Netbooks

March 29, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Sales of desktop computers are falling in the current recession, just like the sales of many other electronics. But there does seem to be one bright spot in the computer industry - mini-laptops. Looking to go online while you're on the go? Consumer reports suggests you consider a mini-laptop, or netbook. They weigh just two to three pounds and have nine- to ten-inch screens. Look how small they are compared to a full-size, notebook computer.

They're some of the cheapest laptops out there. But Dean Gallea of Consumer Reports cautions that while you'll save a bundle, you'll sacrifice features.

Dean Gallea of CONSUMER REPORTS said, "They're typically slower and have less memory, which makes them fine for light office work but not for gaming. And they're Wi-Fi ready, which makes them well equipped for people who want to go online or check their e-mail while they're out."

Consumer Reports tested the least expensive windows netbooks on the market, and found several good choices priced around $400.00 dollars. Gallea added, "When you're shopping for a netbook, there are several features you should consider, including ergonomics - or how easy it is to use."

For one, take a look at the keyboard. They're smaller than typical laptops and can feel cramped.

Next, try out the track pad and see how easy it is to press the buttons. While this one had a big track pad, consumer reports' tests showed you need over a pound of pressure to push the pad buttons. It should be less than half that.

Finally, compare battery life. Some can run for more than six hours, others less than two-and-a-half.

"The beauty of a netbook is its small size. You can fit it in a carry-on or even a large handbag. So as long as you know you're giving up a few things in exchange for portability, you probably won't be disappointed."



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