Now that you know what you need in a netbook computer (Read: How to Pick and Shop for The Best Netbook), it’s time to figure out what brand and model to pick from. Even though netbooks are pretty new, there is already quite a selection and that can get a little bit confusing.
In this article, I will try to answer the tough question of which is the best netbook notebook computer. I have to add before I go on that this is my view and not a universal perspective. You may want to consult with other guides for their take on the topic and thus be a better informed smart shopper.
So far, the serious players in the netbook business seem to be Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, MSI, Samsung and Apple (if you we say that the MacBook Air is a netbook). There are a few more of course and new players do show up everyday but at this time of writing, the above mentioned are the ones that you should consider as serious contenders in your shopping spree.
To make matters interesting, some of these netbook brands have one or more models that have their own distinct features. For instance, current market darling Asus offers, four models as I write this. How do they differ? They differ in CPUs, display sizes, storage types and sizes and of course prices. I will talk more about this in a bit but keep this in mind. (See: The Best Netbook Guides You Will Ever Read)
So what is the best netbook brand?
Are you familiar with the term OEM short for Original equipment manufacturer? In layman’s terms it means that basically there’s one major computer manufacturer located somewhere in Asia who makes the netbook and different brands will take that netbook and tweak the exterior to fit their existing brands.
Basically, it’s the same computer but it’s just that it looks different. It’s really like a policeman who wears a uniform when he’s at work but when he goes to the swimming pool to relax with his wife and children puts on a swimming costume. This man may be wearing different uniforms but he still is the same under the “hood”.
My point? Netbooks are more or less the same. I understand that techies and purists are going to be on my case about this but consider this:
The MSI Wind PC which is considered to be one of the best netbook on the block. According to Wikipedia, It turns out that there are 18 known original equipment manufacturer versions of the Wind:
-Advent 4211 in the UK.
-Medion Akoya Mini in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, The Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, France, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Poland and Australia (as of 23rd October 2008) (the Medion Akoya Mini is a slightly different containing a different wireless card, no Bluetooth (Aust. model features mini Bluetooth dongle), and 0.3MP camera).
-MyBook M11 ‘Freedom’ in Denmark, however, unlike the other OEM versions, the MyBook M11 does not have a logo on its case.
-Mouse Computer LuvBook U100 in Japan.
-Mivvy M310 in the Czech Republic. but with 2GB of RAM and a 120GB HDD.
-Tsunami Moover T10 in Portugal (XP version only)
-NTT Corrino 101I and Aristo Pico i300 in Poland
-RoverBook Neo U100 in Russia with 120GB or 160GB HDD
-Axioo Pico in Indonesia with 160GB HDD but not include Bluetooth
-Multirama HT Xpress Book in Greece with 160GB HDD
-Positivo Mobo White in Brazil, with 4 models: 1000, 1050, 1070 and 1090. All sport Intel Atom Processors and range from 512 MB RAM / 80 GB HDD (Mobo White 1000) to 1 GB RAM and 160 GB HDD (Mobo White 1090).
-The Proline U100 in South Africa.
Wikipedia goes on to say that “all OEM versions are offered in different colors to the original MSI Wind, apart from the Tsunami Moover (white only) and the Mobo White”.
Pictured above are the Proline U100 and the Medion Akoya Mini. Can you spot any visual difference?
So now suppose that you went into a store that sold netbooks and by a weird coincidence sold all the above brands under one roof. Yes, they would be priced differently according to the different specifications such as hard drive storage size or the strength of the brand.
Essentially though, you would be buying the same netbook! How about that?
I am not saying that the same manufacturer makes ALL netbooks. But I will say that in a matter of quality, they’re pretty much the same which leads me to conclude that you should not really pay attention to the brands but more to the specifications and the price to make sure that you buy the netbook that is right for you.
As long as you stick to the brands mentioned earlier (Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, MSI, Samsung and Apple), you should be good.
Now the trick is to find the best netbook model. What makes each model different to its sibling under the same brand family is the different specifications. For instance, the major difference between the Asus Eee PC 701 and the Asus Eee PC 1000 is the display size (7” versus 10”). You could also add the processors (Celeron versus Atom) and so on.
That would mean that the best Asus netbook for you would be the Asus Eee PC 1000 if you would rather have a 10” large display than a rather small 7”. But you may also see that the difference in prices is something major and that you do not want to spend an extra $300 for a screen display difference because after all, you can live with the 7”.
So what is the best netbook notebook computer? It’s the one that suits all your needs and that has the price that you like. If you’re still undecided, you can just go with the best sellers. For that, you can head over to your fave retailer and ask her or him which model people seem to like the most and go with the choice of the majority.
After all, if everyone is buying a certain unit, it must be the best netbook otherwise it would be gathering dust!