In short… no. That opinion may seem somewhat biased but to tell you the truth, I’ve experienced the problems with netbooks and I actually have a netbook as well. Netbooks have been around for longer than most people remember, most people think that they have only come about over the last few years, however this is not true. Many early netbook were running Windows 95!
The reason most think netbooks are a relatively new technology is simply due to the terminology used. The term “netbook” has only come about over the last few years but the fundamentals for a netbook is what has been around for a long time. The older netbooks may have simply been referred to as an “Ultra Portable” or “Mini Laptop”. The difference between these old machines and the modern day netbook is the processor. The processor used in the older machines were standard laptop processors, the modern day netbook processor is called the “Intel Atom” and is not a standard laptop processor. The Atom processor comes in a variety of flavours, however still retains the low clock speed for extended battery life.
These processors are typically what make these little machines so slow, if netbooks had proper laptop processors, then I may be inclined to say that they are of a suitable performance level, however this will most likely never happen as the netbook would likely have to be larger, would consume more power and produce more heat. The advantage with the Atom is it’s small size, low power consumption and can be operated without the typical cooling system of the average laptop, which serves for a small, lightweight, low power consumption device.
The bad performance of netbooks may also be blamed on the operating systems. Most netbooks these days are shipping with Windows 7 Starter or Windows XP. These operating systems are typically too much for the netbooks to handle and hardware upgrades are usually required shortly after purchasing. The most common component usually upgraded is the Memory as most netbooks ship with 1GB of memory as standard, this is usually upgradable to 2GB, depending upon the machine. Some netbooks allow up to 4GB of memory reportedly, however this is no use if the processor is still sluggish.
In all truthfulness, netbooks are not a bad investment if you’re literally just browsing the internet, but I haven’t found anything else that netbooks are good at other than another use that I will mention just now. As you may or may not know, I’ve recently created a new Minecraft server that is available at mc.jhdmaxx.com, and it is powered by a low power consumption, small device. Yes… you guessed it the netbook is being used as a Minecraft server and for the most part it’s doing pretty well. If you experience any lag on the server though, you can probably guess why. So… all in all, the netbook in my opinion is probably a waste of money, but don’t let that stop you from trying, as I said there may be some advantages, and just to clarify, the prices of netbooks are not that far off the average laptop so I’d rather pay the extra money on something that will perform to a decent degree.