Netbook –vs- Notebook

On several occasions I’ve had the chance to talk directly with Pat Moorhead, Vice President of Marketing at AMD. He is a very genuine, and honest person. He’s the kind of person you’d like to have as a next-door neighbor. How many marketing people can you say that about?

Recently, he was asked his opinions about netbooks. What is a netbook? The Asus Eee was probably the first to claim this new category. These $300-500 notebooks occupy a category previously dominated by small and light $2,500 notebooks. These minimal 9-10” systems are mostly geared to access the Internet. However, they have serious compromises. Pat argues that while netbook prices have gone up, notebook prices have come down. Battery life of the netbooks also fails to meet expectations, as well as no optical drive, small screen, and very small or no hard drive. What do you think about Pat’s comments, and about netbooks?

  • LT

    Until they can make notebooks that match the weight, portability, and cold-start speed of netbooks, they exist in two different spaces. I have one of those $500 15.4" notebooks that Pat Moorhead talked about. It's nice and definitely more pleasant to use than my 10" Lenovo S10, but it weighs a ton, has the same battery life as the netbook, and requires a backpack to transport.

    I also have a $2K Dell XT tablet, and without the battery slice, it gets even less runtime. It weighs about 50% more than the Lenovo, runs hotter, and the responsiveness is similar in my experience despite the C2D processor and 4GB RAM.

    In fact, but for a smaller screen and more cramped keyboard, there's not a lot of difference between it and my old Thinkpad X40 ultraportable laptop that cost 4-5x as much.

    In short, there are indeed trade-offs, but not just in raw spec sheet stats. As a road warrior myself, it's a given that I'm going to have to find an outlet, if for no other reason than not wanting to be caught with a dead battery and no outlet. As a vacationer, I'd much rather get a tiny, almost throwaway netbook than worry about traveling with a laptop.

  • LT

    Until they can make notebooks that match the weight, portability, and cold-start speed of netbooks, they exist in two different spaces. I have one of those $500 15.4" notebooks that Pat Moorhead talked about. It's nice and definitely more pleasant to use than my 10" Lenovo S10, but it weighs a ton, has the same battery life as the netbook, and requires a backpack to transport.

    I also have a $2K Dell XT tablet, and without the battery slice, it gets even less runtime. It weighs about 50% more than the Lenovo, runs hotter, and the responsiveness is similar in my experience despite the C2D processor and 4GB RAM.

    In fact, but for a smaller screen and more cramped keyboard, there's not a lot of difference between it and my old Thinkpad X40 ultraportable laptop that cost 4-5x as much.

    In short, there are indeed trade-offs, but not just in raw spec sheet stats. As a road warrior myself, it's a given that I'm going to have to find an outlet, if for no other reason than not wanting to be caught with a dead battery and no outlet. As a vacationer, I'd much rather get a tiny, almost throwaway netbook than worry about traveling with a laptop.

  • Blair

    I really like the Lenovo S10. I've been using one for a while, and we'll post a full review shortly.

  • Blair

    I really like the Lenovo S10. I've been using one for a while, and we'll post a full review shortly.

  • I think the netbook is ok, however why not just get a small laptop and be done with it... You can't survive with just a netbook and in the end we all know you will need a real computer to use to do more indepth stuff.
    I love my laptops, and I expect them to be able to do as much as my desktop computer.

  • I think the netbook is ok, however why not just get a small laptop and be done with it... You can't survive with just a netbook and in the end we all know you will need a real computer to use to do more indepth stuff.
    I love my laptops, and I expect them to be able to do as much as my desktop computer.

  • Timber

    What you have to remember is that a netbook is not meant to be your primary computer. It is meant to be a secondary device for viewing and editing content that you created on your full size PC. That is why the spec of netbooks is low, it is deliberate.

