Our editors independently research and rate the best products. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases made through the links on our site. Learn more

best netbooks

The Best Netbooks in 2021

Author: Robert Wilson

Electronics & Peripherals Expert

Welcome to our big netbook test. Here we present you all of the netbooks we have tested. We have put together detailed background information for you.

We want to make the purchase decision easier for you and help you find the best netbook for you.

You can also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. You will also find some important information on this page that you should pay attention to if you want to buy a netbook.

  • Netbooks are particularly suitable for PC enthusiasts who want to take their laptop everywhere but do not want to carry a heavy bag.
  • In general, a distinction is made between standard netbooks, netbooks with a touchscreen and netbooks with a tablet function. With all three variants there are numerous models with different equipment that you can choose between.
  • Standard netbooks are particularly suitable for university, school or work, as the large amount of storage space means that a large number of files can be stored. Netbooks with a touchscreen and netbooks with a tablet function are more suitable for leisure and digital entertainment, as they have a high display resolution and are extremely compact.

Best Netbooks

Acer Chromebook 314

 Our Pick
Acer Chromebook 314
1,299 Reviews
Acer Chromebook 314
  • Chromebook runs on Chrome OS – an operating system by Google…
  • All the Google apps you know and love come standard on every…
  • Get access to more than 2 million Android apps from Google…
  • Chromebooks come with built-in storage for offline access to…
  • CB314-1H-C884 comes with 14” Full HD IPS Display, Intel…

The Acer Chromebook 314 is a 14 inch netbook with a matt HD screen. The display frame is kept particularly narrow. The entire netbook has a simple black and silver design.

This Chormebook fulfills all the properties a netbook should have: It is compact, flat and very light (1.5 kg). In addition, it is characterized by its good battery performance (up to 12.5 hours of battery life), its fast Wi-Fi and many connection options.

Another plus point is the already integrated virus protection. It uses the Chrome OS operating system.

HP Stream 11.6-inch HD Laptop

HP Stream 11.6-inch HD Laptop
2,694 Reviews
HP Stream 11.6-inch HD Laptop
  • STUDY, STREAM, SHARE: Between home, school and work, you…
  • KEEP YOUR PROJECTS SAFE: Experience peace of mind that comes…
  • OFFICE 365 FOR ONE YEAR: Get full access to Microsoft Excel,…
  • PROCESSOR: Intel(R) Celeron(R) N4000 Processor, Dual-Core,…
  • DISPLAY: 11.6-inch diagonal HD AntiGlare WLED-backlit…

The Stream 11-ak0001ng netbook from HP is a small netbook with a screen diagonal of 11.6 inches. The screen is HD-capable and the netbook also has Intel UHD graphics. The device with its good display is ideal for streaming, also because Netflix is already preinstalled.

In addition, this netbook is light (only around 1 kg), flexible, mobile and can be connected to various ports – perfect for using it on the go. The installed operating system is Windows 10 Home.

Acer Chromebook R11

Acer Chromebook R11
114 Reviews
Acer Chromebook R11
  • 11. 6″ HD IPS 10-point multi-touch screen (1366 x 768)
  • 4GB of DDR3L Onboard Memory and 32GB eMMC
  • 802. 11ac WiFi featuring 2×2 MIMO technology (Dual-Band 2….
  • Up to 10 Hours Battery Life, 1-USB 3. 0 port, 1-USB 2. 0…
  • Intel Celeron N3060 Dual-Core Processor (Up to 2. 48GHz)

The Chromebook R 11 from Acer is an 11.6 inch HD netbook. It is characterized above all by its multi-touch display – this makes it particularly flexible to use. An integrated virus protection also ensures security.

The netbook is very flat (19 mm), has a long battery life (up to 10 hours) and fast WiFi. The operating system is Chromebook R11, which provides access to many apps. This means that you can work, surf and stream without any problems while on the go.

Frequently Asked Questions: Netbooks

What is the difference between a netbook and a notebook?

Netbooks and notebooks differ from each other primarily in size, weight, performance and battery life.
Netbooks are smaller and more compact than traditional notebooks and laptops. While notebooks are usually available from a screen diagonal of 14 inches, netbooks are between 10 and 14 inches. As a result, the keyboard of the netbook is smaller – a number pad is usually missing.

