Netbook Vs The Notebook - The War of the Portable PC's

By Phillip Harson
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For years the portable PC has been known majorly as the laptop, or notebook. This single lexis encompassed all foldable laptop type computers that we know today, from the 15 inch IBM's to the 21 inch monster laptops. The only other portable PC available until about 24 months ago was the PDA or Personal Digital Assistant, which despite getting increasingly good always fell short of the laptop equivalent.

Mobile phones were the next contender surprisingly, surpassing the average PDA in technological grunt which inevitably lead to a larger market of use. Phone's like the Apple iPhone now have a lot more processing power than the average PDA, and with the application base to support this they are now far more widely used than PDA's. The everyday technology of the phone seemed to draw more research and development than that of the PDA, but as well as overtaking this office technology the development of the mobile phone helped another form of technology develop too.

Enter 3G, global broadband and the consumption of high resolution - low screen size multimedia. These two ace's are really what have made modern generation phones like the iphone and ultimately gadgets like the netbook be so well received. 3G from mobile phones was slowly adopted as a means to provide internet access through the mobile communications network - first in PCI cards which could be plugged into traditional PCs and later downsized to a USB dongle which will provide wireless internet anywhere within reach of a mobile aerial, and what's more its fast mobile internet (within some areas of reception it's as fast as home wired broadband.) This mobility led to the netbook. A netbook by definition is a small notebook computer designed primarily for surfing the internet, but more and more we are seeing laptop technology minified to fit within a netbook of screen size often 10inchs or less.

Today's netbook is far improved of the first generation netbooks launched around 24 months ago, but do they compete with the notebook? This is a matter of taste and opinion, while sales of netbooks are continuing to rise faster than that of laptops, the market for laptops as a whole is still much larger. With companies such as apple apparently thinking of launching netbook's it is questionable whether the big brands will make the netbook truly a consumer electronic must have.

The netbook by far does not mean the death of the laptop, but it does provide a cheap and small alternative, a lot of buyers in fact already own laptops and simply buy a netbook as a secondary option - so which is it for you - the netbook, the notebook or both?