10 Best Netbooks: Reviews and Buying Guide

A netbook is an optimal alternative to a larger computer if you want to have a mini laptop for mobile work. The devices are much more compact and thus more portable than a large notebook but still, bring a full-fledged keyboard. It taps much more comfortably than on the touchscreen keyboard of a tablet. Netbooks are already very inexpensive and many models are characterized by an amazingly good battery, so you can work or surf for a few hours without a power outlet nearby.

Our great netbook comparison here introduces you to 8 recommendable devices and shows you which product features the respective mini notebook brings in detail. Find out what you absolutely need to pay attention to and what you should not do without if you want to buy a netbook at a low price. What began as an Asus Eee PC today is a separate product segment, so you have a diverse selection to choose from. In our guide, there are also concrete tips and background information about the netbook.

Top 10 Netbooks

Netbook – what is it?

The netbook could also be called a mini notebook. From this information, it can be deduced that these are particularly handy and compact laptops that are predestined for mobile use. Whether on business trips, on vacation or at leisure, a netbook is a reliable companion in all situations.

Although there are models in a variety of price segments, netbooks are generally designed so that they are relatively cheap to have. They are usually characterized by rechargeable batteries, which hold pleasingly long – around the ten hours of use are a common value. Of course, you can also go online with the devices.

Compared to a conventional notebook, a netbook is significantly less powerful. Both in terms of processor and in terms of hard disk capacity you have to accept compromises. A CD drive or DVD drive will search in vain. The devices offer you a full-fledged keyboard, which makes working with it much more comfortable.

Although the classic netbook has already passed its wedding and tablets and convertibles are becoming more prevalent today, there is still a market for these devices. Especially those who value a real keyboard are still doing very well with a netbook. Alternatively, you can opt for a so-called 2-in-1 solution that combines the advantages of a tablet with those of a mini notebook.

Why buy a netbook?

Maybe you are still unsure if a netbook could be the right device for you. Then it makes sense to deal with the topic a little more intense. We’ve put together a few arguments that might help you buy a netbook:

  • They travel a lot and want to work mobile
  • You do not want to spend too much money on a notebook
  • You really want to have a proper keyboard
  • Long battery life is important to you

If you can agree with all of these points, this is a clear indication that you should definitely be more involved with netbooks and consider buying such a device. Use our handy netbook comparison here on STERN.de to gain an overview in no time at all.

What advantages and disadvantages does a netbook have?

Although the netbook has a lot of advantages for you, there are, of course, some points on the other side, which have to be evaluated negatively. In order to get a holistic picture, it is, therefore, advisable to contrast advantages and disadvantages. That is exactly what we have done for you in the following. So what speaks for, what against the purchase of a netbook?

You should be aware of the fact that the netbook processors only bring a limited performance. As a rule, this is absolutely sufficient for working or normal surfing, but delays can occur, for example, when gambling expensive games. Generally, you should not have too many tabs open at the same time to keep everything running smoothly. The hard drive capacities are of course not comparable to those of a “full-blown” notebook. For mobile work, a netbook is still one of the best solutions the market has to offer – not least because of the right keyboard.

Netbook – what is important?

If you ask yourself the question “What must a netbook have?” , You should read carefully here. Because of course there are some things that are of great importance if you want to call a really good device your own. At least the following purchase criteria should be considered in your decision making:

  1. What dimensions and weight does the netbook have? After all, the device should later fit into your pocket and not be too heavy.
  2. What kind of processor is built in? Although you should not expect any miracles from a netbook in this regard, it should already be a model with reasonably decent power.
  3. How is the memory ordered? 2 GB of RAM should be at least here, ideally even more, if you like multitasking.
  4. How big should the hard disk be? Would you prefer a classic HDD with lots of storage space, a fast SSD or an SSHD?
  5. How long should the battery life be? Ten hours are a normal value for a netbook.
  6. Which display size do you prefer? Most netbooks range between 10.1 and 12.5 inches.
  7. What kind of display – TN Display or IPS Display – should it be?
  8. What resolution should the screen have?
  9. Do you value a specific graphics card?

