Should I buy a laptop or a netbook ?

Since the dawn of the netbooks, consumers have been repeatedly asking the same question again and again. Should I choose a netbook over a laptop? We have tried to answer that commonly asked question to help you make an informed buying decision.

Size and Weight

The screen size of the netbook is in the range of 7-10 inches and the keyboard is really cramped. In comparison, the normal laptop ranges from 12 to18 inches. The average weight of a netbook is around 3 pounds, while the weight of the laptop is over 4 pounds. Due to the minute size and low weight, netbooks are very convenient to carry around.


Surprisingly, with these little netbooks, you can store lots of movies, music and files as they have so much space to store data. Currently there are models that have storage capacity up to 160 GB. On the contrary, the newer model laptops have storage capacity from 320GB – 500 GB.


It has become a netbook standard to use Intel Atom 1.6Ghz. But they also come with VIA C7 1.2GHz or AMD Geode 800MHz. Netbook is engineered for efficiency and low cost as it for “net-centric” computing. “Net-centric” computing is just checking your emails, browsing the web, running web applications and running small applications. Complex programs (like Photoshop etc) may slow down the netbook significantly. If you are looking for running complex programs, Laptops may be your better choice.


Netbooks fall short in the graphics arena. Laptops use integrated or external graphic card from;’ Intel GMA x3100 to AMD Mobility HD 3870X2, which is way better than netbooks. Bottom-line, netbook may not satisfy your need as a gaming system.


The average battery life in a laptop is 2-4 hours. But in a standard netbook, it is 3-4 hours. If you can get a battery upgrade of 6-cell batteries, then the charge can stay up to a whopping 6-10 hours! Thanks to the Intel atom processor, which uses ultra low voltage.

DVD and webcam

This is a very important point that may sway your decision. At this point of time, there are no netbooks on the market that have CD or DVD drives. Also we noted that most of the netbooks seem to have an inbuilt webcam, which is a bonus.


Netbooks are very affordable. The current average price for a brand new netbook ranges between 300 to 500 US dollars. Some even are sold within 300 US dollars. But with laptops, the basic configuration can cost more than 600 US dollars and up (as you add on more memory, speed and other features).

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