Netbooks Versus Mobile Internet Devices – What Is A Netbook

Author Chinavasion Marketing 5.5.2009. | 11:15

So you want something to access the Internet, send and receive e-mail, and edit basic office documents and spreadsheets. That’s it.

You don’t want to spend more on expensive features you’ll never really need or use and you’ve heard wonderful things about Netbooks and Mobile Internet Devices.

But which one should you choose?

Netbooks and MIDs are all the rage at the moment. They promise great functionality and portability for users, but what exactly are they? And what exactly can they do? And who would buy one?

In this two part series I am going to go through the features of each and then look at who netbooks suit best and who MIDs suit best.



Linux Netbook with 10.2 Inch Screen + Bonus External DVD-R Drive

A netbook is a highly portable laptop computer with wireless internet access and communication in mind, specifically web browsing and email communication.

All netbooks support wi-fi wireless networking as a minimum. Most netbooks typically run either Windows XP or a version of Linux which are lighter on computer resources than Windows Vista or the forthcoming Windows 7.

Although netbooks may look similar, they are all much lighter and slimmer than their big laptop brothers, their dimensions can vary significantly.

Linux Netbook with 10.2 Inch Screen + Bonus External DVD-R Drive
Screen size varies between 5″ and 13″. If you decide to go with a netbook you should make sure you go with the smallest screen that you can use comfortably. The sweet spot is 9 inches for most users.

The internal hardware is generally optimized for size, weight, energy efficiency and durability. While laptops focus on raw performance, like 3D gaming and multimedia functionality, netbooks are specialized for wireless communication and the netbook’s onboard hardware and design reflects this.

Linux Netbook with 10.2 Inch Screen + Bonus External DVD-R Drive
Netbooks are becoming increasingly popular and continue to enjoy high market share within the laptop market. Most netbooks come with either Windows XP or Linux OS with Ubuntu or Fedora being the Linux OS of choice. However alternatives such as Mac OS X and other open source operating systems to Linux do exist.

Netbooks are ideal for those who enjoy their wireless internet access on the move along with productivity tools, e.g. business people, students and mobile city dwellers with busy lives.

While they don’t have the same raw power as their larger notebook counterparts, they are designed for wireless internet use in mind and they perform this function extremely well.

    • Price : Less than a desktop or laptop PC, but more than a Mobile Internet Device
    • Screen Size: 5” to 13” (average is 9”)
    • Keyboard: Small but useable
    • Feature Set Strongly skewed toward wireless connectivity instead of performance
    • Upgradeability: Good
    • OS Choice: Flexible, although CPU load should be kept to a minimum
    • Product Range: Broad, excellent choice for consumers and professionals
    • Market Very competitive
    • Level of Support: Good
    • Size: Bigger than an MID (not pocket-sized)



Check out Part Two Where we look at Mobile Internet Devices and show you which one will suit you more.

Author Chinavasion Marketing 5.5.2009. | 11:15
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  1. Charles Sneatlum May 12, 22:50

    i have not had a netbook but i am considering one for my nextlaptop…due to size reason…only thing i kind of dont like is the netbooks most of them are all xp?or linux?….i have had vista so long now i have no clue how to operate a xp system anymore….

  2. Heather May 17, 00:52

    Do the netbooks already have internet access built into them or do you still have to order the service? I am new to all this and honestly have no idea!

  3. Gareth May 20, 12:40

    Hi Heather,

    Most netbooks have wifi access built in. That means that you will get internet anywhere there is a WiFi hotspot (Starbucks, Coffee Shops, Universities etc).

  4. Diane June 6, 06:35

    My boyfriend has a netbook & cannot seem to get on the internet because the signal around here is too low. What do we do? Wireless router???

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