I’ve been getting a lot of questions about Netbooks lately. Netbooks are small, compact, lightweight computers that are very handy for travellers who need to have a computer handy. They are great if your primary interest is Internet access while travelling. Most netbooks have built in WiFi for wireless Internet access — great at Internet cafes such as Starbucks, Borders, and some Barnes and Noble bookstores, among others. They can also be tethered to a cellphone for Internet access, too.
Some will say, “Isn’t this a laptop?”
Netbooks are much smaller and much lighter than laptops, and tend to use Flash memory cards like your digital camera, so netbooks have fewer moving parts than laptops. Netbooks also have less storage space, but most come with online storage or USB capability for thumb drives.
My top recommendations for netbooks include the Asus Eee PC and the Dell Inspiron mini 9. These two machines are expected to be hot items on Black Friday. That’s three days from today.
Staring at $399 this version of the mini 9 comes with Windows® XP Home Edition (yes, XP, not Vista). It’s covered by a 1 year limited warranty with Mail-In Service. It has an adequate 1 GB of RAM (memory), 8 GB Solid State Drive (storage), an integrated 0.3M Pixel Webcam. The processor is an Intel® Atom Processor® N270 (1.6GHz/533Mhz FSB/512K cache). The hi-res LED screen measures 8.9 inches, and is backed by an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA). It also has a wireless 802.11g Mini Card, a long lasting 32WHr Battery, Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 8.1, Microsoft Works 9 without MS Word.
New orders can get a 3G upgrade for $125.
Click to take a better look, customize, and buy from Dell:
For you Linux OS fans out there, there is a $349 Ubuntu Unix version starting at $349:
Also starting at $399 from ClubMac is the Asus Eee PC. It’s about the same as the mini 9, but it comes with 12 GB of storage plus 20 GB of online storage. Click to view and buy from Club Mac:
Update: Watchout for netbooks using HDD (hard disk drives) versus SSD (solid-state drives). I prefer the SSD units because they have no moving parts and are more durable and more shock resistant than standard hard drive (HDD) technology. SSDs are smaller, and cost more, but their durability makes up for it. This is very important with a small portable computer which is more prone to shocks.