Why Trust Techopedia

What Does Netbook Mean?

A netbook is a small mobile computing device (a mini laptop) that has less processing power and storage space than a laptop computer.


Netbooks are extremely lightweight, and most do not include a CD/DVD drive. However, they do support a small keyboard for word processing and other inputs.

Netbooks were initially created as secondary computing options and targeted to the education market. However, they have become increasingly popular, particularly mong students, bloggers and those how mainly use a laptop to access the Web. Netbooks are also ideal for cloud computing.

A netbook may also known be known as an ultra-portable, mini-notebook, subnotebook, mini-thin client, ultra-mobile PC (UMPC) or cloud book.

Techopedia Explains Netbook

Netbooks usually run on a portable Linux OS, although some models may come preloaded with Windows XP or Linux. Some netbooks also run on the Chrome OS, which is the latest OS from Google that is exclusively designed for a line of Netbooks.

Netbooks have multiple capabilities, including Web browsing, Microsoft Office applications, photo management and multimedia. In addition, netbooks are ideal for cloud computing because this eliminates the issues related to computer and software incompatibility, data loss and printer failure.

Netbooks are very popular among students, bloggers and on-the-go users. Some organizations may even provide netbooks for basic field operations.

Netbook and notebook specifications are similar, making the netbook an ideal alternative for notebook users. As time has gone by, the specifications for netbook and notebook computers have converged and become more similar.


Related Terms

Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.