Thursday, May 31, 2012

Laptops, Notebooks and Netbooks - What's the Big Difference?

As early as 2008, if you wanted a mobile computer option, you were pretty much stuck with buying a laptop. The typical computer consumer could walk into an electronics store and simply ask the sales rep, "Can you recommend the best laptop for sale"? Boy, have times changed. Sure, back then there were a few tablet personal computers, the amazing PDA and even a few smart phones on the market, but for the most part, it was all about the laptop.

Today, the traditional laptop is no longer the standard choice for consumers. There are literally hundreds of new mobile computers in categories including, notebooks, netbooks, smart phones, ultra-mobile PC's, tablets, and some still referred to as laptops. This leads to most computer shoppers being highly confused and not really knowing what the difference between each product description might be. So what exactly is the difference between these products? And which one is best for your individual utilization?

Unfortunately, if it were a simple answer, we'd write a book and make millions of dollars, because quite frankly, the difference between a notebook and netbook is like how to pronounce po-tay-to or po-tau-to - each person has a different answer. However, here are a few guidelines to look for:

Laptops, Notebooks and Netbooks all have the same basic design elements:

They all fold open and close to maintain compact ability
They all have a keyboard attached to a hinge mechanism
They all have a screen
In general, a netbook is often smaller and lighter than a notebook and a laptop, but there is no defined size parameter however to distinguish between all three products. As technology improves, the ability for the manufactures to cram more data into a smaller package becomes the standard fair. Because of this, the evolution from big to small follows this format: Laptop > Notebook > Netbook.

Laptops generally have ancillary drive applications, (like a CD Rom drive and Ethernet plug-ins for internet connections) where as a notebook and netbook are more simplistic in construction have total Wi-Fi connections internally built. A laptop is generally considered to have a screen larger than 15 inches. A notebook's screen size generally lands between 13"-15" in width and the netbook has the smallest of the three screens.

For the most part, if you are looking for a computer to simulate what your desktop can do in a traveling form, the laptop or notebook is your best option. If surfing the internet while being mobile is your thing, then a netbook is your best bet.

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