What is a Netbook?
What is a Netbook? This is a question that most consumers have when they hear the term and it's easy to define in just one sentence:
"A netbook is a thin, lightweight (3 lbs or less), ultra-portable computer with a screen size of 12"" or less operating on an ultra low power processor."
If this sounds appealing to you then skip the rest of this article and head straight for the netbook reviews from Acer, Asus, HP, Lenovo, MSI and Samsung. You can also browse the bestselling netbooks section where I post monthly which ones do the best. If you want to know more about netbooks read below where I've further described what separates Netbooks from Laptops and Ultra-Mobile PCs (UMPC's).
Most netbooks use an Intel Atom chip; however, Via has released some processors that have been used in netbooks but they are not nearly as prevalent as Intel's Atom chip. Because most netbooks often use the exact same processor it's important to look at other differentiating factors when determining your purchase decision. Search our Netbook Reviews to find a netbook that fits your needs.
Most netbooks use a 3 or 4 cell battery but consumers have been pushing for larger battery sizes and as a result we're slowly starting to see more and more netbooks being shipped with 6 cell batteries preinstalled. The larger battery sizes add some bulk to the system so unless you won't have access to charge your netbook it's better to stick with the smaller 3 - 4 cell batteries to keep the weight down.
A vast majority of the netbooks (85%) have a 10'' screen or smaller. Pushing the boundaries of the netbook term are the recently released 12'' netbooks. The general consensus around the net is that even though 12'' seems a little too large to be a traditional netbook, companies are still releasing netbooks at that size and names have still stuck.
Most of the netbooks shipped in 2008 / 2009 have come with a regular 2.5'' 5400 RPM SATA drive. The early netbooks released by Asus in 2007 under the ubiquitous EEE pc family of products shipped with Solid State Drives (SSD's); however, most of these drives haven't proved to be much faster than traditional SATA drives and because of the space limitations of these SSD drives most manufacturers have opted to ship netbooks with SATA drives instead.
Early netbooks came with small cramped keyboards primarily due to their small case size (7'' screens). Many people didn't consider netbooks a viable option for full day computing due to the small keyboard size, but lately most manufacturers shipping netbooks with 10'' screens have keyboards that are 92% / 95% of the size of a full keyboard. This has gone a long way to change even the most staunch consumers that netbooks are a great option for lightweight regular computing.
Netbooks are here to stay. In the 2009 holiday season Netbooks topped Amazon's sales charts (browse best sellers by the hour here) and they are a much better option for most typical computer users that don't want to lug around a heavy laptop. Netbooks easily handle a lot of common computing tasks like; Internet, Email, Word Processing, Excel and Video so if that's all you need a computer for why spend $1,000 on a laptop when you can spend less than $500 on a netbook? Feel free to browse the website for user reviews of netbooks and if you own one already please contribute by writing a review on your netbook.
Last Updated Jan 25th 2010
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