They're some of the cheapest laptops out there. They weigh just 2 to 3 pounds and have 9- to 10-inch screens. They are small compared to a full-sized notebook computer.
They are Wi-Fi ready, which makes them well equipped for people who want to go online or check their e-mail while they're out. Consumer Reports tested the least expensive Windows netbooks on the market, and found several good choices priced around $400.
But Consumer Reports cautions that while you'll save a bundle, you'll sacrifice features. Netbooks are usually slower and have less memory, which makes them fine for light office work but not for gaming.
When you're shopping for a netbook, Consumer Reports says there are several features you should consider, including ergonomics or how easy the netbook is to use. For one, take a look at the keyboard. They're smaller than typical laptops and they can feel cramped. Next, try the track pad and see how easy it is to press the buttons. Tests showed with some you need over a pound of pressure to push the pad buttons. It should be less than half that. And check battery life. Some can run for more than 6 hours, others less 2ÃÆÃÆÃâÃâÃÆÃâÃâ¦Ãâ. Also avoid ones with solid-state hard drives. They have relatively little storage space. And several of the netbooks Consumer Reports tested did not come with anti-virus software, so be sure to install some right away.
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