In addition, you should of course also compare prices and think about the budget you have at all for the purchase of your netbook available. Maybe even a modern Detachable Netbook, which you can transform through the removable keyboard into a tablet, could be an alternative to the classic netbook?

Which manufacturers offer netbooks?

In the market for netbooks are some well-known names that are also in the segment of notebooks and general electronic devices are not unknown. For example, the leading netbook manufacturers include:

  • Acer
  • Asus
  • HP
  • Lenovo
  • Samsung

Asus was once the company that introduced in 2008 with the Eee PC, the very first device that was officially referred to as a netbook. The company was founded by former Acer employees and quickly established itself on the market. With the Taiwanese manufacturer Acer, the US giant HP, China giant Lenovo and Korea’s figurehead Samsung, you also have a number of global players who ensure a rich selection in the field of netbooks.

What types of netbooks are there?

While there was only one type of netbook in the beginning, as a consumer you now have the choice between two different variants. In addition to the classic standard netbook, the so-called convertible netbook is an alternative. In the following, we have compiled the most important facts for both model variants.

The standard netbook looks like a mini notebook. It differs from its “big brother” only by the much more compact dimensions and therefore of course also requires a smaller display. The devices are light and handy, in addition, they are considered robust and durable. A standard netbook is usually quite cheap to have. You have to cut corners in terms of computing power. This makes the device especially suitable for mobile work and less for games and complex multimedia applications. Touch screen or DVD drive is not available.

The convertible netbook lives up to its name. “Convertible” stands for “convertible” in English. In this case, this means that the device has a keyboard that can either be completely removed or folded down. This allows you to use such a model both as a classic netbook with the keyboard as well as a handy tablet with a touchscreen. Whether working or relaxing surfing, with a convertible netbook you are exceptionally flexible. On the other hand, the noticeably higher purchase prices are a disadvantage. In addition, the devices are often relatively heavy.

Why is my netbook so slow?

If your already purchased netbook seems extraordinarily slow to you and may even start to jitter, this can have several causes. First of all, it is conceivable that you have opted for a model with too weak a processor. That would be very annoying in retrospect, so it is important to pay attention to this point when buying a netbook.

On the other hand, it can also be that you simply have too many tabs open or too many programs running in the background. Even the best netbook is unfortunately rather limited in its performance compared to a large notebook. Therefore, try to have only a few tabs open at the same time and end unneeded background programs. Sometimes restarting the device can help make it a little faster again.

How much is a netbook?

The price of a netbook depends on several factors. For one, of course, it depends on the equipment. Which processor was installed? How is the display ordered? And what kind of hard drive was installed? The more modern the netbook is and the shorter it is on the market, the higher the purchase price tends to be.

So you may be able to make a real bargain by opting for a model that is no longer brand new. In general, you can get a netbook for less than 200 euros. Most devices move in a price range up to 300 or 400 euros. Some models are even more expensive.

Buying a netbook at a retailer – what are the advantages and disadvantages?

One way to buy a new netbook is to go to a specialty store or electronics store in your area. On the one hand, there are good arguments for taking exactly this path. On the other hand, undoubtedly reasons can be found that speak against it. That’s why we’ve created the following listing for you, so you can decide for yourself if this option is for you.

For the purchase in the specialized trade speaks therefore above all the fact that you not only product descriptions and photos look, but actually touch the devices and in the best case can try out. They test on site whether the devices are robust and handy enough. Ideally, the sales staff will help you with any questions. In addition, you ensure that jobs are retained at a local company.

On the other hand, you need extra time for the way to the store and back home. The search for a parking space can also be a lengthy affair. In addition, long queues in the store can strain your patience and you are always dependent on the respective shop opening hours. After all, you need to be aware that every store will have only a limited selection of netbooks in stock.

