If the last time you purchased a computer was in 2007, you'll find that the landscape has changed drastically in terms of what's available to you. Where laptops were once reserved for businessmen and students, they're now a must-have in most American households.
If you're in the market for something new, you might be overwhelmed by not only the choices, but the new terms that you're faced with at the computer store. By nailing down the differences between devices like ultrabooks and netbooks, you can be more confident as you look for the type of computer that is perfect for you and your needs.
Size. One of the most recognizable differences between netbooks and ultrabooks is their size. An ultrabook is closer to the size of a more traditional laptop, only much thinner and lighter. It's great for when you need a full-size computer but don't want to tote a heavy machine with you wherever you go. Netbooks are much smaller than a normal laptop, and they're sometimes called mini computers or mini laptops. They can be as small as seven inches, but most fall in the 10- to 12-inch range. Their super compact size makes them great for traveling, since they can fit in purses and backpacks easily without any special accommodations.
Features. A netbook is not a replacement for a laptop. While it might have some of the same features as a regular computer, it has markedly less memory and a less sophisticated processor. Netbooks are better for surfing the web, social networking, typing up notes or reports and streaming media. If you want something to actually replace an older computer or even a desktop model, ultrabooks are your answer. High-powered processors and tons of memory mean they can replace your old laptop completely, with all of the same features and perks as a full-sized computer.
Battery life. One category where netbooks easily beat ultrabooks is the battery life. Netbooks have much smaller processors, which means the battery life lasts much. They beat out traditional laptops by hours of power. Ultrabooks definitely have a longer battery life than traditional laptops, some boasting as much as 5 to 7 hours from just one charge, but they'll still die out faster than a tiny, economical netbook will.
Best one for you. Ultimately, what you choose to purchase will depend on how you plan to use your computer. If you're looking for something that has the full power of your regular computer, something that you can use for gaming, presentations, graphics, editing, or other processing-heavy applications, definitely go with an ultrabook to get all of your needs met. If you're just looking for an accessory to your existing computer system, one that lets you play simple games, watch media and perform basic computing tasks, go for a netbook, which costs less and is easier to carry around.