The smaller size is of course also noticeable in the weight. Netbooks usually weigh a maximum of 2 kg, but most are between 1.2 and 1.6 kg. They are lighter than most conventional notebooks and also easier to transport.

A netbook cannot compete with a notebook in terms of performance and screen resolution. But it also plays a subordinate role in netbooks. More important is good energy efficiency and economy, which is noticeable in a very long battery life. This is at least 7 hours, with many models even higher.

All of these factors are also reflected in the price of netbooks. For US$250 to US$500 you can get a solid netbook, while you often have to dig deeper into your pockets for a notebook.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a netbook?

Netbooks have many advantages over conventional notebooks or laptops:

  • Size: Netbooks have smaller dimensions and are perfect for taking with you and for working and surfing on the go.
  • Weight: Netbooks are lighter than notebooks and therefore easier to transport.
  • Energy efficiency: Thanks to their reduced performance, netbooks are more energy efficient and economical than notebooks.
  • Battery life: Netbooks have a significantly longer battery life than normal notebooks – usually 7 hours and more.
  • Price: Netbooks are much cheaper to buy than notebooks, often starting at US$200.

Of course, netbooks also have disadvantages. Due to its smaller screen diagonal, it is hardly possible to work with multiple windows. The screen resolution and the performance of netbooks are also lower than those of notebooks. Usually they also have fewer connections and are not as versatile as larger laptops. Due to the narrowed keyboard, netbooks are not so comfortable when typing for a long time.

Who should use a netbook?

If you are looking for a small, light and inexpensive laptop for traveling, university or school, with which mainly light work (such as typing texts or working on presentations) is done, a netbook is definitely a good choice. They are especially ideal for schoolchildren and students.

But a netbook is also a good choice for people who often work on the go or who simply want a compact second device to take with them.

How big and heavy should a netbook be?

Do you want to have your netbook always at hand, no matter where you are? Then you should pay attention to the weight and size, because this can vary greatly from type to type.

The displays of netbooks have screen diagonals between 10 and 14 inches. The smaller the screen diagonal, the smaller the laptop itself is usually. You should also pay attention to the thickness of the netbook, because this can vary greatly.

The size of the netbook naturally also affects its weight. On average, they weigh between 1 and 2 kg – most models weigh around 1.5 kg.

So if you’re looking for a portable device that can be easily carried in a handbag or backpack, it’s best to choose a smaller and lighter model.

If a bigger screen and keyboard are important to you, it’s best to go for a larger model. However, the netbook is a little heavier.

What resolution does a netbook have?

The resolution of the netbook depends, among other things, on the size of the screen. The standard resolution for a 10 inch netbook is 1024 × 600 pixels. The larger 11.6-inch netbooks have a higher resolution of 1366 × 768 pixels.

Depending on the purpose for which you want to use your netbook, you can decide whether a high resolution pays off for you or a lower resolution is sufficient for you.

For example, if you mainly want to watch movies and videos, you should use a higher resolution netbook. However, if you mainly need your netbook to write texts, a netbook with a lower resolution will do.

What features should a netbook have?

The equipment of the different netbooks varies from model to model. The equipment is via Bluetooth, WiFi, HDMI, card reader, headphones, microHDMI, USB 2.0 etc.

What you need to use the netbook as standard should already be built into the netbook. This saves you having to buy expensive additional equipment.

Standard netbooks offer a larger RAM with a good processor. Netbooks with a touchscreen and a tablet function, on the other hand, have a higher resolution.

Many manufacturers also offer their netbooks with an integrated camera. In most cases it is not necessary to buy an external webcam. If you use the webcam frequently, you should make sure when buying that it is already included.

What alternatives are there to a netbook?

Alternatives to a netbook are the larger notebooks or laptops, desktop PCs or tablets or tablet PCs.

Tablet PCs are very light and score above all with their compactness, their quick and easy operation and their often high screen resolution.

The larger notebooks, on the other hand, are more powerful than netbooks. They also have a bigger screen and better screen resolution. Due to their higher weight, however, they offer more equipment, such as a CD / DVD drive.

