Pin Me

Laptop vs. Netbook

written by: Nicholas•edited by: M.S. Smith•updated: 3/27/2010

Trying to decide whether to purchase a laptop or netbook? Both devices have many similarities, but many differences as well. There are several things that you may want to consider before choosing which one is best for you. Check out this laptop vs. netbook review to learn more.

  • slide 1 of 3

    Laptops and Netbooks

    Laptop vs. netbook, which one is right for you? Whether you choose to take the red pill or blue pill will determine whether or not your next portable purchase is a good one. Previous impulse buys have probably given you the knowledge that taking electronics stuff back is never an easy task to accomplish. Check out the following pros and cons. Hopefully, they will ease the decision making process.

  • slide 2 of 3


    macbook air We'll start out with the veteran of the two, laptops. Laptops have evolved quite a bit, especially in the last couple of years. Most likely, you have seen the Apple commercial with the MacBook Air fitting nicely into the manila envelope. This is a great example of how portable laptops can actually be, making them an option for you if you travel a lot, or are a student needing to take your PC to class.

    The main benefit of laptops over netbooks is that they offer a full PC experience. All of the functionality and features that your desktop computer has a laptop has as well, with a few exceptions. Some laptops are limited in features, most notably ultra portable laptops. That same MacBook Air mentioned above may seem like the perfect portable computer. However, it doesn't have a built-in CD/DVD drive. You can get an external drive, but that pretty much defeats the purpose of something being an ultra portable device. If a built-in CD/DVD drive is a necessity for you, consider getting a normal laptop, rather than an ultra portable. Sure it may weight a pound or two more, but it would be worth it, as you have more features.

    Laptop keyboards give you the best typing experience. Netbooks, not so much. If you are going to be doing a lot of typing on the go, laptop keyboards will provide you with a much more comfortable workspace than netbooks. With netbooks, the keyboard is about 75%-90% the size of a normal keyboard. If you have Shaquille O'Neil hands, and can basically palm a basketball with three fingers, you will probably hate using a netbook.

  • slide 3 of 3



    In the battle of laptop vs. netbook, the main advantage of netbooks is their extreme portability. A Dell Inspiron 15 laptop weighs about 5lbs. An HP Mini Netbook weights about 3lbs. 2lbs might not seem like a huge difference in weight, but it is noticeable if you're hauling a bag with your laptop or netbook in it all day.

    Netbooks really are convenient for travelling. For example, if you're sitting on a plane, and want to listen to music or watch movie, a netbook might be a bit more comfortable to deal with for that 10-hour flight. A five pound laptop is by no means heavy, but if it sits on your lap for that prolonged period of time, things could get a bit uncomfortable, and with some laptops, burning hot.

    Netbooks do not have as many features as laptops. For example, netbooks don't have CD/DVD drives. So you could listen to music and watch a movie on a flight, but it would need to be saved onto your netbook's hard drive. Also, netbooks are quite in ports and expandability. They have maybe two or three USB ports max.

    A strong advantage of netbooks is their ability to run full versions of operating systems. With a netbook, you can run an actual version of Windows 7. No limited Windows Mobile versions needed.