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Apr 19, 2009

What is a Netbook

A Netbook (InterNET and noteBOOK) is a class of Laptop computer
designed for wireless communication and access to the Internet. Netbook is primarily designed for web-browsing and emailing. Netbooks are gaining grounds on their compact design, slimmer looks and sleeker appeal.

Netbook is a Notebook computer with a low-powered x86-compatible processor (compatible with PC standard software), small screen (no larger than 10 inches), small keyboard, equipped with wireless connectivity, lightweight (under three pounds) and generally with no optical disk drive. They sometimes have Solid State Drives (SSDs) instead of Hard Disk Drives, which are lower capacity but have no moving parts and should, in theory, increase battery life and speed. Netbooks can run either Linux or Windows XP.
Why a Netbook

The obvious question is why should anyone buy a device with a smaller screen, slower processor, no optical drive when you can get a full-featured notebook?

When it comes to a portable computer, the things that matter to most are speed and convenience.A Netbook is more convenient because it is lighter, and it usually has a lightweight operating system. The processor itself isn't as powerful, but there's much less processing that needs to be done with Windows XP or Linux in order to be usable.

If we are just looking for a portable computer to take along with us while traveling, to check e-mail, chat on Skype, watch some Youtube videos, take some notes, then a Netbook is what we want. Where as if we're going to do intensive image editing, multimedia authoring, gaming etc then a Notebook/Laptopi is more suited for our needs.

Don’t confuse these low cost Netbooks with some of the sub-compact full featured Notebooks that are also out there. Sony, Dell and others also offer small lightweight Notebooks that have all the features of a full size computer in a tiny package but at a hefty price of $1400 and up. Some of these have plenty of power and features and up to 9 hours of battery life. These are real computers that are just packed into really small cases.
How does it compares to a regular Notebook

Let’s see the differences between a typical Netbook and a regular Notebook. Features of Dell Mini 9 Netbook are compared with a regular sized Dell Inspiron Notebook below:

Inspiron Mini 9
Proecessor: Intel Atom Processor N270
Screen: 8.9”
Weight: 5.9lbs.
Battery: 32WHr Battery (4 cell)
Processor speed: 1.6 GHz
Memory: 1GB DDR2, 8GB SSD Memory
OS: Windows XP Home
Options: Camera, Bluetooth
Cost: $299

Inspiron 1525
Processor: Intel Pentium Dual Core T4200
Screen: 15.6” Wide Screen, Optional Hi-Res
Weight: 2.28 lbs.
Battery: 6-cell battery
Processor speed: 2 GHz
Memory: 4GB, Disk 320GB
OS: Windows Vista
Options: Camera, Bluetooth, ext Bat, More mem
Cost: $699

Pros compared to a regular Laptop:
- Excellent portability due to small size and light weight
- Good enough for basic computer tasks
- Relatively low cost

Cons compared to a regular Laptop:
- Small screen/lower resolution, small keyboard due to small size
- Limited processing power
- Hardware upgrades can be more challenging
- Due to lower processing capabilities, size and cost, advanced features are less adopted (FireWire, HDMI, etc...)
Which Netbook to buy?

It seems that Initially Netbook category was lead by Asus, Acer, but today computer giants Dell and HP jumped into the race.

According to the the TOP 10 Netbooks are:
1. Asus EEE PC 1000HE
2. Acer Aspire ONE AOD150
3. Lenovo IdeaPad S10
4. Acer Aspire One (XP-Based)
5. Asus Eee PC 1000 XP
6. HP Mini 2140
7. Asus N10Jc
8. HP Mini 1000
9. Dell Inspiron Mini 9
10. MSI Wind U100

As with any purchase, you have to decide for yourself on what suits you best.

So go ahead explore the world of Netbooks and see if it's a better choice compared to a Laptop. While the Laptop market is declining in this economy, interestingly the Netbook sales are predicted to be on the rise.

A couple of useful resources:


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