Netbook Computers

by Julius
(New Jersey)

I have a lot of thoughts/opinions about netbook computers! I actually remember several years back when there were these super small, compact computers that I thought were really cool. But I could never find a real reason or need to buy one. I don’t think they were called netbooks at the time, maybe because mobile broadband wasn’t really popular, nor offered great performance for those that had it. So calling it a netbook computer at that time probably wouldn’t mean much anyway. They never really caught on, probably because of the cost, and maybe because there really wasn’t an appetite in general for them at the time. But since then, wireless phones have become so much more feature rich, and people are getting used to doing so much on a small screen of a phone, that netbooks really don’t seem that small in comparison. Compared to even the largest screen on a mobile phone, the screens on these things are actually massive!

As a techie type person, I still believe these are really cool devices/gadgets. However, I definitely would never be able to replace my laptop with one of these. Travelling with a netbook computer would be super convenient, however, I just don’t travel enough to make it worthwhile. And if I did, I think it would be a pain to worry about data synchronization. I wouldn’t want to have to think about what data and apps I have on my main computer vs. what’s on my netbook. Carrying around a relatively light 14.1” laptop really isn’t a big deal for me.

I think it
makes a lot of sense for people wanting mobile broadband, and good value to take advantage of the subsidies that are offered from the wireless carriers who bundle it with mobile broadband. Then you’re looking at $100 or $200 for a netbook computer with decent specs (for that price at least). But even then you run into the problem that broadband is built-in, meaning that you can’t use it with any other computer. If you buy a PC card modem or USB broadband modem, you can use it in any computer. Or even better, if you get MiFi, multiple computers can connect to it at the same time via WiFi.

I think netbook computers are very appealing for the occasional user who’s always on the go, or for kids as a relatively inexpensive machine that’s light to carry around. Though I don’t know how durable they are. I think a “kid-safe” model would definitely sell well!

Overall, I don’t think that they’re just a fad that will die out like they did last time. I think the evolution of technology has come far enough along with the price getting more and more appealing. People will still have to decide whether saving an extra $100 or so is worthwhile, or if they’d rather go with a regular, inexpensive (i.e. low end) notebook computer that has a larger screen, more memory, more power, a built-in DVD drive, larger harddrive, longer lasting battery life, etc. These mini computers will definitely be a niche play, or for the gadget lovers, but I believe that they will be here to stay!

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Mar 02, 2017
Chromebooks Are The New Netbooks NEW
by: Anonymous

I'm not sure if anyone really uses the term Netbook anymore, though that name really is still relevant. Ultrabooks are DEFINITELY NOT the replacement for Netbooks as we've been able to see over the passage of time.

Chromebooks are really what Netbooks evolved into. Super slim and light, easy to uses, and largely rely on the Internet to do anything useful with them. I believe that was the spirit of Netbooks in the beginning. However, back then, people anticipated more operating systems than just Chrome to be available. Well, it looks like Chrome OS really dominates, which is why this class of computers are predominantly referred to as Chromebooks.

Ultrabooks, on the other hand, are super slim, but extremely powerful laptop devices with full operating systems.

Interestingly, Chromebooks can be purchased for less than $200 up to over $1,500, while Ultrabooks generally can't be had for less than $300, largely overlap in terms of price range.

So why buy one over the other if they're the same price? Why not purchase the more powerful and capable device? I would argue that Chromebooks are just simple and easy to use with far less hassle. No blue screen of death, no drivers to deal with, no registry, and no messing around with hundreds of settings.

In the end, Chromebooks are so hassle-free that they're great for a super portable device with amazing battery life, whether you're travelling and only need basic applications that you can use on the Internet, or for students.

Jan 15, 2013
Netbooks Are Now Ultrabooks NEW
by: Anonymous

While I don't know if the term Netbook is still being used(?), I can say with confidence that Ultrabook is the new buzz word. I believe it started when PC manufacturers began copying the MacBook Air form factor. I describe that device as super slim, outdated technology specifications, and highly over-priced.

However, with Lenovo, HP, Dell, and others now selling similar sleek, and reasonably powered laptops (i.e. Ultrabooks), but at VERY reasonable prices (half or less the cost of a MacBook Air!), the industry has changed.

I know many Apple fans are kicking and screaming that these companies ripped off their product. Yup, they sure did! And many of them are amazing, particularly at the price points being offered. For example, you can get a Lenovo U310 for less than $600 that is just as powerful as my two year old Lenovo T400 that I paid $1,400 for. And the U310 is sleek looking! Of course, not the powerhouse and durable form factor as the T-series, but an amazing product for the average consumer I think.

Anyway, the point here is that while I believe netbooks can be seen as being smaller than ultrabooks in footprint (not thickness), ultrabooks serve an amazing niche that essentially makes netbooks useless. If you need something that small, just get a tablet (for $200 or less). If you need more performance, get an ultrabook, which can actually replace a full-fledged laptop so long as you don't mind not having the latest and greatest specifications.

Then there's the phablets (like the Samsung Galaxy Note series), but that's a different story!

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