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March 6th, 2010

HP Windows 7 Netbook with WiFi for $229.99

There are a lot of things a light, portable netbook can do for shooters. First, all your load data and shooting log info can be accessed while at the range. Second, you can run ballistics programs and download data directly from chronographs with PC connectivity. Third you can store or playback images and videos you take during shooting sessions — a valuable training aid. Use the netbook at your loading bench for instant web access to reloading databases such as Hodgdon’s Reloading Data Center. And of course, as with any Windows computer, you can run QuickLoad, the valuable tool for estimating load pressures and velocities.

This Editor has a 2.3-lb Samsung Go netbook, with 10.1″ screen. I love it. Because it is small and light (with excellent battery life), my netbook gets used 10 times as often as my regular laptop. The Samsung Go is a great netbook, but it costs over $400.00. If you can’t afford that, here’s a super-deal from eCost on a Refurbished HP Mini Netbook with Windows 7 OS.

Right now, for the next 4 days or so, you can purchase the refurb HP Mini 110 netbook for just $229.99. This 2.33-lb unit features a nice low-glare screen, 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270 processor, 160 gig harddrive, and 1GB of RAM. The Mini 110 comes with built-in 802.11b/g Wi-Fi for fast connection to wireless networks. If you’re concerned about durability you can add TWO years of warranty coverage for $74.99 (or 1 year for $59.99).

HP Mini Netbook

$229.99 (before shipping) is a great deal on a netbook. These are “recertified” units with 90-day HP factory warranty and available extended warranty. Many of these units are lease returns. Note, there is also a $239.99 version with a 250 gig HD, and a $264.99 version with built-in Mobile Broadband (Windows XP). IMPORTANT: These small netbooks do NOT include a CD/DVD drive. Programs must be loaded off a network connection, thumbdrive, or external CD player (extra cost).

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November 27th, 2009

Black Friday Bargains on Top-Rated Hardware

It’s Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year. That means there are some spectacular deals available out there on name brand electronics and optics. You can fight the crowds at the malls, or shop online from the comfort of your home. Here are some great deals we found on

Canon SX20-IS Digital Camera, $349.00
The Canon SX20-IS is an amazing still and video camera for the price. It takes still images up to 12.1 megapixels, using a 20X optical zoom. As you’d expect from Canon, it offers built-in image stabilization and outstanding color and contrast. But here’s what makes this camera special — it shoots HD movies in 16:9 (wide) format, plus SD movies in standard 4:3 format. And the movies are stored to an SDHC memory card, which you can easily transfer to your computer. Heck of a camera for $349.00 with FREE Shipping on
Canon PowerShot SX20IS 12.1MP Digital Camera with 20x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.5-inch Articulating LCD

Canon SX20-IS

Samsung 10″ Netbook computer, $339.99 (Windows XP)
This is the netbook used by your Editor. It has a very sharp screen and a battery rated for 9 hours. I’ve been able to get about 7.5 hours run-time from the battery. I really like this unit because it has a great keyboard (probably the best in class) and a rubberized shell that adds to durability. The built-in networking is excellent (it automatically logs on to nearby Wi-Fi hubs), and this computer isn’t stuffed with useless “bloatware” you have to remove. Note, if you want/need Windows 7, look for another brand, such as the latest Toshiba.
Samsung GO N310-13GB 10.1-Inch Midnight Blue Netbook – 9 Hour Battery Life

Samsung Go Netbook

Manfrotto 410 Geared Head, $196.99
If you have an expensive spotting scope, this geared head is well worth the money. It permits you to make precise elevation or tracking (horizontal) adjustments without getting way off target. With most tripod heads you have to fiddle with a bunch of controls to move the scope, but then it usually goes too far and you have to start all over again. With the Manfrotto 410 head you can move the viewing point smoothly, in very small increments. Want to raise your view up 1 MOA at 1000 yards, without touching the horizontal position? No problem. Once you get one of these geared heads you’ll wonder how you lived without it.
Manfrotto-bogen 410 Compact Geared Head with Quick Release – Supports 11.1 lbs

Manfrotto 410 Bogen 3275 geard head

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May 10th, 2009

New Windows Wireless-Capable Netbook for $239.99

A small laptop (netbook) has myriad uses for shooters. At home, use the netbook to record your load data, or access the web for factory reloading recipes. At the range, a small laptop can run a ballistics program, connect to your chronograph, provide weather data, or even display video from a target cam. Light and compact, the latest-generation netbooks are easy to carry in a range kit. And if you install GPS software (sold separately), you can even use a netbook for vehicle navigation!

