In the past, laptops where mere bulky counterparts of desktop computers. Smaller “sub-notebooks” where very expensive and could easily cost €2000 ($2600) or more.
Especially the tendency to produce devices which where as powerful as personal computers, resulted in notebook computer that would have been better described as “suitcase computers” instead of calling them a “notebook”.
Generation of small laptops
While advanced hardware and large screens increased their performance, their weight of up to 4-7 kilos (8-15 pounds) decreased their use for people who need to travel frequently. The trend for faster laptops resulted in shorter run-time and decreased mobility. Devices with higher battery capacity tend to be far more expensive and add additional weight.
With a new generation of small laptops, the so called “Netbooks”, a new era in mobile computing has begun.
These light-weight, inexpensive and power efficient devices are suited perfectly for mobile use.
Next to the low weight, which usually tends to be around 1-1.5 kilos (2-3 pounds) on these small laptops, the high efficient Intel Atom processors enable netbooks to surprise with a marvelous run-time. Some devices can run 9 to 11 hours without the need of being recharged. This enables users to work a whole day without worrying about buying a spare battery pack.
The modern mobile office
This makes netbooks ideal for college, office or as slim companion for the holidays. Inexpensive mobile data plans and wifi enable productive working from almost anywhere. Especially newer devices with integrated 3G modem are a benefit for the modern mobile office.
There are, however, a few things that need to be addressed before buying a netbook: Due to the smaller size of these devices,the keyboard is a bit smaller then a regular desktop version. Thanks to a smart layout of the function keys, netbooks require just little time to get used to. Even writing larger texts is just as comfortable as on any other laptop.
In any other aspect these small laptops are very versatile.
In the office the netbook can be hooked up to a video projector for PowerPoint presentations. Back at the desk it can be connected to a larger keyboard and a full-size screen for an increased workspace ergonomy.
In addition, external DVD drives can be purchased to backup data or install additional software. With this, a netbook can replace a bulky workstation without having to compromise.
While even cheaper models are able to run Windows 7 and virtually every office application, new models are equipped with a dual core processor for even higher performance.