Friday, February 13, 2009

Netbooks: Redefining Portability

Netbooks are a smaller, lighter, less expensive alternative to laptop and desktop computers. While there are some limitations with respect to running certain applications and memory storage, these computers are great for students, children, the elderly and business travelers. 

The typical netbook costs under $400, weighs about 3 pounds and has a 9 inch screen. This kind of portability and affordability makes netbooks ideal for students looking for a less expensive computer to take to class, parents looking for a kid-friendly computer, elderly people wanting to stay connected, and busy professionals who don't want to lug around a heavy laptop between business meetings. 

Netbooks offer wireless access to the internet and support web-based applications. Online applications allow word processing, database and email programs to run without installing software. There is typically 1 GB of memory and no CD drive, so users often rely on USB and external hard drives for storage. 

With the growing popularity of smart phones, netbooks have become an instant success and outsold iPhones in 2008. 
The recession has also helped the sale of netbooks. These mini-computers were listed in Forbes' "Top 10 Things We're Still Buying" for their affordability and broad appeal.