What is a Netbook and Could You Use One?

  • Comments: 17
  • Written on: June 6th, 2009

Netbooks are the latest arrival on the computing scene and are rapidly gaining popularity and acceptance among serious computer users.  In fact, there are reports that even Apple who one said netbooks were “junky” is bowing to the pressure to enter the netbook game.

What is a Netbook?

Basically, netbooks are miniature laptop computers.  They have screens that range from 7.5 to 10 inches, small keyboards, wireless capability, and often don’t come with CD drives.

Netbooks are designed to be small, light and run a LONG time on a small battery.  For example, Schrock Innovations carries the Asus netbook line in our Computer Service Center.  These netbooks weigh in at less than 2 pounds, last 5-6 hours on a single battery charge, and have enough power to run Windows XP or Windows 7 comfortably.

Why Would Anyone Want a Netbook?

Netbooks are primarily designed for two user groups.  If you travel and you want the ability create documents, check email, and browse the Internet on a normal web browser (as opposed to a mobile browser) the netbook is designed for you.

For this user class the netbook fills the gap between smartphones and laptop computers with a device that can be slipped into most glove compartments or purses.

Secondly, netbooks are designed for people who have a standard desktop, but don’t have a need to spend $700-$900 for an entry level notebook PC.  Netbooks are priced between $299 and $499, so they offer an inexpensive alternative to their larger notebook brothers.

The idea is that if you only plan on using the unit occasionally, the small keyboard and lack of a CD drive won’t impact you because you will use your desktop for anything serious you want to accomplish.

Can A Netbook Be A Primary Computer?

Yes, netbooks can be used as the only computing device in your household as long as you do not do anything more advanced than internet, email, and solitaire.

Most netbooks have a VGA connector for an external display and at least 2 USB slots that could be used for a wireless keyboard and mouse.  With these devices you could use the netbook as a primary computer.

Which Should I Buy?

So with this new kind of computer on the market which type of unit is best for you?  That all depends on what you want to do.  Here is a basic guide that can help you decide:

Choose a Netbook for:

  • Internet
  • Email
  • Very Basic Games
  • Light Productivity Use (Word, Excel, etc..)

Choose a Laptop For:

  • Internet
  • Email
  • Intermediate Games
  • Home Office Productivity
  • Digital Photography
  • Light Video Editing

Choose a Desktop For:

  • Internet
  • Email
  • IAdvanced Gaming
  • Home Office Productivity
  • Digital Photography
  • Advanced Video Editing
  • Specialized Applications or Activities

What do you think? Join the discussion...

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