5 Main Differences Between Laptops and Netbooks

By Mika Staplesson
Tags:notebook computers,notebook computersMain Differences Between Laptops and Netbooks,Main Differences Between Laptops and Netbooksnotebook computers notebook computers
Questions regarding differences between laptops and netbooks often pop up on different computer related forums often leading to heated discussions and strongly worded opinions. Who is right and what differences are there? Which one is best?

I can't say I'm strongly biased towards one or another group of computers since I personally have and use both and have used desktop computers extensively too, which I hope gives me the experience to call one or another type of notebook good or best for a particular job. Here are the five main differences you should consider before decide on one or another.

1. The size. Anyone who has seen a netbook before will agree me on this one, netbooks are small. It can be both a pro and a con, depends on the color of the glasses you wear. For those who carry their computers around a lot small size is a huge plus, for those who run high resolution software it's a bane.

2. Resolution. The number of pixels is limited to 1024 by 600 on the small 10.1" screen, which is usually mentioned as a drawback. All I can say is that the more you use it the more used you'll get to it and will not even notice it anymore. It's definitely enough to render websites in their native size and e-mails don't really need even this much. Laptops have larger resolution screen but those put extra pressure on the graphics chip so it all evens out.

3. The battery life. A 15.4" laptop in the $500 price range often comes with 2-4 hours battery which dips below 1.5-3 when playing movies or games. On the other hand netbooks that cost $300 often have a battery that lasts for 6-10 hours, enough for a whole day of work. Even under high load they rarely run for less than 4-5 hours.

4. The keyboard is often the central point of debates, and I frankly don't understand why. Comparing the keyboard of an Asus 1005 series netbook to a Fujitsu-Siemens pi3540 laptop there is a whole inch of difference in favor of the latter. I'm not a fast typist but I often peak above 65 WPM on my netbook and make mistakes on the laptop. It's all down to which one you're used to, and isn't much of an issue if you choose a netbook with a proper set of keys. That's the first thing I check on a netbook, actually.

5. The price. This factor often favors netbooks, which tend to fall under $400 mark. It would be challenging to find a proper new laptop for that much money and even then you'd have to fight lower battery life and build quality of the cheap notebook. For that much money you actually get the Cadillac of mini ultraportables, and I don't find it hard at all to find one I'd be comfortable with for $300.