Laptop, Notebook, Ultrabook or Netbook

There is a lot of confusion about the difference between laptops, ultrabooks and netbooks. This article will hopefully spell out the key differences and help you decide which is best for your needs.

Laptops and notebooks

Laptops and notebooks are the same thing. They are sometimes called notebooks in the United States.

Most laptops today are designed as desktop replacement computers. They have the same power and speed as a desktop, but are portable. A laptop has a screen size of 15.6 inches or above. It usually has 2GB or more of RAM. Battery life is not outstanding on laptops and they’re not really that portable weighing in at around 2.5kg.


Ultrabooks are thin, lightweight (1.5kg) laptops with lots of power and RAM. They take the best bits of desktop replacement laptops; fast CPU and lots of memory and combine it with a thin, lightweight case that aides portability. Ultrabooks usually have a 12 – 14 inch screen and a good 8 hours of battery life. The flexability of ultrabooks comes at a price and they can cost £600 or more.


Netbooks are mini laptops designed to be portable and work for long periods away from the power socket. They usually have low power Atom processors and only 1 GB or RAM. The standard screen seems to be 10.1 inches nowadays although you will find some netbooks with 8.9 inch screens. Their batteries can last up to 10 hours.

So which is best for you? Here’s a summary of the pros and cons of each type of laptop.


  • Used as a replacement for a desk top
  • Portable within the home
  • Good range of prices and spec for all uses, from gaming, the multimedia to just surfing the web
  • Good size screen for long periods of work
  • Short battery life – you’ll have to keep it plugged in most proberly


  • Designed to be portable and usable
  • Good screen that can be used comfortably for hours
  • Lightweight
  • Good battery life
  • Expensive (can be £500+)
  • High power. Can be used for anything from gaming to video editing or music production



  • Cheap (around the £200 – £400 mark)
  • Great battery life
  • Light and portable
  • Low power, can only be used for document editing and web surfing.
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Acer Iconia W500 Tablet / Netbook

Here’s a round up of the reviews of the new Acer Iconia tablet / netbook. Can netbook with a removeable touch screen finally bring coolness to netbooks and productivity to tablets?

Tech Radar – 3/5 Stars

Windows 7 is great when using in the netbook configuration – but hard to use on the tablet touchscreen.

PC Pro – 3/5 Stars

Tablet screen throws the netbook of balance. The tablet by itself is also heavy.

IT Pro – 2/5 Stars

Worst tablet they’ve seen. Expensive, short battery life and heavy. Windows 7 is hard to use in tablet mode.

In conclusion, steer well clear of this netbook. It seems to be a poor tablet bolted onto a poor keyboard.

On a separate note. If you ever need to buy or sell a used outboard, you could do worse than visiting our new outboard motor classifieds site. It’s free and always will be.


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New Currys & PC World discount vouchers – hurry ends soon

PC World and Currys have just extended their 5% off netbook vouchers until the 23rd of June.

Check out all netbook vouchers here

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We’ve Touched an iPad

And we kinda liked it. It’s heavier than you’d imaging. Alright for your lap – but you wouldn’t want to hold it on one arm for long.

Google maps looks fantastic on this thing. Switch to street view and you can drag yourself virtually up any street – it really took our breath away.

We watched a Youtube video and checked out a few sites. The lack of flash doesn’t bode well for sites like Sky News that have loads of flash video – but it’s workable.

We still won’t be getting one though. Only being allowed to install Apple apps from the app store is too limiting. Imagine in Microsoft only allowed us to buy programs from 1 shop that have been pre-approved. Makes our blood boil the more we thing about it.

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How to Buy a Netbook Computer – Part One

A netbook like all computers is made up of a variety of components that combine to complete all the computing jobs that you rely on. This combination of components, often known as the Technical Specification, is what determines how your netbook will run and what sort of applications and software it will support. So why you don’t need to be a technical guru to buy a netbook, it helps to understand a little about the bits and pieces under-the-hood so you can make an informed buying choice.

Netbook Processor
This little chip, commonly known as the CPU does all the calculations required to run software or browse the web. The processor acts as the brains of your netbook rig, telling the other components when to fire up and what order they work in. The better the processor, the quicker your netbook will run – but unlike laptops and desktop machines which can run high-end dual core processors – most netbooks on the market come with a single core processor due to their small size and the requirement to keep heat levels down.,.

