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I need to a computer to work when I go on a business trip. What do you recommend me to buy, a netbook or second hand laptop?

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Buying recommendations are specifically off-topic as per the Super User FAQ. –  nhinkle Dec 18 '10 at 8:32
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closed as off topic by nhinkle, Sathya, random Dec 19 '10 at 1:06

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Technically the definition of a netbook by Microsoft is a Intel Atom based system with a single Gig of RAM, 10" screen. If we take this, then the questions become:

  1. Are there programs you need that will require more than a Gig and an Atom to run? The Atom is the functional equivalent of a processor from several years ago - say 3 to 5 years old.

  2. The screen and keyboard are small. Look at the resolution - lots of them have 1024x600 resolution screens. Do any of your programs require higher resolution? For an example, SQL states 1024x768 minimum.

  3. The processor/small hard drive and other limitations means you can't run demanding games or expect quick results from programs. Is anything you run time sensitive? Can you deal with lag or will that be an issue (say if you are giving a presentation running from this device, you could look less than professional if things lag.)

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So you are basically saying that a notebook today is still slower than a notebook from yesteryear. Hence, screen size and portability are pretty much the only remaining questions. –  bastibe Dec 18 '10 at 14:27
    
Yes. A netbook of today is the same as a 3-5 year old normal processor system. Limitations are RAM, screen size, resolution, and general performance. –  Blackbeagle Dec 20 '10 at 21:22
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