Posted by: sClarke | 06/28/2009

Pros and Cons of Netbooks

Okay, netbooks, what’s the big deal?  They’re mini laptops designed specifically for wireless communications and access to the internet.  Netbooks are primarily for email and web-browsing.  They come with a limited amount of features, performance, and a small hard drive.  I’m not considering purchasing one but I was just curious if they’re actually worth the money they’re priced at.  So let’s get talk business.

netbook

Pros:

– They’re relatively cheap, they run from about $200 – $1,000.  Obviously, the more money that’s spent on one will up the netbook’s performance.  But, why pay the same amount for a netbook as a laptop, especially when the laptop is meant for other things than just serving the net?

– Portability and a slight ruggedness factor. This makes them great for those who are looking for second laptop to use as a ‘getaway’ laptop.  Just grab and go.  They’d be easier to toss into your bag before heading out for the weekend.

– If it gets lost or stolen, God forbid, it would be easier to replace since it’s not as much of an investment as your $1,500 laptop that has your life on it, e.g. documents, pictures, and everything else.

– They’re WiFi ready so they’re useful those who want to do light office work or check their email or get online while out.  Absolutely not suitable for gaming.

Cons:

The cheap cost also comes with a price, such as less memory, slow processors, and a poor battery life.  Some netbooks can run for over six hours but others barely make it to two and a half.

– Smaller size makes it harder to type on, the smallest, and typically standard, screen and is about 8.9 inches and virtually makes touch typing impossible.  It’s also a given that the small screen makes it more difficult to see what’s on it.

– Not all netbooks run on Windows.  Some utilize Linux.  Getting used to a different OS may be a deal breaker for some consumers because they like the familiarity of Windows.

– Some don’t come equipped with anti-virus software, so that could be an additional expense whether you spend more on the software alone or more money on a netbook with anti-virus already on it.

Should you buy one? Tough question, but I highly recommend that if you do, you consider a model with a 10-inch screen, which will give you a less cramped experience on both the eyes and the fingers (thanks to the bigger keyboard). My two favorite models: The Asus Eee PC 1000H and the new Lenovo IdeaPad S10, both with 10.2-inch screens and Windows XP. Both are available for under $500. The Eee has much longer battery life (but weighs half a pound more), while the IdeaPad has better performance and a larger hard drive. Take your pick”  –Christopher Null, The Working Guy blog.

The difference between netbooks and notebooks.

Pros and cons of Lenovo Ideapad S10.

Top 10 Netbooks.

Hope this can help someone.

Shannon

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Responses

  1. I have also been considering some of the advantages and disadvantages of netbooks, as they seem to be the new rage in electronics and technology. An article written for CNET News describes netbooks as, “…a new type of laptop computer, defined by size, price, horsepower, and operating system. They are small, cheap, underpowered, and run either an old or unfamiliar operating system.” This unflattering account of netbooks leads me to believe that not many people would be buying them…but with so many advertisements being made to target consumers that could potentially buy a netbook, I have to believe that they are generating some substantial revenue.

    One of the most interesting piece of information I discovered in the CNET News article was that most netbooks aren’t equipped with the newest and fastest versions of Ethernet or Wi-Fi capabilities. Considering that this product is supposed to be “ultra-portable,” shouldn’t the product be optimized to be utilized anywhere? My initial thought on the product was that it will definitely have to compete with the new wave of smart phones and PDAs, such as the iPhone, which has many of the same capabilities as netbooks; however, I think that the size and ability to have a somewhat full-sized keyboard will save netbooks from being compared to PDAs.

    While I am relatively skeptical of this new product, I have definitely been considering learning more and perhaps even investing in this new technology, which I imagine will prove to be a huge technology industry product in the next year or so.

    CNET News article can be found here:
    http://news.cnet.com/what-is-a-netbook-computer/

  2. I thought that Netbooks were just smaller more portable laptops. The lists of pros and cons you’ve established are very helpful, especially to someone like me who didn’t know the difference. It really doesn’t seem like even a $200 Netbook would be worth the money. It’s going to run slower, have very little memory, probably not have the Windows OS that I’ve grown so fawned of, and I’m the type of person who needs antivirus. It’s almost as if viruses seek out my computer for attacks. Another con I came to think of while looking through all of your information is that it’s not going to be good for your eyes. It can’t be. I’m near sighted and I have astigmatism. It’s hard enough for me to be at a normal laptop for hours on end doing homework without my eyes really starting to hurt and bother me, even when I wear my glasses. A small tiny screen is going to cause people to have to focus even more on the screen and tiny print.

    I found a woman on wired.com who confirmed my horrors about physical problems stemming from using a Netbook. Her wrists hurt, her fingers cramped, and her eyes watered from the strain of using a Netbook. Not to mention when she typed on it, she’d have to go back and correct what she typed because the keys are so jammed together it makes typing correctly almost impossible. To read her story go to http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/03/hoping-loving-a/

    My boyfriend was actually looking at getting a Netbook. When it comes down to it though, the small price wouldn’t be worth all of the gripping I’d have to listen to. His eyes aren’t as bad as mine, but still enough to where he should wear glasses when he reads. His fingers are also fatter than my dainty piano player fingers so I know he’d have a hard time typing on it. With a slow processor and low battery life I’d be the one to constantly have to listen to the complaints of how ridiculous it is to spend even $200 on something worth maybe $50 in his eyes. Thanks for helping prove my point that Netbooks aren’t really worth the headache in our lives.


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