Netbooks fall in under laptops as a smaller, more portable, and ultimately cheaper alternative. Usually ranging from $200-500, netbooks can have a range of hardware specifications and software options, so finding the right one for you can sometimes be a bit of a challenge.
While they had a surge in popularity a few years ago, their prominence on the market has fallen off a great deal. The two big netbook manufacturers, ASUS and Acer, ceased production of netbooks as of 2013. Why? The rise of tablets and performance issues with any programs that were even slightly more demanding than web browsers.
If you want something merely because it’s portable, then consider a tablet. If you don’t want to let go of your keyboard, and want to keep the greater power and versatility that a small laptop provides – here are some of your best options.
For more info on individual products, and latest pricing, click on the images.
The Acer C7 Chromebook has an 11.6-inch high definition display that shows vibrant colors and has a great viewing angle. The Chromebook comes with 100GB of Google Drive Cloud Storage for 2 years, and has a 320GB hard drive to start with. It also has 2GB RAM, and a dual core Intel Celeron processor, giving it enough of an edge to get through most tasks without strain.
If you’re a fan of Windows, you may be put off by the Chrome OS. But if you’re willing for a change this may be the thing you are looking for.
A selling point for many with regards to the Acer C7 and indeed Chromebooks in general is the price. Priced at only $199, the Acer C7 is a steal compared not only to other netbooks but to other design options like tablets and laptops as well. Perfect for web browsing and simpler computing tasks, the relative inexpensiveness might just be the selling point for those that have a limited need and limited funds. If this is all you might use a laptop for and don’t need the price or world of apps provided by the even more mobile tablet options, then a netbook might do it for you.
The Acer Aspire One 725 is the netbook to go for if you’re a gamer and in need of some gaming time whilst on your travels. The Aspire One 725 has an HD LED 11.6-inch display, and there’s no doubt that the quality is perfect for watching movies, playing games, or just browsing the internet with a comparatively long-lasting battery life.
Inside the D725 is a generous 4GB of RAM, 320GB hard drive space, a dual core AMD processor, and a built in HD Radeon 6290 with Wireless-N (802.11n) for network connectivity. It’s not going to be a good fight against a PC, but it still has enough graphics power to manage most simple games.
And just to be sure that you aren’t losing out on the other qualities that a netbook has to offer, this model runs Windows 8, includes HDMI, VGA, Ethernet, and 2 USB ports.
Although netbooks are in their purest form a dying breed of design, the onslaught of the tablet market has forced innovation and integration form the tech world. The result is something that takes the traditional netbook design, incorporates features of a tablet, and comes out with something in between.
For example, the Dell XPS comes in 32GB and 64GB versions, a far cry from the storage power that is sometimes 10 times as much on other netbooks. At the same time, the Dell XPS 10 features Windows RT, touch screen capabilities on its 10” screen and a decent resolution display that you wouldn’t normally find in this niche.
Further, it handles like a tablet. Forget the flip-screen laptop design of most netbooks. This model is sleek and thin and mostly screen. Use it handheld or connect to the mobile keyboard and you get the benefits of a sturdier netbook design along with USB and HDMI ports.
If you’re torn between the netbook and tablet world or just want something that’s a little more convenient and flexible than a laptop, then this Dell hybrid option could work.
Just like the Dell XPS 10, the Acer Iconia W510 is a Windows 8 tablet that has a docking keyboard to turn it into a more traditional netbook-style build. The Acer Iconia stands out for its full Windows 8 capabilities and features like a 9-hour battery life and “always on” design that make it easy, quick, and reliable.
If you want Windows 8, the Iconia W510 is probably the best choice for the price, and the dual core Intel Atom processor and 2GB RAM ensure that it runs it smoothly and quickly. The 10.1-inch display is quite appealing and the docking keyboard allows for multiple configurations, meaning that whether it’s word processing or media consumption, you’ll be able to do it with comfort and choice.
The Eee PC is about as minimalist as you can get. The design of this Eee PC is slick industrial in a uniform black color. The 10.1 display has a sub-standard resolution compared to other netbooks, making the screen at times more pixilated. It comes with a nice 320GB storage space, a dual core Intel processor, and 1GB RAM.
Again, this would be an option for someone that is looking for some pretty straightforward computing-Things like word processing (for which it comes equipped with Windows 7) and keeping in touch (making use of its built-in webcam).
For these bare bones features you also pay a bare bones price, which makes this netbook a nice choice for those with a small budget.
Included with it, are also a bunch of free software included with the 1025C, like Office 2012 Starter, Movie Maker, Live Mail, and a selection of ASUS-built software features.
Do your due diligence and give tablets a consideration, but if a physical keyboard and extra built-in storage are must haves for you, then there’s no shame in preferring a more traditionally designed netbook to a tablet.