The 2 best characteristics of Netbooks are that they are cheap (most are just over $300 and even the best ones are less than $500) and easy to carry around with you (both light and compact). The tradeoff is that netbooks (also know as mini laptops) aren't really powerful. You are able to do work in Microsoft Office, read your email, play simple games, watch movies, even video chat on them. However if you begin to run resource thirsty applications or multiple applications, things start to slow down. If you would like to do that you require one of the more expensive laptops.

In 'which netbook should I get?' we are going to discuss the characteristics that make a good mini laptop. Critical information to assist you in finding the appropriate netbook for your specific

What you should look for in a netbook:

  • RAM memory: A recently released netbook should have at least 1 GB of RAM memory and should be upgradable to 2GB. If you find that your netbook can't handle your needs you can then easily upgrade it.
  • The brand: The best known brand is ASUS. They pretty much invented the netbook and they have had a entry in the top 5 netbooks list since the beginning. They sustain their lead by having a very high quality netbook which sells at a reasonable but not the lowest price. Other notible brands are Toshiba, Dell, Acer and HP.
  • CPU: The CPUs in netbooks are created especially for them and not utilized in laptops or PCs. These chips use far less energy than the CPUs of these other devices. Currently Intel's line of Atom CPUs are the most popular.
  • Operating System: Your OS options are: Windows 7 Starter or Windows XP. Vista uses too much system resources to be a viable option. I recommend going with Windows 7, but if you are trying to save some money you can spend $25 less by getting Windows XP.
  • Weight and Size: Decide what you are capable of carrying around and go with that. Netbooks tend to weigh between 2 and 5 pounds. A normal netbook should be 10 x 8 inches in size and should be fewer than 3 inches thick.
Though sales in netbooks have skyrocketed they still only sell 25% as much as laptops do. What that tells me is that people still prefer the extra power a laptop gives them. In time the technology of netbooks is likely to catch up with that of laptops. Which will allow them to overtake laptops in popularity and sales.