As laptops have evolved over the years, they have seemed to mimic both the features and speed of desktop systems. Users wanted to be able to take their work with them and needed powerful laptops to handle some of the more resource intensive applications. In recent years, as most laptops have caught up with home systems in functionality, the trend has been to make them smaller and more portable. The Netbook was born out of this desire to make a laptop as small as possible that can still meet the needs of the traveler.
Initially these Netbooks were not as powerful as a standard laptop. Their processors were slower, and their disk space and RAM were paltry as well. As the market for these smaller and more portable laptops increased, so did their specifications. Modern units rival a standard laptop in processor speed and routinely offer 1GB of RAM and 250GB hard drives. They are also available with a wide choice of operating systems and can be ordered with both Windows and Linux varieties to match your preference.
The advantages to using a Netbook over a standard laptop are many and most users choose them based on their portability. Normally a Netbook is defined as a 9-inch, 10-inch or 12-inch screen, and having a screen this small makes their overall dimensions just slightly larger than a magazine in footprint. This means that you can easily use them on an airplane in even the most cramped of circumstances and still are able to open them up completely for typing. Most of them are 1-inch thick or smaller which makes them easy to carry in your backpack when traveling. The interesting thing is that even with these smaller dimensions, most of the manufacturers are still able to keep the keyboard almost as large as a normal laptop keyboard. This makes typing feel very natural and makes sending long Emails a breeze. If you like a full sized keyboard, it is very easy to add a wireless keyboard and mouse pair to the Netbook when you have longer reports or presentations to compose.
Another advantage these Netbooks enjoy over standard laptops is their amazing battery life. Because there is a much smaller power requirement for the smaller screens, many of the Netbooks can easily operate for 6 hours or more on a singe charge. This means you can work or play on a Netbook for an entire cross country flight without worrying about running out of power.
These Netbooks also gives you a wide universe of connections as well to make expanding them easy. Most of them offer a minimum of at least three USB connections that you can use for any of your standard peripherals. They also usually provide a standard VGA connection for an external monitor or projector. This is handy if you use the Netbook for presentations or just want to connect it to a larger monitor when working at your desk. Finally many of them include a memory slot that you can slide a memory card into to expand their memory or transfer content.
Overall the latest generation of Netbooks offer all the major features of a smaller laptop with a smaller price and weight to match.