Netbook Purchasing Guide
Revised January 17, 2013
Some small low-cost notebooks are classified as "netbooks" or sub-notebooks. Information Systems & Computing (ISC) sees netbooks as a swiftly fading market segment. Future versions of this guide will be incorporated into the value notebook specification as few OEMs are continuing to produce notebooks that meet these netbook specifications, choosing to pursue the thin and light or Ultrabook specifications instead.
Netbooks tend to weigh between 2.5 and 4.0 pounds and have 10.1 to 12.1 inch screens. In performance, they tend to lag substantially behind last year's desktop recommendations and contain fewer features. In the University environment, netbooks are currently suitable only as a complementary device to a more capable desktop or notebook - they should not be deployed as a user's only computer. Examples of such netbooks are the ASUS Eee PC 1215B, the Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3, and the Lenovo ThinkPad X131e.
|Recommended Configurations for Netbooks
Specifications revised January 17, 2013
Specifications are reviewed and updated as appropriate
||Intel ATOM dual core
AMD Fusion dual core
||250 GB hard drive|
|Display & Graphics
||8.9 to 12.1 inch widescreen (1024 x 600 resolution)
||optional external DVD-ROM/CD-RW "combo" drive
||internal 10/100BaseT Ethernet|
internal 802.11b/g (Wi-Fi)
|Recommended Operating System
||Windows 7 SP12|
||18 months to two years|
||$400 - $6503|
- Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (32-bit and 64-bit Professional, Ultimate, and Enterprise editions) is supported and recommended for new systems. ISC does not recommend, but will support the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7 Home Premium Service Pack 1. Home Premium lacks important networking, security, and compatibility features, such as domain-based authentication, that are essential to many Schools and Centers in the University. Note that Windows 7 Professional includes all of the multimedia features present in Windows 7 Home Premium, and therefore is recommended as superior to Home Premium. ISC does not recommend and will not support any version of Windows 7 Starter or Windows 7 Home Basic. Starter and Home Basic lack many important networking, maintenance, and security features that are critical to many Schools and Centers at the University.
- Estimated prices for these netbooks include one-year service plans from the manufacturers, which ISC strongly recommends. Note that the one year warranty is an extra cost for some netbooks and that this cost is reflected in the estimated price.
Pricing is generated using the online configurators and is for general reference only. Support providers often can generate significantly more competitive pricing, often with the assistance of the University's Computer Connection.
These specifications are revised when major changes in configurations from Lenovo or the industry as a whole become generally available.
Other than some differences in peripherals, support for netbooks is generally similar to support for desktop systems. Providers and users often will need to approach netbooks in a fashion similar to PDAs, restricting data and applications to less than the full set installed on a more capable desktop or notebook.
If your school or center is considering a netbook purchase, ISC strongly recommends a consultation to weigh pros and cons in today's rapidly changing environment (contact John Mulhern III in ISC, firstname.lastname@example.org; 573-3567).