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February 10, 2009

What's a Netbook?

Anyone who has been looking around for a new computer as of late has probably seen the growth of a relatively new class of computers, the NetBook. They are small, cheap, and portable. Sounds perfect right? Maybe not...

Many people are dazzeled by the low price (Dell's 9" Inspiron Mini starts at $249.99) so they may hurry into buying one without considering what they are actually buying.

The basic differences between netbooks and notebooks are:

  • Netbooks are smaller and lighter usually
  • Netbooks tend to have less RAM
  • Netbooks have a superior battery life
  • Netbooks have smaller hard drives
  • Netbooks have less powerful video cards

A netbook might be ok for you if you want to:

  1. Browse Websites
  2. Check your email
  3. View pictures
  4. Stream media from sights like YouTube and Hulu (non Hi-Def)
  5. Light word processing

Buy a standard notebook if you want to:

  1. Edit photos and video
  2. Stream Hi-Def video
  3. Don't want to carry an external drive around.
  4. Heavy MS Office work (mostly because the small screen size makes these tasks harder after long periods)

Are netbooks for everyone? No, but they absolutely have their place in the world. Would I buy one? I'd like to pick up one of the Dell Inspiron Mini's sometime. It would not be my primary computer, but I could definitely blog from it, and do a lot of my other day to day web tasks, and then remote desktop to my primary and do work if I didn't feel like going to my desk.

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