Hard Drive
A hard drive is what is used to store your computers data whether it be software programmes or your media library. Every time you open a photo or start-up a piece of software the netbook is accessing the information from the hard drive. As with RAM (see below) a hard drive’s capacity is measured in Gigabytes (often abbreviated to GB) – the more GB you have the more files you can store on your netbook.

Solid State Drive
Some netbooks come with a solid state drive as an alternative to a hard drive. Solid state drives perform the same job as a hard drive (storing data) but have no moving parts – making them smaller and lighter than a hard drive – making them ideal for netbooks. Solid state netbooks also have the advantage of being very quick to startup when you turn them on offering almost instantaneous access to your files and software. As a rule of thumb solid state netbooks tend to be more expensive than their hard drive cousins and have less storage capacity.

Commonly known as RAM (which stands for Random Access Memory) deals with everything that you are doing on your netbook when it is switched on. The memory accesses data from the hard drive and then stores it so it can be accessed by the processor – because memory uses circuits to store the info rather than the mechanical components of the hard disk – it makes accessing and using information much quicker. Memory is measured in both GB and MB (megabytes). Often you will see netbooks advertised as having 1024MB – which is the same as 1GB. As with most things in life the more RAM you have the better your machine will run.

Graphics Card
Previously the preserve of hardcore gamers with souped up desktop PCs designed for playing the latest first-person-shooters – the graphics card creates and outputs the images you see on your netbooks screen. Graphics card come in two varieties – the onboard or “chipset” integrated variety and the more high end dedicated graphics card. The later option is what you need if you want to play 3D games on you netbook – and while previously most netbooks were limited to integrated graphics cards – the market has moved on and we are now starting to see netbooks with dedicated graphics cards like the Samsung n510

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Dell 1011 Netbook Review

dell mini 1011Dell Mini netbooks have made a bit of a name for themselves thanks to their solid hardware, sharp looking designs and bright colours. The latest Mini 1011 is no exception. It’s a solid machine available in 6 different colours.
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The Mini 1011 sports many of the same components as you’d expect from other netbook manufacturers. The almost obligatory 1.66 GHz Intel Atom N280 processor is there, humming along with a brisk 667 MHz front-side bus, supporting a healthy 512K of L2 cache. It makes for a responsive web browsing experience, and the standard 1 GB of RAM handles all the normal tasks you’d expect in a reasonably speedy fashion. You can even expand your memory up to 2 GB, which would be a wise choice given the potential gains to be had considering how cheap RAM has gotten. On top of that, the spacious 160 GB hard drive lets you store a lot of data even for a power user.

While the keyboard is 92% the size of a full layout, it’s hardly something you’d notice, and the crisp 10.1″ screen is enough space to give you plenty of breathing room for multiple apps and windows to be open simultaneously. The Mini 1011 comes loaded with Windows 7, though any Linux distribution can be loaded easily if you prefer an open source alternative. Pound for pound, the Mini 1011 is amongst the best in its class and should make any computer user on the go quite happy in the long run.

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February’s Top Selling Netbooks

Here’s the chart of the top selling netbooks through our website in the month of February.

1) Acer 751
This is a sweet netbook for the price. A great 11.6 inch widescreen and a decent battery life make this a good buy.
Compare prices for the Acer 751

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2) Acer D250
This D250 netbook is a solid netbook that’s light as a feather and cheap as chips.
Compare prices for the Acer D250

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3) Samsung N140
The standout feature of this netbook is the amazing battery life. You’ll get a full workday out of this puppy before the battery dies.
Compare prices for the Samsung 140

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Toshiba T130 Netbook

T130 is Toshiba’s thin and ultra-portable netbook/mini laptop. It comes with Intel’s new CULV (Consumer Ultra-Low Voltage) processor which gives excellent processing power with great battery life. Although the T130 is on the upper size scale of netbooks it still only weighs in at 1.8kg, plenty light enough to tote around all day. Its sleek and good-looking casing gives it a classic look.

The Toshiba T130 has 6 cell batteries by default, which give you up to 8 hours of work time, great for a netbook/notebook with such a comfortable screen to work on. The keyboard is titled at slight angle which makes it more ergonomic to use for long periods. It comes with a 13.3inch screen with full-width keyboard. All the keys are at the same place as we find in a normal key board.