Only a desktop PC can outperform all of these devices. This is particularly suitable for complex work on the computer, especially if you need a lot of computing power or particularly good graphics (e.g. for editing films). Desktop PCs are also ideal for gamers.

Types of Netbooks

There are basically 3 different types of netbooks. You can also choose between special equipment that the netbook should have and that you value.

  • Standard netbook
  • Netbook with multi-touch
  • 2-in-1 netbook with tablet

The operation and equipment is different for each type, which has individual advantages and disadvantages.

Depending on what you want to use your netbook for and what your requirements are, another type is best for you. In the following we would like to help you to find the right netbook for you.

Standard Netbook: Advantages & Disadvantages

A major advantage of the standard netbook is the processor, which is well suited to more complex work such as housework, presentations, etc. However, the lower display resolution is less advantageous for games, multimedia or for surfing the Internet.

With a standard netbook you will find a certain basic equipment such as a USB connection, a microphone or HDMI, which are not always guaranteed with the two other types. In addition, the given basic equipment gives you better opportunities to connect external devices.

Advantages

  • Basic equipment
  • Good processor
  • Cheap price
  • More memory
  • Ideal for text work

Disadvantages

  • Low display resolution
  • Greater weight
  • Less compact
  • Not ideal for movies and streaming

One advantage of classic netbooks compared to other types is their low price. In addition, the standard netbook has a robust housing which is less prone to system errors.

Furthermore, the netbook has a reliable operating system, which is connected to a higher RAM and larger hard drive than other types of netbooks

Compared to the other types, the standard netbook is a bit heavier and larger and therefore less compact.

Netbook with Multi-Touch: Advantages & Disadvantages

The particular advantage of a netbook with touch function is that it is quick and easy to use. If the tedious click on the touchpad becomes too nerve-wracking, you can easily get to the desired location or page with a few clicks on the touchscreen.

In addition, there is the high resolution of the display, which can often provide you with UHD videos and pictures. You can also zoom in on images or pages or swipe them away. You do without the laborious click on the mouse pad.

But the high resolution of the display causes a faster consumption of the battery. Compared to the standard netbooks, the netbook with a touchscreen is also more expensive.

Advantages

  • Quick and easy to use
  • UHD videos and pictures
  • High resolution
  • Lightweight

Disadvantages

  • Higher price
  • Fast battery consumption
  • Fewer connections
  • Low memory

Components such as the size of the main memory or the hard drive capacity are significantly larger in a standard netbook, which leads to a higher scope of performance.

Netbooks with a multi-touch function are more intended for leisure use.

Its HD resolution makes it very suitable for videos and the Internet. In addition, these types of mini-laptops are often offered in combination with a tablet function.

2-in-1 Netbook: Advantages & Disadvantages

The 2-in-1 netbook (also called convertible) has a convertible, detachable keyboard. This can be folded down or even completely separated from the netbook.

So you can decide whether you want to use the netbook with a keyboard or convert it to a tablet. This makes handling particularly flexible. The tablet’s touchscreen also makes it flexible and easy to use.

2-in-1 netbooks are usually smaller than standard netbooks. Due to their smaller size and lower weight, they are very comfortable to transport. They fit in every pocket and can be used flexibly on the go.

Advantages

  • Touchscreen included
  • Convertible keyboard
  • Tablet and netbook in one
  • height and weight
  • High resolution

Disadvantages

  • More prone to failure
  • Not sturdy and durable
  • Little basic equipment
  • High price

This type of netbook is less suitable for complex tasks such as typing large amounts of text or editing videos or photos. It has less memory and the battery lasts less than with standard netbooks due to the high screen resolution.

It is also more prone to failure due to its movable keyboard and therefore not as robust and durable as the conventional netbook.

But due to its high resolution and its function of being able to convert it to a tablet, the netbook can be used well for presentations and is also suitable as a device for on the go.

Netbook: Purchase Criteria

In the following, we would like to use various criteria to show you how you can compare and rate netbooks so that you can find the perfect netbook for you.

In summary, these are the following criteria:

  • Weight & Size
  • Screen Size & Display Resolution
  • Battery Life
  • RAM
  • Operating System
  • Extra Equipment & Functions

In the following you can read about what the individual purchase criteria are and how you can classify them.

