You have decided you want a portable computer. You have a couple of choices depending on how much you might want to spend. There are Laptops, (also known as Notebook Computers) and then there are Netbooks.
The idea behind the Laptop or Netbook is simple. People wanted to be able to take their computers with them. Since taking a desktop computer with you is pretty much impossible, (imagine the length of extension cord you would need!) another solution was needed. Naturally in this day of making everything smaller computer designers came up with a Laptop computer.
Roughly the size of a large notebook, (hence the original name Notebook Computer), the Laptop integrates most of the components of a desktop system. You have a processor, a hard drive, and memory. However instead of a monitor, the Laptop incorporates an LCD screen which is situated in the lid. You open the lid and when your computer is on, there is your view screen. Instead of a mouse, most Laptops employ either a small button that manipulates the cursor on the screen, or a touchpad which does the same. CDROM drives, and peripheral connections are usually on the side of the Laptop.
Most Laptops come preloaded with an operating system, either Windows or Linux, and of course those made by Apple come with a Mac OS. The Laptops also are often found with production software such as Microsoft Office.
Laptops can be a bit pricey, some running the same as a desktop, many in the $1000.00 range and up.
The Netbook Computers are much smaller than the Laptop, generally with slower processors, and less memory. Many are the size of a Steno pad, and may use a Unix or Linux operating system. They will run Windows XP and Vista, but not the more advanced editions. Windows 7 is reported to have a version for the Netbook market.
Netbooks being much smaller, usually have a screen of 9 diagonal inches. The keyboards are not the full size you might find with a Laptop. On the plus side, Netbooks are often cheaper than a Laptop – some as low as $300.00.
Netbooks may be ideal for a middle school age child who wants the portability of a desktop computer, but does not need the bells and whistles of a fully fledged laptop. Not only that but the price of a Netbook vs. the price of a Laptop is likely a lot better on Mom and Dad.
While there are some who would look at the Netbook, and denigrate it for its lack of peripherals like CDROM drives, low power processor, and little memory, they do have their place in the market. If your sole purpose in having a portable computer is to do word processing, or simply check your email while away from home but you don’t want to pay over $1000.00, then the Netbook might be for you.
However if you like your portable computer to equal the power, speed and versatility of your desktop, then you need a Laptop. Whichever way you go, there is a portable computer that will fit your needs.