Since I just got a netbook, I thought, “Hey, what if other people are looking for netbooks and are just as confused as I was?” Fear not, friends, I am here to share all I learned with you. Let’s get started on Part 1—what are netbooks?
No doubt you have heard of the trendy little netbook, a portable computer that runs from $250-$400. Let me begin by dispelling the myth—a netbook is not a “mini-laptop.” I am not schooled in the world of technical jargon, so bear with me as I try to explain the differences. A netbook’s primary purpose is to allow its user to access the internet almost anywhere via a Wi-Fi connection (whether through a carrier such as Verizon or AT&T or at a free Wi-Fi hotspot).
To keep with its slim design and light weight, netbooks also don’t contain optical drives (a.k.a. CD/DVD drives). To install programs such as Microsoft Office, you’re going to need to purchase an external drive (about $40). Some netbooks come pre-installed with MS Office and other programs, but you definitely want to be able to reinstall the programs via CD should trouble arise, such a virus that corrupts your computer’s programs. This is the sinister age of the Internet, after all.
Containing only 1 GB of memory (which can usually be upgraded to 2 GB), the netbook is not suited for heavy or multiple program use. For example, you wouldn’t want to get a netbook to edit videos or use it to store a ton of photographs. Used in combination with a flash drive or an external hard drive, the netbook can be a savvy little purchase that makes working on-the-go that much more fun.
Next week, read “Part 2:: Shopping for a Netbook—What Kind Should I Buy?”