How to choose a Netbook

Small Smart mini notebook is not only smart but also inexpensive. Many consider them as the second or third notebook in the house. And with good reason, because you’re aware of the limitations of the small platform you can get rich benefits out of it. 

First, it is worthwhile to clarify the concepts: the text here I use is the small cheap laptop or mini-note, but you can also find them referred as Netbook in U.S. mostly. Mini-Note is terms for small and portable laptops which are fully functional. The exact meaning of this means a small, light and inexpensive laptops.

What is a Netbook ?
Ans. A Netbook is like mini-note or a small laptop that runs Windows XP or a variant of Linux. Very few models also comes with Windows Vista. Typically, the screen is about 9, 10 or 12 inches and the weight is less than 1.5 kg. The price typically starts at $3500 at start. There is no CD / DVD drive in it.

What can you do with a Netbook?

Ans. Because of the combination of custom hardware and less demanding operating systems like Windows XP and Linux-based variants, you can virtually do the same as you can do on the traditional laptop. 

The limitation lies in the processor, because it cannot cope with large videos and photo editing task’s. Moreover, the machines is limited by integrated graphics card (no HD or 3D) and the screen resolution, making it difficult to foresee, for example. large Excel sheet.

Typical hardware in a mini-note :-

Processors:- In most cases the Netbooks comes with Atom processor from Intel. A relatively small processor, like a size of a finger nail, using a maximum of 4 watts and is therefore both power saving and less prone to heating. The first Atom processor was N270 whch was being superseded by the N280 Atom processor. The typical clock frequency of N270 is 1.6 ghz and 1.66 ghz for N280. It is practically difficult to make a difference between the two processors, but on pages with multiple flash advertising feels N280-based Netbooks are little faster. The Atom processors, which sit in a mini-note is called a single-core processor. This means that it has only one core to begin with – as opposed to modern desktop and mobile processors, like Intel Core 2 Duo or Core i7.

Intel has developed a dual core Atom processor in the series, called 330, but this is only available in stationary Atom systems. An Atom with HT appears in the control panel as an additional processor, but is really just a technical solution that gives 10-15% extra performance and prevents the machine from being completely locked.

Atom processor can theoretically reach up to 2 ghz, but the fastest models on the market currently has only 1.86 ghz clock speed.  The clock speed of a processor is not important here but the capacity of the CPU to run a operating system without using too much of the battery or generating too much heat. For this 1.6 gigahertz usually more than enough. An interesting thing is that the Atom is also used in small stationary machines, like the popular Eee Box. Some models such as Samsung NC20 comes with a VIA-Nano processor, which is also a specially developed processor for power saving devices. However, it is not turned over as well as Atom, but possess the approximately same properties.

Ram, graphics card and hard drive: – Netbooks are typically supplied with one gigabyte DDR2 ram. It is usually enough, but often you can even upgrade to two gigabytes. The Mini Note comes with only one memory space, so it is recommended that you shoule buy a 2GB DDR2 RAM. Netbooks are typically equipped with an integrated graphics card. This means that you can play movies like DivX, WMV and other similar formats but not HD. And also no 3D  games support. Personally, I have fairly good experience with using CCCP codec and Mediaplayer Classic to play.

There are exceptions on the road. Among other HP DV2, which uses an ATI graphics card to play movies in HD format @ 720p. Furthermore, graphics card manufacturer Nvidia with their so-called ion-platform based on Intel Atom processor, but using Nvidia’s own chipsets and graphics cards. There is still no mini-notes with Nvidia Ion in the market.

Disk on a mini-note is now typically in excess of 100 gigabytes. Hard Disks are also usually 2.5 "SATA drives with 5,600 rpm and, on most models be changed through a hatch at the bottom. A few, usually more expensive models come with a flash disk-based SSD drive. Disks are usually small and a little faster. The first mini-notes, the Asus Eee 700 series and Acer One 8.9 "with Linux, is also equipped with SSD drives, but these were usually considerably slower than modern hard drives.

Display of Netbook :- The first mini-notes come with a 7 "screen (Eee 700) with a resolution of 800 x 600 pixels, as compare to the models like Acer One, HP2133 and Eee 900/901 which has 8.9" screen (often referred to as 9 " ), while the solution was upgraded to 1024 x 600 pixels.

