Netbooks: Cheap, Small and Portable Computers:


As the years have gone on, it has been exciting to see electronic devices get smaller and cheaper.  Also, the price of computers has gone down while their capacity and speed has gone up. 

Laptops have traditionally been much more expensive than larger desktops, and that gap appears to be narrowing.  An extreme example I am excited about is the new line of “Netbooks” – small, cheap, and technologically lean mini-laptops.  

Currently, the cheapest of these (the Asus EEE) is sold for around $299, which is much cheaper than laptops or desktops.  So, what’s the catch?  With very little storage space, a keyboard made for tiny hands, and no CD drive, these Netbooks are generally thought of as a person’s second computer. 


The cheapest Netbooks rely on open-source technology, such as Linux (instead of Windows), Google Docs (instead of Word) and Firefox (instead of Internet Explorer).  Luckily, these computers come with multiple USB ports in case you want to add a mouse or some extra storage. 

My assessment?  Try it before you buy it, and look at multiple brands and different sizes.  Make sure you are comfortable with the small keyboard.  Many users complain about the small space bar, backspace, and right shift keys.

For more info on Netbooks, check out this article, here.

For YouTube videos comparing these Netbooks, click here.

– Toby

Written by Toby


Toby is a reference librarian at the East Grand Rapids branch and he also teaches KDL computer classes. In his free time he enjoys reading and playing guitar.

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3 Responses to “Netbooks: Cheap, Small and Portable Computers:”

  1. Josh Says:

    These little laptops are really great. I am hoping to get one sometime in the next few months, although it seems like they are improving at such a fast rate that waiting a year would make a huge difference when it comes to what you can get for the price. Either way, they are really handy, and oh so portable.

  2. Toby Says:

    Josh, I totally agree. Since these Netbooks are pretty new, the price and offerings can only get better.

  3. Jona Dansbury Says:

    I kind of love the Asus Eee PC because it is very small and very light. I have an Acer Laptop and it is really a big burden on my small shoulders ,