Despite what many technology analysts would have you believe, the tablet computer has not as of yet completely demolished the netbook market. Sure the ultra-portable which became so popular ever since Asus released the original EEE PC may have seen a dramatic sales decline ever since Apple released the iPad, however even with lowly Clover Trail based Atom processors powering them, Netbooks offer up more functionality for your average PC user than a tablet does.
The proof in the pudding is that manufacturers keep releasing updates to their lines, including Acer with their updated and rather good looking ‘Aspire One’ netbook and HP with their 10.1-inch Beats netbook.
These machines may not be especially powerful, fast or practical in a ‘let’s edit photos’ sense, but they are more than capable of punching out word documents and browsing the internet. Moreover with their low pricing structure, they are perfect for any student or business person who needs a small and portable secondary computer.
Now if you are clued in to the computing industry then you will know that since the back-end of 2011, Ultrabooks have been storming the PC market and at this year’s IFA, numerous fantastic machines were announced. Ultrabooks in their smaller forms feature 11.6-inch displays and so are nearly as portable as a netbook, however far more powerful usually featuring Ivy Bridge Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 processors. At this time however Ultrabooks are way more expensive than your humble netbook, so if you are on the market for a small and portable machine good enough for basic computing, a netbook should serve you well.
What to look for in a netbook
Find below my top tips to shopping for the perfect netbook for you. If you click here for netbooks, you’ll be able to browse a wealth of the latest and most solid machines on the market.
Not all netbooks are created equal, and some have more storage than others. In most cases manufacturers release netbooks with a storage capacity up to 320GB which is plenty enough for practically anybody, unless you plan on saving RAW snaps on your machine. Look out for a netbook which offers a decent amount of storage as you never know when you may need it.
All netbooks feature different keyboards. Internet reviews show that the Acer Aspire One has a solid keyboard and so does the latest generation Asus EEE PC, which also features a 2-in-1 media card reader. Look for a keyboard offering good portability and one that is not too shallow.
Since their release all netbooks are known for having great battery life thanks in part to having a small display and power efficient processor. The best netbooks feature a battery life in excess of 6 hours, such as the HP 10.1-inch Beats netbook.
A good selection of ports makes the world spin around and you should look out for machines with at least 2 USB ports as well as a card reader, preferably of the 3-in-1 variety for cross compatibility. HDMI out is also an added bonus, whilst Ethernet is essential for any business user.