    This video makes a good point though in that netbooks are getting expensive, not because the manufacturers are trying to rip us off, but because they are becoming overspeced (Ironically probably to steal notebook customers!) and this is something the manufacturers should reconsider.

    The point is that if you want a computer with no compromise due to size, get a desktop! I think netbooks are great, they are truly portable, and generally battery life is good, despite what this video says (did you notice how he picked the worst example of a netbook and the best example of a notebook?). If you consider these factors then doesn't a notebook just like a poor compromise between desktop functionality and netbook portability?

  • Timber

    What you have to remember is that a netbook is not meant to be your primary computer. It is meant to be a secondary device for viewing and editing content that you created on your full size PC. That is why the spec of netbooks is low, it is deliberate.

    This video makes a good point though in that netbooks are getting expensive, not because the manufacturers are trying to rip us off, but because they are becoming overspeced (Ironically probably to steal notebook customers!) and this is something the manufacturers should reconsider.

    The point is that if you want a computer with no compromise due to size, get a desktop! I think netbooks are great, they are truly portable, and generally battery life is good, despite what this video says (did you notice how he picked the worst example of a netbook and the best example of a notebook?). If you consider these factors then doesn't a notebook just like a poor compromise between desktop functionality and netbook portability?

  • cje

    I just brought the ACER One 1gb 120hdd and although reviewson netbooks are mixed i happen to love it. its portable, runs cool, loads fast and has enough mem to quickly run my business software and internet and music and movies. i use a backup drive to keep my movies on and load software since no optical drive but it came preloaded wih dvd software so it works just fine on long trips. i
    the battery is no difference then my other notebooks so at the small price of $290 it was well worth it.

    I do also own and use SONY VAIO desktop 4GB 64bit and laptop 2GB but the notebook is hell to drag around!!. I think anyone that needs a basic traveling notebook thats not for gaming or graphic program a netbook is perfect for you.

  • cje

    I just brought the ACER One 1gb 120hdd and although reviewson netbooks are mixed i happen to love it. its portable, runs cool, loads fast and has enough mem to quickly run my business software and internet and music and movies. i use a backup drive to keep my movies on and load software since no optical drive but it came preloaded wih dvd software so it works just fine on long trips. i
    the battery is no difference then my other notebooks so at the small price of $290 it was well worth it.

    I do also own and use SONY VAIO desktop 4GB 64bit and laptop 2GB but the notebook is hell to drag around!!. I think anyone that needs a basic traveling notebook thats not for gaming or graphic program a netbook is perfect for you.

  • radman

    not true anymore.

    acer netbook with 175 gb hard drive is amazing. perfect for schoolwork for my teenager. battery lasts 5+ hours.

  • radman

    not true anymore.

    acer netbook with 175 gb hard drive is amazing. perfect for schoolwork for my teenager. battery lasts 5+ hours.

  • radman

    not true anymore.

    acer netbook with 175 gb hard drive is amazing. perfect for schoolwork for my teenager. battery lasts 5+ hours.

  • radman

    not true anymore.

    acer netbook with 175 gb hard drive is amazing. perfect for schoolwork for my teenager. battery lasts 5+ hours.

  • Alan

    Great comments. The reviews I have read in recent weeks echo radman. Question: what are the advantages and disadvantages of using XP versus Linux OS?

  • Alan

    Great comments. The reviews I have read in recent weeks echo radman. Question: what are the advantages and disadvantages of using XP versus Linux OS?

  • JP

    I truly appreciate you all taking the time to share your thoughts because I'm in the process of buying one or the other for an overseas trip. I'll need access to the internet and the ability to write about my travels and send those documents. And unless, someone cares to try and convince me not to buy a netbook, that's the direction I'm going.

  • JP

    I truly appreciate you all taking the time to share your thoughts because I'm in the process of buying one or the other for an overseas trip. I'll need access to the internet and the ability to write about my travels and send those documents. And unless, someone cares to try and convince me not to buy a netbook, that's the direction I'm going.