Netbooks are everywhere, on buses, on trains, on planes… and in the classroom. It seems the little netbook has come out of nowhere to become extremely popular overnight.
But what is a netbook?
Netbooks usually have screens of 10 inches or less, runs Windows or Linux and generally sell for well under $500. As its name indicates, the netbooks main purpose is to keep its owner conveniently connected to the net – anywhere, anytime.
First introduced by Asustek when it launched the first Eee PC in the fall of 2007. But it was only in the last year when we saw the explosive growth of these so-called mini-laptops. Now we have many computer companies such as HP, Dell, Lenovo… all jumping on this craze for a small portable laptop. So much so, that netbooks now is the fastest growing segment of the laptop industry and is expected to reach 139 million units by 2013.
Why is there a sudden popularity for the small netbook? Perhaps the answer lies mainly in our constant quest for mobility. We want a portable device that will keep us connected to the Internet and yet be small and light enough to be carried around all day. A truly ultra-portable device that keeps us connected with family, friends and the web.
The next question you have to ask: why do netbooks make for great student laptops? If the above reasons arent enough, try the following:
Netbooks are small with 10 inch displays or less, which make them ideal for students. Plus, they are usually very lightweight – around 2 or 3 pounds. They are compact enough to tuck into your school bag or backpack, and small enough to carry around all day without developing a hernia.
As mentioned above because the netbook is so small and compact, it is very portable. A very mobile device that we can use to stay connected to the web and friends. Connectability is one of the main features – you are connected to the web at all times.
Most netbooks are designed to be sturdy and tough. They can take a few hard knocks and still keep on working. Students are not exactly the most gentle creatures on the planet, so a sturdy tough machine is needed to handle the demands put upon it.
Because of their small size, you will usually get better battery life than with a regular sized laptop. This is important to the student since you may have to go all day without a chance to re-charge the battery. Long lasting battery life makes the netbook the perfect student laptop.
Although small, these mini-laptops still sports some very impressive specs. Many now come with at least 1 Gig of RAM and Intel Atom processors. There are even some with Solid State Hard Drives which make them more durable and less likely to be damaged. Most use Windows XP – newer models debuting this year with the Nvidias Ion platform may have Vista or Windows 7, but still dont expect the kind of performance you would get from a regular laptop.
While storage on netbooks is constantly increasing, it is still nowhere near the kind of storage you will find on a regular sized laptop. Usually, most devices have around 30 or 60 Gig hard drives which should be adequate for most students needs. Many newer netbooks have 160 Gigs of storage.
Perhaps, the main reason netbooks make the perfect student laptops is the low price. Students are usually on a very limited budget and the low price-tag is a perfect fit. Many perfectly adequate machines are now priced in the $300 to $500 range – while many good ones go for well under $300. Plus, prices are steadily dropping so almost any student can now afford a netbook.
As you can plainly see, the netbook does have many features to make it a perfect student laptop: small size, very portable, excellent connections, very sturdy, long battery life, good performance, adequate storage and most of all, a very affordable price almost any student can take advantage of. Overall, netbooks are well suited for the classroom and the student.