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Netbooks Introduction: An Affordable Portable Option

Written by Augusto

A netbook is a great alternative for those users who are searching for a comfortable small notebook. It offers a very reduced size, with enough technical capacities in order to cover main tasks as Internet navigation, spreadsheets, email and text edition; as their sales have increased, netbooks are starting to raise their capacities with the help of brand new processors like Intel´s Atom Dual Core.

Besides their small size, another main cause for netbooks success has been its very low cost, which in some cases can be half the price of a traditional notebook or even less. Another positive aspect of netbooks is related to the power consumption, actually we must be more aware of the amount of energy that we consume, and netbooks are a great option to reduce it. Most of the netbooks components consume less power than the ones used in traditional notebooks or pc´s, and also in order to increase their performance, the use of solid-state disks in netbooks has become more common, decreasing with it the energy consumption that a common hard disk brings with it.

The term netbook was first used for some handhelds in 1999 and was registered by Psion in 2000, but Intel just reused it in 2008. Netbooks are commonly confused with subnotebooks which are also smaller and cheaper than notebooks but not as much as netbooks; subnotebooks gain their smaller size by eliminating devices and ports.

The first netbooks where launched by manufacturers like Asus, which first models had a very limited functionality. As netbooks has developed, other manufacturers have decided to launch their own models and increase their netbooks capacities as we already mentioned. Actually among the most common brands and models we can find:

MODEL

WEIGHT

DISPLAY

RAM

PROCESSOR

STORAGE TYPE

STORAGE

Acer Aspire One

2.18 lb, 2.77 lb

8.9"

512MB/1 GB

1.6 Ghz

SSD / HDD

8, 16 GB / 120, 160 GB

Intel Classmate PC

3.19 lb

7"

250 MB

900 Mhz

NAND

2 GB

Everex CloudBook

2 lb

7"

512 MB

1.2 Ghz

HDD

30 GB

ASUSEee PC 701

2.02 lb

7"

512MB/1 GB

900 Mhz

SSD

2, 4, 8 GB

ASUS Eee PC 900

2.18 lb

8.9"

1 GB

900 Mhz

SSD

12, 16, 20 GB

ASUS Eee PC 1000

3.19 lb

10.2"

1, 2

1.6 Ghz

SSD+SDHC / HDD

40 GB / 80 GB

Len IdeaPad S10

2.64 lb

10.2"

512 MB

1.6 Ghz

HDD

80 GB

Dell Mini 9

2.27 lb

8.9"

512MB/1 GB

1.6 Ghz

SSD+SDHC

4, 8, 16 GB

HP Mini note 2133

2.79 lb

8.9"

512MB/2 GB

1/1.6 Ghz

SSD / HDD

4 GB / 120 GB

Dell Mini 12

2.73 lb

12"

1 GB

1.3 / 1.6 Ghz

HDD

60 GB / 80 GB

Samsung NC10

2.9 lb

10.2"

1 GB

1.6 Ghz

HDD

80 GB/120 GB/160 GB

Quanta OLPC XO

3.19 lb

7.5"

250 MB

433 Mhz

SSD

1 GB

MSI Wind (U100)

2.29 lb, 2.6 lb

10"

512MB/1 GB

1.6 Ghz

HDD

80 GB / 120 GB



Among the hardware characteristics a netbook commonly has a 7 to 11 diagonal inches monitor, wireless card, no optical drive, 1GB RAM or less, 16GB or less for solid-state drives or 80GB for hard-disk drives and 3 lbs or less in total weight. Related to the software, most of the times they come with GNU Linux or Windows XP Home Edition as operative system, and they are able to run Office Suites.

The expectations for netbooks for the following 3 or 4 years are to increase sales even more and raise their functionality capacities even near to the one of a traditional notebook.

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