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Buying a Netbook: Why and How to Buy a Netbook

hp-mini-1001tuNetbooks are compact, streamlined mobile devices that can keep you connected and up-to-date where ever you may go. Many people assumed these compact PCs were just a passing phase, but as more models came out and netbook sales trumped notebook sale, everyone took a second look at these minii computers. Although some folks use their netbook as their main computer, we think anyone looking to pack files, photos, and programs should probably get a notebook. Netbooks do not have the same capabilities as a notebook—they are petite machines, meaning they cannot handle or carry as much as a larger laptop could. But don’t let that dismay you, there are many good reasons to buy a notebook and there are a variety of models to choose from—so don’t worry future netbook shopper, let us give you some reason and tips for buying your new compact comp.

For a few suggestions, check out our list of the best Netbooks as picked by our reviewers.

Why Buy a Netbook? 5 Reasons to Buy a Netbook…

1) Price. These petite PCs are extremely popular due to their reasonable price tag, most not going above the $450 range.

2) Lightweight. Most netbooks are in the 2-3 pound range, making them easy to carry and extremely portable.

3) Size. These compact little computers are beyond convenient in their size. They can fit into your purse or back pack with ease.

4) Battery Life. Netbooks last longer because they are small and require less energy, the processing power is low and they have limited accessories and components.

5) Mobility . Want to be connected no matter where you are? Netbooks are perfect to keep you in touch and on the move.

How to Buy a Netbook

hp-netbookPicking out which netbook is best for you may be difficult because they’re all pretty similar. Here are some of the major specs you should consider and look into to figure out what you need and want for your netbook…

Weight.  Don’t buy a heavy netbook. You are defeating the purpose of a netbook. And usually if it’s heavier that means it’s more expensive which also defeats the netbook’s purpose.

Battery Life. You should make sure your netbook has a long battery because there is no reason to get one with a shotty and short battery. Portability and long battery life go hand in hand, why would you want one without the other?

Graphics. The newer models handle HD graphics better. Make sure you do your research before getting one.

Keyboard. If you know you’ll be doing a lot of typing, be sure to get a model with a larger keyboard. Some netbooks have really small keyboards which are really tough to work with if you type fast. 92% size keyboards are not too difficult to handle if you intend to type fast on your device.

Connectivity: Make sure you have enough USB ports and other connectivity ports. You do want to be able to connect additional devices to your netbook.

Processor. Netbooks are starting to get different processors from different companies. Intel and Nvidia are two of the bigger providers. Check your processing speed and also check out how to speed up your netbook just in case it gets a little slow.

Netbooks We Recommend…

Asus Eee PC 1005HA (Intel Atom N280 1.66GHz, 1GB RAM, 160GB HDD, XP Home, blue)—starting at $319.90

HP Mini 5101 (Intel Atom N280 1.66GHz, 1GB RAM, 160GB HDD, XP Home Basic)—starting at $416.25

Editors' Recommendations

Dena Cassella
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Haole built. O'ahu grown
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