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Information about Netbooks- Can a Netbook Replace Your Laptop or PC?

Updated on May 31, 2009
Netbooks usually are available in several different colors.
Netbooks usually are available in several different colors.

My experience with my laptop to netbook transition.

I just purchased a Dell Mini 10 Netbook the other day (click here for my review!). I purchased the netbook after several unfortunate events happened to my 15.4” widescreen Toshiba notebook. To make a long story short, Windows would no longer start and my screen cracked (really badly).

 I knew it was time to get a new laptop. 

This article will cover my experience with my netbook so far (I’ve been testing it heavily, trust me!)

  • What exactly is a netbook?
  • Is it conceivable to completely replace a netbook with a laptop?
  • How much do netbooks cost?
  • Who should use a netbook?
  • Who shouldn’t use a netbook?
  • What are the pros & cons of netbooks?

What Is A Netbook?

A netbook is a "mini" laptop that is designed for surfing the internet, using e-mail, streaming video online, playing music & light application use (word processing). They are more affordable than a regular sized PC or laptop because they are smaller and have slower processors than a typical computer.

Netbooks do not have DVD or CD-Rom drives. All data either has to be downloaded via the internet or by using a USB portable drive.

A netbook will typically have a screen of 7, 9 or 10 inches. The smallest laptop is usually around 12 inches. 

How Much Do Netbooks Cost?

Netbooks can run anywhere from $250-$850. A good middle of the line netbook will cost you around $400 and have ample features for most people's needs. The top of the line netbook will be able to handle some older graphical games and have faster processor speeds. The lower end netbooks will have very small hard drives and are perfect for just surfing the internet and reading e-mail.

Can You Replace Your Computer With A Netbook?

It truly depends on your needs. If you only use your computer for surfing the web, answering e-mail, taking notes in class and downloading a few pictures, you could very conceivably make the transition.

If you use resource heavy programs such as Photo Shop or play video games like Counter Strike, a netbook will not fit your needs.

Who Should Use a Netbook?

Anyone that is looking for convenience and portability for surfing the internet, checking e-mail, taking notes for class, word processing, listening to music, watching streaming videos, etc. will benefit from a netbook.

  • Students (netbooks are super portable and have long battery lifes for taking notes during lectures)
  • Grandparents (netbooks make phenomenal gifts for grandparents that just need e-mail to communicate with family members.
  • Business People (netbooks are convenient to use in the office for checking e-mail and surfing the web)
  • Web Surfers (netbooks are great for folks that simply need an affordable way to surf the internet and answer e-mail)
  • Travelers - (netbooks are more convenient for travel because of their battery life, they are light weight and are less cumbersome to take through airport security.)

Pros & Cons of Netbooks

Before purchasing a netbook, make sure to outweight the pros & cons and take into consideration what your personal requirements are.


  • Longer battery life than average notebook
  • Lower cost than a regular PC or laptop
  • Extremely portable; small & lightweight
  • Large hard drives for music, movies & other files
  • Great for streaming movies & internet based games


  • Smaller screen/fonts
  • No DVD/CD-Rom Drive
  • No high-end graphic cards; no gaming
  • Keyboard may be harder to type if you have larger hands
  • More strain on your neck; eyes must focus lower on the screen


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    • profile image

      MD ABDULLAH AL MAMUN 6 years ago

      I am very happy to using the netbook

    • profile image

      mandy 6 years ago

      hi, im thinking of buying a netbook i want to know is it any good for playing games on facebook e.g farmtown and other games on

    • profile image

      db 6 years ago

      what about connecting to the internet? where is the info on wifi? Or the added cost of using the internet when wifi isnt free? Glad your happy with the product you bought. why does most think this was a great article?

    • profile image

      mickhala 7 years ago

      i cant wait to get minez this month..........!!!!!!

    • Jane Grey profile image

      Ann Leavitt 8 years ago from Oregon

      Very helpful and thorough. Thanks!

    • profile image

      takeya 8 years ago

      you say we won't be able to play the sims 3...what about if we purchase a portable dvd/cd rom? will that work?

    • profile image

      Brandy  8 years ago

      Thanks, that's just was I was looking for :)

    • profile image

      Sujit Nair 8 years ago


      Both, your review as well as your article were informative. Would like to add a bit, even I am using a netbook 8.9" as the author said it is good for surfing & other basic applications. Would like to emphasize that if you are an extensive "spreadsheet" user then this is not recommended.

      Typically I have become a fan of netbooks and planning to get 10.1" Dell soon.



    • Singular Investor profile image

      Singular Investor 8 years ago from Oxford

      Nice summary of all the relevant info. - thanks !

    • chandanakumarct profile image

      chandanakumarct 8 years ago from Bangalore

      Great Article.. I will go with Netbook rather than Notebooks.

    • Hawkesdream profile image

      Hawkesdream 8 years ago from Cornwall

      Don't go for one of those freebie ones with contract internet though, my son had one which crashed totally within just a few weeks.

    • sabu singh profile image

      sabu singh 8 years ago

      Thanks for this information

    • eryn profile image

      eryn 8 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      Great article! Notebooks sound like something I would consider.

    • LondonGirl profile image

      LondonGirl 8 years ago from London

      My other half has one, which uses a fingerprint to log on. That's the best thing, I reckon (-:

    • girly_girl09 profile image

      girly_girl09 8 years ago from United States

      Your welcome! I wish I would've had one for all the traveling I did last year. Can't wait to travel with my netbook. I noticed that many times my widescreen 15.4" laptop would barely even fit on the tray on the airplane and it'd be very difficult to type comfortably. My little netbook definitely will be comfortable to use on a plane!

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Useful article, well done. I travel lots so next time I need to replace my laptop computer I will definitely consider one. Thanks