Netbooks with an Intel Atom processor are quality, modern processors that have been designed specifically to give solid performance in tiny low-powered units. Alternatively, netbooks use processors which were originally designed for desktop or laptop usage. The Intel Celeron is probably the oldest of these – and was used in the original ASUS Eee – and correspondingly is less capable than the VIA C7 used in some models which is itself less featured than the Atom.
Displays are much easier to comprehend; the size of the screen ranges from 7” to 10.2” with resolutions from 800x480 to 1280x1024. The higher the resolution the more individual dots fit on screen to make up your picture; the bigger the screen size the larger these dots will be. While the 7” ASUS Eee was usable at 800x480 it really could have benefited from just a bit more height. Conversely, the latest ASUS Eee 1000 has a crisp 1024x600 display on a 10.2” screen making it eminently usable.
The screen size effectively determines the size of the unit, meaning that the keyboard will typically be proportional. None of the models listed have a full-size keyboard, and the smaller your screen the smaller the keys. If you have long nails or fat fingers don’t be surprised if your typing speed takes a dive on the 7” models.
The storage used by netbooks varies from solid state drives (SSDs) to more conventional hard disk drives (HDDs.) The advantages of solid state are that they give you a device that has absolutely no moving parts within it. It has less possibility of breaking, it starts up faster, and it produces less heat and consumes less battery power. However, it is also more expensive and thus don’t be surprised to see netbooks with a paltry 4GB SSD, going up to the still miniscule size of 16GB models. Regular hard drive models are available in capacities that begin at 80GB going up to 160GB or, in one case, 250GB.
And here’s what’s out there ... For each entry the unit’s manufacturer and model are listed followed by the weight in kilograms and pounds, the screen size in inches, the display resolution, the processor type, processor speed, storage capacity (or capacities, where options are available) and built-in RAM capacity (or capacities, where options are available.)
Disappointingly, you may notice that the range of models stick to a fairly predictable formula giving repeatable patterns of display, processor, and storage combinations.
Then again, for shoppers that’s not such a bad thing because you can have reasonable confidence most all brands are comparable and you can thus haggle on price with the full knowledge that your options aren’t limited to one specific netbook.
What might settle the matter for you are personal aesthetics: some netbooks look more business-like and professional than others. Some come in pink. These aspects can’t be captured in a table but merit looking around in-store and getting a feel for which ones appeal more than others.
So without further ado, let me present the big list to you!
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