Wireless Network Administration: Netbook Computer Basics

As you probably know, a netbook looks like a notebook computer that got run through the wash with hot water and has shrunk to about half of its original size.

This small size makes it an ideal companion for many mobile users: It’s larger than a smartphone, so it can be used for ordinary computer tasks like word processing or spreadsheet analysis, but it’s much smaller than a notebook computer, so it’s easier to take with you.

A typical netbook computer is shown below — in this case, an HP Mini 311. This computer comes with the following features:

  • 11.6-inch display, which is actually on the large size for a netbook; most are closer to 10 inches.

  • Intel Atom processor, which chugs along at 1.6 GHz. The Atom is a single-core processor that’s optimized for very low power usage.

  • Up to 3GB of RAM.

  • 160GB, 250GB, or 320GB hard drive.

  • Built-in wireless 802.11g or 802.11n network interface (or both).

  • Built-in mobile broadband compatible with Sprint, AT&T, or Verizon.

  • Windows 7 Home Premium edition (32-bit).

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The entire system is about 8 x 11 inches and about 3/4 inch thick — about the size of a small hardcover book. It weighs just over 3 pounds.