Frequently Asked Netbook Questions
A netbook is a device that can perform the majority of the functions of a desktop or laptop, but is extremely mobile. Netbooks look like miniature laptops, with screens rarely exceeding 10 or 12 inches. Netbooks have been around since 2008 (although there are some disputes regarding what actually constituted the first netbook) and are generally characterized by a distinct dependency on connecting to a network, or the highlighted ability to connect to a network.
Since their inception, netbooks have undergone a significant number of changes and have taken on many different forms. Everything from the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC)— a very cheap, durable netbook produced specifically for children in third-world countries—to the sleek, hip Google Chromebook can be considered a netbook.
The netbook reigned the economical mobile market for some time, particularly amongst users who primarily purchased the devices for Web browsing on the go. Network service providers offered plans for data cards so users could plug into the netbook and browse directly on a mobile device network. Many tech blogs noted the netbook’s revolutionary impact on mobile browsing and highlighted the device as a game-changer to the laptop industry.
In 2011, tablet computers surpassed netbook sales for the first time. However, tablets often still do not possess the same functionality, comfort and flexibility offered by netbooks.