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What is the difference between a Netbook, an Ultrabook, and a Laptop?

One of the first questions a consumer would ask himself before stepping into Best Buy or Staples to purchase a portable computer is, “What kind of computer should I get?” In today’s day and age, there are multitudes of designs and forms to choose from. So how exactly does one choose?

While netbooks, ultrabooks, and laptops fall under the same category of “portable computers,” there are slight variations among the three. It is important to know the distinct features of each to ensure that you make the best choice to suit your needs.

The first portable computer designed to replace your desktop, the laptop, can be thought of as your all-around basic desktop made portable. The laptop, consistent with a desktop, usually has a DVD-drive and a large hard drive.  The price of a laptop can be as low as $500 or as high as $4000.

A portable computer first created in response to the Apple Macbook Air, the ultrabook carries most of the features of a laptop including the screen size, but it is lighter, thinner, and faster. The ultrabook tends to range from $700 to $1500. An ultrabook has less memory due to its expensive SSD hard drive and typically does not have a DVD-drive. Ultrabooks are used for most daily tasks and can also handle some light gaming.

The netbook is a portable computer used for light tasks, such as, surfing the net, chatting with friends, and listening to music. The netbook may not be fast as the ultrabook because it uses a HDD hard drive, but the netbook is ideal for traveling, due to its small screen size. It is also much more affordable—from approximately $500 or less.

These three types of portable computers are products of our advancing digital age. Whether it be the laptop, the ultrabook, or the netbook that best suits your needs, consider your target price and the must-have features for your ideal portable computer. 

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