Instead of bashing Microsoft for deliberately spreading several great lies about Linux, I'm going to write something useful that I hope will benefit those who are planning to buy a netbook. I will be giving simple tips on what brand to choose, the right hardware, the operating system to use, and other important factors that should be considered before making a purchase. I will also be explaining why you should stay away from Windows 7 when buying a netbook.

So let's get down to business.


Hardware:

Since almost all the latest and popular netbooks have basically the same hardware specifications, I will focus on the more important stuff:

Size - I recommend that you choose a netbook with a 10-inch screen size because the display is less straining on the eyes. I also find the keyboard on most 10" netbooks to be a lot more finger-friendly compared to the smaller ones.

RAM/Memory - Netbooks are usually loaded with 1 GB or 2 GB of memory. 1 GB of RAM is quite enough but if you have extra money, why not make it 2.

Storage - Most netbooks nowadays have 80, 120, or 160 GB HDD, so choose a storage size that fits your needs.

Battery - Branded netbooks come with a decent battery. A 3-cell battery can give you around 2.5 hours, 6-cell around 5 hours, and so on. You may want to read the simple ways on improving netbook battery power.


Brand:

I wouldn't endorse a particular brand or model, but I will tell you that it's essential that you buy a netbook from a trusted and well-known manufacturer. Okay, I will name some to help you out a bit: Dell (Inspiron Mini); HP (Mini); Acer (Aspire One); ASUS (Eee PC); MSI (Wind);


Price:

At the moment, a good quality netbook is priced at around USD $350-$450.


Operating System:

I've used both Windows and Linux, and I can honestly say that Linux is perfect for any netbook. I've got plenty of reasons why, but I will only point out a few of them:

* Linux is fast and efficient
With Linux, your netbook will run a lot faster since it will be using less hardware resources when compared to Windows.

* Linux is secure
Because most you will probably be traveling around with your netbook, the comfort of bringing an ultra-secure OS with you is priceless.

* Linux is flexible
Since netbooks have limited screen real estate, you will need a desktop environment that can help optimize it. A Linux DE like GNOME will allow you to fully tweak the interface to help save some desktop space. You may check out my post on how to optimize a netbook's screen real estate.

* Linux is free
This is rather self-explanatory, but I would like to point out that using a free OS means spending less and having extra money to upgrade some key hardware components like RAM and hard disk.


Linux distro:

What's good about Linux is that you have plenty of flavors to choose from. The most widely used distros on netbooks are Xandros, SUSE, Linpus, and Ubuntu Netbook Remix. Each of them has different features so I recommend picking the one that you are comfortable with. Don’t worry; Linux is as easy as using Windows these days.


Why You Should Avoid Windows 7:

With all the positive reviews that I've read about Windows 7, I still want you stay away from it if you are planning to buy a netbook. Why? Though it's a trimmed-down version of Vista, it is still a resource hog. Like, its minimum recommended RAM requirement is 1 GB. That means you will not be able to get the most out of your netbook if you use Windows 7. Another reason why you should be avoiding Windows 7 is its expensive price. Not to mention the added cost of maintenance; like for example buying anti-virus software. I can go on and on but since I said a while ago not to bash Microsoft or any of its products, I will keep it short and honest.

Before I’ll go, here’s a simple advice to all the prospective netbook buyers out there:

"Spend your money wisely and buy a Linux-powered netbook. Trust me, you will not regret it."


You may also like my article about choosing the right laptop/notebook computer.

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