How to buy a netbook
A netbook buying guide
As you begin your search for netbooks, there are a variety of factors to take into consideration. Outlined in this netbook buying guide are some of the most crucial pieces of information to consider when making a purchase. Knowing how to buy a netbook will help you to find the option that will best suit your specific needs.
>> How will you use the netbook?
Your intended netbook uses are an important area to consider when making a purchase. For many, a netbook is purchased for business or school purposes. Some prefer the portability of netbooks and laptops for traveling or entertainment at home. In order to determine which netbook is right for you, consider what you need it for first and shop accordingly.
>> Consider the operating system
The operating system of computers is important. As you better understand how to buy a netbook, you will understand what to look for in an operating system. Pick the operating system that will run the programs you want or already have. You can also read up on the different advantages that each operating system has to offer and how those advantages can help meet your needs.
>> Consider other software
You might want to think about the software that already comes with each netbook. Pre-installed browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer and Opera are popular. When thinking about how to buy a netbook, consider what software, such as antivirus programs, word processors, graphic design suites and media programs, is included. Usually, the best netbook to buy for you will have many of these already installed and ready to go.
>> Consider what type of computing power and storage you need
As part of learning how to buy a netbook, you need to know what type of computing power and storage you need. If you save a lot of photos, music and videos on your computer, you'll likely want a large hard drive. If you will be running highly intensive software, be sure that your netbook has a CPU that is fast and powerful. Lastly, if you will be multi-tasking a lot, or running large programs, be sure that your netbook has a lot of RAM.
The chart below is designed to help you understand what some of the common and most important specifications are when learning how to buy a netbook. It also works to provide additional information to perform a netbook comparison as you explore several models. Using the information in this table, you can help determine which netbook is right for you.
What it Means
What it Does
|Drive Size ||Drive storage is the available storage space you have on the laptop to store information, files, photos, music and videos. ||The hard drive stores files on the computer. Drives are not only rated in size, but speed as well. Faster hard drives will load programs quicker and will let the computer boot in less time as well. The fastest hard drives are known as solid-state drives (SSD), but are generally smaller and more expensive. Most drives are known as hard disk drives (HDD) and typically have more space and are less expensive. |
|CPU ||CPU stands for Central Processing Unit and current CPUs are rated in gigahertz. The higher the number, the faster the CPU. ||The CPU is the brain of the computer and is ultimately responsible for controlling everything. The faster the CPU, generally the faster the computer will run in all applications. All software has minimum CPU requirements. |
|Operating System ||The operating system is a set of software that supports the basic functions of the computer. ||After being responsible for booting your computer, the operating system is the foundation on which all other software runs. All software is only compatibale with certain types of operating systems. |
|Screen Size ||When a netbook size is displayed, it is often displayed as 15", 17" and so on. ||This only provides information regarding the size of the screen. |
|Aspect Ratio ||Aspect ratio is the ratio of width to height of the display. This is usually 16:9 or 16:10. ||This only provides information regarding the dimensions of the display. |
|RAM ||RAM stands for Random Access Memory. RAM is where programs are loaded while being used by the computer. ||RAM allows programs to run without the data having to be constantly read from and written to the hard disk. All programs have a minimum RAM requirement, and generally speaking, the more RAM a computer has, the better. |
>> Consider the features
As you browse through the electronics department to find the perfect netbook, be sure to keep all of the points mentioned here in mind. Using these tools, you will know how to buy a netbook that will suit all of your needs. While you are deciding which netbook to buy, consider the hard drive size and additional ports for media use, as well as the general specifications regarding speed. These items help to determine how well the netbook will work for its desired use.
The available features, along with the option to add additional features, can help to determine which netbook to buy. Netbook features that many consumers seek are touchscreens, extended battery life, Blu-ray drives and USB ports. Many laptop accessories can also be very useful.
Be sure to research all of the netbooks and other computers you are considering purchasing. By doing this, you can make an informed decision about which netbook to buy.