Netbooks like the Acer Aspire One, ASUS Eee PC, Dell Inspiron Mini, HP Mini, Lenovo IdeaPad, and MSI Wind are rapidly growing in popularity due to the amount of computer they pack into such a portable size at such a low price point.
One of the things that allows these devices to be so small is the absence of an optical drive. But with no DVD/CD drive, how are you supposed to install your software? There are a few ways to do it (e.g., see this support article), but they can be overly complicated for many users.
Most software still comes on a CD or DVD, but software companies are looking to alternate delivery methods to accommodate the growing number of computers without optical drives. Moving to downloadable software is one solution. It’s something we’ve been doing for a while with most of our add-on collections and books, and it’s something we’re considering for our base collections in the future.
Another option is to move to a smaller, more universal media format—and nothing is hotter right now than flash. The most popular and universal form of flash memory is the USB thumb drive. Every computer has a USB port. But thumb drives have the disadvantage of protruding outside of the computer, making them not a very good choice for long-term use; and they tend to be a tad pricier than other forms of flash memory.
For these reasons we’ve decided to start delivering a media-only* version of our base packages via SD cards. Most if not all netbooks have built-in SD card readers, and since the SD card doesn’t stick out, you can leave it in and run your books right off the card if you need the extra space on your internal hard drive or SSD.
We’re now selling 2GB and 4GB versions of our Media-Only SD Cards. If you purchase Christian Home Library, Bible Study Library, or Leader’s Library, you’ll need only the 2GB version. But if you think you might upgrade down the road, you might want to consider purchasing the 4GB version to give you the ability to expand your library without having to purchase an additional card later. Original Languages Library and Scholar’s Library (all three flavors) will need the 4GB version.
* “Media-only” means you’ll have to add it on to a base package purchase in order to unlock any of the included books.