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The keys in the keyboard have a slight lip, which we found comforting while touch typing. The touchpad is wide with good response and the strips below the touchpad are quite well placed.

The SU2700 processor saves a lot of energy because it comes with only single processing core. HD video plays without a problem on this netbook and its integrated Intel graphics card gives good results with 3D-intensive games. The speakers also are of good quality.

Its 13.3 inch screen comes with 1,366 x 768 pixel resolution which we found comfortable enough to use for long periods of video viewing. Its screen can slant back to 45°. It comes with an HDMI output to help you watching photos or video clips externally on  your HD TV.

Toshiba T130 netbook is a good portable mini laptop and is more than sufficient for day to day use. We’d even trade in our 15.6 inch lappy for this netbook.

Toshiba T130 netbook Specifications

  • Intel Pentium SU2700 Processor
  • 1.3GHz with 3 GB RAM (4 GB Max)
  • 2 Memory slots
  • 1.8kg in weight
  • 13.3 inch screen with resolution of 1,366 x 768 pixels
  • Intel GMA 4500M Graphics
  • VGA, HDMI ports
  • 250GB HDD
  • No Optical drives
  • 3 USB ports
  • Bluetooth
  • 1x 10/100 wired network
  • Wireless networking supported
  • Modem
  • Supports Micro SD cards, Memory Stick Pro, MMC
  • Carrying case
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Asus WaveFace – The Future Is Foldable

Check out this foldable, material tablet/netbook concept from Asus.

As the article says – Apple, eat your heart out.


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Acer Aspire 1810 Netbook Overview

Acer Aspire 1810Acer Aspire 1810 is one of our favourite netbooks/notebooks on the market. With its sleek design and power packed CPU, lashings of memory and great battery performance this is a great little lappy for anyone wanting something between a netbook and a notebook. This Dual Core 1.4kg net book comes with an attractive aluminum case (in three colours Ruby Red, Diamond Black and Sapphire Blue) which sets you apart from the crowd. Aspire 1810 is loaded with Windows 7 offering ample innovative tools like multi touch support, refurbished desktop, encryption technology in USB drives and outstanding boot-up times.

With such a small size and light weight, Acer Aspire 1810 is powered by Intel Pentium SU4100 processor which is based on Dual-Core technology with 1.3 GHz clock speed. When it comes to sheer processing performance, Intel processors are very dependable and reliable so they are the first choice of laptop manufacturers. The Intel Pentium SU4100 processor is an energy-proficient processor, supported by 3GB/4GB RAM which performs your daily tasks at good speed. You can even do video editing on this puppy!

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The Acer 1810 comes with varying hard drive sizes from 160Gb up to a wopping 500Gb. We don’t now why you’d need a 500Gb on a netbook though – we most store everything online.

Windows 7 is much faster than Windows Vista as it has all the features which Vista was missing. Acer Aspire 1810 netbook is fast to boot up and can perform complex tasks like photo editing without breaking a sweat. Windows 7 is also very user friendly and secure.

Most netbooks are superior in battery life. The Acer Aspire 1810 is from the Acer Timeline series which is well-known for its exceptional battery life. When fully charged, the Aspire 1810 gives up to 8 hours of performance depending on the complexity of the applications you’re running. You may not get 8 hours of video watching or game play from the machine.

Acer Aspire 1810 has 11.6 inches HD screen with resolution of 1366 x 768 pixel. It is a Widescreen TFT display with LED-Backlit which is great for watching games and playing games.

Acer Aspire 1810 is a professional performer with budget pricing. It has all the features like a full spec laptop. With a Dual core processor, it also has 8 hours battery life. It also has some excellent wireless connectivity features. All these features are packed into a stunningly slim and sexy case that would look good in any coffee shop in the country.

Acer Aspire 1810 Net book Specifications:

• Intel Pentium Dual-Core SU4100 processor
• 1.3GHz, 800Mhz, 2MB Cache
• 250GB HDD
• Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium
• 11.6″ HD Display with 1366 x 768 pixel resolution.
• LED-backlit widescreen TFT LCD
• Integrated Webcam
• Wireless enabled
• DVD-RW Optical Drive
• HDMI port HDCP supported
• External VGA port
• 3 USB ports
• 1.4kg Weight
• Up to 8 hours of battery life

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