you would like it.
Another problem is that the web pages tend to want to load the mobile versions as opposed to the full versions of sites. Again this is because Android is developed for mobile computing.
All in all I have come to the conclusion that my original decision was the right one and that removing Android from the hard drive was worthwhile.
There are apps that I want to run however that are specific to Android so I have installed it to a pen drive which I can boot as and when I need it.
Initially I tried writing this article using Android but it was very problematic. The scrolling was a nightmare and then the browser kept typing all my commands into the search bar rather than the editor.
So Android for a netbook. Good idea? Not really, unless you have a touch screen one and a really good reason to do so.