Educate Yourself

The difference between netbook and laptop computers is very important to understand before you make a decision and decide to buy your next personal computer. Before you head out to the store and make your purchase, educate yourself on the main differences between a laptop vs. netbook so that you are informed.

Don't be swayed the wrong way because you didn't consider the facts. Read this first and then follow through with your purchase.

The Laptop vs. Netbook Comparison

Here are the important differences between a laptop computer and a netbook computer.

Size and Mobility

A typical netbook computer has a screen that is 10.1 inches diagonally. The standard laptop screen size is 14-16 inches diagonally. That doesn't seem like a huge difference, but in fact a laptop computer with a 15.6 inch screen is a whole lot bigger than a 10.1 inch netbook. Whether that is good or bad depends on how you plan to use it. The smaller netbook will fit in a large purse or small bag, where the laptop requires a more sizable messenger bag or backpack. Both are mobile, but the maximum in mobility goes to the netbook.


Just as the size of the screen is different between the laptop and netbook, the weight is a major difference as well. This is only an issue for those who carry their computers around or like to set them on their lap, but it is a key difference. A netbook weighs around 3 pounds. A typical laptop weighs closer to 6 pounds, about twice that of the netbook. For that weight you get the feeling that a laptop is more substantial, but if you will be walking around with your portable computer or want to make packing for vacation easy, the netbook's light weight will be a good thing.


If you need a lot of power for processing because you are into computer gaming, graphics, or photo editing, the laptop computer is going to make you much happier and, in some cases, is your only option. If you are primarily and internet and email user who just want to stay in touch on the go, the netbook will meet your needs. The netbook has much less power to do big things. That is the trade-off for the light weight in increased battery life that you get in this portable package.

Battery Life

Laptop computers to offer extended batteries for a hefty prices, but out of the box there is little comparison. The netbook battery vs. the laptop battery is easy to differentiate. A netbook battery is built to last nearly all day long. In fact, while you can expect 4-5 hours with a new laptop battery, upwards of 10 hours can be expected from a netbook. If outlets are few and far between for you, the netbook is a safer play.

Optical Drive

You need to know that netbooks do not tend to include an optical drive or media slots. That means you won't be able to insert a DVD or the memory card from your camera for some fast entertainment. If these are not important to you when you are away from your home computer, a netbook is a fine choice. However, if you need these features on the road, you will want to look at buying  a laptop.

Storage Capacity

The storage capacity between netbook and laptop computers used to be huge, but many netbooks now contain a reasonable hard drive, so check the specs on netbooks to see what you get. Even so, you are going to get a bigger hard drive on a laptop computer than you will on a netbook. If you need to store lots of images, music, or even movies on your portable computer, the laptop is the way to go.


As you might expect, a netbook is much cheaper than a laptop, but you can see from the points above why this is true. If you just need a machine that gets you online for the cheapest possible price, a netbook is quite affordable. Don't overlook a laptop for this reason, however, as you can find a good one for around $150 more.

The Final Decision

Your final decision between a laptop and netbook computer comes down to how you will use it, where, and how much you will carry it around. Is a netbook worth it or is a laptop the way to go?

If you need lots of storage space, plenty of power, a large screen, and the ability to play DVDs, edit pictures, or play serious games, a laptop computer will make you happy.

If you will use your new computer for email, internet use, and require the ultimate in mobility and light weight, a new netbook is the right choice for you.

Now that you know the difference between netbook and laptop computers, it is time for you to make your decision and act.