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The Future Of The Netbook?

As laptop computers are predicted to outsell desktops in 2009, what role will the smaller, cheaper netbook play? And how can you decide if the netbook is a good fit for your business?

As laptop computers are predicted to outsell desktops in 2009, what role will the smaller, cheaper netbook play? And how can you decide if the netbook is a good fit for your business?The year 2008 saw a lot of changes in the business world, one being the rise of the netbook. And 2009 shows no signs of a decline, as laptops should outsell desktop computers for the first time next year, with netbooks expected to help boost those laptop sales.

Here are some netbook features to keep an eye out for in 2009:

Netbooks are portable computers that are smaller and lighter than standard laptops and cost a lot less too -- though they also have less horsepower, often having just a 16 GB hard drive. But if Internet connectivity is all your employees need and they're often on the road, shelling out $200 to $500 for a netbook may not be a bad idea. Although bulkier than a BlackBerry, the netbook's 7- to 12-inch keyboard -- though smaller than a laptop's -- is still easier to navigate.

Netbooks are not for every business, of course. They tend to not have have CD/DVD drives, PC Card slots, Bluetooth capabilities, or good versions of Ethernet or Wi-Fi. And the gorgeous MacBook Air is about as light as a typical netbook and boasts a 64 GB solid-state drive -- though the MacBook Air also carries an $1,800 price tag.

The debate over the netbook versus the full-size laptop is one of those in which any business owner would be wise to carefully consult the specs.

And another debate might be found in whether manufacturers other than Psion can even use the term netbook.

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