How to Choose a Netbook – CPU, RAM, Storage

How to Choose a Netbook – CPU, RAM, Storage


After a decision has been made that a netbook is THE computer to buy and that the advantages and disadvantages of a netbook are acceptable, the next step is to decide which of the many models on the market are best. While it is impossible to say which netbook is the best there are certainly better and worse offers and when an individual intends to buy a netbook, he or she must decide which of the many netbooks is the best for him or her.

In order to do so, a user must compare the technical parameters of netbooks. Netbook price is not the main consideration, the technical parameters of a netbook matter more. Here are some essential technical characteristics that matter when choosing a netbook:


CPU, RAM and storage are among the most essential characteristics of a computer. However, with netbooks these technical parameters matter less because more or less the offers fall within the same range. There are slightly more powerful netbook CPUs (most of them are Intel Atom N or Z Series) but actually the difference between any mid-range CPU and a high-class one are not that drastic. The slowest netbook CPUs are really slow, so avoid them.

As for RAM, (unfortunately) the majority of netbooks come with 1GB. This is not very bad, especially when one sees that still there are 512MB netbooks on the market. 1GB is enough for most uses but 2GB, not to mention 4GB are more adequate today. For a Linux netbook 1GB of RAM is quite OK but for a Windows netbook (especially for a Windows Vista), 1GB is disastrously low.

Harddrive and Other Storage

Storage is another factor to consider when buying a netbook. Harddrives come in many flavors – from 8GB on the first models, to 160GB and more. It can be expected that in the future harddrives will become even larger. While 8GB is ridiculously low, 80GB is not that much, 160GB is enough for most users, so even if there are offers for more harddrive space, the difference is not that essential.

Anyway, netbooks have USB ports and also support SSD (Solid State Drives), so even if a hard drive of 80GB or 160GB is not enough, external storage is always an option.

CPU, RAM, hard drive and other storage are among the key technical parameters of a netbook but they are not the only ones. What is more, some secondary technical parameters, such as screen, battery, keyboard, connectivity, etc. are very important when considering what netbook to buy.