by Staff Writer
When you're looking for compact but powerful wireless computing devices, you can't get much better than netbooks. Few devices pack as many mobile computer capabilities into such a small package. To gain a better understanding of netbook computer technology, consider the answers to frequently asked questions about netbooks.
What's the difference between a netbook and a laptop?
Size is the main difference. Netbook PC screens can be as small as 7 inches and rarely go over 10 inches. Both computer types tend to have wireless capabilities and the same operating systems, and they run similar programs. On the other hand, netbooks usually forgo optical CD/DVD drives, so they are significantly lighter and more compact than laptops.
What should I look for in a netbook PC?
When you are shopping for netbook computers, consider the same features that you would look for in a laptop. Memory, processor power, wireless capability and connection ports are just a few things to look for. Just keep in mind that you may be making trade-offs for portability, like a smaller screen and no DVD drive. It may help to make a list of things you need your computer to do and eliminate models that don't have the features that you want.
Can I use my USB devices with a netbook?
Most netbook laptops have one or more USB ports, so you'll be able to use USB devices with your netbook PC, just as you would with any other computer. Be aware, however, that USB standards keep improving, so a newer USB device might not work with your computer if the netbook doesn't support the latest USB version, like USB 2.0 or USB-IF.
Can I use my netbook for games?
Although netbooks aren't designed for heavy video and gaming programs, you can play simple games with a netbook. Check the system requirements of the game you want to play and compare them to the specifications for your computer. Powerful video hardware tends to be large, and it often puts off a lot of heat, which is a bit impractical for most netbook laptops. You can find high-powered video cards in powerful entertainment laptops and desktop computers, and if you're looking for a powerful gaming computer, those might be a better choice than a netbook PC.