MSI Wind, Samsung NC10 and some other models helped to bring the screen size up to 10.1 "(often referred to as 10") while the resolution remains at 1024 x 600 pixels. Some models such as Lenovo S10e and HP2140 are trying to "cheat a little on the weight" by supplying screens with a resolution of 1024 x 576 pixels. However, I would recommend that you stick by them because modern web sites is essential to read on a screen with low vertical resolution.

Some models such as Samsung NC20, HP DV2 or Dell Mini 12 comes with a 12 "monitor. It has a resolution of 1280 x 768 and are therefore more usable on modern websites. Downside is that the rest of the machine grows along with the screen.

One of the main parameters of a mini-note is the battery life. Some, as Lenovo S10e or MSI Wind, can supply between 2 and 2 ½-hour of battery life in full operational mode when fully charged. While more modern models such as the Samsung NC10, 1002HA Eee and Acer One 10 "can run between 4 and 6 hours if fully charged one time. Asus Eee 1000HE can deliver the entire 8 + hours of battery life.

Battery life is achieved by a combination of a battery of many cells (see 4 or more) and good power management,  software from the manufacturer. Personally it is a mini-note for me on mobility, so a large battery life is a must for the user. 

Wifi, USB, Ethernet or Turbo 3G:-  All Netbooks are running largely on the same platform and comes with two to three USB ports, 100 Mbit Ethernet connector, VGA out and a power connector. Wifi is also standard, and here the difference is that most come with 80.11g standard network adapter and e latest 802.11n network adapter. Regarding the speed , because of the limited platform, not usually a big difference but there is a (small) advantage of 802.11n when it comes to range.

Some models also comes with a built Turbo 3G modem – and often with grants from the telecommunications operator. Do you still have a mini-note and Turbo-3G then it can be a good idea. You can buy a model without built 3G modem then you can connect it via a USB port.

Note that the vast majority of mini-notes comes with an SD slot. There are excellent opportunities to expand the storerage and make a simple backup on an 8, 16 or 32 gigabyte SD card.

Windows 7 Compatibility : – I’ve tried most models on the market with a beta version of Windows 7 and has not experienced any problems – whether I used Windows 7 on models with one or two gigabytes of memory. Windows 7 will also run at full graphics without problem. Windows 7 will also come in a special mini-note version with some limitations. 

Accessories: – The most obvious enhancement to your netbook is a mouse, because in the long run the small trackpad ruin your shoulder. I like the Logitech VX Nano because it has a very small USB dongle connector, but it must be quite simple to various Bluetooth mouse use the mini-notes which come with Bluetooth support.

Note that a few mini-notes only has two USB ports. So you cam put a mouse and an external keyboard entirely to the ports and you have no empty port here (there is no PS / 2 port).  Should it be advanced with many USB devices, you must have a (travel) USB hub.

So far, it is a restriction placed by Intel, the 99% of all mini-notes with a VGA output for an external monitor – not the modern DVI output. It is a shame for the VGA , especially in higher resolutions, as. 10-15% is more fuzzy than DVI.

However, Samsung announced a pair of special compact displays, as well as run on the USB port also has a folding back, almost like a photo frame. Another obvious enhancement to your Netbook is a bag to protect it. You can find a good netbook bag on Last but not the least, please remember that the mini-notes come without DVD drives. You should consider just how to get your programs like, Office suite in favor of the machine. A good solution is a USB powered external DVD drive, but it runs quickly. You can also use a USB connector.

What make the Net-book popular ?

Several major manufacturers are doing today to provide a range of mini-notes. Among them some are Acer, Asus, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, MSI and Dell which leads.

Ok, I have a grip on all the hardware – what’s the difference between all the models? Most machines are produced on the same platform and the difference is mainly in construction quality. Particularly Lenovo S10e, MSI Wind and Eee 1000HE is not a good choice. But it is upto you.

I use my own mini-notebook to take around on trips – and it is a battery that can operate the machine for more than 5 hours a must. It is the most recent 10-inch models with the Atom N280 processor.

Tips to Buy : –
See what it provides you, try to describe your needs, your requirements for the design and how much you want to spend. Have a look at a Laptop magazine and sites which provide information on netbooks. 


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