I decided to take a different approach and write an article on netbooks and why they’re great for college.  Netbooks, aka mini notebooks, are small and budget laptop computers.  They are great for web surfing, note taking, writing a paper, checking emails, and the list goes on.  A netbook sacrifices speed and power for portability and battery life.

I went through 3 laptops during my college years and I probably will say that the netbook is the best investment I made thus far.  I went with the Asus 1000 netbook because of the 40GB SSD that came standard with it.  The netbook was well under $400 when I purchased it compared to my $600-800 laptops.  The pricing was perfect since I was a poor college student who had rent and bills to pay along with a girlfriend.  During these harsh economic times, it’s another good reason to buy these tiny laptops. 

While in college, I prefer to take notes on my netbook in a class lecture (I ditched pen and pencil long ago).  It was great since I could type faster than I write so I would not have to worry about missing what my professor had to say.  Also, I did not not have to sit next to an outlet everytime I entered class.  This was especially annoying with my previous laptop since the battery life on it only lasted me 2 hours at most while I had a class schedule of 9am to 5pm.  My netbook’s battery life was at 7 hours!  I upgraded it to an extended battery and believe it or not… I get at least 11 hours. 

Another great plus is the weight of the netbook.  It was under 3 pounds compared to my 7 pound monster laptop.  Trust me, you will want it to be light as possible if your next class is a 15 minute walk away.  Portability is very important when you have to carry it around.  Since the netbook’s battery could last me the whole day, I did not have to carry around my charger which took weight off my back and saves me backpack real estate.

Guys, you will get a lot of positive attention from girls if you’re using this netbook in class (this could be a potential plus).  If you’re a parent considering a netbook for your hardcore gaming son then this is perfect.  You don’t have to worry about him trying to even play WoW or even trying to run Crysis on this cute little machine.  It won’t happen though I’ve seen some Youtube videos where they jumped through lots of hoops to get it running. 

The downside to netbooks is the performance and the screen size.  You will definitely notice a difference with the performance in a netbook compared to a standard laptop.  Like I said before, gaming on a netbook is not recommended due to the graphics and CPU speed.  I have a 26″ LCD monitor at home that I use on a day to day basis.  It took some time for me to get use to since I have less screen space on my netbook to play around with since the resolution was only 1024 x 600.

Here is my list of Pros and Cons of the netbook:

1) Very Light Weight
2) Outstanding Battery Life
3) Cost Effective
4) Portability – Solid State Drive (depends on the netbook model)

1) Performance
2) Screen Size

In this scenario, the pros definitely outweighs the cons.  A netbook is great for note-taking in class but probably not as a desktop replacement.  I definitely recommend it to incoming freshman looking for a budget laptop that can do everything that a college student needs to do.

HP Mini 110 – 1.60 GHz, 512KB L2, 533Mhz FSB; 160GB HD; 1GB Memory

HP Mini 110 - 1.60 GHz, 512KB L2, 533Mhz FSB; 160GB HD; 1GB Memory