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Netbook vs Laptop

With the introduction of netbooks it can be confusing deciding whether to buy a laptop or a netbook… in fact, what's the difference between them?


Designed to be small and lightweight Netbooks generally have a screen size between 7" – 13" and weigh less than 1kg, they also tend to have a longer battery life between 4 – 10 hours. This makes them ideal for carrying around and working from anywhere be it lectures, the library or even the student union! Netbooks are powerful enough to browse the internet and complete basic tasks such are using Microsoft Office programmes and also have sufficient hard drives for data storage with most coming with 160GB.

Netbooks don't come with a DVD Drive built in so you'll need to use memory sticks or buy an external drive if you need to use DVDs. Also the keyboards can be too small for some people so look out for ones with full size keyboards to give you extra comfort.

Plus Points

  • Small and Lightweight
  • Long battery life

Minus points

  • No DVD Drive
  • Too small for some hands
  • Not powerful enough for gaming or watching movies


Laptops are amazingly versatile, not only can they help with your work you can watch TV on them, watch and burn DVDs, listen to music and play games. This means you don't need to take a TV, DVD Player, Hi Fi or console with you when you go to Uni, just a laptop.

With a screen size between 13" – 18" you get much clearer visuals. The full size keyboard also means you can type with comfort which is essential if you've got lots of essays to write. If you need to do design work or want to play games then make sure you get a laptop with dedicated graphics.

Plus Points

  • Larger screen
  • Full size keyboard
  • More powerful
  • DVD Drive

Minus Points

  • Larger and heavier
  • Shorter Battery Life

Can't decide?

It all depends on how you work, if you need to work on the move and aren't looking for a computer which needs to power games and other complex software then a Netbook is the way to go. If you want an all rounder, something for DVDs and Gaming or a larger screen for working then you should opt for a laptop.

Netbook Vs Laptop table

What can it do?    
Browsing the Internet Yes Yes
MSN/Twitter/Facebook Yes Yes
Uploading Photos / Music Yes Yes
Downloading Music Yes Yes
Listen to Music Yes Yes
Watching TV   Yes
Playing Web Games Yes Yes
Gaming (Sims 3 / WoW)   Yes
Working on the move Yes Yes
Researching Coursework Yes Yes
Writing Essays Yes Yes
Graphic Design (CS/CAD)   Yes
Music Production   Yes

If you’re still unsure which one to choose, give our trained advisers a call on 0871 971 0005

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