Do more with your netbook

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Do more with your netbook
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When the first Eee PC arrived in 2007, it caused quite a stir, but few would have predicted just how popular netbooks would become.

With models from big names such as Dell, HP, Samsung and Toshiba, there’s no shortage to choose from and it’s quite likely many of you picked one up for Christmas.

Rather than offering powerful processors, long battery life and a wealth of features, netbooks provide modest performance in an ultra-compact chassis.

In this feature, we’ll show you what to look out for when buying a netbook and, once you’ve got one, how to get the most out of it. We’ll also take you through the must-have accessories for any netbook owner.

The processor
Given their low prices and small dimensions, it should come as no surprise that netbooks aren’t the most powerful of laptops. But with most models coming in a variety of flavours, there are a number of choices you need to make. I

n contrast to buying a standard laptop, the choice of processor is actually very limited when purchasing.

While fully fledged laptops usually run fast dual-core AMD or Intel processors, netbooks have to be slightly more conservative in order to keep their prices down.

Intel is currently leading the netbook processor charge with its N270 Atom processor.

Based on a 45nm fabrication process and used by the vast majority of netbooks, the Atom is small and relatively power-efficient with a 2.5W thermal design point (TDP).

Its core speed of 1.6GHz isn’t going to win any performance awards, but neither is it particularly slow – it’s powerful enough to cope with what netbooks are intended for.

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