Acer One Netbook Ballistics

5/11/09 UPDATE: We told you this was a great deal, and it looks like Amazon SOLD OUT at the $239.99 price. However they have similar deals starting at $259.99. CLICK HERE for current Acer Aspire One deals.

If you’re looking for a very inexpensive compact netbook, Amazon has a great deal. Right now, for just $239.99, you can purchase an Acer Aspire One AOA150-1029, 8.9″ Netbook with Windows XP Home, 1.6 GHz Intel Atom N270 Processor, 1 GB RAM, and a 120 GB Hard Drive. Weighing just 2.19 lbs. (one kilogram) this unit comes with WiFi connectivity, a memory card reader, and a Webcam. This machine can run all your favorite shooting software — ExBal, Excel, OnTarget, QuickLOAD — and you can even install GPS software. (NOTE: ALL software must be purchased separately). To get this special $239.99 price, with FREE SHIPPING, click the link below.

Acer Aspire One 8.9-Inch Netbook (1.6 GHz Intel Atom, 1 GB RAM, 120 GB HD, XP Home)

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March 21st, 2009

Add GPS Navigation to Your LapTop for under $100.00

Our recent review of the GPS-enabled Sony Vaio P netbook computer sparked interest among readers who wanted to add navigation capability to their own laptops. While the little Sony is a marvel of engineering, some readers pointed out that it’s more than twice as expensive as “netbooks” from Asus, Dell, Samsung and other vendors. But the Sony offers built-in GPS with turn-by-turn spoken navigation. That’s a very nice feature that lets your computer do much more than just exchange email or surf the web. Though the Sony is one of the few computers with built-in GPS, don’t despair… you can now add GPS Navigation to most modern portable PCs for under a hundred bucks.

Garming mobile PC GPS

Add GPS Capability to your LapTop for under $100.00
What can you do if you already own a Windows laptop or netbook without built-in GPS Navigation? Garmin has you covered. In 2008 Garmin introduced its “Mobile PC” software that comes bundled with a corded 20X Garmin GPS receiver. The software AND the receiver cost $99.95 (average ‘street price’). There is also a version with a cordless 10X Garmin GPS receiver that works with Bluetooth-enabled laptops and netbooks.

While most vendors charge about $100 for the Mobile PC software plus USB-attached GPS receiver, we found this package for just $76.38 at

Garmin Mobile PC Features
Packed with preloaded maps, millions of destinations and full GPS navigation capabilities, Garmin Mobile PC software turns your laptop into a powerful street navigator. The program provides spoken turn-by-turn directions from your starting point to your destination. It gives automatic corrections if you stray off course. You can upload custom points of interest (hotels, parks etc.), and even navigate to locations in your MS Outlook® contact list. Garmin Mobile PC automatically sorts multiple destinations to provide an efficient route for errands, deliveries or sales calls. A trip computer records trip data and a trip log provides an electronic trail, so you can see where you’ve been on the map.

Benefits of PC-based Navigation
Right now you can buy an Asus or Dell Netbook for under $300.00. Add the Garmin Mobile PC GPS package and you’re still under $400.00. That’s less than the cost of many aftermarket vehicle GPS navigation systems by themselves. And the computer offers a bigger screen AND the ability to update weather information and hotel reservations via a Wi-Fi connection (Wi-Fi service must be purchased separately). Plus, with a portable PC, you can access on the road!

LEARN MORE: Read Review of Garmin Mobile PC

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