Are Netbooks/Notebooks good for Uni?

I have just started Uni and I’m thinking of getting a Netbook/Notebook. I already have a laptop but the battery’s crap and it’s a pain to carry around. I would like to get peoples opinion on this, are they good for uni work. Also have you any suggestions as to a brand/type that would be best. Money isn’t an issue as I have a good bit saved.


  1. A lot of people say that, for uni, you should just get a desktop computer and save yourself the expense of a laptop. Half the time it’s not necessary to carry a computer around with you, as there will normally be plenty of university computers to use with software relevant to your course installed on them. Just having a computer at your house/flat/room will normally do just fine.

    A small point on terminology:
    A netbook is not the same thing as a notebook. A notebook is just another word for an ordinary laptop. The manufacturers don’t call laptops laptops, because it could be seen as false advertising. You’re not actually meant to use them on your lap because they can overheat. As a result, laptops get called notebooks. A netbook, on the other hand, is one of those cute mini laptops with a tiny screen and a tiny keyboard.

    I have seen people using netbooks in university libraries, typing on them. The obvious advantage is that it’s easy to carry it around with you and the battery usually lasts longer than a laptop. They’re also quite cheap (competitively priced compared to a low-end desktop).

    The obvious disadvantage is that the keyboard is small and cramped up, so it might be uncomfortable to use (especially if you have big hands). You could get the best of both worlds by investing in a USB keyboard and mouse to plug in when you’re at home.

    I’d imagine that most courses just require basic office software. A netbook is quite capable of handling this, though you won’t fit much on the screen at a time, which you might find limiting. If your course requires specialist software, you may need to check that the software can run on the netbook, if you intend to attempt to do so.

    It’s worth noting that another option could be to replace the battery in your current laptop. It’s not the most glamorous solution, but it’ll be relatively cheap. Try for batteries. Laptop and netbook batteries all have a limited lifespan and normally become pretty useless after a few years. A new one will provide a new lease of life.

  2. Small notebook or netbook will be good. Hardy to survive the average backpack.

    Run it until the battery is less than 10%, then recharge.

    I personally like the Acer Aspire One, but I have low expectations maybe.

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