Why you should get a Netbook

Just let me say it….. I love Netbooks. Just the convenience factor, price point, battery life and decent performance combined make it a perfect 2nd computer for enthusiasts and a great tool for lower income groups to get started with computers. I believe schools could benefit a great deal from them too thats to the price point. I have always been one for mobile computing and that started off with the whole PDAs of yesteryear (Pocket PCs, Psions and Palms) that has morphed into smartphones of today (too bad I did not try the MessagePad/Newton though I did see it behind the glass display when I visited Labuan). Did you know that the Symbian OS (now Symbian) that is on almost all Nokia smartphones has it’s history in the Psion PDAs? But I digress. Now on to the reason why you should get a Netbook.

Convenience

When compared to regular laptops the sheer convenience is apparent. The first thing to note about a netbook is that it is compact and light. It lets you put it in your bag and not even notice that it is there. That may even be enough for some, who lug around their laptops that they have been using for a year or so and have dismal battery life thus being limited to places where you can use it as you are always looking for a power point to plug in and charge. This brings me to the second great thing about netbooks: the outstanding battery life. The Toshiba NB200 can run for over 9 usable hours! Heck I bet the average netbook would beat out the average laptop on battery life.

More Functional than a Phone

More functional in display size/resolution and due to it having a full operating system. A larger screen with larger resolution lets you surf webpages with ease and provides the full web experience together with Flash. You can also easily enjoy your movies or videos on the large screen without straining your eyes. A full operating system means you won’t be tied down to the limitations of a trimmed down phone operating system and typically with a keyboard you will certainly be able to get more work done more efficiently on a netbook compared to a phone.

Cheap

When I got my first laptop it was over B$3000. Now you can get relatively good laptops for B$1500 but netbooks differentiate themselves by being mostly being under B$1000 (starting from B$600). Within my group of friends that I know have laptops, they end up non-functional after the 3rd year (motherboard failure, graphics failure, mechanical failure i.e. falling apart, etc) which makes me wonder if it really is worth spending all that money just to see it disappear once the device stops working. Most netbooks will be even be cheaper than smartphones that won’t match up to work functionality of a netbook.

Conclusion

Netbooks are great for those mobile warriors that are limited by their phone offerings or the weight of the laptop that requires constant charging when on the go. Netbooks are great for students who need a mobile computer to do their school assignments. The sheer convenience of a netbook must e experienced. I miss my Acer Aspire One as I use my Macbook Pro now: the AA1 was so much more convenient but I had to switch to a proper laptop as the netbook could not keep up with my needs as a heavy power user when I work (for the typical work scenario of Microsoft Office usage and browsing the web it will be more than fine). For other aspects of my AA1 usage, it is still great. Now netbooks are not perfect and you should find out the things you need to know about netbooks before getting one. Also now the lines of netbooks and laptops and sublaptops are blurring with products like the Acer Timeline series that brings laptops to a better standing with good battery life and lighter weight and also with netbooks getting larger (11 and even 12 inch screen). At the end of the day: know what you need, know what the offerings can give you and make the best choice for your needs.

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