Netbook Versus Notebook

Who would have thought that a couple years later the netbook genre would still be around? It seemed like such a fad, but the ultra-portable mini notebook has managed to carve a niche for itself in a world where notebooks are getting smaller and other portable devices, such as the iPad, are carving their own unique place in the portable computing world. But are netbooks really that compelling? If you were going to buy a laptop today, would you buy a netbook or a notebook? And what the hell is the difference between them, anyway?

Netbook and Notebook Comparison

If price is the determining factor in your purchase decision, then you have to go with the netbook. Otherwise, there are some important differences between the two form factors. We’ve compared an Asus netbook and an Asus notebook below. The notebook is a class just above the netbook, so they are comparable in dimensions.

Netbook Notebook
Price $315.00 $650.00
CPU 1.66GHz Intel N450 Atom Intel Core i3-370M Processor 2.4GHz
RAM 1GB DDR2 RAM 4GB of DDR3 1066MHz RAM
Hard Drive 250 GB Hard Drive 320 GB Hard Drive
DVD Drive none none
HDMI none yes
Windows Windows 7 Home Starter Windows Home Premium 64-bit
Webcam Yes Yes
Display Size 10.1 inches 13.3 inches
Overall Size 10.31 x 7.01 x 1.44 (LxWxH) 12.9 x 9.28 x .098 (LxWxH)
Weight 2.8 pounds 3.74 pounds

The most important differences between a netbook and a notebook is the power. The 1.6GHz atom processor is slow, while the i3 2.4GHz is considerably faster. The netbook also only has 1GB of RAM. While it can be upgraded to 2GB, the notebook comes with 4GBs of RAM, which is quickly becoming the norm in the PC industry for a new PC.

Neither have an optical drive to keep the size and weight down. Both have integrated webcams, but the notebook has an HDMI port so you can hook your PC up to your high-def television to watch videos.  Remarkably, the notebook is slightly thinner. When playing with them both, the netbook just feels cheap.

Netbook

Asus netbook
ASUS Eee PC Seashell 1005PE-MU17-BK 10.1-Inch Black Netbook

Notebook

asus notebook
ASUS U35F-X1 Thin and Light 13.3-Inch Laptop (Black)

If price is not an object, and if you want a good laptop that is still ultra-portable, the notebook wins in performance and is a great laptop you will not regret buying. If you suspect the laptop will be subject to a lot of abuse and if you do not care about the lifetime, maybe the cheaper option is for you.