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  • Netbook: You May Need One
Technology Articles > Computers > Netbooks > Netbook: You May Need One

If you're looking for a portable, light, and functional computer, but don't need a computer to do a lot in terms of processing or computing, you should consider a netbook. Netbooks are ultra light computers. They are relatively bare-bones, so don't expect them to do a lot.

Netbooks aren't for everyone, so you should consider your needs, wants, and preferences before you buy one. Do you really need a portable computer? Will a netbook be too limiting? What is your budget? These are all questions that you should ask yourself before you buy a computer such as a netbook.

Do You Need the Portability?

It is a common fallacy when buying computers or gadgets to assume that you need more portability or power than you actually do. After all, it is easy to imagine every possible scenario in which you might need portability. "I might be in an airplane sometime, and I can only open a laptop all the way if it's less than 11 inches!"

However, this is fallacious. We often need less power and portability and we think that we do. Do you really need an ultra light, portable computer? Or would it just be nice to go to the coffee shop every now and then to work? Before you spend $300-$500 on a new laptop, it is worth mulling this question over.

Is a Netbook Powerful Enough?

In the same way that we often exaggerate how portable we need our computers to be, we also exaggerate how *powerful* our computers need to be. "Maybe I'll have to edit a video at some point!" Maybe, but probably not. You probably think you need a much more powerful and feature-risk computer than you actually need.

Netbooks are incredibly weak computers. While they are fine for searching the web, viewing websites, and processing documents, you won't want to do much more than that on it. The CTU in particular is underpowered, and there usually isn't enough RAM in netbooks for heavy tasks. So, if you will want to do anything media intensive, like edit video, a netbook won't be powerful enough.

While you probably don't need the most powerful workhorse computer on the market, consider whether or not a netbook is two weak for your needs. If you think it might be too weak, it probably is.

Maybe You Really Want a Tablet Instead

Tablet computers and netbooks intersect in many key areas. They are ultraportable, underpowered, have excellent battery life, and are intended for casual use. If you simply want an ultra light, portable computer for casual browsing of the Internet, checking e-mail, and writing the occasional document, didn't consider buying a tablet computer instead. Tablet computers such as the iPad into the Samsung Galaxy Tab are around the same cost of netbook computers, and they accomplish many of the same tasks (often better and more comfortably).

Netbook computers are becoming less and less relevant. Consider whether or not you want to spend a few hundred dollars on an underpowered computer that isn't very comfortable to type on. You're probably better off saving your money for either a more powerful laptop or a relatively inexpensive tablet computer.