Do You Really Need A Powerful Netbook?

When netbooks came out a few years ago, many people criticized them for being under-powered and expensive. Netbooks have carved itself a nice niche market but some people still dont understand the appeal. Why would you pay $300 for an mini-laptop when you can get an entry-level laptop for a little more? You would get a bigger screen and a better processor. Why would people buy netbooks when they can get a larger, more capable laptop for a bit more? The answer is portability. Before tablets, netbooks were the only devices that gave consumers the functions of a computer and better portability than a laptop. As netbooks slowly enter their second generation, more people are looking to upgrade their slow, single-core Intel Atom netbooks to the newer dual-cores processors. There are some pretty fast netbooks on the market today but I am wondering if we really need all that speed. One of the main selling points of netbooks was their affordability. Having a fast netbook is great and all but it can raise eyebrows when the price tag exceeds $425. Do we really need a powerful netbook?



Dual-Core Netbooks

I spent a bit more and purchased my Asus EeePC 1015PEM on Amazon for about $360. At the time, the N550 dual-core Atom just came out and I wanted something more powerful than the archaic N450. This was by no means the best netbook out there but it does make tasks like browsing the web and watching videos more enjoyable. Technology gets better every day and theres always a new bar that hardware needs to reach to be considered acceptable. Today, this bar is HD video. Your computer isВ good if it can play HD videos smoothly. This is especially the case with netbooks. My netbook advertises HD playback but it doesnt play it smoothly. Not to mention, my netbooks screen cant even support 720p with its 1024 by 600 resolution. As far as video playback, my netbook plays standard 480p YouTube videos fine and thats good enough for me. Most netbooks start at $299 so I think the price was fair at the time.



What Do You Need A Netbook For?

When buying a netbook, its important to decide what you need it for. Are you planning to do heavy video editing? Are you planning to do light gaming? These questions are important because netbooks are not really designed for this type of work. Netbooks are more comfortable at handling web browsing and word processing. There are some powerful ultra-portables on the market like the Macbook Air and Lenovo X120e but some people may consider them netbooks just by their size. This is where things get confusing. Where do we draw the line to determine what is and what is not a netbook? If size is the case, then a Macbook Air would clearly be considered a netbook, right? Yes and no. Most people consider netbooks to be 10-12 portable computers that can access the web and do light work. Netbooks are often very affordable compared to full-size laptops. So if affordability is a determining factor, than a Macbook Air wouldnt be considered a netbook because its very expensive. Most people use size, and cost to determine what classifies as a netbook. It wouldnt make much sense to buy the top of line netbook and edit videos on it. It will still be slower than a full-size laptop, not to mention the small screen would be frustrating to use for such work. But what if we call these new netbooks ultra-portables? Would buying them make more sense?



Why Buy A Netbook?

If netbooks are so under-powered, why buy them? Theyre not good for photo or video editing. They can barely playback HD videos and their screens are so small, watching them would be uncomfortable. Why would anyone want a netbook over a full-sized laptop? The answer is portability and value. Netbooks are about the size of a school textbook so carrying it it a backpack is not much of a hassle. Having a weaker processor may hinder performance but netbooks are all about efficiency. This lack of processing power means a longer battery life. ItsВ common to see netbooks lasting 7+ hours on a single charge. This means you can leave the charger at home. When people carry around their laptops, they almost always carry their chargers too. I never need my charger when I take out my netbook. Netbooks cured me of my battery anxiety that most laptop users suffer from. Another big reason people buy netbooks is their great value. Netbooks usually start at $299 and sometimes, you can get them on sale for less. Most people use their computers for web browsing or data entry and you dont really need a quad-core i7 to get the job done. Netbook manufacturers recognize this and use cheaper processors and parts. This savings gets passed down to you, the consumer. when people shop for a computer, they usually look for something a little more capable. They want something that will last them a few years. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Its okay to buy a computer that is powerful but this means you are buying into convenience. What you may need in the future,В not what you need now. Netbooks are a great value because they serve customers with their needs today.



Who Buys Netbooks?

Because most netbooks are underpowered, the people who usually buys them already have a main computer at home. You shouldnt buy a netbook if you dont have a main computer. Usually, students pick up netbooks because of their portability and value. Mobility is a big selling point. I cant imagine lugging around my 17 laptop along with the charger everyday. My back would kill me. Most of the time, I need a computer to type something or browse the web. I often see people use their full-size laptops just to type and it make think, A netbook can do that just fine. If you are a student or if you want portability, a netbook isВ right for you.



A Powerful Netbook?

Is that an oxymoron? Apparently not. Some manufacturers are selling dual-core netbooks with a dedicated GPU. These netbooks can handle light gaming and HD videos. They can cost up to and over $425. To me, netbooks are like economy cars. Powerful netbooks are the top trims of these cars. There will always be a small group of people willing to pay top dollar for the best of a certain product. Theres nothing wrong with this but then you lose one of the main selling point of this product, value. Do you really need a powerful netbook? Probably not. But then again, you can justify any purchase if you put it to good use. I have done lots of work on my netbook. To me, it paid for itself. If you want a powerful netbook and youre willing to give up the value in favor of power and portability, you still win. They say the best camera is the one you have on you. I suppose this can also be said with computers. If you are not carrying your laptop just because its too big or heavy, get a powerful netbook. At least its with you when you need it. В WithВ these new power netbooks, the line between netbooks and ultra-portables is getting blurred. Do you really need a powerful netbook? Not really. Is it nice to have? Yes. If you are looking to buy a power netbook, consider the Asus Eee PC 1215N which has a dual-core N550 and NVIDIA Ion Graphics. This will run you about $450 depending on vendor. If you want to shop around for more options, then check out the HP Pavilion dm1z which is the first HP netbook which uses AMDs new Fusion platform. This netbook will cost about $425 with tax and its available at your local Best Buy retailer.



When laptops first came out, they were pretty much the same. It may not make much sense in the past to own a laptop over a desktop but that has changed.В Now theres a laptop for business professionals, consumers, gamers, and designers. The same thing may happen with netbooks. They were once pretty much the same Intel Atom machines sold by different manufacturers. Now, they are getting more powerful and diverse. Owning a powerful netbook will not make sense now, but thats also likely to change.



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