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Digitizor’s Netbook Buying Guide – 10 things to consider before you buy one

By on February 21st, 2009 
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A Dell Inspiron Mini 9 Netbook (Image Courtesy: Wikipedia)

Netbooks are new in the market and people are bound to make mistakes while purchasing one. So here we present a few tips which will help you to purchase the best available netbook in the market.

1. Usage

Users should be clear of the fact that Netbooks are low-end laptops. So what we do on a Laptop may not be possible to do on a netbook. For example you can`t play a high end game on a netbook considering it`s screen size and usage ergonomics. What netbooks are primarily meant for are web browsing, text messaging, reading or writing documents and listening to some music at times.

2. Operating System

The current Netbook market is flooded with netbooks having Linux pre-installed on them. Such companies claim to sell netbooks at lower prices than their counterparts who are vending notebooks with windows pre-installed. Don`t get carried away by such mean discounts. Think twice before you purchase a Now-Windows based Netbook. Coz, if you are the just everyday normal internet user then a Linux netbook is not what you are looking at. Ubuntu based netbooks from dell are perfect for Hackers and Programmers - cheap and sturdy. There are also reports for a possibility of having an Android based netbook soon.

3. Screen Size

Netbooks come with various size screens, and it’s important for you to decide the right screen size. Available screen sizes in the current market are 7in, 9in and 10in. Max resolutions being 1280*768. SO it is on you to decide which netbook you purchase and what screen size are you comfortable with.

4. Weight

Netbooks are not meant for gaming or hosting servers. They are meant for plain surfing and note-taking or may be reading ebooks at places such as airports, bus terminals and coffee stores. So the lighter your netbook wighs the more you would have the urge to carry your netbook around, just inside your side pouch.

5. Ergonomics

Dimensions are something which you should keep in your mind while purchasing a Netbook.

6. Keyboard keys

Look for a keyboard which has all the english alphabet and number keys and additional keys such as one ctrl,alt,windows,shift key each respectively. Look for the key spacing in the keyboard. Manufacturers generally tend to overlook keyboard key spaceing in order to make smaller netbooks. Take the one in which you can place both your palms side by side easily.

7.Battery Life

An Asus EEE PC, which had created much hype after it`s launch. (Image Courtesy: Wikipedia)

An Asus EEE PC, which had created much hype after it`s launch. (Image Courtesy: Wikipedia)

Netbooks usually ship with 3-cell or 6-cell batteries respectively which indicate that the battery lives can be as short as 2 hours or less with the standard 3 cell batteries or an hour more with the 6 cell battery. But remember the more juice your battery has, the more it will add to you netbook`s size. Depending on what type of requirement is yours` you should go for the right battery capacity.

8. Hard Drive options

You will find netbooks in the market with options for Solid State Hard Drives. Purchasing a netbook having these will again reduce the weight of your netbook drastically but again they will burn a bigger hole into your pocket than a RPM based hard-drive would have.

9. Value for Money

Don't make your decision of buying the netbook you just saw at the store as final. Look out for netbooks available from other vendors in the market. There might be a possibilty that you end up strucking a better deal with some other vendor, who might throw in some free gifts too.

10. Customer Service

Look for vendors, who have promising track records and provide with good on-site warranty including a parts replacement cover. Since netbooks are new in the market, you are bound to face problems. So it is always better to purchase a warranty from your vendor.

Related: 5 useful things to do with your netbook

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Digitizor’s Netbook Buying Guide – 10 things to consider before you buy one was originally published on Digitizor.com on February 21, 2009 - 2:54 pm (Indian Standard Time)