Weight & Size

The weight of netbooks usually varies between 0.7 and 2 kg, with most netbooks weighing around 1.3 / 1.4 kg. The equipment and type of the netbook are particularly important.

Standard netbooks are heavier than netbooks with a touchscreen or netbooks with a tablet function.

Standard netbooks weigh around 1.0-1.7 kg, whereas netbooks with a touchscreen and a tablet function usually weigh under 1.2 kg. That’s why they’re also more compact and easier to take with you.

The size of netbooks also varies from type to type – standard netbooks and netbooks with touch screens are slightly larger than mini-laptops with a tablet function.

The size of netbooks varies between 30-35 cm in length, 20-25 cm in width and 1-2 cm in height.

So if it is important to you to be able to take it with you wherever you go, the 2-in-1 netbook is the right choice for you. Because of the removable keyboard it fits in every handbag and is therefore better off than the standard netbook in terms of mobility. Standard netbooks have a more robust design and are not as sensitive as the touchscreen surface of the 2-in-1 netbook.

Screen Size & Display Resolution

The screen size of a conventional netbook is usually between 10 and 14 inches. The standard netbooks and the touchscreen netbooks tend to be at the upper limit (12-14 inches), the 2-in-1 netbooks at the lower limit.

The size of the display determines the possibilities of use, so you should definitely be clear about what you want to use it for when buying a netbook. A larger model is suitable for working on the netbook, while a smaller model is usually sufficient for surfing and leisure use.

Standard netbooks have a lower display resolution than netbooks with a touchscreen and netbooks with a tablet function. Here you have to ask yourself for what purpose you mainly want to use your netbook. Netbooks with a higher resolution can be used well for recreational use.

Films, pictures and videos can be played in particularly high picture quality. Netbooks with a touchscreen and a tablet function are therefore well suited for this type of user.

However, if you want to use your netbook mostly for text work or housework, you should use a standard netbook, because these are completely sufficient. HD displays would not be so important in this case, as a medium-high display resolution is sufficient for text work.

Battery Life

Netbooks generally have a very good battery capacity. Their battery usually lasts some time longer than that of notebooks or laptops. Nevertheless, there are certain differences between the types.

The battery life of standard netbooks is on average longer than that of touchscreen netbooks or 2-in-1 devices.

Nevertheless, there are currently enough models with a touchscreen and a tablet function that you can easily use for 10 hours. Therefore, you should pay attention to the description of the battery life from model to model, because it cannot always be traced back to the type.

RAM

Netbooks that have a high storage capacity are the standard netbooks. These can be up to 8 GB. Netbooks with a tablet function and a touchscreen, on the other hand, have an average RAM of 2 to 4 GB.

For you this means that if you want to store a lot of files, apps and programs on your netbook and you need enough storage space for many documents, you should use a standard netbook.

But if you can get by with less memory and don’t need a lot of data, we recommend the other two types. In addition, you can expand your memory on many models if it is not enough for you.

Operating System

As with the RAM, the operating system installed on a netbook plays an important role in order to be able to work quickly and stress-free. In addition, with some individual operating systems you have certain applications and apps that can be installed and opened more quickly and easily.

Most current netbooks run on the Windows 10 Home or Google Chrome OS operating systems. Tablet netbooks often run with an Android operating system.

Older netbooks with a lower capacity mostly have the Windows XP operating system, as they require less performance than, for example, the Windows 7 operating system. Windows XP is not capable of high performance, such as video editing.

Extra Equipment & Functions

Many netbooks have a certain basic equipment, such as the USB interfaces, a camera or a WLAN connection. Nevertheless, for some special functions / equipment are of great importance.

The netbooks in the toplists have numerous extra features. These include HDMI, MicroSD, headphones, microphone, USB 3.0 interface, USB 3.1 connection, a glossy display with HD graphics, Bluetooth, memory card reading, Halo keyboard, 5MP camera on the back, 2MP front camera, etc.

Of course, not every netbook has all of these extra functions. You should therefore ask yourself which functions are important to you and then choose a suitable netbook.

A netbook with extra features is more expensive than a netbook with basic features.

Last product update on 2021-09-24 | Source: Amazon Affiliate