Netbook v laptop

Puffy Junior is 18 next month, and I want to replace his old  laptop.

I like the look of the £200 Samsung netbook, but I wondered if the performance gap vs a laptop was just too wide? It certainly seems higher spec than his current 5 year old machine.  Are new laptops that much better?

He will need to be able to do coursework, facebook, spreadsheets rather than games/video.  Doesn't use a lot of storage for music, and I suppose these days memory sticks do the job of a cd drive.

Any techie advice welcome please image


  • We've got a netbook (Samsung) for farting around on the internet, little bit of word and excel etc.

    It does the job, its quick enough for Spotify and You Tube without stuttering and the battery life is great.

    The only issue is that the screen is a bit small... does he have enough room to have a screen in his room that when he's not roaming around with it he can plug in for more mundane tasks? Like writing essays or making spreadsheets and graphs etc?
  • I've got a Samsung NC10 netbook and it's great but I really struggle trying to type on the keyboard. It's been very handy when I've needed to use it on the train (assignment deadlines, etc.) or if I've wanted to surf the net from the sofa, but wouldn't use it instead of my desktop on a regular basis.
  • Mr PuffyMr Puffy ✭✭✭

    Yes he can always use the PC or another laptop if he has proper work to do.

    I just think it's far more portable than a laptop, and with the longer bateery life he really could be completely wireless.

  • If there are other machines in the house for 'proper' work then a netbook is ideal, you don't need anything else 95% of the time.

     Ours comes on holiday with us and connects to hotel wifi/airport business desks etc.

  • I have a Lenovo Netbook which I take away when needed. As others have said, the keyboard and the screen size take a lot of getting used to when you are so familiar with a standard keyboard and screen.

    Great for travel and occasional use but not as good as a desktop - or even a laptop - for everyday use.

    You might want to think about a Chromebook which is the size of a laptop but is very pared down as it uses the internet for everything using Google OS and all their facilities like Google Docs, GMail etc. All the apps are online, nothing local - that scares the shit out of control freaks, but for simplicity it's a good deal I reckon. The biggest limitation is that you must have an internet connection to use it - without one you're stuffed.
  • Curly45Curly45 ✭✭✭

    I have an acer aspire for home use - had it a few years now (and an ASUS EEE before that). Its fab and cost about £150 image Its linux though so I dont know the windows works with regards to loading up/closing down as netbooks do tend to have lower RAM than PCs.

    If I was buying again now (and I am sorely tempted by it anyway)...I would get the new ASUS tablet with keyboard for about £400, because it moves you up into the next spec of stuff, but doesnt have the limitations that either the iPad has (no office for example) or other tabs have (proper keyboard) and its so light its ideal for traveling.

    *dribbles a little at thoughts of asus tablet*

  • For the price of a Chromebook you may as well get a proper laptop - skip the netbook.
  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭

    I've got an Acer Aspire netbook. A couple of years old but the spec for these things is pretty much identical. It's fine for basic browsing and interweb stuff and has enough horsepower to run a decent word processor and other business software easily enough, especially if it's a version or two out of date (MS Word 2003 runs fast, for example). As others say, the inhibiting factors are screen and keyboard size more than anything else. Mine's got the six-cell battery and I can get close to 6 hours of continuous use before recharging.

    Should be just the job for taking notes at lectures, and so on.

    If you're realistic and clear on what the intended uses are, they're excellent little machines.

  • Pink has a Samsung netbook which is noticeably slower than my older Acer laptop but isn't too bad for the money.  It won't manage anything like gaming but is fine for surfing and word processing.  If you do get one be aware of the software that comes on it.  Companies often load up security and anti-virus software that is written for more powerful machines which can cause a netbook to struggle.  I removed McAfee after discovering that it was constantly using about 80% of the processor resource.
  • "I removed McAfee after discovering that it was constantly using about 80% of the processor resource."

    I think McAfee/Norton/Sophos all hog that much processor even on good boxes - complete waste of time when you can get AVAST or AVG for free that have lower processor overheads.

    unless I HAD to use MS applications, I'd probably get an Ubuntu Linux netbook instead and use things like LibreOffice or Google Apps for office applications. less cost involved that way and you get free OS upgrades
  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭

    Yes indeed. First thing to do with any new pooter, laptop or netbook is clear out all the crapware and especially the startup list. Surprising how much faster these things go when you've stripped out Adobe Acrobat, Norton Security (shudder), Nero, umpteen automatic updaters and other system-resident stubs etc.

    Mr Puffy, if you look around a bit you can find machines with 11.6 in screens, about halfway between netbook and laptop.

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