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Netbooks versus Notebooks: The New Age Battle

Netbooks versus Notebooks: The New Age Battle

Netbooks versus Notebooks: The New Age Battle

Netbooks versus Notebooks: The New Age Mindshare Battle

While the lines between notebooks and netbooks have been drawn, it's still hard for most people to appreciate the differences between both machines. Most people still consider the burgeoning netbook market as part of the notebook market, while few see it for what it really is, another segregation of the already saturated portable market with yet another device gunning for your consumer dollars.

John was facing a dilemma. Stuck with a limited budget, he had only a limited amount of cash to spend and was torn between getting a low cost laptop or getting one of the newer netbooks. While the laptop he was looking at was slightly out of his budget, the netbook was definitely within range. What he was unsure of was the specifications of the newer netbooks compared against the notebooks he was familiar with. John was no geek god, but he knew enough to get by, which made him all the more curious about netbooks: were they any good compared to a full fledged notebook?

Netbooks and notebooks aren't any different when you get down to the basics; both devices share pretty similar features, which is why most people like John tend to lump them both together in the same category. Designed with portability in mind, netbooks and notebooks are computers for users on the go with programs for both work and entertainment. Factor in a keyboard, a LCD screen, hard drive, speakers and internet capability, the line between both machines becomes smudged despite our earlier statements to the contrary. The key difference the netbook offers is its smaller form factor and leaner hardware for longer useage periods, but is limited in its processing capabilities and is more optimal for simple Internet-based usage.

Jane on the other hand had a much better time with decisions. She didn't know much about netbooks or notebooks, but she had a budget set and had already made up her mind with regards to her purchase. For her, it was a matter not of specifications, but more a choice of portability, especially with her small frame. With all the new netbook models available since the launch of Intel's Atom processor, she was spoilt for choice when it came to picking a netbook that would suit her. The expensive ultra-portable notebooks that she had briefly flirted with in her mind before was now an option she could happily skip. That leaves her with one burning question: which netbook model to get, and why.

With the success of the ASUS Eee PC 701, vendors started jumping into the netbook bandwagon. Originally designed to be an alternative to the OLPC project for retail, the Eee PC quickly found its way to success through its cheap price and diminutive size, both of which were touted as its strengths. While demand quickly outstripped supply, consumers soon got tired of the new models that only offered a minor upgrade. It was time for a change, and the market gladly obliged with newer, faster and slightly larger models.