Netbooks are becoming more and more popular with folks looking to have an ultra portable computer without a sacrifice in power or speed from their machine.
This article is going to give first time netbook buyers a brief overview of the benefits and drawbacks of owning a netbook, as well as outline some of the current best netbooks for sale on the market today. If you’re looking to be better informed before you make your next netbook purchase, you’ve come to the right place.
With newer and better processors being put into netbooks at a staggering rate, it’s hard to see where the whole idea for a netbook began. A play on the word “notebook,” netbooks are miniature laptops that are designed specifically for web browsing. Web services have started to overtake traditional desktop applications and uses, meaning that a computer designed exclusively for web browsing makes increasingly more sense.
The problem that many first time netbook users run into though is that they lose sight of the fact of the purpose of the netbook. Many users see netbooks simply as smaller computers and are somewhat disappointed at the limitations that the machine has in terms of power and speed. But if you understand that you probably won’t be able to install and play games or watch high definition content on these smaller computers, you should be pleasantly surprised at how snappy they are for basic web browsing and work related tasks.
The Line Blurs
To the dismay of some, netbook manufacturers began appeasing the groups of people that complained that netbooks were grossly underpowered. To add a bit more bite to the speed of their netbooks, things like dual core processors and DDR3 RAM became standard. While they’re definitely nice features to have, they’ve driven the price of netbooks close to the price of a low powered laptop and have brought the battery life down to right around 4 hours. Netbooks used to pride themselves on long battery charges that could keep you away from the outlet for hours, but now with dual core processors and HD video playback, netbooks have made their way back up to laptop speed and laptop capabilities….all for a laptop price.
I’m not trying to knock the better netbook options that are out there. These newer netbooks still maintain the same low weight and small screen size that their predecessors did and a progression of better technology is inevitable in all of our gadgets, but original netbooks are much cheaper and for just browsing the web, provide a much better experience with battery life and usability than a clunkier, faster, and often more expensive alternative.
The True Netbook Options
Below you will find some options for netbooks you can purchase if you’re looking to jump into the netbook world. Remember; don’t expect to be overwhelmed with performance options on these machines as they’re generally designed to be used for web browsing and basic tasks rather than full fledged computer operations.
Asus EEE PC:
The Asus EEE PC was one of the first netbooks ever introduced and is still one of the best available. It isn’t anything fancy and is often considered the benchmark to achieve when newer netbooks are introduced. Don’t expect blazing speeds or off the charts performance from this little guy, but do expect it to perform and come through on all of its promises as a net friendly PC. You get the standard 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor and 1GB of DDR2 RAM under the hood. 2GB of RAM is recommended for snappier web browsing, but out of the box the 1GB works just fine. The EEE PC is always reasonably priced and always gets my vote for the best introductory netbook that’s available on the market.
- 1.6 GHz Intel Atom Processor
- 1GB DDR2 RAM
- 10.1” Monitor
- Windows XP
- 2.8 Pounds
- 13 Hours Battery Life
If you’re looking for a dual core netbook that has that extra power to go beyond just simply browsing the web, the Samsung NF310 gets my seal of approval. I recommend it to friends and colleagues frequently, all of whom are looking for a computer with a bit more of a punch. The NF310 has a 1.5GHz dual core Atom processor and 1GB of DDR3 RAM. My one complaint with the machine is that it comes with Windows 7 as opposed to a faster operating system. For Windows 7 to run optimally you’re going to need 2GB of RAM, but that’s not ever really an issue. HD video playback looks fantastic and unlike other dual core netbooks, this one comes with a 9 hour battery life while doing basic tasks.
- 1.5GHz Intel Atom Dual Core Processor
- 1GB DDR3 RAM
- 10.1” HD Monitor (1366×768)
- Windows 7 Starter
- 2.9 Pounds
Which Netbook is for Me?
It’s hard to say which netbook will be right for you, to be honest. Everyone has different needs and wants in their computer, and there’s no reason to limit yourself to just the 2 choices listed above. They’re definitely my favorite options on the market at the moment, but depending on how often you’ll be near a wall outlet may affect your decision on battery life and whether you want to watch HD content and video on your netbook could affect your choice in terms of a dual core processor or not. Assess what your needs are as a netbook user and determine which web browsing machine is right for you. One things’ for sure, netbooks are here to stay and if you’re looking to make the plunge, now’s the time to do it.