Will a Netbook Work for You?

4 November 2010

These days lots of people are saying that the iPad is killing the netbook. A few years ago, the same people were crowing that the netbook had killed the laptop. The truth is that none of the three are going anywhere in the foreseeable future. Each of them have their fans and perform their functions well. A machine that does the job doesn’t just disappear. That’s why you still see guys collecting boomboxes even though cd’s and cassette tapes are disappearing at an alarming rate.

The iPad is a great device for reading, browsing the web, and doing basic email and office tasks. A full size laptop provides those who work in technology, film, or other application heavy industries with the processing power, visual display, and functionality to get their jobs done. For those who need something in between, a netbook just might be the perfect choice. There are a lot of brands to choose from: Asus, Acer, Dell, Toshiba, and HP are just a few. They might call their netbooks something different, but the truth is a netbook by any other name is still a netbook. It’s a small, light, portable machine capable of doing most of the computing the average user needs. In addition, they are great for music storage, watching videos, and any sort of portable entertainment functions.

Even when you don’t take all those additional functions into account, you still have some research to do to make sure that you get the right netbook. What kind of a keyboard is going to make you the most productive? Does your screen resolution need to be a specific setting for the sites you use most? How does the screen material or backlighting affect your eyes? What kind of processor do you need for the games or applications you run? Do you need more than one USB slot? What about memory cards? Which operating system is going to give you the most powerful toolbox? Does the laptop you want include free software or will you need to upgrade or install freeware? What kind of security settings does it provide? Does it include free office software or will you need to install your own? How much RAM does it have? What about the hard drive size? Does it easily support plug and play hardware? What about the mouse? Do you prefer a keypad or does your new laptop need to support bluetooth for an external mouse? Maybe you want a touch screen or the ability to connect easily to an external monitor when you are at home?

As you can see from the questions above, there is a lot to think about before you make the jump to using a netbook. There are two things you should do before you make your purchase. First read reviews and talk to others that have netbooks. What works for them? What doesn’t? Next, head to the brick and mortar stores and get some hands on time with the machines. You wouldn’t marry a girl without meeting her, right? Don’t marry a machine either.



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