I told you folks in a recent post what a netbook is and what you should expect from a netbook.
But, it seems that most people are not really interested in what netbooks are but more in the difference between netbooks and laptops. I do recommend you read the previous article too, but in this little post I’ll try to explain shortly the basic differences between the two laptop types.
But now, let’s see who wins this hypothetical battle of a netbooks versus laptop.
Weight and dimensions
Netbooks are known for their compact form and low footprint. Most of them have screens between 7 to 10 inches, but bigger 11.6 inches models have emerged lately. They are also very light, somewhere between 2 lbs for the small versions (and even lower) to 3.2 for the big ones.
Laptops on the other side are bigger and bulkier. Most of them have screen sizes from 14″ to 17″ and even 19″. There are also 13.3″ versions, but those come with other downfalls. And, since they are bigger, they are heavier also. My last 15.4″ laptop for example weighted around 5.5 lbs. Add 1 lbs for the charger and a couple of lbs for the other things in the bag… and you get the point.
Like i told you before, since laptops are smaller, they do come with smaller screens and resolutions. That is of course translated in a smaller workspace. Nowadays mainstream 10″ netbooks come with 1024 x 600 px res, and the next to come 11.6″ ones will have 1366 x 768 px .
The 15.4 laptops on the other side come with 1280 x 800 px (have a bigger dpi rapport, so everything is bigger on them and easier to read) or even 1650 x 1050 px. Bigger laptops can even come with Full HD resolutions.
Netbooks are meant to be portable, thus a decent battery life is a must. Most offer at least around 5 hours of real autonomy, while the best can go up to 8-9 hours from a 6 Cell battery.
Few laptops can offer the same things. Of course, there are some, like the new ultra-portable Vaios on the new Macbooks, but they cost many times more than a netbook.
Standard netbooks run for $200 to $450 , according to size and features. A good 10″ like the Asus 1005HA for example, with decent hardware and 10.5 hours battery life will only cost you around $360, while being light, durable and good looking.
Laptops on the other side can go for a lot more. It’s true some producers try to offer 15.4″ laptops for around $350 these days, but, you will get crappy hardware and crappy build quality, all in a heavy and bulky device. And that’s just not worth it.
Here’s where the line is really drawn. Netbooks’ performances are limited by the hardware inside: they used low voltage CPUs that can only offer so much. They are good for everyday activities and even watching HD ready movies (720p, not 1080p), but not for games and other resources hungry applications. Performances level will increase in the future, with devices housing the Nvidia Ion platform (better graphic performances) and the new Intel CPU line, Pine Trail . But laptops will always be more powerful. Some a lot more powerful actually.
As a wrap up, netbooks are compact and portable devices good enough for regular applications, while laptops can offer better performances, but for a bigger price and sacrificing autonomy and portability. For me, my netbook is the mobile travel companion, while i have a primary desktop computer back home that can give me all the power i need.
So, if you’re in need of a powerful device with a bigger working space area, you will have to get a laptop. If you still want it to be light and have a good battery life, you will have to pay a lot for it, way above $1000.
But, if you don’t need that much power and you’re looking for a device that could easily be carried around and used for every-day actions (surfing the web, watching videos, listening to music, writing texts, blogging etc ), than you have to go for a netbook. You’ll get one for around $350 easily.
In the end, i hope laptops vs netbooks article helped you better understand the differences between a netbook and a laptop/notebok. Choosing the one for you it’s your choice and you should pick the device that better satisfies your needs.
Photo source: here