More than likely you've wondered just exactly what a netbook is and how it’s different from a laptop. Here's the lowdown. A netbook is a shrunk-down, lightweight laptop that often has these key features:

  • 3 pounds (more or less)

  • 10-inch or smaller screen

  • Intel Atom processor

  • 1GB RAM

  • 10/100 Ethernet port

  • 802.11 b/g wireless card (some models support 802.11 n)

  • Audio-in jack (microphone)

  • Audio-out jack (headphones or speakers)

  • Built-in speakers (many models feature a built-in microphone)

  • SD card reader

  • Touchpad

  • USB ports (2 or 3)

  • VGA out (for external monitor or projector)

Netbooks with additional features such as Bluetooth, larger hard drives, longer life batteries, and so on cost more than basic models.