If you're looking for portability, convenience and functionality with a device that isn't big, bulky and tied to a desk, then you're probably considering a laptop notebook or netbook computer. These small computing devices offers the ease of use and power to perform many of the important tasks that PC's are able to, making them a top choice for consumers. With a laptop or netbook you can take them with you on travel or to the office, and plug back in at home, making them a smart choice. However, you must consider which of these two smaller sized computing devices is right for you.

If you want to be able to surf the internet, check and respond to email, and perform basic computing tasks then consider the netbook. These tend to cost anywhere from $200 and up, making them very affordable. They also have smaller screen sizes than the traditional laptop, so decide if you'll be ok with that. Netbooks generally have screen sizes of 8 to 10 inches. They also lack the services of a DVD/CD-R drive, tend to have less computer processing power and may have trouble handling a lot of tasks at once. These computing devices are adequate for someone who tends to do a lot of internet research, emailing and basic tasks on the go.

However, if you feel you need more size, power and functionality in your portable computer, then the laptop is the must have for you. Laptops are generally made with screens measuring 11 inches to 17 inches, giving much more view for multiple tasks. They also have more processing power for quicker handling of tasks, more memory and CD/DVD drives. Laptops will generally cost more, depending on the screen size, processor, memory and other functions. Laptops can be priced as low as $300, but you may find them lacking in features and power. Adequate laptops these days will cost you anywhere from $450 to over $1,000, depending on what you get included. Several top manufacturers like Dell, HP and Sony offer the consumer the ability to customize what their laptop will include prior to it even shipping out. Remember though, the more power and features you add, the pricier it may be.

Choosing a netbook or laptop computer is really up to personal preference, and a decision based on what your main uses will be for the device. It's important to consider what you will be doing most with the computer. Ask yourself additional questions such as will you be watching DVD movies? Do you want to be able to handle complex functions like web design, graphic design and database creation? Or will you need a simple, smaller device just for casual browsing of the internet, basic computing functions and email. Analyzing your computer usage habits will give you a clear indication of which product is best for you.