Netbooks vs. notebooks

Posted on July 20, 2009

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I normally do not have trouble describing computers to people.

However, it is difficult to plainly tell people the difference between a netbook and a notebook. In one sentence: Netbooks are smaller, cheaper, and can do fewer things. I was in Best Buy a day or so ago trying to find a cooling pad for my IBook G4 (we will talk about keeping notebooks cool later). I looked over the netbook selection because I am serious thinking about buying one to use when I travel.

When I looked at the prices, they were running specials on PC laptops that cost the same as a netbook. So not only are the two similar in cost, they are starting to have similar features. For example, on Best Buy’s website, they have 69 netbooks for between 250-499.

A high-end notebook can do or run almost anything a desktop can. They edit video, record audio, play World of Warcraft, etc.

A top-end netbook can not. Even the best netbooks are limited. They are limited by memory, although for most you can upgrade that. They are limited by space because the hard drives are going to be smaller. They are limited by speed. They will only do so much at a given time.

So we go back to the age of old question when buying a computer: What are you going to use it for?

If you already have a desktop or notebook that does not leave home, you can get a netbook. If you only surf the internet, run Microsoft Office, answer email, listen to downloaded music, and play Solitare, then the netbook is for you.

By the way, it is nearly the perfect computer if you want to type while listening to class lectures. And, if something happens to it, a replacement will not break your bank account.

If you want to use it as your MAIN computer, you want to play games with great visuals and edit video, you should invest in a notebook.

Check back this afternoon for my linkposts on netbooks/notebooks. They will include buying guides and the top picks for netbooks.

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Posted in: Computers