Understanding the Key Differences Between Netbooks and Notepads

Netbooks and notebooks have many differences beyond simple size. Netbooks generally have just enough power to run the programs needed to access the Internet. Notebooks are more versatile but have some drawbacks. You should understand the key differences between netbooks and notepads.

Portability and Weight

One of the primary differences has to do with the weight and dimensions of each device. Netbooks are usually designed to be as lightweight and as small as possible. Many weight just around a pound. Notebooks tend to be larger are heavier although they are still smaller than a traditional laptop. If portability is important, then the small size of a netbook will help.

Battery Life

The battery life can be very different between a notepad and a netbook. A notebook usually has more and larger components that take up energy while running. Netbooks usually have minimal hardware. This means a netbook could last for up to eight or ten hours on a single charge. Notebooks usually last just around half that time at most.

Speed and Power

A notebook often has much better performance than a netbook. Notepads generally have processors that are more powerful. They also contain more random access memory, or RAM. This means a notebook can run many modern applications and games. Netbooks are less powerful and usually are limited in what programs they can run.

Storage Space

Another difference is storage space. Netbooks are streamlined to use a minimal amount of hardware. This means you might only have a few gigabytes of hard drive space with a netbook to hold the operating system. Notepads, however, usually have full-sized hard drives that can be up to a terabyte large. You can store more documents, photos and videos on a notebook.

Screen Quality

The quality of the display is frequently different between netbooks and notebooks. A netbook will usually have a much smaller screen. Netbooks often have very low maximum resolutions. The display on a notebook is at least average resolution and could even have high-definition capabilities. If screen quality is important, then a notebook is the better option.


A final major different is the cost of each device. A netbook is supposed to be an appliance for accessing the Internet and not a fully functioning personal computer. This makes the price of a netbook significantly lower than most fully featured notebooks. The difference in price is not as noticeable with generic or lower end notebooks that are intentionally made to be inexpensive.