The Rise of The Netbooks

dell_netbookNetbook computers have grown in popularity over the last several months, with almost every laptop manufacturer offering their own version of the tiny laptop system. If you’ve never heard of the term “Netbook”, it’s basically a very portable laptop that is designed exclusively for use with the Internet for web browsing and checking emails. They typically have the following configuration:

  • Very small and lightweight laptop
  • Small screen size (usually between 7-in and 12-in)
  • Most use the low-power Intel Atom CPU
  • Most use a Solid State Drive (SSD) as the main disk drive, limited to sizes of 8, 16, 32 GB. Some use small laptop hard drives.
  • Most have built-in SD card readers
  • WiFi is built-in, along with a Ethernet jack port
  • RAM memory ranges from 512 MB to 1 GB
  • Most run either the Windows XP or Linux derivative operating system
  • Long battery life (3-4 hours)

Usually these systems are sold with 1 GB of memory max so they can be sold with the Windows XP operating system (Microsoft has retired WinXP, but will still sell it for systems such as the Netbooks if they have no more than 1 GB of RAM memory). Of course, some systems can be easily upgrade to 2 GB using conventional laptop memory modules.

With people wanted to stay connected to the Internet and the abudance of WiFi hotspots around the world, it makes sense that the Netbook computers have caught on in the public. I actually investigated getting a Dell Mini 9 Netbook computer (and started a web blog discussing my findings), but eventually decided to return the Netbook for a variety of reasons. Primarily, the keyboard was just a bit too small for me to touch type on, and some of the keys (e.g., single and double quote, period, etc.) were located in non-standard locations on the keyboard. Thus, touch typing on a Dell Mini 9 was impossible.

Secondly, the vertical resolution of the screen was only 800 pixels, which meant that every web page I viewed immediately required scrolling to see the main content. That coupled with the non-standard keyboard made me give up the Dell Mini 9. Otherwise, the Dell system was excellently built and ran amazing quick (with all the tweaks I configured).

If you want to learn more about my thoughts on the Dell Mini 9, you can check out my other web blog for information.

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