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What is a netbook?

The definition of a netbook is a small, low-cost, durable laptop with wireless connectivity. Netbooks are typically smaller than even an ultraportable laptop, often coming with 8 to 10 inch screens. Netbook computers also often feature solid-state disk or SSD, drives rather than conventional spinning hard disks which have moving parts.

A Netbook: The HP MiniA Netbook: The HP Mini

Netbooks were originally conceived as a low-cost option for buying a second or third computer, particularly for use on the go, or for casual online use of web applications, websites, e-mail, etc. these computers often have limited CPU and memory resources, and also given their small screen size, are often not suitable for heavy-duty computing tasks, but instead are optimized for lightweight use on the go. Many such devices feature near full-size or full-size keyboards, you making them an effective alternative to using a smart phone for e-mail and some circumstances, since it is faster to touch type on many of the devices.

There is much hype that netbooks will herald a new paradigm in computing, in which so-called cloud computing, or cloud-based services, can be easily accessed from a low-cost netbook. Some examples of such services might include Adobe buzzword, or Google documents; rather than running locally as install programs, these programs simply run in the browser and are downloaded in real time from remote servers. In addition user's data is stored on the server, rather than off on a file on the local computer, potentially making it easier to share the file across multiple computers, or with other users.

by Margaret Walker on Tue, 12/15/2009 - 01:08

Digital, Computer and Internet Terms Series

Learn the definition of many common digital, computer, and Internet terms

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