To the naked eye the only difference between a netbook and a laptop would be the size. The netbook is smaller, compact and light weight compared to a laptop. Netbooks were created to fulfill the needs of a niche section of the market in the early days. But with the advent of web 2.0 websites this section has grown by leaps and bounds. Today the netbook market is 20% of all computers sold.

The netbook was built to meet the needs of users who used their computers only to connect to the internet. These users wanted an ultra-light and portable computer which they could carry anywhere they went and could connect to the internet with it.

Here are a few differences between a netbook and a laptop:

Let’s compare these head to head to find the difference between netbook and a laptop.

  • Screen Size – Laptops come in screen size between 14 to 20 inches while netbooks are offered in screen range of 7 to 10 inches. These make the netbook smaller than laptops. But this however is not necessarily and advantage as consumers have complained about texts and display on 7 inch screen to be too small.
  • Processor – Laptops have moved on to the faster and more efficient i3, i5 and i7 processors stand, Netbooks have predominantly been running the Intel Atom processors which were slower. But the new generation of Dual core Intel Atom processors have caught up with laptops in terms of processor speed.
  • Optical drive – Latest laptops come with an option for Blu-ray compatible optical drives each Blu-ray disc has a massive capacity to store data. Netbooks on the other hand do not have an optical drive at all. You would need to purchase an external optical drive if you wish to have one. But with the advent of cloud computing many users will save their data on cloud servers thus eliminating need for compact discs.
  • Battery – Laptops generally come with 6 or 9 cell battery packs whereas netbook have a smaller 3 cell battery though some models offer a 6 cell pack. Smaller battery means less operating time when using the netbook on battery charge. This however reduces the weight of a netbook further.
  • Operating system – The latest laptops come with Windows 7 preinstalled which is the best operating system offered on the market these days. Netbooks also feature windows 7 albeit the starter version. However netbooks have an important feature which gives them an edge when browsing the internet.
    You do not need to boot the operating system to browse the internet you can do so instantly as soon as you switch the netbook on.