A Netbook is a new type of laptop computer, defined by size, price, horsepower, and operating system. They are small, cheap, under-powered, and run either an old or unfamiliar operating system.
Netbook is a fully functional laptop with a display ranging from 8-to-10-inch, so they are all easy to carry around. Weigh from 2 to 3 pounds which mobile users will find very handy, and sport keyboards sized from 80 percent to 95 percent of normal.
Almost most models have several USB ports, a webcam, card reader, built-in Wi-Fi and integrated speakers running on 1GB of system memory depending on the operating system they were pre-installed with.
Vast majority of netbooks run on the Intel Atom platform. Typically, netbooks does not come with optical drives or CD/DVD-Roms .
Price-wise, Netbooks start at about (all prices are rounded off and approximate) $299 for a Linux-based model and $329 for an XP-based machine.
Several netbooks comes with Express Card slot, which can expand port and wireless capabilities. The storage capacity of hard drives should be a minimum of 80GB but there are others that comes with as high as 160GB. Expanding your storage capacity is not a big problem nowadays since you can easily buy an external hard drive if you need extra disk space. For frequent travelers, the battery that comes with netbooks should also be considered. Consider buying an extra battery with 6-cell unit for a longer standby time.
Netbooks run either Windows XP Home edition or Linux (not only is Linux unfamiliar to many, but the versions of Linux on Netbooks are not the mainstream popular distributions).
They do not run XP Professional, Vista, or OS X. Microsoft arbitrarily restricts Netbooks from running the Professional Edition of Windows XP.
Likewise, Apple arbitrarily restricts OS X to Apple hardware and it has never played in the low-end realm that Netbooks occupy.
Vista requires too much horsepower to run well on a Netbook.
HP has been the only company to offer Vista on a Netbook.
The price, however, was so high that it's debatable whether such a machine qualifies as a Netbook.
Despite a huge proliferation of Netbook models, these specs seem to be standard:
- Screen resolution 1024x600
- Intel Atom CPU running at 1.6-GHz
- Wi-Fi B and G
- Ethernet at 100Mbps
- A slot for a flash RAM memory card
- External VGA output jack
- Integrated graphics
- Two or three USB ports
- Built-in camera
- Headphone and microphone jacks