Do Netbooks Have a Place in the SMB?


CES 2009 takes place this week, and one category of product that I expect to be well-covered at this mega event is the netbook. A netbook is essentially a scaled-down version of a laptop, with a slower processor and a smaller display. More importantly, the lower specification means that a netbook costs a lot less than a full-fledged laptop. I suggest that some SMBs might actually find netbooks adequate for their needs.


Before you dismiss the idea as ludicrous, consider the various software applications in use at your SMB. I daresay that most of us do not use our computer terminals beyond simple Web browsing and the occasional work done in Word and Excel documents.


So assuming you are not a programmer or graphics design, there are few reasons why a netbook will not serve its purpose for other average users.


In related news, there are allegations that Intel is putting pressure on netbook manufacturers not to offer netbooks with a display bigger than 10 inches. On this front, though, users who need to work for long hours at the computer can get around the limited screen size of netbooks by using an external LCD display.


And while it shouldn't be a problem, you will do well to check that your netbook of choice does have a VGA-output before purchasing.


In this tough economic climate, organizations are constantly on the lookout to lower costs. Netbooks may make it possible to increase the number of terminals on the cheap.