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Netbooks vs Laptops what is the difference

Netbooks vs Laptops what is the difference

What makes a netbook different from a laptop, they are cheaper, and smaller so why not get one? Well it all depends what you want to do with your laptop.

Lets start with the key features and the differences with netbooks and laptops.

Lets start with the netbooks first

Key Advantages of Netbooks:

  • Extremely light weight often only around 2 pounds
  • Very small - Screen sizes such as 8 and 10 inches are common
  • Long battery life - Lasting 5 or more hours easily, some are up to 9 hours now from Asus
  • More are showing up on the market now with built-in air cards for use on cell phone networks such as Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T providing internet access anywhere and anytime (almost)

Key Disadvantages of Netbooks:

  • No built in CD drive, you must have an external USB cd drive for installing software, music, etc.
  • Slower speed processors. In order to get better battery life the processors are cut down in clock speed to save on power
  • Smaller keyboards. When you reduce the size of the unit the keyboard needs to be cut down as well. This makes typing for long periods of time uncomfortable.
  • Smaller hard drives. Netbooks are intended more for light useage and as a result often come with smaller hard drives
  • Less RAM upgradability. Again, netbooks are intended for light useage and often come with only 1GB of ram, and no expansion ports. So you are limited to what you can afford in a single memory stick.
  • Low screen resolutions. The graphics cards in netbooks are intended for light useage and as a result won't do any serious 3D work, and usually have low resolution support.

Now that we had our fun with Netbooks lets take a look at the features of the Laptops

Key Advantages of Laptops:

  • Can be used as a desktop replacement for on the road workers. If you have the money you can get a laptop to do whatever your desktop needs are.
  • Desktop grade multi media experience. You can play and make almost any video, or audio you want on a laptop these days with no problem.
  • Good expandibility for RAM and processor
  • Great screen size variety - Small as 13 inch all the way up to 20 inch on some systems

Key Disadvantages of Laptops:

  • Weight -  The more powerful the laptop the heavier it will be.
  • Heat - Again, more power more heat. You might end up with a lap mounted space heater if you get a powerful enough system.
  • Poor battery life - Often running 3 hours for any system with decent performance

This should make it pretty cut and dry as far as what you should get but let me summarize it.

Netbooks are great for people who need to do small updates to documents, check email, and browse the web on the road. They also do a decent job for presentations, and alright for field technicians who need to run a light weight application. However if you need a CD drive on the road, processing power, or want to run a heavy duty app then you should be looking at a full blown laptop.

Personally I own a Laptop and a Netbook. I use my Netbook for daily use on the road, where I check emails, update the website, make changes to client websites onsite with them. However if I am expecting heavy editing, or will be on the road for several days at a time I will bring my laptop. You never know when you might need to duplicate a CD, play a heavy duty game, or have to work for 12 hours. Looking at a bigger screen for 12 hours is much easier on the eyes than a small 8 inch one.

Some people would now ask about the difference between a Laptop and a Notebook computer. In my opinion the difference between the two is so little, there really is no difference. Mostly just one being thinner than the other. Besides the marketing of the differences is so hard, and rare to point out that I would'nt consider them different. In my opinion a Laptop and notebook is the same thing.


Last Updated: 09/14/2009 03:22 AM

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