What to Consider When Buying a Netbook Computer
Netbook computers are the hottest item in mobile computing and rising
in popularity every day. After all, they are ultra portable, ideal for
mobile users, and inexpensive. But can a Netbook replace a larger 17-
inch laptop? Before you ditch your larger laptop in favor of a Netbook,
make sure you fully understand the pros and cons of these small laptop
Pros of Netbook Computers
If you’re tired of lugging your heavy laptop to and from school, work,
and travel destinations, a Netbook computer is much more portable.
These small laptop computers weigh about two pounds and measure
anywhere from five to thirteen inches. With one of the smaller
Netbooks, you can easily tuck it into a purse or small backpack and it
won’t weigh you down.
Netbooks are designed with the Internet and cloud computing in mind.
Thus, these small Netbook computers do not need a great deal of power
or huge hard drives. In fact, many small laptop computers lack a
traditional hard drive, relying instead on SD cards or solid state
Checking e-mail, browsing the Internet, and accessing Web-based
applications are the primary purposes of Netbooks and Netbooks perform
these tasks with ease. If you travel a lot and want a small portable
computer for staying in touch and accessing the Internet, Netbooks fill
You can’t beat the price, either. Netbook computers computers are an
inexpensive alternative to pricier laptops. They are perfect for
students and computer users on a budget. Netbooks also tend to rely on
free open source and Web-based software which also keeps expenses in
Cons of Netbook Laptop Computers
While small laptops have many advantages, they also have a few cons
that you should be aware of before retiring your desktop or laptop
computer. While the smaller size of Netbooks is an advantage as far as
portability goes, it is also a disadvantage for regular computer use.
Keyboards are cramped and screens are tiny. If you spend more than an
hour or two each day with computers, Netbooks may not be the best
Many Netbooks use open source operating systems such as Linux rather
than the more familiar Microsoft Windows. Fans of Linux see this as a
plus. However, if you are unfamiliar with these alternative operating
systems, you will have a learning curve to overcome.
Small laptop computers do a fine job at what they are designed to do:
provide access to e-mail and the Internet. But they fall short for
users who want more out of their computers. If you want to edit videos,
write a book, analyze spreadsheets, and other more complex tasks,
Netbooks will disappoint. If you want to install large programs such as
Microsoft Office on your Netbook, you may not be able to due to limited
storage capacity or operating system compatibility.
While Web-based applications are available, if your Internet access is
unreliable, you won’t be able to access these applications as needed.
In addition, file extensions used by open source or Web-based software
may not be fully compatible with the applications that you normally
Should You Buy a Netbook Computer?
Small laptop computers have their place and are ideal for certain types
of computer users or as secondary computers for those who want to stay
connected while on the road. Carefully evaluate your needs as well as
how you use your computer. If you simply want a basic mobile pc and
don’t want to spend a lot of money, then small laptop computers may be
the perfect choice.