What is a Netbook ? These are small ultraportable devices, having small screen size and mostly costs under $500. Netbooks are the latest buzzword. Nowadays who don’t know what a Netbook is. Its becoming the talk of the town because it’s affordable, small in size, longer battery life, light weight, etc. So there are many plus points of Netbooks, but one must think before buying a Netbook, is it for him ? Should you buy a Netbook or a Notebook. Don’t get confused read on to find what to look out for in a Netbook and is it for you or not.
Netbooks are perfect devices for surfing, chatting, Email, working on office documents and some entertainment. One thing is for sure, you won’t feel bored if this small device is with you. Plus how can we forget the extended battery life compared to a Notebook. Yes, it can run continuously even for 8 Hours. Can a Notebook do this, answer is NO.
Netbook Buying Guide
Netbooks mostly are equipped with Intel’s Atom Processor. The plus point of this processor is that it consumes less battery. Its a very power efficient processor and therefore some Netbooks claim to run 7 Hours non stop. Mind it that no laptop or Notebook can run for 7 Hours, therefore Netbooks have this huge advantage of extended battery life. Typically a Netbook has Atom N435 processor. Some may even have Atom N455.
Nowadays AMD is also in the Netbook game. AMD’s new processor offering – Fusion APU is better in performance compared to Intel’s Atom processor.
Mostly all Netbooks comes with 250 GB hard disk and some may even have 500 GB or more. And they are having 5400 RPM. So look for a minimum 250 GB hard disk, and don’t settle for anything less than this.
Some Netbooks come equipped with 1 GB DDR3 RAM, while some come with 2 GB DDR3 RAM. And if you want then you can insert more RAM if your Netbook has an extra free RAM slot. As we already know, the more the better.
You won’t be playing games in a Netbook, so don’t expect wonders here. They have integrated graphics like Intel GMA 950. Although some manufacturers claim that HD movies run just fine on their product.
AMD’s Fusion APU perform much better. They can even run some games at lower resolutions.
The minimum display size should be 10.1″. Don’t buy one which is having a 7″ screen size, they are old and passe. The resolution would be 1024 x 600 and they are LED backlit. 10.1″ is the minimum screen screen which one should buy. Nowadays 11″ and 12″ one are also available and they have 1366×768 pixel screens which can run 720p videos without any problem.
The standard battery which comes is the 6 cell lithium ion battery. They can even run continuously for 8 Hours approx. Some also come with extended battery, but keep in mind that you will need to carry this extended battery. So count this weight also, when you carry it.
It can run on Windows XP SP3 or Windows 7. Nowadays Ubuntu Netbook Edition is also getting popular, as this is free OS, looks beautiful and its specially made for Netbooks. Its worth trying. If you don’t want to pay for an Operating system at this time, then you should go for this one.
Other things to look out for:
Some other important things to look out for are Microphone, Webcam, Ethernet port, Wifi, Bluetooth, Card reader, etc.
Nvidia has also launched ion based chipset which will be good for playing HD in a netbook. Also in future, Intel is going to release Dual core Atom processors. We can expect new and new innovations in Netbook market in the coming time.
This is a standard configuration for a Netbook:
Intel Atom N455 CPU (or higher-end, N280)
1GB DDR3 RAM
10.1-inch display at 1,024×600 pixels
Intel Meego, Windows XP or Windows 7 Starter
Do note that Netbooks usually are not equipped with any optical drive. You can opt for an external optical drive, which connects via USB interface.
So now that you are equipped with the right information, go ahead and hunt for the one which you wish for. Keep these points in mind before buying a Netbook.