With technology getting much smaller and quicker are these so called ‘netbooks’ just another name for a small laptop or is there something that sets them apart? Let’s take a look…
Amongst the first to hit the shelves was the Asus Eee PC 900 series which had a 900 MHz processor, 1 gig of RAM (2 gig max), 20 gig total solid state drive and a shade off a 9” screen pre loaded with Linux. Now that may not seem like a huge spec plus it doesn’t have a CD drive so what’s so special about them? Well I have to say for a general use compact laptop it was pretty good! The SSD drive coupled with Linux made start up and loading times respectable and provided you pre-installed the software you needed (Via a 30 quid external DVD drive) you were set for a good 8 hours of computing, ideal for the on-the-road workplace.
Just how popular are these tiny laptops though? Well sales figures for 2008 suggest 14.6 million units shipped and with a considerable amount of commercialisation figures for 2009 will supposedly be around the 26.3 million mark with ASUSTek hovering around the 70% market share, cha ching I hear you cry. Prices start from around £140 too so very affordable especially for the kids.
The specs are changing a lot though and becoming more like laptops. With the removal of SSD drives in favour of standard SATA hard-drives and Windows instead of Linux all seems to be bumping the price up. If you do fancy looking at a few models here is a good place to start.