Throughout the past few months, Netbooks have been on the rise. There are more companies manufacturing Netbooks than one could have imagined a year ago from today. Acer, Asus, HP, MSI and Dell are all contributing to the game, each releasing various configurations of their machines. I own a 15.4" MacBook Pro that can outperform these machines combined, yet I still find myself craving for one.
What is it that makes Netbooks so attractive?
- Price. With the current economic state, people are afraid to spend money. They are not as lenient with their wallets as they may have been before the "crisis," so, machines that easily run below $300 are quickly considered.
- Portability. It's a great feeling to be able to carry stuff with you wherever you go, especially when it's something as useful as a computer. It's light, looks good, and does the job. Screen real-estate may not be there, but people don't seem to mind giving it up for on-the-go productivity (which is another issue on its own). Most of the time, we only need our computers to perform basic (but important) functions, and Netbooks often do a great job at it.
Read the rest after the jump...
What should you keep in mind when considering buying one?
- Limited productivity due to small screen, small battery, and keyboard:
A screen smaller screen with a resolution that's barely enough to get the job done may be annoying at first, but if you learn to manage your space properly, it shouldn't really be a problem. Today's laptops have pretty crappy battery life, especially if they're designed for performance. The battery lasts, on average, about 3 hours depending on your activity. If you purchase a 6-cell battery, your productivity will drastically improve. Last but not least, going from a full-size keyboard to one that's about 85% of the standard size (or smaller) won't exactly be the most comfortable experience.
- Lack of performance with intensive tasks, and limited upgradability:
Let's face it - the fact that these Netbooks come standard with 512MB to 1GB of RAM doesn't exactly help the mobile Atom processors. Some machines allow you to upgrade the RAM to 2GB on your own, but that's about it. 1GB may get the job done with tasks like web browsing and power points, but you can't get too heavy with the amount of pages you load and how many slides you create.
Is it worth buying a Netbook?
Yes, but only after you understand the purpose of having one; It cannot be your primary work machine, and it probably should not replace your existing (more powerful) notebook. Do mind that extra bells and whistles like Bluetooth and Webcam will probably cost you extra.
I was seconds away from buying a Dell Mini 9 with good specs for a great price, but I decided that it would be more for leisure than productivity.
Question to you: If you own a Netbook, what made you get it, and was it worth it? If not, what's holding you back?