Netbook order online – what speaks for and against?

One variant that has been used by more and more consumers in recent years is the netbook order over the Internet. Countless online shops compete here to get the contract from you, which of course also affects the prices. What advantages and disadvantages of online shopping otherwise, you will find in our detailed comparison here on STERN.de.

Maintain and clean the netbook – what should be considered?

A netbook is nevertheless a sensitive electronic device despite its robustness. It is therefore important that you treat it with care and clean it regularly. To be able to work properly, the display should always be clean and free from dust or other contaminants. It is best to take a microfiber cloth and wipe it over the surfaces of the device regularly.

So it does not even come to heavy pollution. Under no circumstances should you resort to water or other aggressive substances such as alcohol to clean the netbook. In the worst case, the sensitive electronics could be damaged in such an action and you would have to buy a new small laptop. As far as the keyboard is concerned, it is best to be careful not to crumble it here.

Can I go online with the netbook?

Anyone who acquires a notebook would like to be able to access the Internet, as a rule, these days. Perhaps you ask yourself in this context, whether this is easily possible with a netbook. This is to be answered in the affirmative because of course all well-equipped netbooks are equipped with WLAN and you can log in to the respective network in this way. All you have to do is get the access data, the rest works just like a big laptop.

Netbook or notebook?

Should it be a netbook for you or rather a larger notebook? If you are not sure, you should consider what you want to use the device first and foremost. If it is a kind of replacement for the home desktop PC, then everything speaks for a “real” notebook, which offers you a much larger screen than a netbook and also much more power.

However, you can also use your notebook for mobile work. If the mobile aspect is in the foreground and you want to use the device primarily as a second device for on the go, then a netbook is the right choice. Positive is not only the compact dimensions but also the long battery life speak for this variant.

Netbook or tablet?

Netbook or tablet – many consumers are asking this question too. The differences between a classic netbook and a tablet are obvious. The tablet with its modern touchscreen display is especially the right choice for you if you want to comfortably surf the sofa, for example. If you want to work properly while traveling, you should continue to prefer a netbook with the right keyboard.

Which accessory is suitable for a netbook?

A netbook is basically fully operational. However, you can upgrade the device with suitable accessories. Some complementary products open up new possibilities of use, while others ensure that the netbook can be safely transported.

The following accessories would be conceivable, for example:

  • Ternes DVD drive (via USB connectable)
  • External hard drive for more storage space
  • A netbook carry case or protective cover
  • Power supply
  • Replacement Battery

Above all, you should consider the purchase of a netbook bag, if you use the device frequently on the road. Of course, you can also pack it in your backpack, but a bag designed especially for this purpose offers more safety and comfort.

What is the history of the netbook?

As a forerunner of today’s netbook, the minicomputer “Libretto” Toshiba apply, which was introduced in 1996. This device was lighter than 900 grams, ran on Windows and featured both a keyboard and a 7-inch touchscreen. With the equivalent of about 2500 euros purchase price of this mini notebook was very expensive and therefore could not really prevail in this country.

So it should take a while for the compact laptops to start their triumphant advance. This was ensured in 2008 by the Asus Eee PC. This device was first designated accordingly and is, therefore, the first real netbook. For less than 200 euros, consumers were given an almost full-size computer in mini format, which had an SSD hard drive, USB ports, a 7-inch display, speakers and various other features. The Eee PC was developed several times and received with the Asus Eee Book a successor.

Other manufacturers such as Samsung, HP or Acer jumped on the train from now on and secured themselves market shares in the newly created product segment of netbooks. A break-in took place in 2010 when Apple introduced its first iPad. In the following years, netbook sales dropped dramatically and the tablet was the new device of the hour. However, since the netbook is still much more affordable in comparison and is just better suited for working on the go, recently set a slight renaissance and as before, there is a demand for the compact battery miracle.


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